Experience the ultimate indulgence as well as give back to society by joining in local-oriented activities...
It was one beautiful Saturday afternoon when I together with a couple of friends arrived at Rumah Luwih in Gianyar. Our journey from the Kuta area to this property took less than an hour, but it felt as if we have traveled to another world as this area was far calmer. But that wasn’t the only highlight of our getaway at this boutique beach resort.
“Rumah luwih” actually means a luxurious house, and the name is well represented in the whole design of this property, which was born from the brain of notable Indonesian architect Hadiprana. This white-walled colonial-style building was more like a mansion, making us feel as if we were visiting a rich relative instead of staying overnight at a resort. That feeling continue as their friendly staff gave us a warm welcome at the main entrance and soon the magnificent view of the ocean had our jaws dropping. As the staff helped us with our check in, we couldn’t wait to stroll around the resort and explore this hidden beauty.
Rumah Luwih is much inspired by the Taman Ujung Water Palace in Karangasem in East Bali, and the design marries East and West and old and new age styles beautifully. White dominates almost every corner, giving a sleek yet elegant vibe to the place. The interior design is even more extravagant with classic-style chandeliers, floor-to-ceiling doors and white pillars, and the wooden furniture giving a warm touch.
However, the ‘star’ of the property is of course the chapel, which becomes the center of attention. Nestled by the beach, this chapel is like a mini version of the Taman Ujung Water Palace as it is surrounded by water. From the foyer vantage point, the chapel stands with the resort’s swimming pool and the lake in the foreground and the ocean in the background. It didn’t take us long to believe that this resort has been hosting quite a number of romantic weddings and will see many more in the future. A beautiful white wedding would be perfect with a flock of swans swimming on the lake while guests gather on the manicured lawn and the newlyweds are dancing at the chapel.
My friends and I could stand at the foyer and continue daydreaming about the perfect wedding, but our imagination was put aside when the staff told us that our rooms were ready. Rumah Luwih has five types of rooms – Prabanggana Room, Arnawakanta Room, Segara Suite, Giri Suite and Aruna Suite. The first was the type of room that our group stayed in, a 40-square meter deluxe room with a choice of king or twin bed. We instantly fell in love with the room once we walked in as it was filled with classic-style furniture and the view of the manicured Luwih Garden and Indian Ocean from our balcony took our breath away.
We were then taken on a tour around the resort, and we could see that the other rooms were just as astonishing. The Segara and Giri Suites for instance, are the two signature suites that cover 100 square meters of space. Each one has a king-size bed, a separate living room, and spacious balconies overlooking the resort’s swimming pool, the lake, the garden and the ocean.
After strolling around the resort our empty stomachs were calling for lunch. And so our group headed to Andrawina – The Dining Room & BBQ Beach Bar Pavilion where we sat at a long table and indulged in some delicious Indonesian food. Located on the ground floor near the lobby, this restaurant is also designed in luxurious colonial style, making us feel as if we were attending a celebratory feast with the view of the resort’s manicured garden and the ocean.
When the night came, our group experienced another culinary journey to treasure at the Beach Bar Pavilion. Nestled by the lake, the open-air Beach Bar Pavilion offers a delicious BBQ for dinner with selections of meat displayed on the buffet from steaks to sausages to seafood skewers. BBQ corn, salads and potatoes are also served as the side dishes. But it wasn’t just the delicious food that marked our dinner. Our group dined under a clear night sky and we couldn’t stop gazing at the beautiful full moon that was rising in the east while relishing our dinner.
A Local Visit
Rumah Luwih offers many fun activities for their guests. Aquarobics (a Zumba class in the pool) and morning yoga by the sea at the chapel, both are conducted by a professional instructor, for instance. The resort also has options for local-oriented activities like a visit to a turtle conservation site and a salt farm, both of which we experienced.
Using the resort’s shuttle the next morning, our group went to the Saba Asri Turtle Conservation that is just a couple of minutes away from Rumah Luwih. There we were welcomed by staff that gave a detailed explanation on who they are and what they are doing. The Saba Asri Turtle Conservation is a self-funded sea turtle sanctuary founded by local fishermen who are determined to protect sea turtles from stray dogs and irresponsible humans. They also get a lot of support from the locals – many of the locals report to the conservation when they find a female sea turtle making a nest and laying eggs on Lebih Beach. Saba Asri Turtle Conservation will then rescue the eggs, and then take care of them until the eggs hatch. The newly born turtles are then transferred to a pond where they are examined. Those who are healthy are released to the ocean straight away – and our group was pretty lucky to experience a sea turtle release during our visit.
Afterwards, we went to a salt farm at Kusamba Beach. It was such an experience to treasure as we witnessed a salt farmer taking 25 kilograms of sea water straight from the ocean and walking to the farm on the shoreline, then spilling the sea water onto the sand – the way he moved as he spilled the water was more like dancing, and he does this more or less 30 times a day, every day. The salt is then distilled a couple of times before finally being taken to the final process where the salt is dredged and made ready to sell on the market – or directly to the visitors at the salt farm, at only Rp. 10,000/package!
We said goodbye to those salt farmers, then headed back to the resort to relax some more. Snoozing by the pool and chilling at the resort’s lounge named Kirana – The Living Room, Café, Bar & Lounge were surely tempting, but getting pampered at the Vandaloka Spa was even better to end our wonderful stay at Rumah Luwih.
Rumah Luwih Boutique Beach Resort & Spa, Bali
Jalan Prof. Ida Bagus Mantra
Km 19.9, Gianyar
By Risty Nurraisa