Lavish antique-filled and sublime, the opulent beachfront Hotel Tugu Bali is our top pick in Canggu.
One of several Tugu hotels and restaurants around Indonesia, this is by no means a cookie-cutter chain, but the lovingly acquired private collection of Anhar Setjadibrata and his family whose passion and love for Indonesian and Asian culture and history are evident in the theme-park-like extravagance.
The assemblage of wild gardens, traditional houses, and museum-quality artefacts entices presidents and hipsters alike, and Hotel Tugu Bali’s authenticity, spirit and romance will indeed inspire the heart of poets—we felt like a kid in candy store.
From the moment you wander into the Wantilan Agung the darkened “grand hall” that serves as Tugu’s lobby, you’ll know you’re in for a treat from the giant Garuda statue keeping guard to the personal and friendly greeting from the professional staff.
From here, meandering through the gardens, a labyrinth of walkways over lotus-filled ponds lead to the assorted luxury suites and private villas. Three styles of suite are on offer, and although each style follows its own similar layout, no two are the same, as spacious interiors are individually decorated and furnished.
For ultimate luxury, choose from private pool villas inspired by Bali’s famous early 20th century ex-pat artists, Belgian Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur and German Walter Spies. The Le Mayer Suite is possibly more over-the-top (and much better kept) than the artist’s actual house, now a museum in Sanur. We viewed the Dedari and Rejang Suites, but the Javanese Art Deco inspired, family-sized two-bedroom Kampong suite with a garden outlook is also on offer.
Ground floor Dedari Suites enjoy the solid ambience of a colonial-inspired house from the interesting fluted ceiling treatment, to the opulent bathing area with sunken tub, koi-filed pond and private massage bed. There’s a massive canopied bed, more antiques and artworks than you can poke an ornate kris at and a private plunge pool. It’s intimate and secluded, and although lush, light-filled and exotic, has no outlook.
For a view, the Javanese-inspired Rejang Suites are located on the upper floors and boast rich timber interiors and ocean vistas. You miss out on a plunge pool here, but gain a private spa area with a distinctive hand-beaten round metal tub, really quite fabulous. Both styles of room are sensational and include all the mod cons you’d expect (and more so), you just have to decide if you’d like a view or a pool.
The extravaganza doesn’t stop with the rooms, Tugu present a long menu of dining options in atmospheric themed venues, as well as spa treatments, activities and cultural excursions. The grounds hide many nooks and pavilions for a private meal or quiet read, and ocean-blue frangipani-shaded swimming pool is a delightful spot to relax, unwind, catch the ocean breeze and soak up the spirt and history of Bali.
Hotel Tugu Bali is truly a unique experience and is priced accordingly, but be warned Tugu’s authenticity may be a little too rough around the edges for some. In spite of that, we say: go, be seduced—your heart will sing. If your budget doesn’t quite make it into Tugu’s league (sadly nor does ours), you may enjoy a little opulence at Lautan Kupu Kupu Villa, or more midrange, Puri Ayu Bali or Roemah Peranakan.
By Sally Arnold
Last updated on 15th March, 2017.
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