Whilst the boarders are still closed for tourism here in Bali we are making the most of exploring the (unusually) quiet island.
This weekend's adventure led us to Sideman, a stunning, natural valley area located in Eastern Bali, just south of Mount Agung and about an hour east of Ubud. Sideman is how we envisioned Bali before we arrived, and is said to be only just being discovered by main stream tourism and those seeking the original Bali! Living in Canggu, it’s easy to forget you are on a paradise island!
Samanvaya is an ‘Adults Only’, luxury, boutique hotel and spa that I had seen pop up a few times on Instagram so when I saw they had a ‘June’ promotion I just had to book!
It took us around 1.5 hours to drive from Canggu and as soon as you turn off Jl Prof Dr Ida Bagus Mantra the scenery takes your breath away!! Arriving at the resort the first thing that we noticed is how wonderful, welcoming and personable the staff are here! The ladies on reception explained everything to us with huge smiles and after a welcome drink, showed us to our room.
The second thing we noticed was how pristine the room was! Having been in Bali for 7 months now, hotels often look nothing like the photos and are often a little worn and tatty. Samanvaya is so far from worn and tatty! Everything is spotless and pristine, the rooms, the gardens, the pools, the day beds, reception area and the restaurant (will come to that later!).
Our room (Lotus 2) was complete with complimentary water, mini bar fridge, welcome note, a clean (semi-outdoor) bathroom, super comfy bed, balcony area with views to die for, plug sockets in all the right places, complimentary kimonos and bags and they had even popped a TV in the room so we could get up and watch the 3am England game - amazing!!
The reason I wanted to come to Sideman was to check out some of the local waterfalls but we ended up not moving from the resort which is a real testament to how relaxing and gorgeous the place is! They also have a beautiful spa so on the Saturday I treated myself to a hot stone massage. 90 minutes of pure bliss (All very reasonably priced too!)
The resort has two swimming pools (looking out onto rice terraces, rolling hills and tropical forests) an outdoor hot tub, beautiful gardens full of flowers and water features and onto one of our favourite things… their new restaurant - Asri…
One of the things we really miss in Canggu is spending time in vibey, atmospheric restaurants where we want to spend some time drinking good cocktails or a nice bottle of wine and this is one thing we loved about Asri.
The restaurant itself is gorgeously decorated, dark tiled floor, indulgent lighting, tropical plants and dark grey walls all looking out onto ‘those’ views, but they also play great, atmospheric music throughout the day! The service is impeccable, with the staff remembering your name and service always with a smile, everything being automatically added to your room rather than paying each time and then there is the food…
As a couple of herbivores it can be tough to find decent veggie/vegan food but this place really nails it! For breakfast you have a choice of chickpea omelette, smoothie bowl, continental, traditional nasi goreng, sautéed mushrooms on toast… served with fruit and Balinese coffee or tea. For lunch and dinner is one combined menu full of snack/starter/sharing plates with the most divine tofu dishes. Tohu Izi has now become one of our favourite things to eat! Think of a southern fried tofu triangle stuffed with veggies - delicious! The cocktails are divine with a daily 2-4-1 happy hour and on top of this, everything - food, wine, cocktails, are all so reasonably priced!
We ended up extended our stay by another night and as you can probably tell, this place has knocked our socks off. Thank you so much for having us Samanvaya! You’re an absolute beaut of a hotel and we will 💯 recommend you to all who visit Bali!
Check them out at www.Samanvaya-Bali.com (anyone currently in Bali they have a promo on until the end of June 2021)