Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Staying at Tugu hotels, whether it’s by invitation or self-paid, is always a memorable experience. Every corner of the establishment is well thought out. Early in this month I was back to Hotel Tugu Bali with Mumun for two nights. On my previous visit to Hotel Tugu Bali I stayed at Dedari suite, now it was time to try another type of suite, Rejang. After the stay and a quick tour around the hotel, because it was Mumun’s first time there, I found quite a few surprises. The sweet kind. Ones that I will be taking you through one by one.
Previously I had this image of Rejang Suite as very dark and old, possibly because I saw it after dark and the light wasn’t all on. My image of it changed totally the minute Mumun and I entered the room after checking in.
Yes, the room was dark-ish because most of the furniture was wooden. But it wasn’t dark, especially with the windows and curtains open. It was definitely spacious. The desk was long, enough for Mumun to work on her laptop and for us to just carelessly put our trinkets. Right beside the desk was a window sofa, where I would lie updating Instagram among our messy stuff taken right out of our bags. Oh, I love have so much space. I don’t have to put things where they should be all the time.
Rejang suite is so spacious, even the shower, toilet and bathtub are spread across the suite. They’re not in one bathroom, which kind of makes me have to sort through precisely what businesses I need to do; just shower, or will I also need to pee, or maybe even sit a while by the shower? It’s unusual, but when you’ve got space, might as well go wild about it.
After a few activities in a day, the bed became this idea of heaven. It’s very high and we had fun trying all sorts of style getting our short selves on to the bed. Going down from the bed was a struggle. Not really because of the height, but more because the pillows and I had created this sort of bonding of not wanting to be apart from each other. If that’s how I felt, I couldn’t imagine how Mumun must have been sad having to wake up and continue work the next morning.
Being a morning person, the bed, as cozy as it was, wasn’t my most favorite spot in the suite. It was the table by the window that faces the ocean. All Rejang suites are situated on the 2nd floor on top of Dedari suites, though not all of them have ocean view. The table by the window was my favorite spot to check on work a little bit, as well as to daydream a little more.
One of the things that Bali is known for is the beaches. And what comes great with beaches? Sunset! Hotel Tugu Bali is located by Canggu beach, which faces West, just the right location to view sunset. Unfortunately, quite recently a wall was built by the locals, blocking the beach view from Tugu to the ocean, for the reasons I haven’t come to learn. Hence, the view deck!
The deck is located at the lawn where Kaki Lima restaurant used to be, with beach chairs and Tugu’s signature round lanterns. A few beach beds on stilts were provided for those who want a more private time, where they could also have their meals served. A barbecue stall at the lawn is busy every day just before sunset. Guests relax and socialize with drinks in their hands, and it can continue until late at night.
Mumun and I once had breakfast there. Right then and there we knew why we were the only ones. Apparently it’s piercing hot in the morning, say, around 8 a.m. So it’s clear, the view deck is best starting late afternoon, unless you’re out for some tan. Oh, and it’s a great spot to check out them surfers, too!
This one’s actually been there all along, I just didn’t know about it. It’s located semi-underground, not far from the lobby. Upon entrance, an unknown face stared at me blankly. But it was sitting on no body. Then I quickly realized that it was a framed painting. Phew!
The gallery is filled with antique stuff, from silver spoon to a 1x1m meticulously carved wood. Each piece costs more than 1 million rupiah (about US$75), but mostly way more. The antiques are handpicked by Mr. Anhar Setjadibrata, Tugu hotels owner, as he is an antique collector himself.
We have no picture of the gallery because we weren’t allowed to take picture there, but they kindly let us use some official pictures.
We are going to write about this Chinese decorated with Japanese fusion food restaurant in a separate post, but let me just tell you that their Dragon of Ji sushi rolls are so good, we had to eat them two nights in a row! And it had just opened recently.
First it was Kuta, then it was Legian, then Seminyak, and now it’s Canggu. More and more hotels, restaurants, cafes and beach clubs are popping in Canggu. I don’t think there were that many when I stayed at Hotel Tugu Bali in 2014. But that’s how it is in Bali, especially in the south. Once you blink, a new business pops. The good thing about it is guests have more options of places to see – not that you’d need it with so many things offered in Hotel Tugu Bali. And that’s exactly what we did, staying inside the hotel 90% of our time there!
Our stay at Hotel Tugu Bali is complimentary, but the views are all our own.