A true Balinese jewel
INSIDER TIP: For the person who wants to experience absolute Balinese accommodation, I recommend a night at the Tugu Bali.
Tugu Bali, an Indonesian museum hotel, has a 5-star rating but falls short compared to the featured hotels. Nevertheless, it is worth an overnight stay, because there you will really experience Indonesian feeling. Art, culture, history and wisdom are combined in a unique way in Tugu Bali and thus guarantee the cultural, historical, artistic and almost philosophical preservation from generation to generation. For example, almost forgotten stories of disappearing cultures and past traditions are regularly revived in dance performances.
The neat little complex houses a temple imported piece by piece from Java, handmade dragon doors made by the indigenous people coming from Borneo, and several shrines. There is also a hotel herb garden and much more to discover. Follow me on Instagram (@lookandluxury) and check out the photos in the slideshow.
In the lobby, the most striking features are the mystical figures carved out of wood, such as the Garuda figure (Garuda, a mystical bird is considered Bali’s heraldic animal) and the guardian statues wrapped in poleng cloth. Indeed, the Balinese believe that man can help keep the high and low spirits in balance through ritual sacrifices. For the natives, the universe is dualistic in nature. Thus, statues and magical objects are wrapped in black and white textiles to symbolize this opposition.
Furthermore, one can attend, among other things, the Canang Sari. This is one of the daily, elaborately designed sacrificial ceremonies of the Balinese Hindus to their god, Sang Hyang Widhi. Throughout the site, one encounters beautiful offerings, which are artfully crafted from many different elements. For example, there are hand-woven gift baskets made of palm leaves or decorations made of coconut leaves.
As for the rooms and suites, they are all differently furnished with high quality antiques. The villas are decorated thematically. Our artist villa number 112 with private pool, which was located on the banks of a lily pond, is dedicated to the Belgian painter Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur de Merpes, who lived and worked in Bali from 1932 until his death in 1958. Numerous objects and artworks in the exotically designed villa, with its bold red hues and ornate gold, reflect the time Adrien Le Mayeur and his wife of 27 years, the Balinese Legong dancer Ni Pollok, spent together.
A villa is also dedicated to the exotic survivor Walter Spies. Born in Moscow in 1895, he found his paradise in Bali in 1927, where he was celebrated as a highly respected painter by high society until his tragic end.
The absolute highlight is a private dinner in one of the numerous halls. We were treated to a culinary dinner journey into the past of the Balinese kingdom at Puputan. The elegant room is furnished with antique artifacts and memorabilia from venerable Balinese royal families dating back to the late 19th century. This opulent dining room is ultimately a tribute to Balinese heroes who chose suicide rather than faced the last man in a battle. Puputan is in fact a Balinese term for a ritualized mass murder.