Fabulous Fridays: Villa Upgrades At Hotels – Marvelous 1BR Pool Villa At W Retreat Bali As SPG Platinum


Our Fabulous Friday topic this week is about excellent elite upgrades that occasionally happen at hotels that have villas available on the grounds (mostly resorts).

Villas are often well sought after due to privacy and extra recreational value due to the private pool though they might not be for you if you’re after an ocean view that’s obviously impossible on ground level.

Earlier this month I decided to go back to Bali for some time and also visit a couple of different hotels that I haven’t been to for a while including the Mandapa Ubud, the new Element Ubud and also the W Retreat in Seminyak.

I reserved the W a couple days before my arrival as I wanted to have something a bit more lively for my last two days and was surprised when the evening before my reservation showed the pre-assigned upgrade:

Marvelous One Bedroom Pool Villa, 2,422 Square Feet / 225 Square Meters, Whatever/Whenever® Valet Service, Master Bedroom with 40″ LED Flat Screen TV and BOSE® System, Sundeck with Daybeds and Shade Curtains, Master Bathroom with Terrazzo Bathtub and Bale Begong Daybed, Private Pool

The W Retreat Bali has 229 Guest Rooms and only 6 Suites, 2 of which are specialty suites and 4 Marvelous Suites which are theoretically eligible for Platinum upgrades but since they often actually sell the suite upgrades are a dime in a dozen at this property. So prepare yourself to stay in a standard room or max ocean view if you book the W as a Platinum member. Based on this the villa upgrade was really surprising even though they do have 58 of these 1BR Marvelous villas.

Here are a few impressions:

The actual interior is actually not that large, in fact it’s actually small given how everything is pretty much squeezed together.

The welcome amenity included a fruit assortment, a flower bouquet which is a really nice touch as well as a set for two with all ingredients for a Martini Mix. Pretty cool!

The bathtub is huge and offers a nice view to the patio, private pool and the daybed.

The bathroom is very spacious with a double sink, separate shower and the toilet stall.

Upon check-in guests at the Villa Check-in area received this coconut as welcome beverage. It’s W Bali branded and on the reverse it said #spgelite. You can also purchase these same coconuts at various hotel outlets as refreshments. Neat idea!

Some drawbacks of villa upgrades are that obviously you won’t have an ocean view so if that’s important to you then it’s easy to say a villa definitely won’t make you happy (and the ocean view at the W Bali is pretty spectacular so there is definitely something to miss out on).

The other thing is that private pools usually mean that there is a pump running and you’ll have to get that one shut off at night which might or might not be so easy. In this case an engineer had to come and go down under into a small room underneath the patio to shut it off.

When I stayed at the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi I remember the villa there was nothing spectacular at all and I actually declined it since it was pretty dark and depressing. This wasn’t the case here at the W where there was plenty of sun outside and daylight inside the living room.


Villas are ideal if you like some privacy, especially if you’re traveling as a couple or family. I find it very refreshing to get a quiet spot as an upgrade on occasion, especially since the W Bali has the Woobar and that’s pretty noisy until late night where you won’t have the option facing away from if you got an ocean view room.