A Night in Luxury

Original story and photographs by Ministry of Villas

“The stunning Alila Villas are in a remote location, just over an hours drive from Seminyak. We had the pleasure of staying one night in the one bedroom villa overlooking the beach.”

“The first thing you must do (and I did) when staying in a luxury villa is jump into the pool. Overall we thought the villa had a great layout. There is no kitchen here or kitchenette. It’s a king bedroom with ensuite bathroom housing an epic bathtub that we sadly didn’t try. Plus a “his” and “hers” basin. They also have the best collection of complimentary toiletries and creams I’ve ever come across in a villa resort.”

… “Alila Villas is perfect for a honeymoon, where you can both switch off. There is plenty to see and do here at the resort. Plus there are two restaurants in the grounds, both with stunning ocean views. The staff also know how to mix a mean mock-tail.”

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Cooking Class at Alila Manggis by Bali Eye Opener Magazine

Original story and photographs by Bali Eye Opener Magazine

Eastern Bali is known for its countless secret beaches, its breathtaking landscapes, and the friendliness of its people. Also, this side of the island is home to Alila Manggis, a beautiful and serene location that overlooks the ocean.

Lately, this hotel has opened its kitchen for cooking classes that end up in tasty dishes that will make everyone smile. From sambal to fried rice, this class offers an overview of traditional Indonesian dishes with a touch of Alila’s own flavor.

To start, the chef and staff at Alila Manggis teach attendants how to make Nasi Goreng. They go through every spice that flavors this dish and make sure everyone understands how every ingredient plays an important role in making Alila’s Nasi Goreng stand out from other kinds of fried rice in the region. During the cooking class, attendants will have the opportunity to chop vegetables and put them together with the rice to later cook it and enjoy it along with everyone else who joins the class.

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6 Reasons to Explore Indonesia’s Seas Aboard the Alila Purnama

01. Unique Destination – Raja Ampat
Raja Ampat, located in Indonesia’s West Papua province, is an archipelago comprised of 1,500 small islands that surround the four major islands of the area; Miscool, Salawati, Batanta and Waigeo. Raja Ampat extends over 40,000km2 of land and sea and is home to Indonesia’s largest marine national park near Cenderawasih Bay, translated as “Bird of Paradise Bay”. Now that we’ve got some geographical insight, let’s get down to the specifics. As you may know, Raja Ampat is renowned worldwide for its outstanding marine biodiversity. Marine surveys suggest the marine biodiversity in the area is the highest recorded on Earth and is considerably greater than in other areas of the “Coral Triangle”. This is partly due to the area being bordered by both the Pacific and Indian Oceans allowing for shared species between the two oceans. It also appears to be less prone to coral bleaching and disease and could therefore play a major role in replenishing depleted neighbouring populations. Astonishingly, the first comprehensive scientific survey conducted in the area was in 2001 when they found close to 1000 fish species, many of which were new to science.


02. Unique Destination – Komodo
The Komodo National Park is a national park located within the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia in the border region between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. The park includes the three larger islands; Komodo, Padar and Rinca, and 26 smaller ones, with an area totalling 1,733 km². The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard and was later dedicated to protecting other species, including marine species as well. In 1991 the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as being selected as one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature. As the park is a protected area where industrial fishing boats are prohibited, local fishing communities are able to practice sustainable fishing using traditional methods. This has promoted substantial growth in both diversity and the number of marine animals found in the area.


03. Customisability
When you embark on a voyage aboard the Alila Purnama, you may rest assured the experience will be tailored to your own preferences.  Your journey begins with your “Personal Preference Menu”, a document that you may fill in prior to your arrival allowing us to prepare everything to your liking. This ranges from your food preference to the activities you are most interested in undertaking. Once on board, our cruise director will be more than happy to discuss further details with you in order for him to determine his course of action for the following days. Each trip aboard the Alila Purnama is therefore different from the next and our crew pride themselves in being able to accomplish this consistently. This point is very important to us as we think you deserve to experience these destinations to their fullest on your own terms. Other ships in the area tend to have a strict schedule to follow and in the wake of this, leave guests feeling that they were submitted to the experience instead of fully living it.


04. Journeys
This is where the Alila Purnama experience really shines. When you join us aboard, you are embarking on a journey full of wonders just waiting to be explored. From the varied cultures the area has to offer, the majestic landscapes, the private beaches to the immense diversity of marine life, we’ll escort you on the trip of your lifetime. There is such a wide variety of activities to undertake, ones that really make your trip that much more special. Above all, we’ll make sure to take you off the beaten path and allow you to experience the destination in a way unmatched by others.


05. The Historical Phinisi Ship
The Alila Purnama is hand crafted using the finest materials available by Indonesia’s master seafarers, the Bugis from South Sulawesi. The ship was built using traditional methods that have been honed to perfection over the last four centuries resulting in a majestic and very robust vessel. The first Phinisi ships are said to have been built after the example of the Dutch “pinas” introduced to the region by the V.O.C. in the 17th century. Traditional Buginese lontara manuscripts and stories document the use of Phinisi ships by Buginese for transport, as a sailing boat, and a warship. During the alliance with the Dutch colonialists, Phinisis were mainly used as trade ships, transports, and for fishing. Some sources say that at the time of the Indonesian National Awakening, Phinisis were used by the Buginese and people of Sulawesi as warships during the Indonesian struggle for independence.


06. Luxury Accommodation
Seafaring is a wonderful activity that can sometimes be tarnished by the uncomfortable accommodation commonly associated with the activity. That’s why we furnished the ship with 5 star quality rooms and service parallel to Alila luxury resorts on land. You’ll be able to experience the wonders of waking up each morning in a new and exciting location, all while being pampered and well rested along the way.






















10 Reasons to Visit Goa

Written by Siddharth Savkur – General Manager of Alila Diwa Goa

It has been said, and most often by delighted tourists, that “Goa is a part of India, but apart from India.”

Here are some top reasons to shun your daily routine, pack your bags and head to Goa this winter.


1) Sun-kissed Beaches

Goa is perhaps best known for sun-kissed beaches. Yet, its coastline is only 101 km long out of a total area of 3,702 sq. km. That’s less than 3%. Imagine how much more lies unexplored, unexploited by the vagaries of mass tourism.



2) Goa’s Colonial Heritage

Goa was the last Indian state to bid adieu to its colonial rulers in 1961, fourteen years after the rest of the country. And the departures were not English but Portuguese. For these reasons, Goa’s colonial heritage is more alive than and different from the rest of India. Visit a 215-year old Portuguese mansion beautifully restored by its passionate owner-couple Ruben and Celia Vasco da Gama (yes, the explorer but they’re not related). As Ruben walks you around the house and feeds you nuggets of history, Celia composes a symphony in the kitchen that will play later on their serene patio. Plate after fine bone china plate of traditional Goan Portuguese and Hindu specialties are introduced as lovingly as if they were family jewels, with Ruben giving a brief background on each. Celia’s culinary expertise is matched only by the grandeur of this place and topped by the unwavering passion of this couple. Make room in your itinerary for Palacio do Deao. You won’t regret it.




3) Crab Fishing

Think fishing is for the lazy and laidback? Try crab fishing (or ‘crabbing’ as some folks like to call it). Sail down the languid River Sal with an occupational fisherman in his little boat and set traps for the crabs. This involves fixing meat in the middle of a ring that has a net tied to its circumference, and dropping the contraption down to the river floor. A rope connects the ring to a plastic bottle that serves as a buoy on the surface. Give it fifteen minutes (during which you can indulge in the more conventional fishing or just sit back with a chilled beer and admire the flora and fauna on the riverbank) and then comes the retrieval. The trick is to yank the net off the riverbed in one swift motion so that the crab drops into the net. Too slow, and it has time to swim free. After a couple of hours on the river, carry your hunt back to your hotel for the chef to cook up the freshest meal you would have had in a long time.




4) The Flavours of Goa

Or just DIY! Learn to whip up an authentic Goan meal. Understand the spices and the play of flavours that are central to the local cuisine. Spice Studio, the award-winning restaurant at Alila Diwa Goa in south Goa, offers a Master Class with chef Edia Cotta. This chatty grandmother from the local village will teach you the only cuisine that she knows – honest, home style Goan. Take back more than just souvenirs to dazzle your friends with. Show off your newly acquired culinary skills in your own kitchen back home.




5) The Goan Pub Crawl

If you thought a pub crawl was an essentially English tradition, think again. The Goan Pub Crawl is a heady mix of revelry, gastronomy, culture and sociology. Start with urrack, the smooth first distillate of the cashew and end the night with shots of feni, India’s only GI tagged liquor (that is, the cashew must be grown and distilled in Goa to be called by that name). In between, stagger through Goa’s vast repertoire of domestic and international labels that will leave you spoilt for choice. Be warned, it might simply leave you spoilt, period!




6) Goa’s Pleasant Life

Swim to the very edge of the stunning infinity pool at the luxurious Alila Diwa Goa and peep over for a voyeuristic view of the rural Goan life. Farmers tilling the expansive paddy fields, a water buffalo grazing in the corner, kingfishers hoping to get lucky with lunch in the shallow stagnant waters, a farm hand returning home with his reaper heaved over the shoulder. And the gorgeous sea, teasingly visible beyond the fields yet always reminding you of its presence with the sound of the waves and the smell of the salty air. Take a break from the voyeurism at sunset and dive into the sunken beds placed in the pool. Bid adieu to the sun with a cocktail in your hand and a song in your heart.




7) A Scenic Bicycle Ride

Goa’s public transport may be vilified for its “problem child” reputation, but who says you have to be dependent on it? Hire a bicycle or motorbike and explore the state as you please. India’s smallest state is a rider’s paradise all through the year. With mostly well laid and motorable roads, easily available maps, friendly locals who will guide you should you lose your way (perhaps even ride with you to your destination!) and delicious pit stops generously sprinkled along the route, what more could you ask for? Goa is also the only place in India where you can hire a ‘pilot’ – a two-wheeler taxi popular among locals for short rides.




8) The People

You’ve sampled the local fare, walked the beaches, acquired the perfect tan and seen all there is to see. Yet, on your flight back home, what you are most likely to reminisce about with a smile on your face are Goa’s people. Friendly bordering on intrusive, helpful bordering on overbearing, fun-loving bordering on erratic and genuine to a fault. Judge not with the cold, formal eyes that Europe sometimes tends to see from. These are people who think with their heart and feel with their minds. Look through Goan eyes and you will see far more than a tourist spot – Goa morphs into a state of mind.




9) The Vibes

Picture this. Your instructor says “raise your arms, lean back and take a deep breath”. As you do, your nostrils are bathed in the crisp morning air brimming with sea, salt and the promise of good health. “Bend forward and touch your toes while breathing out”, she shepherds you. You become conscious of the soft sand squishing in between your toes and tickling your soul (yes, that’s a deliberate play on homophones). You could start every day of your vacation like this, with a yoga session on the beach. Round off the morning with breakfast – full English, even – at one of the beach shacks and plan your day (or plan to do nothing).




10) Alila Diwa Goa…

If you have chosen to go on holiday so that you can get a holiday from making choices, then the Diwa by Design package at Alila Diwa Goa has your name on it. This cool boutique resort offers a stay package where, quite simply, everything is included. Dine at any of the restaurants, order anything off the menu, spa as often as you like, drink from the extensive beverage list or order room service as you laze in your 66 square metre Diwa Room overlooking an exclusive pool. Every hotel service is included and none of it will take up any additional space on your final bill. Freedom from fine print, ugly asterisks and unreadable terms and conditions. Just like life should be.



Marry Among the Coconut Groves on Bali’s East Coast

Original story and photographs by Abbie Ting & Thierry Dehove for 5 Star Wedding Directory Our stay begins on the rugged east coast of Bali at Alila Manggis in Candidasa, where authenticity and a quieter Bali still exist.  The Alila experience begins from the moment you step off the plane and into the airport.  We are warmly […]

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Parent Escape: Bali With Alila Hotels and Resorts

Original Story and Photographs by Bikinis and Bibs We have just been lucky enough to take, what feels like, a sabbatical from our two year old son.  The destination was the island of Bali in South East Asia and we were hosted by the luxurious boutique hotel group Alila Hotels and Resorts.  T-rex was conceived […]

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Get married in Bali: Dramatic jungle wedding at Alila Ubud

Original Story and Photographs by Abbie Ting & Thierry Dehove for 5 Star Wedding Directory Alila Ubud is located just outside of Ubud’s main town, amongst the rice paddies and on the edge of the jungle valley.  The winding road that takes you to the hotel is lined with paddy fields and is a beautiful way to […]

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The Navhind Times Workshop at Alila Diwa Goa

The Culinary Workshop organised by The Navhind Times’ Planet J in partnership with the Alila Diwa Goa was held on Monday, November 9 at the Spice Studio within the hotel’s premises. Seventy one students in the age group of 16 to 21 along with a couple of teachers and parents participated in the half-day workshop […]

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