The Upgrade

My Vacation in the Party Capital of Bali (Complete With a Hangover Brunch to End Them All)

PART SEVEN: It's not all serenity and spirituality on the Indonesian island!

Hey, it's Ben Schlappig here, the blogger behind One Mile at a Time, and the guy who introduced you to my uber-luxury travel lifestyle — which I've managed live by using miles and points. When we last left off I was unwinding at the uber-luxurious St. Regis Nusa Dua in Bali. For our last two nights in paradise, we switched from the St. Regis to the W Hotel Seminyak. Seminyak is also on the water — it’s about a 30-minute drive away — though has a totally different vibe than Nusa Dua. It’s known for surfing and partying, and is much more lively than Nusa Dua.

Not surprisingly, the W had a very different vibe than the St. Regis. That would be expected based on the location alone, though is amplified further by the difference between the two brands. While St. Regis is known for understated elegance and a relaxing vibe, W is known as more of a party brand, with fun and quirky design. The lobby is open air, and seems to consistently have a great cross-breeze, so it’s a lovely place to sit and relax. The hotel is also well designed to make the entire hotel feel like one big communal space. There’s a tiered pool, a huge waterfront bar, several open-air restaurants, and more.

The W Hotel Seminyak

We arrived at the hotel on a Sunday afternoon, right as two of the hotel’s over-the-top Sunday brunches were going on. One of them had a live DJ and a buffet with an Asian street food theme. The food was delicious, and because the W is known throughout the island for their Sunday brunches, the people watching on point.

So. Many. Food. Options.

On this stay, I got an upgrade (thanks, SPG Platinum) to one of the hotel’s Marvelous Suites, which are the hotel's “standard suites.” The 1,400-square-foot suite was on the top floor with a great balcony overlooking the entire resort. There was a separate living room and bedroom, and the living room featured what may just be the biggest couch I’ve ever had in a hotel room. I find W properties to generally have quirky design, and this one was no exception.

In addition to the rooms in the main building of the hotel, there are also dozens of standalone villas, which are nice alternatives for someone seeking more privacy. The W Seminyak has one, two, and three-bedroom pool villas, all of which feature private plunge pools. If traveling as a group, this could be a great option, as it gives you some privacy while still giving you access to the rest of the resort.

It's hard to go wrong with these accommodations.

Continuing with the party theme, the W Seminyak has an innovative concept — they have a sound studio where people can rent out and record music. The extent of my singing experience was once singing karaoke at this Korean bar while slightly inebriated, and perhaps also singing along at a One Direction concert once. So, I took a pass on actually recording anything, but it is a cool concept.

This studio is awesome even if you're not musically-inclined.

In case you were wondering, getting hotel status is not that difficult. Most major hotel chains have a loyalty program where they offer different tiers of status based on how frequent a guest you are. But are you aware that some of these chains also give certain levels of status just by holding their branded credit cards? You may not get the absolute highest tier status this way, but it’s a great way to get many benefits without having to regularly with the same chain.

Stick around for my next adventure — and points-travel tips to go with it!

FOLLOW MY JOURNEY:

Glimpse the five-star life I love (and buy with miles!) in Bali.

Here's why I call Bali the ultimate place to recharge.

Check out my epic layover in the world's best airport on the way to Bali.

Read up on my Hello Kitty-themed flight to get this far...

And the Hello Kitty airport experience to match!

And here's where it all began at LAX.

How can I earn valuable hotel points?

And why you really want to sign up for hotel loyalty programs (even if you think you don't)!

Ben Schlappig, the blogger behind One Mile at a Time, experiences about $1 million worth of travel every year using miles and points — and covers about 400,000 miles annually this way. Ben has teamed up with Bravo’s Jet Set for a month-long series called The Upgrade, in which he shows you how you — yes, you! — can score real-world-ready strategies for upping your travel game. Come along for the adventure!

Jet Set is Bravo's launch pad for the most extravagant, luxurious, and unforgettable travel experiences. Ready for takeoff? Then Like us on Facebook to stay connected to our daily updates.

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