By Chitra Anwar
Video by Dimas Anggakara
As new hotels pop up left and right in Bali’s quickly expanding hospitality scene, finding a quiet hideaway may not be as easy as it was years ago. One place that still offers a getaway experience (though without being in complete seclusion) is The Santai, a boutique resort nestled in the peaceful neighborhood of Umalas. Designed with relaxation in mind, this all-villa resort is an ideal retreat for friends or families looking to spend quality time together on the Island of the Gods.
The Look: At first glance, The Santai stands out for having a sleek, modern design, but it doesn’t take long to feel the property’s connectedness to nature—a philosophy that is very much ingrained in Bali. Stone grays, leafy greens, and woody browns are the predominant colors found throughout the resort, manifesting as stone tiles and pillars, strings of flora draping the walls, and lattices of wood that make up the resort’s high, open-air ceilings. The overall contemporary design mixes with traditional Balinese styles to create a very zen, spa-like atmosphere that’s both intriguing and calming at the same time.
The Rooms: The 11 villas on the property make for the kind of space that you don’t mind lounging around in all day. Each one comes with its own private pool complete with inflatable floats and sundecks that call for lazy days spent on the outdoor furniture arranged throughout. There are two- and thee-bedroom setups, the former sporting indoor living rooms, dining areas, and kitchens, while the latter feature those same spaces outdoors. Bedrooms are clean and simple, outfitted with plush beds, additional daybeds, and—on the off-chance that you want to get some work done—a desk. Each one is paired with its own bathroom that is similarly straightforward, though showers and bathtubs are sometimes put outdoors for the fun of it.
The Appeal: Prioritizing guests’ relaxation, The Santai comes with all the perks to make days at the resort easy living. Don’t want to be bothered with making dinner reservations? There’s 24-hour butler service for that. Want to have a quick bite without leaving your villa? The resort’s complimentary shopping services stock kitchens with a grocery list of your choice. Spending your whole stay at the intimate resort is rather appealing given facilities like a library with internet access, Wiis and Playstations, and in-villa spa treatments. But should you want a dose of Balinese nightlife or beachfront dining, The Santai is just a 15-minute shuttle ride away from Seminyak, which the hotel provides, and bicycles are on-hand to borrow anytime as well.
The Surrounds: Umalas neighbors busy Seminyak, but it exudes an entirely different feel from the bustling area famed for its culinary scene, hip nightlife, and chic boutiques. Stroll around the area, and you’ll be enveloped by peaceful, picturesque rice paddies and local village temples.
For Those in the Know…More than meets the eye, the lobby space also acts as a communal living area with large sofas and a lounge café replenished around the clock with complimentary soft drinks, cookies, canapés, and fruit.
Jalan Bumbak Dauh No.88A, Kuta Utara, Bali; 62-361/900-2699; The Santai; villas from US$900