I recently had the good fortune to travel to Bali on a surf holiday, where base camp was to be a fabulous villa in Seminyak. Because I was only staying in a hotel for one night – the dreaded first night of arrival after 24-hours of flying, I thought best not to splurge on a place with all the expensive trimmings, given my anticipated non-functioning braincells. What a total delight to find a chic and affordable hotel option in Puri Madawi, which I found on i-escape.com, whose taste in boutique chic lodging I trust with my life.
Puri Madawi is located between Petitenget and Batu Belig, roughly a
5-minute cab ride from the heart of Seminyak, or a 10-minute stroll on the beach. The hotel is situated on a quiet street, with cows and fields on one side of it. Feels far from the hustle and bustle of a tourist mecca. There’s only 16 rooms, which are divided into three classifications – free-standing bungalows, suites and executive suites (both two stories). The feel is intimate and comfortable and…effortless. The understated entrance belies the beauty inside. The gardens are well maintained and offer a host of hidden details – fountains and sculptures where you would least expect them, romantic arbors brimming over with tropical foliage. The pool is good sized, nestled invitingly among the lush landscaping. I think what made grounds so nice for me, is the manageable scale. It felt more like being in a friend’s really great and private backyard than at a hotel. The vibe here is definitely not impersonal.
I took a bungalow, at the affordable price of $75 a night. A few yards off the outdoor reception area, the bungalow was cloaked in plants and trees to give privacy. The room is round and the bed is large and netted. But it was all about the outdoor bathroom for me, which is impressive to say the least. Very well done. Plants and sculptures built into the stone walls. Just fabulous. For $110, you can take one of the Suites – a two-story set-up featuring an open living room filled with original art work and a wooden staircase that leads up to the bath- and bedroom.
The reception staff were terrific. Super friendly and helpful. Spoke great English, though other staff not so much. Not a big deal – someone who did was always a stone’s throw away. The only minor disappointment was the restaurant. Dinner was not great, but breakfast more than made up for it.
I would recommend Puri Madawi to anyone who wants chic on the cheap, and a comfortable, homey, mellow environment. Plus – with all the fabulous things to buy in Seminyak – (a whole ‘nother conversation) – you’ll appreciate a couple extra Rupiah in your pocket. This is a find.
Side note: Going to the beach by the hotel is worth the price of admission, in itself. Its like a chapter out of Alice in Wonderland. You are given a key and directions to go out the front door and make a right. You then find a little hidden grass path between two extremely high property walls, meander down that to a gate, where you open with your key, only to feel like you’ve traveled back in time as you find yourself in a small (very small) Balinese village, where chickens are running around and women are tending to the community garden. Two minutes later, you are on the beach, where your senses are completely thrown with the appearance of the monolith that will, in a matter of days now, be the new W hotel.