A Blissful Night at the Santai Hotel, Amed
Having visited Bali once before we knew that this time round we wanted to get more off the beaten track and discover somewhere new away from the tourist heavy spots around Kuta and Seminyak. The beautiful little town of Amed and the Santai Hotel provided just this. Amed is a series of bays looping around the North East coast of Bali and with its sweeping volcanic black sand beaches and emerald green villages neighbouring the shore it really is a natural gem of Bali. Amed is still relatively off of the main tourist trail meaning it is a very quiet destination with not only tropical beauty and a very traditional and charming way of life among the locals but also boasts incredible snorkelling, diving, beach hopping and trekking to the peaks of Mount Agung. We spent four nights exploring Amed and one night in the beautiful beach side Santai Hotel.
The Santai Hotel sits directly on one of Amed’s magical black sand beaches in between Jemeluk Bay and Lipah Beach. In fact, one of the hotels most attractive features is that it has direct access down onto the pebbly shores. You can wander from your room down through a pretty little archway and right out onto the sand in less than a minute – its wonderful!
The gorgeous Jemeluk Bay, which was our favourite of the beaches in the area, is just a 1km walk from the Santai Hotel and the larger Amed beach with its rows of fishing boats is 2km. Both are within walking distance or there are many taxis that run around the area.
The Santai Hotel is also just a five minute walk to the beautiful Sunset Point where it seems everyone in Amed gathers to watch the sun descend behind Mount Agung which towers over Jemeluk Bay in the distance. We wandered up there for a sunset drink, grabbed two seats in the very front row and were soon greeted with a spectacular show of pinks and purples lighting up the sky above Agung’s impressive outline. The beers might be a bit more pricey up there but you definitely pay for the view!
If you are looking to explore everything Amed has to offer or simply relax around the resort then the Santai Hotel is the perfect location for both. With the many different bays and beaches a stones throw away you can either jump on a scooter and tour around or enjoy the peaceful sounds of the ocean as you relax on the beach right outside the resort.
We arrived at the Santai Hotel in the early afternoon and as we walked through the flowered entrance we were welcomed by warm smiling faces and a lovely view out to the pool and ocean beyond. The staff were so friendly and alongside a quick check in we were greeted with a refreshing ice cold towel and sweet pineapple juice. A perfect Balinese welcome which was a preclude for the wonderful night ahead!
We were escorted to our bungalow which we were delighted to find was one with a sea view so that we could sit out on our porch and watch the waves twinkle in the distance!
The Santai Hotel has two room types; bungalows or suites some with ocean views and some with garden views. Whichever option you choose each is well placed amongst the small alleys, dripping with lush greens and colourful tropical flowers, so that you have complete privacy to enjoy your stay.
The bungalows and suites are designed with the same traditional Indonesian feel; each has a set of wooden doors with woven style walls and a beautiful sweeping straw roof.
Inside the four poster beds stand proud as the comfortable centre piece for the spacious rooms. Ours was so perfectly made up and presented with those typical white Balinese flowers.
The only difference between the suites and bungalows is that the bungalow comes with a mezzanine level up a small flight of wooden stairs. Up on the mezzanine level you will find another double mattress with its own mosquito net next to a series of small windows which open out to let in the fresh sea breeze. The extra level means the bungalow can hold up to four people and so is perfect for families or groups of friends.
Outside, the bungalows also have a laid back lounger where you can while away some time reading a book, or just soaking up the calm idyllic atmosphere that surrounds the Santai Hotel.
Both room types feature attached open-air bathrooms and ours was overflowing with greenery and plants so that we never felt far away from the gorgeous nature and tropical breeze. The shower was piping hot and we were provided with plenty of fragrant toiletries to enjoy during our stay.
One of the things we thought was a nice touch at the Santai Hotel was that each morning the staff serve you a lovely tray of tea and coffee right on the balcony of your room. It’s comforting waking up and knowing that a warm beverage is waiting to give you that early morning pick me up! It felt especially perfect for us enjoying it from our own loungers looking out at the morning sun rising over the sea!
Having woken up slowly we headed to the restaurant to enjoy our complimentary breakfast. This included tea, coffee or fresh juice followed by two items from the menu including fresh fruits, eggs to your liking or pancakes.
The Santai’s pool is relatively small but is completely adequate for the size of the resort and with it overlooking the ocean, you of course, have the choice of both. There are plenty of sunbeds surrounding the pool and you can order from the restaurants drinks menu so that if you fancy a mid afternoon cocktail by the pool its really not frowned upon!
The pool area, like the rest of the resort, is beautifully landscaped and is abundant with bright flowers making it a lovely place to relax.
The open-air spa looks completely dreamy; a traditional style hut nestled underneath the palm trees with a white bed, plenty of cushions and flowing curtains. It sits as close to the ocean as possible and looks as though it would be the perfect place to unwind whilst listening to the sound of the waves.
The spa offers a range of massages, reflexology, reiki or manicures and pedicures.
After a lovely day relaxing around the pool we still had a traditional Balinese dinner to look forward to. Our table had been booked for 7.30pm so after catching another of Amed’s spectacular sunsets we settled down in the Coconut Restaurant. Following the natural theme of the resort, the bamboo structure of the Coconut Restaurant is also open-sided so that you can enjoy a romantic night time view across the pool and out to the ocean beyond.
We had been told the dinner was Megibung style which is a traditional way of sharing food with friends and family during festivals and ceremonies in the villages of East Bali. We had no idea what to expect but we love the local cuisine so thought this would be an excellent way to sample some more of it.
We first had a tempe noodle salad which was a perfect combination of spicy and sweet but were completely overwhelmed when the main was presented on a huge stand known as the ‘Dulong’.
It was so impressive and the staff were clearly very proud of their creation which was wonderful. We tucked into rice as well as sate sticks, tempe and tofu curry, sweet soy tempe and nasi kuning all accompanied by three flavoursome sauces. Everything tasted so fresh and the sauces were such delicious versions of the flavours we had already come to know and love in Bali.
We have no idea how we managed to get through everything but it was certainly too delicious to leave.
Then, when we thought we had accomplished the impossible and finished it all we were brought a dessert of banana fritters and lastly some tea or coffee. We just about managed to squeeze it all but all but had to roll ourselves back to our bungalow and to bed.
The Megibung costs 380k IDR plus tax and service per couple and we would definitely recommend it for those looking for an authentic meal and experience. Coconut Restaurant also serves up other well known Indonesian dishes such as Beef Rendang and Nasi Goreng as well as catering to those who prefer flavours from the West with pizzas, pastas and salads.
Overall we think that the Santai Hotel is a great option for couples and families looking to explore the alluring Amed coastline. Its natural and lush green setting means you get a taste of luxury whilst still experiencing a more traditional Balinese setting. The bungalows are simple yet elegant and the nice touches of having the balcony, ocean view pool and direct beach access make the Santai Hotel an affordable idyllic getaway in Bali.
You can book directly with the Santai Hotel and find out more about their menus and Spa services on their website here!
C & J x
We would like to thank Santai Hotel for sponsoring our stay with them! As always, however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are totally honest and our own!