The quiet and laid back Balinese coastal town of Sanur, once the darling of the island’s tourism industry and the resort of choice for many of the world’s jet set, has seen a resurgence in popularity over recent years, with several significant new hotels and restaurants adding to its growing allure. Despite this, for many seasoned travellers and those wanting a genuine Balinese experience, the established, more traditional hotels, such as the Griya Santrian, remain the destination of choice.
Established over 30 years ago, the delightful Griya Santrian was one of Sanur’s earliest hotels and remains popular today, despite the growing competition. The design is heavily influenced by the traditional Balinese style, with open and airy construction, set among lush tropical landscaping built around ancient temple walls.
With the imposing sacred Mount Agung on the horizon, the beachfront location is an ideal spot for those wishing to take advantage of Sanur’s warm, shallow waters, sandy beaches and year round sunshine. It is also a perfect place for anyone wishing to explore Sanur on foot or by bicycle. Head out onto the 7km beach path that runs the length of Sanur and discover the multitude of shops, beach spas, cafes and restaurants, as well as a host of beach activities that help make Sanur such a relaxing place to stay.
The hotel offers early morning hosted walks and cycle tours around Sanur; the latter includes a visit to a prominent local family’s temple compound. Alternatively take a short stroll inland and discover the bustling Sanur main street with countless shops and yet more excellent restaurants and bars.
The hotel itself offers a blend of modern facilities and traditional Balinese architecture and hospitality, fused together perfectly. The rooms are modern with all the amenities one would expect in a hotel of this quality and are available either as a Garden Wing, Beach Wing or Deluxe rooms. The large Santrian Suite completes the impressive portfolio of accommodation and is designed for those wanting the ultimate Griya Santrian experience.
The Beach Wing, as one would expect, is closest to the sea and is centred around the main pool, spa, bar and restaurant. The Garden Wing, set further back, takes full advantage of the fabulous gardens and some impressive modern Balinese architecture.
Further back, but still only a two minute walk to the beach, low rise rooms surround a central infinity pool, raised Jacuzzi and sunbathing terraces. This courtyard style design creates the illusion of a small private resort within a resort and is very popular.
If you don’t want the short walk to the beach or main pool, then just step out of your room straight into one of the sun drenched pools, or relax on the large sun loungers and enjoy a cocktail from the poolside bar.
The hotel is very much geared towards relaxation, and the delightful Demada Spa continues that theme with its reasonably priced range of traditional massages, reflexology, hair, facial and nail care options. The spa is located quite close to the main pool but remains a tranquil place to spend an hour or two on your well deserved pampering.
For those wishing to expend a little more energy there are a number of excellent activities, such as the sunset Yoga on Friday evenings, held prior to the delicious beach BBQ. Perhaps you might want to learn about the meaning and creation of the iconic daily offerings? Or take a cooking class hosted by the resort’s chef? Through the cooking class you can discover the special flavours of Indonesia and Bali’s delicious cuisine. The classes offer a fascinating introduction to the exotic ingredients and the unique culinary heritage of Indonesia and Bali, beginning at 9 am with a tour around the local fresh food market at Sindhu.
Resort dining is generally in the airy beachside Wantilan Restaurant. Monday and Friday evenings, this hosts the beach BBQ night. The choice is quite varied with a good range of international and Indonesian favourites to tempt your taste buds, plus a selection of beers, wines and non alcoholic drinks.
The hotel offers a number of special packages, including the beautiful Balinese Wedding Package; details of this and much more can be found on their website.
Whilst clearly aimed at the adult market, there are many reasons for a young family to take their holiday at the Griya Santrian, and not least the excellent service. The staff at the resort are incredibly helpful and friendly and from the concierge to the bar staff, nothing seems too much trouble. This is perhaps one of the main reasons that many guests return year after year.