The SANTAI Umalas Bali @ When Design MeetsTranquillity

Finding hotels in Bali is not a difficult task but to find a hotel that suits your need and offering you the exclusive space, unique architecture design that inspires you as well as a fine culinary restaurant you desire, a wise decision is in need. mylifestylenews discovers a gem off the beaten track and yet within an easy commuting distance to almost everything you need in the bustling Seminyak.

The lobby entrance with stone columns and vast sloping roof 

Stone wall are carved in different design elements

Despite the heavy down poured upon our arrival, the first thing that strikes us on our arrival is the stylish, cutting-edge, architecture: a stunning lobby with soaring ceilings and a beautiful use of wood that creates an inviting warmth. Stone columns stand like sentinels, inscribed with symmetrical patterns and ancient Balinese script. The color tone, mood and ambience are so harmony and right away inspire you by entering to the world of architecture design with lots of carefully design elements in the surrounding.

A vast sloping roof which allows the breezes to drift in and hence, the words Santai means to relax and to chill, this exclusive resort has what it takes. Warm Canapés are served followed by welcome drinks while going through the formalities by sitting at the Scandinavian inspired sofa in a high elevated Pavilion looking out at the pouring rain onto the close by padi fields. It is another kind of serene scene in Bali to chill and actually quite relaxing even by just watching and hearing the rain in such mood and environment around.

The Santai designers are genius, the traditional Balinese styles and materials are used to merge with cool, sleek, modern Asian architecture to create this stunning effect. You may see the stone walkways run past cool pools, through archways and alongside green ‘planted’ walls and nut-brown wooden trellises. Traditional Balinese roofs are topped with small leaning towers which let natural light flood down into the villas as well as leading the air flow in to create the cooling effect

 As we were being escorted to our two bedroom villa, it is that magical moment from walking down a narrow walkway with high, willow-vine covered walls on each side, and entering through a Balinese wooden door threshold - two sets in fact that you are confronted with the intimacy of our home away from home for the next 3 nights.

Bali has so many points of view for your hotel choice from a location perspective, The Santai is a relatively new and very exclusive design boutique villa resort located in Umalas. This uniquely contemporary design resort consists of only 11 villas with a choice from minimum two bedroom villas or three bedroom villas. Since there is no main swimming pool available as the center piece of the resort, hence, each villa comes with its own 5m x 10m private pool for the two bedroom villas size and 4m x 16m for the three bedroom villas respectively. It is spacious enough to actually swim in length.

There is a large private villa pool courtyard with beautiful landscaping, with a one bedroom pavilion abutting the entrance walkway on the right and the other one bedroom pavilion beyond to the left. The pool deck provides outdoor sundeck with day bed, bean beg and don’t forget to ask for the inflatable floats, it does gives you more fun while spending most of your time at your very own villa pool.

The Scandinavia inspired furniture and well equipped kitchen

The interiors are modern and stylish, with very minimalist Scandinavian style of architecture that is combined with just the right amount of Balinese bohemian aesthetics to create an ideal tropical retreat comprising the main living quarters of the master bed and outdoor ensuite, plus a fully equipped kitchen in the open plan living/dining area and sensibly has a water dispenser machine, so saving on the plastic is a another great idea for such villa concept.

The spacious outdoor bathroom with plenty of natural lights

There is one shower in a cubicle if one seeks more privacy and another open shower next to the bathtub, if you are more at ease with yourself. All in all, a very chic minimalist bathroom that you can fall in love with, but you be equally attracted to the master bed and kitchen/dining rooms, as they also look like they have jumped out of a designer home magazine, with gorgeous furniture and high quality fittings.

This exudes a Scandinavian design ethic with all the furniture designs that is perfectly suited to the architecture. To top this off, the glass window panels in the bedroom facing the pool can be fully opened to allow you to jump straight into the pool, another very playful feel to the overall design. Blue and green tiled villa pools are in-laid with small islands sporting frangipani trees with beds of grass.

The inflatable floats is your best company while enjoying your swim at your very own private villa.

The Santai resort concept has no downside, with well designed furniture, toiletries concept that minimizes waste and looks and feels great. With living spaces that you don’t want to leave, your own private and spacious villa pool with chic lounge furniture and plenty of natural light with natural shade in all the right places. There are no communal public areas, hence why the villas are so attractively designed.

With a total floor area of 350sqm, you will never feel claustrophobic and will relish the privacy in such a beautifully executed design. The ensuite is outdoors, but covered, parting the indoor/outdoor feel and is a very luxurious space with a free-standing blue tiled bathtub, which is a real pop of colour amidst the polished concrete and beige wood tones and white ceramics.

The last ‘feather in the cap’ is Gong, the resort’s only restaurant offers a variety of sharing platters and sampling exciting new flavours. Hip and lounge music flowing around this restaurant that nested below the main road, this is another triumph of design that could easily be a hip restaurant and bar in New York. 

Feature artwork of wild stray dogs (a common scene in Bali) is the only art on the spread walls, taking up the whole length of wall on the mezzanine level, plus the playful wooden railings in the style of an abacus design are very striking. Once again, the Scandinavian furniture makes a chic minimalist statement amidst the polished concrete floors and walls.

Of course, it can only be a talking point if they get the food right and they deliver food that mostly has an authentic flavor and taste that makes you want to come back again.

The breakfast menu is to dine for, with perfectly executed egg dishes, healthy options such as granola and a great list of mixed juices and teas. Delectable Asian dishes such as Nasi Goreng and Mi Goreng Indonesia as well as the local congee are never to be missed.

What is there not to love while a small exclusive resort offering at its best with the immaculate know-how to pampering your stay, we really couldn’t ask for more. With the staff want to please and go out of their way for you with some great smiles, The Santai would give so many more high profile resorts a serious run for their money that delivers a class act without asking for applause by treasuring their guests a truly Balinese experience and retreat.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4/5
Ambience: 4.5/5
Design & Decor: 4.5/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5 
Housekeeping: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5

Architecture & Design

Outdoor Bathroom With Constant Humidity

Jalan Bumbak 88A
Banjar Kelod Anyar
Kerobokan Umalas
Bali Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 900 2699

*The SANTAI is a member of Lifestyle Retreats

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