Alila Manggis Resort, East Bali, Review

Alila Manggis is a luxurious resort, nestled in the tranquil landscapes of lush forests and black sand beaches of East Bali. The hotel offers a captivating blend of modern comfort and traditional Balinese charm and made for the ideal place to begin our Balinese adventure. The East coast is one of the quieter spots on the island, and you will experience a much slower pace of life here. It will take you around 1.5 hours from the airport, however, the taxi journey is a feast for the eyes, giving you a proper glimpse of local Bali life.

The Alila resorts are renowned for their unique locations, and Manggis is no exception to the rule. Situated amidst lush coconut groves and directly overlooking the serene blue waters of the ocean, the first impression is jaw dropping.

You’ll be greeted by a fusion of contemporary architecture and traditional Balinese aesthetics. The resort’s design integrates perfectly with the natural surroundings, creating an exceptional atmosphere of relaxation and tranquillity. The attention to detail in the decor and furnishings enhances the overall sense of comfort and sophistication here. Wood and stone dominate but look closer and you’ll see the true craftsmanship.

Alila Manggis is a 4-star retreat, where the rooms and suites are thoughtfully designed, featuring a minimalist aesthetic with a focus on natural materials, which is the Balinese style. From your private balcony or terrace, you will enjoy breath-taking views of either the ocean or the resort’s perfectly manicured gardens. The attention to detail here is apparent, with an army of well-presented staff, all clearly passionate about creating the perfect relaxing space whist catering for your every need.

Watching the vast array of wildlife on show, including the birds flying in and out of the traditionally thatched roofs, adds something really special to your stay here.

When the tide is low you can walk around 1km of beach, where the sand is black, due to the volcanic nature of the area. We would urge you to explore the rock pools to find some treasure or discover the sea life! There are also lots of very friendly locals always keen to say hello, along with greeting you with their warm genuine smiles. 

One of the highlights of Alila Manggis is undoubtedly its exceptional service. The staff’s genuine warmth and dedication to guest satisfaction create an atmosphere that feels like a home away from home. Whether it’s the front desk, housekeeping, or the dining staff, every interaction is marked by professionalism and a genuine desire to exceed expectations, and they really did. This is 5-star service at its best! Special thanks to everyone, who really looked after us.

Right, let’s talk about the food. If you are a culinary enthusiast, you’ll find yourself in a haven of Balinese gastronomic delights. The Seasalt restaurant, with its open-air setting and panoramic ocean views, serves a delightful array of local and international dishes. The emphasis on using fresh, locally sourced ingredients adds an authentic touch to the dining experience. Guests can also indulge in bespoke dining options, such as private beachfront dinners or cooking classes that provide insights into Balinese culinary traditions. Our recommendation would be to try the Balinese specialities, throughout our entire two week stay in Bali we couldn’t find better! 

For those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation, Alila Manggis offers a fantastic holistic spa experience. The ‘on site’ Spa Alila, surrounded by lush green gardens, provides a range of therapeutic treatments inspired by ancient Asian healing techniques. We had a Balinese massage, outdoors next to the sea where we could hear the waves crashing. It was a truly relaxing experience. The therapists were wonderful and will tailor your massage exactly how you like it. Treating yourself to a restorative beauty treatment comes highly recommended.

We also like to mention the resort’s fantastic commitment to sustainability, which is evident in its eco-friendly practices, which run right across everything they do. Alila Manggis actively engages in initiatives to minimise its environmental footprint, from waste reduction to community outreach programs. This commitment to responsible tourism aligns with the growing global awareness of the importance of sustainable practices in the hospitality industry.

Alila Manggis also caters to guests with a penchant for adventure. The resort will organise a variety of excursions and activities, allowing guests to explore the rich cultural and natural heritage of East Bali. Whether it’s trekking through rice terraces, diving in pristine waters, or experiencing traditional Balinese dance performances, there is something for every type of traveller to enjoy.

We were treated to a fantastic excursion, Selumbung Village Cycle, involving mountain biking through the local villages and jungle with our own guide. This is a brilliant way to see, what felt like, the old undiscovered Bali, and how the locals live in their wonderful natural habitat. There are heaps of shade, as well as water stops, so you will not overheat. We stopped at a local honey farm and saw how the farmer collects honey from a range of different types of bees. The tour concluded at Manggis’ own outdoor kitchen and organic garden, with the most amazing views across the rice fields. If the bike ride becomes too much, you can jump in the support vehicle, which follows you all the way.

Guests can also take part in daily traditional Hatha Yoga sessions with a stunning backdrop of sunrises and sunsets, and as first timers, we enjoyed this immensely. For individuals in pursuit of absolute wellbeing, Alila Manggis has specially created wellness programmes designed to help guests find a balanced lifestyle, rediscover health and enjoy themselves on a yoga retreat.

For those wishing to laze and relax by the pool, you will find it positioned in the heart of the gardens surrounded by lush greenery with uninterrupted views of the ocean. This provides a refreshing escape which balances the humidity, and the attentive poolside service ensures guests have everything they need for a leisurely day of sunbathing and swimming.

Should you wish to venture outside the resort, there is a shuttle bus that runs twice a day directly to the local town of Candidasa. The town is quiet as Balinese towns go, but well worth a visit to see the Lily Pond and enjoy a drink watching the world go by.

In conclusion, Alila Manggis, Bali is a gem that seamlessly marries luxury with the rich cultural tapestry of its surroundings. The combination of breath-taking views, impeccable service, and a commitment to sustainability make it a standout destination for those seeking a refined yet authentic Bali experience. Whether you’re a honeymooning couple, a family on vacation, or a solo traveller, Alila Manggis invites you to immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of East Bali while enjoying the comforts of a world-class resort.

If you are visiting Bali, we encourage you to make this your first port of call, where you will be instantly taken care of in the tranquillity of the surrounds and impressive service.

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