Honeymoon Hot Spot: East Bali
As a tourist hot spot, you can expect a lot of hustle and bustle around Bali, especially in Kuta and even Seminyak, which is fast becoming Bali’s trendy place to stay. But the dream of peace and serenity is only one hour’s drive away in Indonesia’s hidden gem: East Bali. You will find yourself miles away from the assertive street vendors and busy roads, and instead surrounded by attentive staff, luxury accommodation, a true sense of traditional Bali, and a small gathering of other newlyweds and couples who, like you, are all searching for silence and a cocktail or two by the pool. Your destination: Alila Manggis.
Alila Manggis is located on the edge of the ocean in Bali’s East, surrounded by a coconut grove and nearby to Bali’s sacred Mount Agung. It is extremely secluded, which is why it’s so popular with to-be-weds and newlyweds seeking a romantic getaway for two.
While there is only one restaurant at this resort, with nothing else in walking distance, you won’t be complaining. At night this haunt is lit up with candles and offers couples the chance to dine under the stars. By the ocean. It really is heavenly.
What tropical resort would be complete without a blissful spa. The serene setting at Alila Manggis’s spa blends Asian healing techniques with Eastern indulgences like aromatherapy massages and phenomenal facials. You can even book a couple’s treatment in one of the private outdoor cabanas.
The rooms at the resort have a charming Balinese flair, with all suites offering gorgeous views of the sea and pool.
For day trips there are a few picturesque must-sees, however the resort makes it difficult to leave with all their enticing activities like complimentary yoga by the sea, and traditional Balinese cooking classes which begin with a trip to the organic garden. But if you’re feeling adventurous, here are Alila Manggis’s Leisure Concierge’s top picks for sightseeing in the area:
Amed: Amed is mostly a quiet place with a stunning ocean view and is one of the best places that serves as a scuba divers’ haven in Bali. Everywhere you go you will see crystal clear water.
Pura Besakih: Besakih Temple (Pura Besakih) is considered by the Hindu Balinese to be their mother temple. This is the single most important temple on the whole of the island and is dramatically located on the slopes of Mount Agung. The Besakih Temple complex consists of more than 20 separate temples and numerous other smaller shrines, spread out over three kilometres.
Tenganan: Tenganan is perhaps one of the most secluded and conservative villages on the island of Bali. Protected by a strict code of isolationism, this original Bali Aga village has retained its unique culture and customs over the centuries. High walls surround the village, and marriage to outsiders is frowned upon. The famous double-ikat or ”Gringsing” woven cloth is made here, in a process that takes anything up to four years to complete.
Mount Agung: Standing some 3,142 metres above sea level, Mount Agung is the highest mountain on the island and its omnipresence dominates the region. Aside from specifically hosting Pura Besakih, the mountain is of great spiritual significance to the Balinese who regard it as a fragment of mythical Mount Meru and as the seat of the Gods. No visitor can fail to be impressed by the majesty of Agung.
Tirta Gangga: Tirta Gangga literally means “water from the Ganges” and it is a site of some reverence for the Hindu Balinese. Strictly speaking, the name refers to the water palace built here in 1946 by the King of Karangasem. However, it is widely used to refer to the general area which includes the water palace and some particularly stunning rural areas around.
East Bali beaches: The beaches around Candidasa are the most visited and Amed in the far east of the region is becoming increasingly popular. All the way along the south coast from Padang Bai in the west to way beyond Candidasa in the east, you will find attractive waterfront villages, some far more visited than others. Take the time to explore and understand a little of coastal life in the region. The two coves (both with white sand beaches) either side of the port town of Padang Bai are absolutely gorgeous and often remarkably free of visitors.
Finally, you can’t go past an intimate wedding held on the premises. Perfect for small to medium weddings, you can host everything from your ceremony to reception at the resort, with a great team of wedding planners on hand to help.
Have you been to East Bali?