This week I checked out of a Bali hotel two days before intended.
The website promised a traditional setting where I could immerse in writing, find my inner yogi and perhaps take a cooking class. But none of this was possible and in the end it was the dodgy internet access that forced my hand.
The website wasn’t dishonest exactly – tourism is in hibernation after all, but it can be tricky working out if the reality will live up to expectation when booking online.
So take note these six hotels – tried and tested in the past three months – that have risen to the challenge and guarantee an idyllic Bali escape.
Hotel Tugu Bali, Canggu
Only 100m from Batu Bolong, Canggu’s most popular surf beaches, Hotel Tugu is the grande dame of Balinese accommodation. It was the first hotel in Canggu, and it has the grace and prestige of an old colonial hotel, but it speaks firmly to Indonesia’s intriguing history and a Balinese aesthetic.
The huge, thatched-roofed central pavilion serves as a reception, foyer and cocktail bar but it is also a curated space for the owner’s private collection of artefacts, antiques and artwork including paintings by Belgian artist and long-term Bali resident Adrien-Jean Le Mayeau.
Inspired by the design of a traditional Balinese family compound, Tugu’s rooms and suites occupy stand-alone buildings that are set amid a rambling garden of bougainvillea and frangipani. Guests can eat breakfast next to a lotus covered lily pond, have a poolside massage and imbibe sunset drinks at a rooftop bar with ocean views.
The beauty spa promises “connection to the ancient mythical east”, and an impressive open-side yoga pavilion, constructed during the quieter Covid months, is opening soon.
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