The Upgrade

Here’s How to Do Bali in Five-Star Luxury (With a Butler!) Using Points

PART SIX: Here’s why the Indonesian island is the perfect destination for hotel-points hoarders.

Hey, it's Ben Schlappig again, the blogger behind One Mile at a Time, and the guy who introduced you to my uber-luxury travel lifestyle — which I've managed through using miles and points. When we last left off, I was tearing through Bali on a points bender.

While I do what I can to get over jet lag, my first day in Asia is always a bit rough in terms of exhaustion. However, after a second great night of sleep, I was feeling amazing.

Since we were staying at a St. Regis, I feel like I should mention some of the things I love about the St. Regis brand specifically. All St. Regis properties offer some consistent benefits. For example, suite guests staying at a St. Regis (which includes all rooms at this hotel, since it’s an all-suite property) get complimentary coffee and tea via butler service 24/7. As someone who keeps a weird schedule due to how I work, and who is fueled by coffee, that’s something I love.

Hello, gorgeous.

There’s a lot more to St. Regis butler service, though. They also have a packing and unpacking service, which I know many others love. Personally, the thought of someone unpacking my stuff weirds me out a bit, so I can’t say I’ve ever taken advantage of it.

Perhaps my favorite St. Regis quirk is that each property has its own signature bloody mary, which reflects the personality of the hotel. The funny thing is that I’m not usually a bloody mary drinker at all. I don’t remember the last time I’ve had a bloody mary outside of a St. Regis.

It's 5 o'clock somewhere...

However, I’ve made a point of trying the signature bloody mary at every St. Regis property I stay at, as I find it a fun way to “taste” the local area. The reason St. Regis has this tradition is because the bloody mary was founded at the King Cole Bar at the St. Regis New York (which we visited later in our trip), so they’ve been keeping the theme going at all hotels. In Bali, the bloody mary is called the Bali Mary, and it has quite a kick to it!

We also had a chance to tour some of the hotel’s massive villas and suites, typically reserved by heads of states, billionaires, and the like. The hotel has an incredible two-story beachfront villa, as well as a suite spanning the entire top floor of the main hotel. While I doubt I’ll ever get upgraded into one of these rooms, it’s interesting to see.

Stunning suites

Points Options for a Quiet Bali Beach Stay

However, even if you don’t have Starpoints (or don’t want to redeem as many points as are needed for the St. Regis), there are several other great hotels in Nusa Dua that you can book with points. If you have Starpoints, there’s also the Westin Nusa Dua, as well as the Languna, which is a Luxury Collection hotel (that’s Starwood’s independent luxury hotel brand).

Nusa Dua also has a Grand Hyatt, Hilton, and Courtyard (which is a Marriott brand), which can be a great value on points. There really are so many great hotel options in the area.

Other Things to Do In Bali

However, there are other charming parts to Bali as well, so I’d never recommend spending your entire Bali vacation in Nusa Dua. Part of what I love about Bali is how varied the island’s landscape is, and I think the best place to experience that is in Ubud. It’s about an hour inland, yet you’ll feel like you’re on a completely different planet.

An ideal Bali trip blends beach with inland culture.

Ubud has jungles, rice terraces, et cetera, while Nusa Dua feels more like a relaxing and sleeping beach down, there’s so much to do in Ubud, from exploring the rice paddies to rafting.

If in Bali I’d generally recommend splitting your time between the beach and inland. There are lots of choices for where to stay near a beach, though for the inland portion of the trip I think Ubud is the best option.

Stick around for the next adventure!

FOLLOW MY JOURNEY:

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.

Here’s why Bali is the ideal place to redeem hotel points:

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 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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