After a long flight and what felt like an even longer customs line in Denpasar Airport I couldn’t wait to get to Hotel Tugu. Thankfully the staff at Tugu arranged for a transport driver who was waiting for me upon my arrival – and he came equipped! He had ice water, a cold/damp towel for my face/neck and fresh fruit waiting for me. Since I had just arrived in Bali – I had a few things to do, I needed local currency and a SIM card for my phone – STAT. My transport to Tugu helped me with all of my needs and got me to Tugu refreshed, with money in my pocket and a one month unlimited data SIM card (for FIVE US DOLLARS, amazing).
Fresh fruit on the drive from the airport to the hotel
Hotel Tugu is situated right on the Bali sea in the coastal village of Canggu, about 10 miles north of the busy Kuta area, including my two stops for errands – the drive took about 30 minutes from Denpasar airport. I was greeted by big smiles at Tugu and was offered a welcome drink of my choice. I opted for passion-fruit juice and enjoyed it in the hotel lobby while my check-in paperwork was handled.
The outdoor, open space, entryway from the Tugu property entrance to the Bale Agung lobby.
Passion fruit juice enjoyed in the lobby.
The Bale Agung Lobby, as well as the entire property, is traditional in its Balinese style construction but what makes Tugu unique as hotels go is the stories that are told all around the property.
The owner of Tugu has used the property to house his vast collection of Indonesian antiques, art and furniture and it’s evident all around the property. The lobby boasts a tall wooden giant Garuda statue (tall, as in nearly 15 feet tall) carved from an entire 120 year old tree. Garuda is a mythical human-phoenix creature that is prominent in both Hindu and Buddhist religions – which explains his significance in Bali. The entire property is situated around the Bale Agung Lobby and the 21 suites and villas are dispersed around lavish gardens and lotus ponds.
A lotus pond I had to casually walk past to get to my villa.
But, first, let me take a selfie. The lush gardens were a perfect place to get my selfie on.
The main pool, surrounded by a lush garden itself, with the Bali Sea in the distance.
Sunset from the lobby: overlooking the pool, gardens, and Bali Sea.
After touring the property a bit I checked into my private villa – a Dedari Suite, one of many suites and rooms at Hotel Tugu. My villa entrance led me through an antique door into a beautiful garden and past my own private koi pond before leading me to the front door of the actual room and inside of the villa.
The entryway to my villa.
The villa itself was very large and furnished, in Tugu fashion, with antique Balinese furniture. There were fresh flowers and fresh fruit placed in my room daily – no shortage of luxury service or amenities. I had a small coffee station in my room and a few, complimentary, bar snacks. I love when properties don’t charge for mini-bar or snack access – that attention to customer service as opposed to business profit always stands out to me.
My villa, overlooking my private pool.
Not only were there fresh flowers delivered daily to my room, but they were delivered with a personalized note.
I was beyond ecstatic to have my own wading pool just steps from my bed. The tranquility of the outdoor space in my villa would’ve been romantic had I not been traveling alone. *insert laughing/crying emoji* But, what was equally awesome as my own pool was the open space bathroom. I could, quite literally, feed the koi fish in the pond surrounding the villa from my bathtub.
Don’t mind me, just enjoying my own tranquil slice of paradise (on an antique Balinese swing no less) overlooking my private pool.
The view from my bathtub, overlooking my villas gardens and the koi pond where I could actually feed the fish from my open air bathroom.
The attention to detail at Tugu was unparallelled. I loved the eco-friendly, Balinese inspired, display of your average hotel shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion and it was hardly average at all. There was even individually wrapped mosquito bite relief packets (a necessity in Bali) in the display.
Dining at Tugu is difficult in that they have so many options for dining experiences, in so many beautiful venues, that it may be hard to pick what or where you’d want to eat. There’s actually a menu in the room that explains in detail “The 101 Dining Temptations”. The menu includes experiences from a Full Moon Beach BBQ, to an Imperial Chinese Dinner, to cooking classes, to a Royal Balinese dinner (where you’re treated as such – in an elegant dining room fit for a king), to a breakfast experience with Bapak (Mister) & Mbok (Madam) Miun in their traditional dining hut on the rice fields.
But what’s truly awesome about the majority of the Tugu Dining experiences is that they allow you to enjoy them whenever you want, wherever you want (within reason, of course). Each morning I got to choose where I wanted to enjoy my breakfast. As I’m an early riser I was up with the sun roaming the quiet grounds and I had, quite literally, the entire place to myself at around 6am.
My first morning I picked an antique table, surrounded by the Tugu tropical gardens, facing the pool to enjoy my first breakfast. The vast breakfast menu made it difficult to decide what I wanted – traditional Balinese? American style breakfast? European style breakfast? If you’re as indecisive as me, fret not, the a-la-carte section of the breakfast menu was created especially for people like us.
Breakfast table for one, please!
From top left, clockwise, banana pancakes, fresh squeezed pineapple juice, croissants, fresh plain yogurt topped with papaya, pineapple and watermelon, a medley of jams topped with spreadable butter and in the middle – my extremely necessary double espresso (with adorable crystal-shaped sugar and a cinnamon stick.
I find myself dreaming of these banana pancakes, long after my checkout from Tugu.
You can’t prepare to leave Hotel Tugu without a visit to The Waroeng Djamoe Spa. Listed as one of Asia’s best the Waroeng Djamoe Spa combines eastern healing with traditional Balinese spiritual therapy which combines chanting of mantras with the application of heated exotic herbal oils. I indulged in an Ancient Exotic Stone Massage which is an ancient massage therapy using stones from the Yang Tze River in China and the volcanic mountains in Central Java. The stones are heated in traditional steamers using exotic spices and herbs, before being placed on important pressure points on my body where they’re then used to release stress, tension and tightness from the muscles. After four flights, totalling over 30 hours, in the ten days prior to my arrival in Bali – the experience in the Waroeng Djamoe Spa was everything I needed to begin to fully relax and enjoy my stay in Bali.
Walking into the spa (equipped with its own plunging pool), through antique, traditional style Balinese doors.
Another view of the spa pool from inside the Spa – surrounded by lush gardens and Tugu antiques.
The entrance to my treatment room, complete with yet another gorgeous antique entryway.
When I mentioned earlier that Tugu is all about stories, I truly meant it. From the stories told around the property, with each piece of artwork and furniture being an antique – to the stories that you create when staying as a guest at Tugu; there certainly is no shortage of history or mythology – and even a touch of fantasy, with the service, the property, the amenities, and the location all being dream-worthy.
*Disclaimer: Hotel Tugu Bali hosted me as a guest at their property. My opinions remain my own.