Tugu - the Art Hotel that tells the Story of a different World
I took a million notes during my stay at Hotel Tugu. Not surprisingly, as Tugu is full of passion, inspiration, art, colour, and a million details everywhere. I absolutely loved the attention to DETAIL.
Everything at Tugu is beautiful, considered and extravagant. It’s like a museum or art gallery, and the multitude of details can be pretty overwhelming at times as a photographer or an artist (in a good way!).
At this stage of my travels, Tugu was the second place (along with Fivelements) that felt most like me. Fivelements because of the natural, healthy, sustainable vibe and values. Tugu because of its focus on art. It’s unique, intricate, and each room is different (while also focused on sustainability), all the while being classy, luxurious, extravagant, sophisticated. And attention to detail always always gets me! It’s really what makes a place special.
Oh, and while I have seen a lot of special bathrooms during my travels, the bathroom at Tugu was the only one I could imagine hanging out and chilling in for extended periods, as it comes with a sort of couch.
The details at Tugu aren’t just related to what you can see, they include all the other details such as service, history, the comfort of the bed, the ability to have breakfast anywhere at anytime (yes, 6pm if you want to), ... Two nights stay felt way too short.
If I’ll ever get married, this is a place I could imagine wanting to get married at (even though I didn’t enjoy Canggu very much - so I would probably stick to Tugu and never leave the hotel grounds).
I slept in one of the most comfortable beds ever! It had the most comfy pillows I’ve ever slept on, super soft sheets and pillow cases, and even the perfect, most comfy blanket. Up until that point I didn’t know that even a blanket could be comfy. It was thick and fluffy, but still not hot. The perfect fluffiness that you want to wrap yourself in forever.
In the morning I went for a dip in the plunge pool before encountering the biggest problem yet - choosing what to eat for breakfast. And where.
I picked the daybed up on a castle-looking platform, overlooking the ocean and the pool. By then, I definitely felt like a queen. No, not even a princess, but a queen. The sound of the wind, ocean waves, and birds in the background, and the most enormous, beautiful breakfast spread I’ve ever had all to myself. I was in HEAVEN once again.
Here are my breakfast recommendations:
Pu-erh tea (based on Tim Ferriss’ recommendations’ - first time I’d ever tried it. I liked it, it wasn’t too strong. It kind of tasted like green tea, but with a brownish colour. I loved that they had it at Tugu!). They also have decaf (!) with coconut milk (!) - in a very big and beautiful mug.
I also recommend the fruit platter, which came with all my favourite fruits.
Even the java chocolate almond spread toast was good, though different from what I had expected (and more on the indulgent side, rather than being healthy - but it’s all about balance, and I absolutely enjoyed that breakfast).
Make sure not to plan anything for at least a couple of hours, because you’ll want to relax and enjoy your breakfast/brunch up there for a while! Indulge in it, soak it up fully, allow yourself to live like a queen or king while you’re there. It’s part of Tugu’s story.
At night I went up to JI Terrace by the Sea, Tugu’s new Japanese rooftop restaurant and bar. JI has such a cool, romantic, chilled beach vibe. Everyone kept telling me so, and turned out they were right - it really was beautiful and special when the sun set. The music and cocktails added to the atmosphere of course. I believe JI must be one of the only restaurants that is busiest so early on in the evening (during sunset around 6pm or so). The cocktails are amazing (I loved the bom bom one - jagermeister isn’t something I would usually pick, but it went so well with the rest of the cocktail ingredients).
The vegan sushi was delicious as well. JI is a great place to come to even on your own (though sharing is recommended). It’s such a relaxed vibe, you will feel perfectly at peace. Or you can go just for the cocktails and the view, it’s worth it.
Tugu has a nice, relaxing, calm, cooling vibe - a retreat from the Balinese heat and the busy street outside. I love that hotels often feel like a serene sanctuary, providing a place away from the noise. It’s like entering a different world! This is THE number one thing I really love about hotels - they all tell a story. They take you on a journey. It’s like entering a fiction book, you get to experience a different world every time. And if they do it right, they take you right into their world, capturing your whole attention and being, you become absorbed in the story.
Tugu tells the story of old, ancient times, and I love it.
If I had to pick one of my favourite places in Bali, Hotel Tugu would be very high up on that list. It was a strange feeling leaving Tugu. It felt like going back into another world. Emerging from the fairytale...