Our arrival to the shores of Sanur was not a comfortable one, as we are dumped from our boat from Nusa Penida into near waist level waves. RIP Fanfan’s iPhone. But it is always these low points in travel that make the highs so much better. And the contrast in comfort on arrival to the Kayumanis Sanur Villas and Spa was just unimaginable, as our baggage is lifted, and we are quickly donned in robes while we wait for our complimentary high tea to be served to the open-air gazebo at our Luxury Sanur Villas with Private Pool. And this is the prize, the trophy at the finish line, after three weeks of travel through the furthest-flung corners of Bali.
Private Pool Villas
Other than the fascinating cultures, the natural beauty, and the escape from the real world, what I really love about Bali is the fantastic value for money. Where prices of private pool villas are easily affordable, and we of course indulge at least once, or twice, okay thrice, on this journey. But our stay at Kayumanis will be the one we are sharing, where we escaped for two nights to our very luxury Sanur Villa with our own Private Pool. So we stayed in the ‘Gender Villa’, named after a metal xylophone (metallophone) found prominent in Indonesia and Bali’s rather hypnotic “Gamelan” music which plays throughout the resort. And this is just one of many cultural references at the Kayumanis, as each villa derives from the traditional percussion instruments of Bali and Indonesia, and Kayumanis itself translates to ‘Cinnamon’ in English.
Much of my love for Bali is in how close to nature you feel, which, admittedly, is not so often in the south these days. And therefore this is what I loved about Kayumanis, where you feel completely cut off from the busy world outside, and my days were spent relaxing poolside, or in the open-air gazebo of the villa, staring up at the leaves and canopies of the gardens. And this is when I spotted a rather massive mango tree above the villa, which must be more than 4 stories high with vines and creepers climbing to the top. I didn’t even know mango tree could grow this tall. Joining me in the secret gardens are then birds of all colours, and Draco flying lizards identified by the dewlap (flap of skin) beneath their necks, and that’s as far as my herpetologist skills will take me. But this is just a reminder of the sheer abundance of nature and wildlife found on this fascinating tropical island.
The Everlasting Cookie Jar
This kind of sums up the eating at Kayumanis, where every time housekeeping or turndown service arrived, the cookie jar would magically fill back up to the brim again. As every day included complimentary breakfasts, served at any time through the day (24/7), as well as complimentary high tea in midday, and then there’s the free minibar, including beers, that would restock for free every day. Not to forget the fresh fruit basket. But this no doubt puts our minds at ease when it comes to additional charges, as the rates really are all-inclusive, as they are at all Kayumanis Resorts in Bali. So it is just very hard to go hungry. Although we refused to leave without sampling the room service menu, from the Gong Restaurant, which is not only appealing but also properly priced (check my prawns with tamarind sauce below).
All Day Breakfasts
The breakfasts alone deserve an honourable mention here, where you can order them served to the villa gazebo, at pretty much any time of the day. So instead of rushing big breakfasts before a busy morning itinerary, for example, breakfast can instead fit around plans, and it can be ordered earlier, or maybe later it for your return. It’s just very convenient for travellers and holidaymakers. There is also the alternative for breakfast served to the onsite Gong Restaurant (below right), which is one of the more happening hangouts in the area, with a nice relaxed buzz in the evenings heard from the privacy of our villa walls. And we do somewhat regret missing out on a visit, but we were just too much enjoying the privacy and comforts of the villa. There is also the rather special sunrise option (05:00AM) with breakfast at the Kayumanis Seaside Sanur restaurant (below).
The Kayumanis Spa
If one thing was going to lure me from the comforts of the pool villa, it was the onsite Kayumanis Spa (also open to the public), for even more comforts and relaxation. And this would be my first time exploring the resort, which is surprisingly close-knit, given priority is more to maximise space for individual villas and the privacy of the guests. So, following a quick walk past the Gong Restaurant, we find an onsite temple in one corner of the grounds, then the tranquil pools and gardens of the Kayumanis Spa in the opposite. So included in every guest stay at Kayumanis Sanur is a complimentary 30-minute massage, which we couldn’t leave to waste, as I indulge a traditional Balinese back massage, while Fanfan keeps it simple with the simple foot massage. And while it was meant as an introduction of sorts, I was soon seeing sparkles, and then woke up drooling into the floral bowl beneath the bed. It could have been hours. Anyway, full spa menu here.
Kayumanis Seaside Sanur
There are typically two times in the day when we are more active than others. In the morning, when the locals follow morning customs and rituals, and in the evenings with the after work bustle. As we otherwise laze around in the hotter hours of the day. And while we literally had sand coming from our ears on arrival to Sanur, we felt guilty for missing out on the sunrise breakfast experience on Sanur Beach. So we were determined to make the most of the evening at the Kayumanis Beach Restaurant, where there is a brief window of serenity around sunset, between the daytime revellers, and the nighttime bustle of bars and restaurants. And it makes the perfect setting for cocktails and eats, as we go with the 3-course set menus, where it’s really a coin toss between the Beef Rendang of the Indonesian set menu and the Sirloin Steak from the Western fare. So we go with both, and while the rendang was pretty much perfect, I am still puzzled at how Bali is home to such top-notch steak.