Surf, sleep, bike, stretch, chill
The appealing designer beach-house style and laid-back ambiance at The Chillhouse certainly taps into the idea of the “tropical lifestyle retreat” they market themselves as—the emphasis is on surfing, but mountain biking, yoga and spa packages are all up for grabs, made even more desirable with good food, a comfy bed and the opportunity to socialise and make new friends.
The Chillhouse offers a range of rooms, “treetop lofts” and bungalows in a garden setting which cater to singles, couples, groups and families. Two villa-style rooms sleep up to nine (six plus extra beds) with living areas and private swimming pools.
Clean air-con rooms are bright, fresh and airy featuring a pallet of sea- and sun-worn colours, predominantly the turquoise of Bali’s ocean barrels. Essentials including a minibar, safe and storage are at hand. Natural materials, floaty mosquito nets and a bo-ho aesthetic offer a cool, calm and relaxing stay.
We viewed the spacious double bungalow and (less spacious) single room, and both semi-outdoor style ensuite bathrooms were almost as large as the rooms themselves with moss-covered coral walls and pretty hand-painted details on the stone washbasins. Rooms provide outdoor seating, some with daybeds, others just a chair or two.
Healthy organic meals are served in the open-air restaurant by the swimming pool, where long tables and shared meals make for a terrific conducive atmosphere for meeting other guests. Breakfast is a mix of buffet style and you can order eggs and pancakes. Dinner is a buffet or barbecue with a mix of Western and Asian flavours. You won’t leave hungry (or lonely).
We only saw the “public” pool near the restaurant, but a second “retreat” pool is (obviously) less public. The ocean-blue public swimming pool is sparkling but rather small and the turquoise theme continues into the sun lounge and beanbag colours. Additionally The Chillhouse harbours a yoga pavilion, co-working space, spa and gift shop.
Rates include breakfast (or brunch) and dinner plus “fruit all day long” and bicycle hire. Add-on packages for beginners surf lessons and surf coaching up to intermediate levels, yoga, and mountain biking are available when you check in, as are excursions further afield. Day packages are on offer for folk don’t want a room but just want to hang out by the pool, or tap into the WiFi at the on-site co-working space, and include breakfast and dinner.
While our first impressions were somewhat negative as we were rudely treated by reception staff, the hotel itself is lovely, and we’re only calling them out, as the churlish service continued as we were shown around, but everyone has rough days and staff here mostly get a good wrap.
The Chillhouse is ideal for travellers who aren’t into the hostel scene and would prefer their own room, yet would like the social aspect in a safe and friendly environment. The Chillhouse is long-running and popular, testament that they’re doing something right, but means you’ll probably be wise to book in advance. For a more intense surfing retreat, consider a package at Solid Surf House or if yoga is my your style, Samadi offer stylish rooms with your sun salutations.
By Sally Arnold
Last updated on 15th March, 2017.
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