Alila Seminyak: The Best Resort in Bali
I considered a few titles for this story. A Slice of Heaven; Sunset Boulevard; Drop Everything and Go. But none of them fully captured the experience of my (far too brief) two-night stay at Alila Seminyak.
Located literally a stone's throw away from Potato Head Bali, Alila Seminyak sits on the shores of the Indian Ocean. You're thirty seconds away from strolling along the soft sandy beaches, the clean waters of the sea lapping at your feet while the wind whips in like a passionate lover. I spent every evening breathing in the salty breeze and watched Helios guide his beautiful sun chariot beneath the horizon.
Sure, views like that are a dime a dozen in Bali, dubbed the Island of the Gods. Most of the time, however, your enjoyment is marred by street peddlers hawking all kinds of wares at you with smiles dripping with malice. Not that there's anything wrong with that; it's part of the charm of Bali.
That's the key difference in Alila Seminyak. It's a gated resort and security was tight when I was staying there. Guards scanned the underside of every car coming in with a wheeled mirror and scrutinised passengers keenly before waving them off with a smile and a "Enjoy pak". Safety was clearly of utmost importance with the resort.
The rooms were predictably stellar. I expected nothing less than perfection although I would advise wearing the bedroom slipper provided when you're padding about your suite. The floors can be a tad slippery. And if you're the exhibitionistic sort, you'll be glad to know that the bathrooms have see-through wooden slats and the curtains that cover the glass sliding doors to the balcony from your bedroom can be fully undrawn, so that you can enjoy the view (below) or beach folks can enjoy viewing you.
The renowned Balinese warmth was also prevalent in the service. Every staff member I encountered showered me with a wide smile, as though seeing me was the highlight of their day.
But what made Alila Seminyak stand apart from the other resorts I went to? It's hard to say or put in words. It's a bit like sampling a scrumptious dish and then, when asked by someone how the food was, all you can do is grunt, nod your head vigorously and shove more of it into your mouth. Alila Seminyak is exactly like that, which was why the title now simply says, The Best Resort in Bali, my version of grunting, nodding my head and frantically looking at my remaining vacation leave to see when I can head back.