Because our one year journey around SE Asia was fast approaching to an end, we said to ourselves that we need to finish it with the place and the activities that we loved the most in this trip. This being said, the decision was very simple: diving in Bali. After a quick research on the effectiveness of the cost vs the quality of the diving spots, we chose to go to the east coast of Bali, in Amed. Amed is known as a very affordable diving location and being in the proximity of Mount Agung volcano, it has black sands which makes a really unusual contrast with the colourful corals. Not to mention the fact that we’ve seen Agung volcano smoking, a great view from around 20 km distance.
We chose to spend three nights in two beautiful places which made our last nights in SE Asia really memorable.
Santai is a cozy boutique beach resort which offers a full experience with their bungalows and suites, the swimming pool, the garden and the restaurant.
The authentic Toraja style wooden bungalows are built on wooden pillars and they offer a warm and relaxing feeling. We chose an ocean view suite and we enjoyed every minute of it. It has a wooden terrace with two sofas and a day bed where you could spend a few hours of laziness.
The best part of it is when you walk out of the room in the morning and you find the coffee and tea waiting on the terrace’s table.
The room is spacious and it has a comfortable double queen size bed with mosquito net, under a bamboo and wooden high ceiling. On the attic there is another smaller mattress arranged as a bed and facing a few big windows which gives a lovely view over the garden and to the ocean. All these are complemented by the open air bathroom with shower which gives you the feeling of showering in a garden.
We enjoyed our afternoon swimming in the swimming pool which is surrounded by a lovely tropical garden. At the end of the garden it’s a Balinese double door leading straight to the beach and the sensation of passing from a tropical garden to a nice beach is memorable.
Next to the swimming pool there is the Coconut Restaurant, standing under an impressive bamboo and wooden structure, a real Balinese construction. It serves Indonesian, Balinese and Western food varieties and is known as one of the finest eateries in Amed. In the afternoon, the restaurant transforms into a beach bar and one can enjoy a big variety of cocktails.
We had a great time in Santai and we can recommend this place to anyone who wants to spend a great and relaxing time in Amed.
“Griya” in Hindu means “a large residence consisting of multiple courtyards”. Featuring 14 intimate and luxurious villas, the name of the resort perfectly reflects the meaning of it. The resort sits on the hilltop, overlooking Lipah bay and each villa has a private infinity pool with stunning views over the ocean and the surrounding hills.
We accommodated in a two bedroom villa and we didn’t get out of the resort until we had to check out. Our villa had the privacy insured by a fence a gate. It features a spacious living/dining room with huge windows that open themselves to the infinity pool. A fully equipped kitchen is incorporated into this area with welcoming fruits, tea and espresso machine with five types of coffees included. We enjoyed a glass of wine and a coffee on the comfortable sofa, watching the ocean and Lombok Island from the window wall.
The bungalow-style bedroom features a super comfortable double queen size bed with huge window doors that are opening towards the pool. All the comfort is included, from WiFi to Bose home theatre audio system and satellite TV.
In the back of the bedroom, there is a bathroom with a big bath, an opened space garden shower and a walk in closet with very nice wood and stone decorations.
The highlight of the villa is the 10 m private infinity pool which gives a stunning view over the ocean. It was our perfect spot to cool down from the heat and to watch the sunrise.
We spent a few hours sipping some cocktails on the roof top lounge which gives a 180 degree view over the sea and surrounding mountains. There’s even a great view on Mount Agung volcano, sitting proudly behind the mountains. We’ve seen it smoking, but we were assured that Amed is a safe area, being located more than 20 km from the volcano and having a few mountains in between.
Then we moved to Safka open-air restaurant to enjoy our dinner. The restaurant also offers a panoramic view over the surrounding heels and the sea and it has an incredible good service. They take care of vegans and vegetarians as well, so it was perfect for us.
The Griya Villas and Spa is one of the most spectacular resort we visited over a one year period in SE Asia. We hope that we will have the opportunity to stay in more places like this one. And we hope we will go back soon.