When A and I first started planning our honeymoon, we knew it was going to be an uphill battle on agreeing where to go. We considered practically every remotely honeymoon-ish place in the world, before finally settling on Lombok, Bali and Singapore, mostly because that would be the easiest to plan. Bali being a tourist hotspot, there are no dearth of hotels for all budgets. We quickly realised, however, that sometimes being spoilt for choice isn’t necessarily a good thing. After scouring the internet for weeks, and resisting the temptation to give up and check-in to a Sofitel or a Hilton, we finally settled on Kayumanis, Nusa Dua.
We arrived in Bali after spending two days in Lombok, and by then I was desperately trying to keep my expectations of the hotel to a minimum. We had stayed at the Sheraton in Lombok, which was a terrible disappointment. But we needn’t have worried – Kayumanis gave us four blissful days of warm service, luxurious accommodation and a serene private beach. If the rest of this blog post reads like an advertisement for Kayumanis, it is only because our stay was that perfect – I assure you, I have (unfortunately) not been paid anything for writing any of this.
The Kayumanis group has four properties in Bali and we stayed at the one at Nusa Dua. There are around 15 one-bedroom villas on the property, two two-bedroom villas and one three-bedroom villa. Narrow stone paths, with lush green plants and shrubs on either side lead to each of the villas.
Location and How to Get There
Nusa Dua is a twenty-minute car ride from the airport, and Kayumanis offers a free airport pick-up and drop-off service. The Nusa Dua area is very well maintained, with manicured lawns, and wide, clean roads. But if you’re in Bali to get a taste of the party scene, this is not the place for you. It is about an hour’s drive away from the buzzing Seminyak area with all the restaurants, boutiques and night clubs.
Nusa Dua is ideal for a couple’s retreat or honeymoon – it is beautiful and quiet, but at the same time, has a few good restaurants and water sports centres for you to try out some fun activities.
I, for one, was sold at the front door of the villa – it had a large wooden door, with a massive padlock to which you are given an equally massive key. Each villa comes with a private pool, a bedroom with an attached Balinese shower and bathroom, and a separate living and dining area.
The bedroom had a gorgeous four-poster bed, and soft white muslin curtains, which fulfilled all my 9 year-old “princess bed” fantasies.
But it was the bathroom which was truly magical! – it was an al-fresco bathroom, with a Balinese shower and a gorgeous bathtub. The bath products are all-natural and cinnamon scented (because Kayumanis means cinnamon in Indonesian), and are filled in dainty little ceramic pots. The only minor problem I had with the bedroom was that it was too dimly lit, for my taste. But that’s just me nitpicking.
The living and dining area was cozy, and relaxing. It overlooked the pool, and breakfast and high-tea was served here everyday (more on that later). The room also came with a Bose music system, which we really appreciated. After a full day of walking around town, there was nothing like just taking a shower, putting on some music, and unwinding with our drinks.
Kayumanis has two restaurants on the property – one Italian and the other Indonesian. We didn’t try either, so not much I can say on that. We did, however, have their complimentary breakfast and high-tea everyday, which was served in our room. The breakfast can be ordered from the menu provided, while the high-tea is whatever the chef serves for the day. The quality of the food was a bit of a mixed bag – while my ham and cheese omelette, and A’s Mee Goreng was delicious, the pancakes and truffle eggs we ordered on another day were absolutely terrible. But I wouldn’t worry about the food at Kayumanis too much – there are so many wonderful restaurants in Bali that one wouldn’t want to limit themselves to eating the food at the hotel anyway.
The room also had a minibar stocked with coke, sprite, diet coke and bintang (beer), which guests can consume for free, and which is restocked everyday (A seemed to take this as a challenge – by the end of the day he would manage to relieve the minibar of all the beer). They also had jars of peanuts and cookies in the living room (and in the hotel car) to snack on.
I couldn’t stress enough on how absolutely amazing the service was! They were attentive, without being stifling, helpful without being intrusive. They went above and beyond to not only make our stay at Kayumanis comfortable, but to help us make our trip to Bali a memorable experience. They arranged our trip to a local centre for water sports, gave us helpful tips on where to eat and visit, made reservations at restaurants, and even arranged a taxi when we happened to mention that the hotel taxi was too expensive! The service at Kayumanis is the epitome of “service with a smile”.
The per night rate for a one bedroom villa is INR 21,000 (we went in the first week of January). This includes a host of freebies: breakfast, high tea, minibar, snacks in the room, free airport pick up and drop off, 30 minute massage for two, and unlimited use of the hotel taxi up to Jimbaran area.
This and That
Kayumanis has a private beach a short walk from the main hotel. The hotel has cycles that you can borrow and ride to the beach.
They also have a bar on the beach where they whip up some mean cocktails. If you are looking for a romantic meal with your better half, or even some quiet-time with your family, try their sea-side sunrise breakfast at 5:30 a.m.
If the private pool in your villa is too small for you, they also have a larger common pool. And it’s a cool pool. It has trees growing in the middle.
Kayumanis does not have a gym on the property; you will have to go to the hotel next door and pay to use their facilities. Although, once you take one look at the beach, you’d much rather get your exercise swimming or running, than working out indoors.
Icing on the cake: children below the age of 16 are not allowed at Kayumanis. Bliss.
It’s hard to find fault with Kayumanis. We were spoilt rotten. Anyone looking to pamper themselves, and are okay with splurging a little, this is the place for you.