Review: Brand New Ritz-Carlton Bali Part 5
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To the casual observer, the Ritz-Carlton Bali Club Lounge appeared at first as a lounge similar to many others at high-end properties. During my first visit at breakfast, all the usual dishes were available such as fresh pastries and breads, lots of fruit, yogurt and cereal, and hot buffet items to choose from. Once seated though I was given a menu which offered additional delicious sounding items, and it just got better from there.
The layout of the Club Lounge is such that there’s a large main area for seating, accompanied by several smaller rooms. A family came in to enjoy breakfast one day and chose the table below, which had the perfect cut-out for an attendant to stand while taking meal orders. The view looked out over the pool and the floor to ceiling windows were spotlessly clean.
The couches were comfortable yet not too soft so that you’d have to struggle to sit upright. A calming palette of greens and natural woods complimented the airy space, and each table held a small menu.
Just after I picked up the menu and started drooling over the options, an attendant sidled up to the table and placed a second menu in my hands in case I wanted to try a few items. She also said with a smile that if I wanted something that wasn’t on the menu to ask and the kitchen would do their best to accommodate the request.
The Spicy Lobster Thermidor dish sounded wonderful so I asked for that, along with some scrambled eggs. It wasn’t a long wait before the food arrived, and the Lobster was outstanding! It had a curry flavored sauce and had been cooked just right so the Lobster melted in your mouth.
The eggs were tasty too, and came with toast, a crunchy hash brown patty and a grilled tomato.
My husband tried the Egg Cochette with Brioche bread and declared it good as well though he preferred my Lobster.
To accompany the meal I was offered fresh juice, and one of my favorites was the carrot.
The juices were kept in carafes on ice on the counter, but I couldn’t find any glasses so I inquired and they were more than happy to bring me some.
There were also teas that ranged from Golden Assam to Smoke China, and they were available all day long on a petrified wood looking counter so that if you just wanted to pop in for a quick cup and a sweet you could do so.
Oddly enough, I never opened the door to the lounge. In fact, I once walked there from my suite so they hadn’t been expecting me. I looked for the door handle and didn’t find one. The attendants were usually so quick to whisk open the door that I hadn’t even noticed.
Yes, I expected the breakfast buffet to have jellies and butter, breads and the like. Instead of the standard tiny strawberry and marmalade jars though, there were several other choices that included a mint jelly, blackberry jam, Australian honey, even Nutella, Peanut Butter… and the classic Vegemite for those who are fans.
The fruits were sliced and arranged artfully, and cereals along with nuts and berries were offered in small bowls and glass jars.
Even though the Club Lounge got a little busy at times, the staff was careful to make sure that they refilled everything so there wasn’t a sad single piece of bacon lopping off the side of the plate. They’d make the rounds and wipe up any traces of spilled sauces, etc. so everything was tidy too.
The breads were fresh, and there were several different types of muffins and pastries too.
Creamy French butter to slather on my bread? Yes, please!
In the afternoons there were several local dishes offered as well as the more familiar ones. I tried many during my stay at the resort, but found myself flagging down an attendant often to ask what some of the particular dishes were since there was no English translation listed.
Oh, and in case you find yourself in the Club Lounge, I welcome corrections by readers more familiar with Indonesian dishes but from what I was told, Ayam Bumbu Rujak is a seasoned chicken dish that is not spicy but definitely flavorful.
Lemper Ayam is an Indonesian snack of chicken wrapped in sticky rice.
Pepes Ikan is a dish where the fish is first steamed while wrapped in banana leaves, then grilled before a sauce is added.
I tried Pepes Ikan once and liked the way it was presented on the plate, all wrapped up in the banana leaf.
I found that the taste wasn’t much to my liking but I was glad I had tried it.
Each day was a chance to try new things, as there was never the exact same spread as the day before. Sushi rolls, pork sliders, and customize-your-soup were all fun options.
Some of my favorite snacks were the flatbread pizzas and small olive loaves.
There was also an array of finger sandwiches.
One scorchingly hot afternoon, a container of chilled Gaspacho was just the thing to cool down with.
Colorful cupcakes made a frequent appearance at the lounge. Many of them didn’t have icing so would have been a good option for those looking for a lightly sweet bite.
Some other colorful (perhaps Indonesian?) style desserts were available too.
In the evenings, a full cheese board had well-labeled cheeses with an assortment of breads, crackers, nuts and fruit.
French macarons and assorted delicacies were a feast for the eyes, even if some tasted a little similar to each other.
I never saw anyone in the pool while I was in the Club Lounge, but the patio area looked like a comfortable place to spend an afternoon.
There were only two things I found odd about the lounge. One was that they didn’t really serve alcohol in the way I had become accustomed to at other Ritz-Carlton Club Lounges. They didn’t even serve alcohol (with the exception of beer) until cocktail reception hours in the evening. The wines were not up to what is typically expected for a Ritz-Carlton, and this was somewhat of a disappointment especially in stark contrast to the amazing food they had. I would have definitely enjoyed pairing my desserts with an outstanding wine or with the cheeses.
The other was the curious way in which water and drinks in general were handled. I’m used to going into a lounge, finding a refrigerated wall case with bottles of water and juice and just taking what I want out. If the bottles are small I drink directly from them. and if large I get a glass and pour myself some. At this lounge though, I looked everywhere for glasses and couldn’t find any. There were no refrigerated cases either. If I asked for water, they’d bring me a small bottle but open it right at the table and pour it into a glass. Not bad, but not what I’m used to. I’d actually prefer to just serve myself.
Overall, this lounge was a treat. The attendants were always super attentive, the food was delicious and if staying here again I would absolutely choose any sort of upgrade that got me access to the Club Lounge. Did you miss any other parts of this review? Here’s Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4. Here’s the Conclusion!
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