Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
I have this thing for hotel designs, where interesting ones can influence me in choosing the travel destinations. I had seen Rumah Luwih Beach Resort in pictures and swore I would stay in that beautiful and luxury hotel one day. A few months later, voila! I was assigned for a media trip in Bali and the accommodation was none other than the Rumah Luwih. Dreams do come true!
Predominantly painted in white, my first impression of Rumah Luwih’s architecture was that it’s classic European. The wide structure with symmetrical wings reminded me of European palaces though I had never seen one directly. It turns out that three styles influenced the hotel design: Peranakan, Dutch colonial and Balinese, as told by the hotel’s PR, Yudhi. The now-a-hit Ujung Water Palace in Karangasem was a major influence. It’s a grand garden designed by a Dutch architect Van Den Hentz and Chinese architect Loto Ang under the instruction of Karangasem king I Gusti Bagus Jelantik. Bodies of water and a luscious garden surround the hotel, just like the old palace.
“We are trying to stress more on the Peranakan and Balinese elements to balance the European look,” Yudhi said. In a glance, I noticed the tips of the roofs are a bit curled up, reminding me of Chinese temples. A few Chinese jars in cute colors embellished the table under the grand European staircase. Whatever the mix was, I think it’s beautiful even to the furthest corners.
The building resembles a big mansion more than a hotel, which adds a homey feel to it. It comprises of three floors with rooms spread on two symmetrical wings. Custom-made patterns adorn some parts of the tiles throughout the hotel. The entrance to the lobby is always open, and from there you can immediately see the ocean far back.
The back yard is vast, complete with an infinity pool, a large pond and pathways around it that lead you to a white gazebo. Wedding ceremonies are often held there and you can imagine the romantic ambiance. As weddings are conventionally thought as something good, Rumah Luwih makes a perfect place for it aside to the ambiance. The name literally means ‘a good house’ in Balinese.
Rumah Luwih offers four types of guest rooms. I stayed at the Prabanggana Deluxe Room. In other words, the most basic one, but even the basic is plush. It has spacious sleeping area and bathroom, classic furniture and a lacy bed runner, which doesn’t go overboard. I find the room design elegantly pretty.
White sliding jalousie doors divide the bathroom and bedroom, which I never needed to close. My favorite amenity was the slippers. They’re black with a cool design and the size is not crazy big like the usual thoughtless hotel slippers.
The room has a balcony that faces a grass field with a hint of ocean view on the side. Luxury establishments often contribute a lot to environmental damage due to the lavish facilities that aren’t too necessary. Rumah Luwih tries to minimize it by automatically shutting down the AC when the balcony door is opened. That’s awesome.
Rumah Luwih is located by Lebih beach in Gianyar, on the south coast of Bali island. It is quite far from popular places. According to Google Maps, it’s about 17 km away from Ubud town, 30 km from the hyped Canggu, and 35 km from Ngurah Rai International Airport. It took me about an hour to get to Seminyak, which is about 30 km away, and cost me almost IDR200,000 by GoCar (the Indonesian version of Uber).
However, if you are looking for a place to chill, not into crowded places and not planning to go around much, Rumah Luwih can be a good option. They offer a few activities like visiting a sea salt village and a turtle sanctuary, as well as a spa treatment within the hotel. Shuttle cars are available, you just need to check at the reception.
Rumah Luwih Beach Resorts
Jl. Prof. Dr. Ida Bagus Mantra, Km 19.9
Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Phone +62 361 2005899
Reservation +62 361 2005888