Alila Manggis was a dream come true. The 4D3N stay and culinary experience we had was next to almost nothing – the sound of crashing waves, the smell of sea salt in the air, the relaxing poolside chaises and the terribly attentive staff – all make for a fantastic getaway for anyone looking for a trip outside the daily hustle and bustle.
What we loved about the rooms was the view: the pool and beyond that, the ocean. There are 2 main types of rooms: the Superior and the Deluxe. The few differences include the access to the pool and the level: Superior rooms are located on the first floor, and lead directly into the pool, while Deluxe rooms are located on the second floor and have a balcony over looking the pool. We loved the balcony bit, where lots of reading can be done while the sea breeze violates your hair lovingly.
As city dwellers in Singapore, we are bound to hear buses, trains and cars on a regular basis, let alone the constant chitchat of daily life passing us by. The star difference in Alila Manggis: It is as quiet as can be. All that you can hear are waves crashing against the barriers that have been built to prevent the sea from consuming the property completely… that, and the birds.
Yes, you can be a beginner or a Pro, they offer yoga classes for everyone on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays after 5pm. And the real draw – yoga will be conducted facing the ocean, with the natural sea breeze to facilitate the breathing exercises better. Everything here has a story, and so does the yoga instructor – he had his fair share of turmoil, until he found yoga to ease his pains. Soon, the Alila establishment created an opportunity for him to allow guests to walk in the same self-healing pathway that he took.
When you stay at the Alila Manggis, not only is breakfast complimentary, tea by the poolside comes with the package too! This is the perfect answer to any stressed out individuals’ dilemma – sit on a chaise by the pool with a good book and freshly brewed tea accompanied with home made snacks, such as kueh dardar, or Cassava cakes (Cassava is a fruit very popular on this side of Bali, and you can find the very innovative chef use this ingredient in many interesting food items, from fried fritters to scrumptious cakes).
The Spa Alila
Here’s the biggest draw at the Spa here at Alila Manggis – you get to hear, neigh, see, the ocean waves while the trained massage therapists works out the knots in your back. While there are rooms for the treatments to be conducted, you can opt of have it out on the sea-facing deck, just to feel the ocean breeze. You get to shower outdoors too, as the spa offers a lovely alfresco area for after treatment showers.
This is the closest village to Alila Manggis, and honestly, all you will ever need to do here. Take a short shuttle service from Alila down to the village – you have about 3 hours to spend some time shopping and eating. They have the best food here, set lunches that are within 120,000 rupiah. Shopping here is not great, as it boasts mostly tourist-y items such as shell-coasters and sun dresses. However, walking down the pathway to look at the menus of the many, many different restaurants is pleasure itself.
If you are not heading out to eat, you must dine at Seasalt, a restaurant that means its name in every sense of the word. Not only is fresh sea salt used in preparing all the dishes (which are truly concocted to a tee), you can indulge in the gentle smells of the salty ocean while you dine, with the crashing waves as your backdrop. The best seat is the one closest to the ocean – where both good food and good view meet.
The Culinary Journey
This journey is what makes this hotel a to-die-for, must-visit, bucket-list property. First up on the culinary journey is an experience that you will need Bali, and Alila Manggis, to gain and savour – the tour of a traditional Balinese Market. The very size of the market is unlike anything we have ever seen, let alone the exotic ingredients. Did you know that the Balinese have their own chilli, which is different from that of the Thai or Indian variety? When you get back to the hotel after the market tour, the chef walks you through some key ingredients to be used in the dishes that you will be having, and after that, cooking for lunch! Brilliant exposure to fantastic food – you will walk away beaming and knowing that you can cook great food!
We talked about restaurants; we talk about Candidasa’s many food options. But here’s the main deal – the amazing food. This is the first time we have been to Bali where every single meal was intensely delicious. The flavours, ingredients and the glorious presentation made this one incredibly tantalizing holiday. Even an Italian pizza had a Balinese twist to it – with traditional Balinese basil sauce. You must try the traditional Balinese Megibung – this is a meal (a very large, filling, one) with an engaging story to match.
The stewards at Alila Manggis are the people who truly made our trip worth its while every single moment of each day – they were kind and polite, yes. However, they go beyond the call of their duty to ensure your comfort, they make an effort to remember your likes and dislikes, they maintain a relationship with you during your stay and they touch your hearts enough to sadden you terribly when you have to leave Alila Manggis. Such true, honest service is not something anyone can get from other hospitality establishments. The service here is heartfelt.
And here are the discounted rates for the Culinary Journey, when booked with the code ‘Cravings’. All prices are for 2.