Lemongrass. Its soft, citrusy smell lingered in the air as I aimlessly sauntered into the colossal foyer of Alila Seminyak in Bali. A tunnel of refreshing breeze from the oceanfront met my arrival— an architectural genius made possible by epic use of high ceilings, open-plan design and cross ventilation.
A couple of ladies garbed in colours of the beach, rushed to my side bearing trays: one with cool drinks, and the other with damp towelettes. I dug both at once; potent antidotes against the unforgiving Bali sun. On the table was also a tray of more artillery : after-sun spray, insect repellant, hand lotion and face mist.
“This is like a welcome spa,” I exclaimed, touched at how attuned and sensitive Alila was to the needs of their guests.
Whilst waiting for my room, the staff at the hotel very hospitably offered a tour to the penthouse. Bad idea. Because after seeing the penthouse—after being in one for the first time ever— I almost didn’t want to be anywhere else anymore.
Imagine waking up in a king-sized bed in a room with views of the Indian Ocean; where the worst of your woes is you cannot make up your mind whether to enjoy a relaxing bath in a fancy tub or take a dip in a private infinity pool.
Boasting three suites, living and dining areas, and a sundeck, it has all the makings of a truly luxurious and very private retreat in the city centre. What with the Potato Head Beach Club only a stone’s throw away, the penthouse is definitely a cocoon right smack in Bali’s party hotspot.
My Garden Suite
Shortly after, I got given the swipe card to my room— a garden deluxe suite, just a level up from the main foyer.
Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t have afforded something that grand. But in the same way, I also understood why an Alila staycation is worth the splurge.
When I opened my room, I gaped at the surprise. It looked just like the rooms in the penthouse; a chunk off, really.
Panels of solid wood cut through the room flawlessly, acting as a partition between the main bedroom and the ensuite. Along the corridor, separating the toilet and bath, ran a bench and a mirror backsplash; just the perfect space for the multitude of cosmetics as I was cramming to prepare for the sunset party that the hotel has prepared for Trip of Wonders.
Sunset Cocktail and Farewell Dinner
I’ve been to Bali twice before. But I do not remember basking in twilight as elaborate as it was that afternoon in the Beach Terrace. Perhaps, it was emotions. It was the conclusion of a fortnight’s worth of adventure with fellow travel influencers from all over Southeast Asia. When strangers become friends, goodbyes become a bit difficult.
So we drank the sadness away, and Alila had the perfect signature cocktail for that: Spicy Cha Margarita.
Spicy Cha Magarita Recipe
Don Julio Reposado
Passion Fruit Puree
Sweet Togarashi Salt
After sunset, we proceeded to a function room inside the main building for dinner. There, we were regaled with an array of delectable dishes— the perfect accompaniment to a night of celebration.
But even with an enjoyable dinner and a brief after-party, my mind was in a perpetual anticipation of the pleasurable night’s sleep that awaited me. What with the extravagance of my deluxe suite, I could hardly wait.
Early the next day and well before breakfast, I went to one of the three infinity pools of the hotel for a quick morning dip. The walkway leading to the pool were lined with smooth stones on either side. Likewise, leafy vines crawled along the wooden walls lining the corridors. I was still in the building, but it felt like I’ve gone outdoors.
Perhaps, that was the intent of the Alila brand: to bring in the best of nature and meld it with the comforts of modern living.
I walked along the edge of the pool, watching the angry waves of the Indian Ocean lap against the expanse of the world-renowned Seminyak beach.
When I was done swimming, I lay on one of the beach beds, parched. As if on cue, the pool attendant offered a bottled water and a towel. He also brought in a basket of goodies: sunscreen, face mist, and an after-sun spray, amongst others.
“Breakfast is downstairs, Miss.” he volunteered, guessing that I must be starving, too.
“Don’t worry, that’s exactly where I’m heading next.” I said, ever impressed at how attentive and outstanding customer service was at Alila Seminyak.
Breakfast was world-class. Featuring both indoor and al fresco sitting options, with communal tables to boot, Alila dining aimed to please.
And it did. I devoured platefuls of bacon, the default Times New Roman of all breakfast dishes, bold and italic.
The buffet was traveling in itself: overflowing with the best selection of dishes from homey East to sophisticated West. There was always something that catered to everyone’s palate. And perhaps, that was exactly the point of Alila’s brand of hospitality:
To have a place in the sun for everyone.
Alila Seminyak – Bali
Jalan Taman Ganesha No. 9
P: +62 361 3021 888
Alila Seminyak hosted the Bali leg of Trip of Wonders – ASEAN Batch 2, an invitational trip for travel influencers, as sponsored by Ministry of Tourism – Indonesia. Opinions expressed in this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Ministry.