Tuesday, October 1, 2013

REVIEW | A wonderful Balinese experience at Alindra Villa

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The showstopper ceiling of our joglo-style villa.

Surely I can just lay in bed and stare at that exquisite ceiling, marvel at the amount of detail that went into that beautiful centerpiece. I feel fortunate to have stayed in this villa with My Bibe recently, even if it was for just one night. Needless to say, I am in love with the place and I know that I run the risk of turning this review into a gushing writeup. But here goes...

Welcome to Alindra Villa in Bali, Indonesia!

Booking
Getting a room, suite or villa here shouldn't be a problem. Apart from having an online booking facility, they're also available on other booking sites like Agoda and Airbnb. We got ours via a last-minute deal on Agoda.

Check-in
It is worth highlighting that they do take note of your messages and special requests. In our case, it was an early check-in because of our early flight, and they were most gracious about it. Check-in was a breeze and soon enough we were ushered to our villa and were handed our welcome drinks.

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The open-air front desk and lobby.

Location
You may be expecting a beach because this is Bali, but be forewarned that Alindra Villa is far from any beach. In fact it's located in a residential area that's about 20 to 30 minutes from the airport at Denpasar. It's on the southern tip of the island and is somewhere between the sunset capital that is Jimbaran Beach and the posh resort area of Nusa Dua (where the recent Ms World finals was held).

But we already knew that. Probably the only inconvenience you may (or may not) encounter is that most taxi drivers don't know about the place. So it's recommended that you have a map on hand or Alindra's address and phone number just in case. Or better yet, you can arrange for an airport pickup directly with Alindra.

When going out, they have scheduled shuttle services to Jimbaran Beach and Nusa Dua. This is free. Just check with the front desk for schedules.

Architecture and ambiance
Despite inconveniencing ourselves a bit by having to transfer hotels, we couldn't resist squeezing even just one night here. The lure of traditional Balinese and Indonesian-style villas was just too good to pass up. And might I say we were not disappointed.

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The rather unassuming facade. And then it's all residential houses around.

Alindra Villa is not just one villa but four ethnic-style villas and a couple other modern-style rooms, suites, and pool villas. The traditional Balinese architecture characterized by its distinct roof and sandstone carvings is evident throughout the property. Inside its walls is a large open space with lots of green and old trees, all surrounded by its four ethnic villas and other traditional Indonesian structures. It's beautiful!

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Welcome to Alindra!

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Love the garden amid all these traditional-style houses.

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Peaceful and relaxing surroundings.

The owner, an architect and painter, has a fondness for antiques and traditional architecture. From his vast personal collection of antique wooden Indonesian homes, he has reinterpreted them and built these four villas.

He has also commissioned a joglo, a traditional Javanese home characterized by a four-pillar main building frame with other overlapping components and an arched roof, which has become one of Alindra's showcase common areas. Also on display here are many other pieces with such intricate carving. And my, that ceiling is just a fantastic work of art!

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The joglo, where guests can just sit back or have some tea.

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Even the restrooms have character. These are outside the joglo.

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I can't help but admire such detail and workmanship.

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I don't know what this is exactly; just found it while walking around the property. It's interesting nonetheless.

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The joglo's ceiling. Such beauty.

Alindra, however, is not all traditional Indonesian architecture. Its Terracotta and back compounds house other more modern-style rooms, suites, and pool villas but with traditional Indonesian touches. While I prefer the ethnic villas, I must acknowledge that they did a good job with fusing traditional and modern.

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The Terracotta compound, with the modern pool villas beyond the glass and concrete fence.

It's also commendable how they've clustered their villas and buildings into compounds that aren't readily visible to each other. So guests like me who want the authentic Indonesian feel of their ethnic villas need not fret about seeing other buildings that are rather "out of place." Guests staying at any of the pool villas, on the other hand, can enjoy their privacy.

Our villa
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Our Ethnic I villa. Yes, it's that huge.

We got the Ethnic I villa. It looks big, doesn't it? But with a total area of 120sqm, it is big! It's got a nice open porch at the front where there's a wooden bench and a table for meals. Notice the roof? It's also built joglo-style.

Now wait till you get inside.

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As authentic traditional as they can get. Ladies and gentlemen, the doorbell.

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Impressive door, don't you think? And that table over there, that's where they serve us our meals. Come on, My Bibe's letting us in.

Traditional as it may be, the owner has masterfully reinterpreted tradition to fit this villa with such modern comforts as a king-size bed, air conditioning, a fridge, a coffee and tea-making facility, tables and chairs, a vanity, lots of cabinets and drawers, an old-style safe, a TV, DVD/CD player with surround sound, and in-room WiFi, all of which are perfectly functioning.

One must not miss the joglo, an impressive piece of Javanese architecture with its four-pillar main frame all looking up to this magnificent ceiling of carved wood. Might I add that aside from the common area joglo where tea is served, no other villa has this.

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Huge and comfy bed, huge room.

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From another angle.

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From yet another angle. Notice that there's space behind the bed.

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The side entrance to our villa.

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Wow! Just...wow!

While the main bedroom is air conditioned, the bathroom is an open-air space made of stone and marble with a few wooden accents. There's a bidet and a jacuzzi inside but the shower is in a really open space under the shade of a tree but still bound by tall stone walls to protect your privacy.

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The bathroom.

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The shower. It's literally outside.

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Fantastic and relaxing view from our porch.

Ethnic villas usually go for about IDR 1.1M to IDR 1.65M ($97-145 / Php4k-6k) a night, depending on occupancy per room but available rates vary and can go down to as low as IDR 770k to IDR 1.2M ($68-100 / Php3k-4k), or even less. We got ours for just a little over Php 2,100 -- which was quite a steal!

The estimated rates I provided here already include the mandatory 10% service charge and 11% government tax. Please note that rates and prices quoted at establishments across Indonesia are usually still subject to this levy, so do factor in this additional 21% each time.

Terracotta rooms, on the other hand, go for IDR 2M ($175 / Php 7,650) a night but can go down to IDR 500k ($44 / Php 2k) or even less. The Terracotta Suites go for about IDR 4M ($350 / Php 15,250) but can go down to IDR 1M ($88 / Php 4k) or much less.

Because they deserve feature posts of their own, I've dedicated separate blog entries for the ethnic villas at Alindra and Alindra's Terracotta rooms and pool villas.

Facilities
There's really not much going on here as it's a place much-suited for having a quiet time. There's the joglo, though, for some lounging and tea, and an adjacent Balinese pavilion for reading.

There's also a small, oddly-shaped pool. While it's located among the ethnic villas, it doesn't feel out of place since they employed stones instead of ceramic tiles.

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Small but lovely pool. Love the use of stone instead of tiles.

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A few modern comforts for pool loungers.

There's a spa right beside the pool but it can only accommodate two at a time. It sports a traditional, open-air design but has a bathroom and shower room inside, plus two jacuzzis right outside the door. They really don't have therapists on site, which is understandable given that Alindra operates on a small scale. Instead, they just call them in when guests book treatments.

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The spa, with two jacuzzis right outside.

We tried their Balinese massage, which was a combination of long strokes akin to a Swedish massage and a unique thumb-and-fingers thing that I really loved. Our therapists were good I dozed off. The treatment cost IDR 150k per person. Including tax and service charge, that's IDR 181,500 ($16 / Php700). We just hit a bit of a snag with My Bibe's pedicure. The therapist was late and we had to reschedule the appointment.

Alindra also plays host to parties and other events in a garden setting. The place can reportedly seat around 200.

Dining
Guests can dine at the Terracotta Restaurant within the Terracotta compound but we never had the chance to try it there. Instead, our meals were set up and served right at our villa's front porch. The food was okay although we played it safe with the more familiar nasi goreng and satay. I kinda enjoyed their prawn crackers, though, which was more sambal or shrimp paste than shrimp per se.

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My nasi goreng with fried chicken, egg, satay, and prawn crackers (IDR 108,900 including tax and service charge).

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My Bibe's chicken and pork satay (IDR 114,950 including tax and service charge).

Breakfast was a choice between Indonesian and American. Boo for us, we went for American. The servings, especially the bread basket, were generous.

Staff service
Overall, service was top-notch and very personal. Everyone was just so warm and nice and polite. They always go that extra mile with guests. Firmalan, the marketing manager, for instance, gladly toured us around. On the other hand, Algus the front desk man, took us to Jimbaran and then to our next hotel in Nusa Dua. This is definitely a huge factor in making us want to come back.

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The view from our villa at night.

Check-out
Checking out was no issue. Like I said, they even took us to our next hotel.

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In hindsight
A must-try, Alindra Villa is the perfect place to stay in Bali for those with an appreciation for traditional architecture and those who want to have a quiet retreat but at the same time still want the beach or urban comforts well within reach. The place is beautiful and service is very personal and warm.

I will definitely return. Soon, hopefully.

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My Bibe and I saying goodbye to Alindra for now.

You can also check out more of Alindra in the following posts:
>The ethnic villas at Alindra Villa
>Alindra Villa's Terracotta rooms and pool villas

For reservations or more information, check out www.alindravilla.com.

11 comments:

  1. Nice places !!!
    beautiful pics.


    xx
    http://www.thetrendysurfer.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. The way you describe it its fantastic! Your pictures also remind me of the movie Eat, Pray, Love.

    hugs
    Andy
    theblacklabelblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I wish I could travel to these excotic countries!

    ruthgoesto.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow simply amazing! never been to bali but i know it is famous for high quality of its hotels. great pics, Ciao Andrea

    ReplyDelete
  5. The details in the architecture are great!! but I think the jacuzzi is kind of small, anyway, the villa looks so comfortable

    http://mytigermx.blogspot.mx

    ReplyDelete
  6. Get social with Alindra Villa by LIKE the page https://www.facebook.com/AlindraVilla and follow the news @AlindraVilla :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Was there last August and boy, it was a nice experience. The people there special Nyoman (Front Desk Manager) are really very very accommodating! Should've stayed longer but boy, was I impressed by their hospitality and the beauty and ambiance of the place.

    Nice pics!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed! Glad you had the same experiencing. Definitely should go back.

      Delete
  8. You give here a nice information on A wonderful Balinese experience at Alindra Villa.Thanks for your great information on it.

    http://www.jedavilla.com

    ReplyDelete

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