Four days in the islands of the Gilis in Lombok was as lovely as it could get. It was everything I needed– the sun, sand, salt, and the complete island life experience. It was marvelous, but I was ready for Bali. It’s been three years since I was in the island where almost everyone I know who’s been there instantly becomes obsessed with. Bali has remained one of the top Southeast Asia destination for a reason. It caters to everyone– the young, the couples, the family, the retirees. It has attracted tourists and expats alike, and once you fall for its charm, there’s no going back.
This time around, I’ve opted to stay in Canggu for my first half of the trip. The area has been on the rise and I’ve been hearing about it for quite some time now. Mostly identified as the young and hip area of Bali, but without the pretentiousness of Seminyak, Canggu was love at first sight for me. Filled with chic cafes and boutiques, you would think Canggu is just another tourist hotspot, but if you know it well enough, you’d know that Canggu has beautiful corners that are nothing short of authentic Indonesian beauty. It’s every expat’s dream location.
One of Canggu’s gem lies within the beautiful vicinity of Hotel Tugu. Known as one of the first hotels in Canggu area, Hotel Tugu remains thriving and beautiful, opening its traditional doors to those looking for luxurious comfort, but staying true to its Balinese roots. It was the perfect oasis within all the westernized establishments in Canggu.
We ended up taking the late boat from Gili Air, and by the time we reached Padang Bai Port, traffic was unimaginable. It was almost 9pm by the time we reached Hotel Tugu, but as soon as we stepped in the dim-lit hotel, it was like entering a different world. We were greeted with the signature Balinese hospitality the instant we got off our cab, and as we were led to the lobby and as we walked through the hall, I couldn’t help but admire the intricate details that stands out even in dim lighting. There were no hints of modern touches, it was extremely traditional— from the wooden sculptures to the scent of the incense intoxicating our tired body, but in a good, welcoming way. They offered us welcome drinks of our choice, which in my case, will have to be white wine. Ahh, perfect after being stuck in traffic for almost three hours.
The Dedari Suite
As we were led to our private villa, we passed by even more staple Indonesian interiors, mostly highlighting Javanese art. Even if it was a bit dark, it wasn’t hard to appreciate the carved wooden chairs and pillars, and the decor that made the entire atmosphere completely a world away. We were greeted with our own private koi pond as soon as we entered the door to our villa. It was almost like being in a small hidden oasis surrounded by exotic plants and the scent of dried rain mixed with hints of lemongrass.
Going inside continued to wow us– the room is extremely spacious! Our king sized bed positioned in the middle shouts luxury with its four post canopy complete with draping mosquito net that adds an even more romantic vibe inside. The sheets are flawless, and we had one of the best sleeps of our lives. The villa is complete with a center table with a fruit basket filled with exotic fruits, desks that are perfect for work, and couches that are comfortable after a long day of exploring. We also had a flat screen tv, but who needs that when you’re in Bali? Still, it was nice to have the option to just stay in and relax like you were home.
We had a semi outdoor bathroom that I really enjoyed. Complete with a tub surrounded by our koi pond, this is probably my favorite part of the villa. Not only do they spoil you with a complete set of toiletries promised to give you a luxurious experience, but the sound of the water and the fish swimming around while I laid in the tub filled with bubbles that smelled of lemongrass and other exotic herbs I may not even be familiar with, it felt like I have left the world behind. I couldn’t think of a better way to transcend myself elsewhere.
Their toiletries are one of a kind, as I’ve mentioned earlier, made with love to make their guests feel complete luxury in the most exotic way. From the shampoo to the foaming soap, it was like being in my own little spa. At first, I was a bit intimidated by the outdoor shower– being surrounded with plants and a fish pond, the last thing I wanted was to be eaten alive by mosquitos. But this actually wasn’t a problem. You’re provided enough mosquito repellant that smells amazing, which is already set up as soon as you check in. I can assure you it works magically too. No bites on my entire stay there.
Finally, no private villa in Bali is really complete without your own private plunge pool, right? Tugu doesn’t disappoint in this department either. We’ve got our own private pool that’s perfect for lazy mornings.
The great thing about Tugu is that they allow you to choose where they’ll serve your breakfast, which is pretty much anywhere your heart desires. So whether it’s by your private pool, your bed, the pool outside, or the garden deck, they’ll take care of you.
Now that we’re speaking about breakfast, let me just tell you that this is definitely my favorite thing about this hotel. Look, we’re all in a search of the perfect breakfast menu— and I think I’ve found mine in Hotel Tugu. They have a massive variety– from the traditional Nasi Goreng to more exotic Indonesian staples, to continental or western choices, to healthy smoothie bowls, the choice is yours. I had crepes on my first breakfast and I had a huge plate of traditional Indonesian rice breakfast consisting of Jackfruit Curry the next day. This was probably one of the biggest breakfast I’ve had, and you know what, I LOVED it. Complete with rice, fried chicken, a slice of beef, plus other mini Indonesian staples, it was the perfect brunch as I watched the waves crash against the shore. Meanwhile, my husband was enjoying his smoothie bowls that he’s been eating pretty much every single day. Another great thing about their breakfast is that they serve it any time of the day. So you can sleep in without the worry of missing the breakfast hours.
I mentioned earlier that Hotel Tugu is in a vital part of Bali– Canggu. This was my first time in the area, and honestly, it was love at first sight. Canggu is extremely young and hip, with beautiful people sipping cocktails or eating brunch at hip cafes. It’s a bit modernized, yet if you know where to go, you still have the touch of the traditional Balinese vibe we all imagine such as pretty rice paddies and the always so inviting beaches. It’s a surf town so if you’re into that, the waves doesn’t disappoint. But as I’ve said earlier, Hotel Tugu is like a hidden oasis, tucked in the middle of a westernized area. The location made me really happy– everything was nearby. From amazing restaurants lined up in the streets, boutique shops selling drool worthy bikinis, cafes perfect for catching up on work, convenient store for quick runs, to day clubs and bars just across the hotel. And did I mention you’re located by the beach as well? Yup. It’s the complete package.
There’s great customer service, and then there’s Hotel Tugu customer service. There’s being treated like family, and then there’s being treated like royalty, which is pretty much what you are the instant you step in. They attend to your needs and request as soon as you can imagine. At one point, I was wondering if they have workers just hanging at every corner of the hotel waiting to be summoned– that’s how fast their service is. Did I also mention that you are entitled to a 15-minute welcome massage? Pure luxury, I tell ya. And upon check out, they hand you a little present and a plate of fruits to take with you on the go. I couldn’t think of a better way to spoil your guests.
Now let’s talk about fast again. Most of our concern, whether we’re vacationers or digital nomads, we need to stay connected somehow. Their wifi is impeccable. It even reached all the way to the garden deck. I would say that Hotel Tugu definitely has the fastest and most reliable internet service I’ve experienced in all of Bali. And yes, I know I said Hotel Tugu is traditional af, but sometimes, we all need a bit of modern comfort too.
Overall, I would say that Hotel Tugu was the perfect choice for us in Canggu. It was the perfect balance of comfort and luxury. With the perfect location and the atmosphere set just right, it was quite a romantic getaway for my husband and I. Whether you’re a newlywed looking for a great honeymoon, a family that wants to start their kids early with the luxury life, or just a solo traveler looking to spoil yourself, Hotel Tugu makes the perfect base for your Bali getaway. It’s paradise within a paradise, and isn’t that what we’re all just looking for?
For booking inquiries, you may check out Hotel Tugu Bali’s website here.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Hotel Tugu Bali for hosting us in Canggu. All opinions, thoughts, and photos are my own. As always, I only recommend things that I know would be good for my readers.
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