The Stones Hotel is centrally located in the vibrant little metropolis of Legian, a 20-minute drive from Denpasar airport.
The resort is within walking distance of Garlic Street and the sleek Kuta fashion haven – the Beachwalk Shopping Centre – which is home to Zara, Gap, Mango and others. Kuta Central is a 20-minute walk away. The bustling chic shopping and dining hub of Seminyak is only a 10-minute taxi ride.
Like most 5-star hotels in Bali, The Stones has a well-honed security checkpoint at the start of the driveway. Happy smiles bounce around the security guards as they check our vehicle. Stepping out from our transfer service we are greeted by more friendly smiles.
As we climb the few steps in the large open foyer I am struck by the immense feeling of space. The marble reception area seems to run for miles and the foyer's ceiling towers far above our heads.
Comfy chairs and large circular wicker seats commune together in an open-air reception area. Past the lounges and chairs I spy the resort swimming pool lit beautifully at night. It looks so inviting I want to skip the check-in and head straight to the pool lounges for a cocktail.
We are staying in Room 541 on the fifth level of the hotel. The guest rooms are unusual in that you step straight through the door into the bathroom area, which is exposed to the bedroom. I'm not sure it’s a room you would feel comfortable sharing with someone you didn't know well, but it certainly makes the space feel bigger.
The bathroom straddles the entire area and glass partitions offer privacy for the shower recess and toilet. The bathroom floor and vanity are shades of golden sand.
The bedroom has a fresh modern appeal with blonde timber flooring and pale stone-coloured walls. The white and grey grained panelling adds a peaceful ambience. A deep grey rug and headboard add depth, while champagne-coloured drapes ooze warmth.
The room comes with all the modern accessories – flat-screen TV, mini bar, expresso machine, free Wi-Fi and tubs of home-made sweets. Step out through the glass sliding doors and you can find yourself on a spacious balcony with blue-stone walls, frothy curtains, timber decking, a luxurious stand-alone bathtub and comfy modern daybed.
The balcony overlooks the impressively oversized resort pool and has views to the sea. Bliss.
Swimming The Day Away
One of the highlights of The Stones Hotel is its large free-form swimming pool, which takes pride of place in the centre of the resort. Comfortable sun loungers fringe the pool with some sitting in shallows, so you can dip your toes in the cool water as you soak up the sun.
There is also a handful of timber and palm thatched cabanas that overlook the pool from a raised stone platform. Just the perfect place to relax in the shade for a nap. The cabanas can be booked, but there is a minimum spend required on food and drink to be eligible. It works out at about A$20, but you would easily spend that on drink and nibbles regardless.
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The pool bar is a great place to meet up with friends or just relax with your partner. With large wicker chairs and romantic lighting it really sets the mood. The staff are very accommodating and happily make up any cocktail you order.
The Celestine Spa is the perfect place to lose yourself for an hour or two. The decor is styled in neutral shades of oatmeal and taupe with pale timber chairs. Floaty curtains fall from the ceiling adding a serene dreamy feel.
On my first visit, I booked myself in for a facial and was pleasantly surprised to be given a wonderful rose petal foot bath and leg massage as well. The facial was wonderful and my skin came out glowing. On my second visit I opted for a relaxing Balinese massage.
As for the pricing, the facial was A$90 and the massage A$60 for an hour. Yes, that's expensive for Bali, but if you take into account your luxurious surroundings, the superior quality of the service and the top-shelf products, it’s still cheaper than Australia and I'm happy to pay extra for such a pleasant experience.
Aside from poolside snacks and room service, there are three other restaurant options on offer. The Big Fish Bar & Grill serves delicious fresh seafood dishes, plus a smattering of other treats. I ordered the Mee Goreng with chicken. It was so delicious I had it three times before the end of my stay.
The Stones Kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, providing a vast range of international cuisine at live cooking stations. The Long Rice Table Restaurant offers delicious Indonesian dishes set in a fresh modern Balinese space with long tables and pale timber chairs and stools. The flavours are amazing.
What’s not to like? I really love this hotel, from the modern decor of the rooms and the friendly service, to the delicious food and fantastic pool. I can't wait to go back.