Hotel Review: Off the Beaten Track in Eastern Bali

Balinese Adventure Part 24

Michael Taylor’s Balinese Adventure has ended in real time, but it continues in Cyberspace. Today he reminisces about his 2 day stay at the Alila Manggis, a 4 star resort in Eastern Bali.

Alila Manggis is located off the beaten tourism track on Buitan Beach within the regency of Karangasem on the outskirts of Candidasa in Eastern Bali.

One of the most important nearby tourist attractions is Mount Agung, which is home to an important Hindu temple.

The hotel can arrange a 4 hour bike ride down the mountain’s slope as well as a challenging 7 hour trek up the mountain’s slope. The waters east of the resort offer 7 dive sites that are rich in diverse marine life.

The nearest town is Candidasa, a laid-back municipality with lots of informal eateries and nondescript shops lining its main drag. There are also several small hotels facing the main road that overlook the waterfront.

Hotel Facilities

A 4 star property, Alila Manggis is set amid a coconut grove with sweeping lawns that run down to the sea. The open air lobby and open air restaurant have traditional thatched roofs.

The guest rooms are housed in four 2-storey buildings, all with garden views. You can also see the ocean in the distance.

Hotel facilities include a cooking school, a spa, a yoga pavilion, and a swimming pool. Bicycles are available. Taichi and yoga classes are offered twice a week. Neither is offered during my visit.

Superior rooms are located on the ground floor. These are essentially the same as my room except they have terraces rather than balconies.

There are also 114 square meter suites that sleep 2 adults and 2 children – and an over the top villa that I will only sleep in in my dreams.

My Cozy Deluxe Room

I stay in a Deluxe Room, which measures a cozy 34 square meters, or 364 square feet. The room is situated on an upper floor and has a view of the coconut studded gardens and swimming pool – with the azure sea in the distance.

My room has a queen size bed. Twin beds are also available. Wi-fi Internet access is available, but there isn’t really a good spot to work in my room – this is s beach resort, after all. 

So I set up an impromptu outdoor office on my balcony, which has a table and chairs and a very comfortable day bed.

The day bed is so comfortable, in fact, that I fall asleep on it on the first night at the hotel. There is a heavy rain storm, but – thanks to the overhang – I remain completely dry.

I spend my 2nd night sleeping on the balcony, as well. So I can’t comment on the bed in the room, which I am told is ‘very comfortable’. I’ll have to take their word for it! I was happy sleeping in the Great Outdoors! There is something very soothing about the sound of surf – and nocturnal rain.

Food and Beverage

The hotel has 2 food and beverage outlets. Seasalt serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, featuring a mouth-watering menu of both local and international dishes. I have a yummy Western style breakfast there on my 2nd morning.

The Living Room is an informal venue serving pre-dinner drinks. It is suitable for reading, playing board games, or just chilling out.

The hotel also has an organic garden, which can be reached in 10 minutes by car or 30 by bicycle. Picnic breakfasts, lunches, and dinners – as well as cooking classes – can be arranged.

This is where I enjoy a yummy picnic breakfast on my first morning (I eat at the hotel restaurant the following morning). 

Exploring Candidasa

Late in the afternoon, I take the hotel shuttle into Candidasa to explore the town. My plan is to wander around a bit, pick up some refreshments in a mini-mart, and have dinner at a local cafe. 

I don’t see many tourists, and the lack of tour buses is a welcome change from the crowded streets of Ubud, where I recently spent a few nights.

There are lots of shops, but no boutiques. There are quite a few restaurants. There are even a  few hotels.

The owner of an unpretentious little eatery invites me in. I tell you I’m not hungry yet, but I’ll return for dinner when I am.


Alila Manggis, Desa Buitan, Manggis, Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia. Telephone: +62 363 410 11. 

The town of Candidasa is 10 minutes away by car. It is 10 minutes from Padang Bai Harbour, with ferries traveling to and from Lomboc and other nearby islands.

The hotel is 38 kilometres or 15 miles from Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. Depending on traffic it takes anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours.



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