Saturday, 19 December 2015
Balinese luxury at Anumana Hotel, Ubud
Anumana in Ubud may just be the loveliest hotel I've ever had the pleasure of staying in.
It's a boutique hotel of just 39 rooms, with traditional Balinese style that is simultaneously chic, modern and luxurious.
And after nearly two months backpacking, I was certainly in need of some luxury! I didn't even break the bank either - firstly, hotels are cheaper out here compared to what you'd pay for the same standard back home, and secondly, I got a fab deal with Agoda, which I could not recommend more.
OK, let's break this down.
Location and Arrival
While not in the very centre of Ubud, Anumana is located on a great street full of interesting little boutiques and restaurants. It's also a mere four minutes walk to the famous Yoga Barn (and their amazing Garden Cafe - more on that to come!) which I was thrilled to discover.
It takes about 15-20 minutes to walk from the hotel to the palace in the centre of Ubud, but the whole walk is past interesting shops and restaurants and the hotel provides a shuttle service too, although at once every two hours it's not the most frequent. However the shuttle driver even took me directly to a restaurant that was a little out of the centre which was great.
My first impression on arrival at Anumana was as wonderful as I'd been hoping: I was greeted by the friendliest of staff who took my bags for me, gave me a delicious refreshing cool drink and a cold wet towel, and informed me about everything I could possibly need to know.
I had accidentally arrived a lot earlier than the check-in time, but about ten minutes later my room was ready. Eeeeee!
My Room and the Pool
Oh, this room. [insert emoji with hearts for eyes]
For just a few pounds extra, I'd decided to splash out on a Superior Lagoon Access room (fancy!), and it was so worth it. #treatyoself
Come on in...
The bed was huuuuuge, super comfy and the pillows were perfect. The bedlinen was crisp, clean and perfectly smooth. And let me tell you, after some of the places I've stayed in over the past however many weeks, boy did I appreciate that beautiful pristine bedlinen.
There was a welcome fruit basket and a note from the manager, a very useful hotel directory with an Ubud guide too, sockets and light switches by the bed (always handy), four bottles of water which were replenished each day, tea- and coffee-making facilities (yay!), a safe, dressing gowns and slippers which are definitely not made for western people with big feet but oh well, and a minibar with complimentary Coke, Sprite and an intriguing orange drink. I have to say I was slightly disappointed when told I couldn't swap the Coke for Diet considering they're the same price on the hotel's menu but I struggled through.
The aircon worked a treat and the wifi signal was good too. No more waiting 45 minutes to upload one photo to my blog, hoorah!
There was a shiny flatscreen TV with a selection of international channels, albeit no international news, and a few magazines by the bed. It was only when I sat down by the pool and opened one that I realised it was in Indonesian but it was a nice gesture all the same.
OH YES, let me tell you the best thing about the room! Lagoon access, baby!
My doors slid open on to a private balcony with a private little staircase down into the pool where I had my own loungers under a sun umbrella. Pool towels magically appear each day and as soon as you leave your lounger, your old towel is whisked away and replaced with a fresh one for the next guest to use. Unfortunately I did find a stain on one of my towels but it didn't bother me too much.
You can even order food and drinks to be delivered to your lounger too. The pool is of course for all hotel guests but it was awesome to be able to pop in and out of my room so easily, super dreamy and so worth paying an extra tenner for the lagoon access room in my books.
The bathroom in my room was equally lush. It was so clean! (Sorry, I just appreciate cleanliness so much now.)
I was given ALL the toiletries, as well as a hairdryer and multiple towels and flannels.
The shower itself was wonderful. And get this: there's a big glass window between the shower and the bedroom. I'm sure that's very sexy if you're there on your honeymoon or whatever, but I just thought it was cool as I could watch TV whilst in the shower. Awesome, much? I also enjoyed having the second towel for my hair, both teabags for myself and a whole giant bed to roll around in. #single4eva
On my first morning in Anumana I woke up early for no reason, snuggled up in my giant cloud of a bed with a cup of tea and watched Home Alone. It was perfection.
Swimming in the pool later on, the thought occurred to me that I couldn't remember the last time I'd felt so happy and relaxed.
It helps that there's chilled-out spa music playing everywhere you go in Bali and little flowers gently falling down from the trees and floating over the water but I really did feel very Zen.
The gentle breeze plays the wind chimes hanging from the trees and you feel like you're in an oasis of calm.
The main reason I wanted to come to Ubud was for its many healthy restaurants and cafés, and I have no shame admitting that (we'll get to them, worry not), however with breakfast included at the hotel, I'd actually been a little bummed that I wouldn't be able to justify going out for breakfast.
That was until I went to breakfast at Anumana.
I chose a table by the lagoon (well, pool), my chair was pulled out for me and the napkin placed on my lap. I could get used to that.
Rather than a buffet, there's a choice of three breakfast menus, as well as an à la carte menu and the option to swap parts of each, so it's very customisable.
On both mornings I went for the "healthy breakfast" and it was SO DAMN GOOD.
First up, a dreamy mango smoothie and tea, followed by a fresh fruit salad with yogurt, grated coconut and peanuts.
There was pineapple, papaya, watermelon and melon and all were wonderful except the melon which was a tad on the crunchy side. On my second morning there was mango too which was a definite improvement.
This was followed by - prepare to be excited - MUESLI! I KNOW!
Alright, alright, calm down.
The thing is, I hadn't had oats for weeks and boy, had I missed them.
Slightly crunchy toasted oats (you could choose toasted or natural), full of almonds, dried fruits and coconut, served with milk, yogurt and honey, and topped with fresh strawberries. The bowlful was huge but it was so tasty I demolished the lot. (I say that like I don't always clear my plate/bowl, HA!)
Another nice touch at Anumana is the complimentary afternoon tea served between 3pm and 5pm every day.
Just like at breakfast, everything was served in beautiful china.
It may not have been Yorkshire Gold but the tea was actually a good cuppa (a rarity out here) and I got a good two cups out of my personal teapot.
With my tea, I was treated to a different traditional sweet Balinese delicacy on each day of my stay. The first time, it was banana in palm sugar syrup.
It looked very pretty, however I'm tempted to say it looked better than it tasted. Perfectly pleasant though! On the second afternoon, it was, well, I'm not entirely sure. Banana encased in pancake maybe? I dunno but I ate it anyway!
The Staff and Service
Throughout my stay at Anumana, the staff were a delight: friendly, obliging, attentive and helpful, they really made me feel welcome.
I was always served with a smile and wished a pleasant afternoon/day/night. There's a personal touch too - on my way to breakfast one of the reception girls cheerily called out "Good morning, Miss Hosie" as I walked past, which was a lovely way to start the day. I imagine you don't get that at bigger hotels and resorts.
So in short I thoroughly recommend Anumana - it was just perfect for my stay in Ubud, and I'd definitely go back. Keep your eyes peeled for a couple more blog posts about Ubud!
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