Aliya Homestay isn’t a homestay in the old-fashioned sense of the word, but rather a collection of eight adorable double-storey, A-frame teak bungalows where the open living spaces downstairs are conducive to getting to know your neighbours.
The design of the rooms, clustered around a blue-tiled splash pool with an enticing extra bale for reading or chatting, feels more Siem Reap than Seminyak, and is unusual for a new place opening in Bali today — we love the concept and it’s great to see a place like this rather than another condotel. The feel is especially suited to developing Umalas, an area just a five-minute drive from Seminyak’s thrumming Petitenget restaurant hotspot.
The air-con upstairs bedrooms are compact, but well designed, with comfortable mattresses, white linens, flat-screen TV, and hot-water showers. The decor is fresh and hip, with splashes of tropical colour in the form of throw cushions and robes.
The downstairs open-wall areas have a lounge plus a kitchenette, though there’s also a small but stylish on-site restaurant open for breakfast and lunch (through to 17:00), serving a range of dishes with a Middle East/Asian emphasis. The included breakfast is generously portioned. Monsieur Spoon is a two-minute walk away and Lezoto offers Middle Eastern food across the road for dinner.
Spaces are immaculately clean. Sliding glass doors mean you’ll need to draw the curtains to maintain privacy, and it could get noisy downstairs if you were sharing with talkative co-travellers. On the other hand, it’s refreshing to find a place where you’re encouraged to chat with other people rather than locking yourself away in your room.
The owner also runs Aliya Spa, a five-minute drive away on Umalas 1. We can recommend both the salon and the spa — in particular, the foot massages are great.
The property runs along a small river, and bravo to Aliya for not planting bamboo to hide it — it’s not the cleanest river, though perhaps one day it will be… In the meantime, you’ll see Bali warts and all over that fence.
In a nutshell, Aliya is a lovely tucked away spot just a short hop by taxi to the popular Petitenget area, making it a great place for those who want a retreat with a touch of style.