Sanur Beach Hotel

Sanur Beach is a tourist beach in Bali that is conveniently close to Ubud. It is kind of like the slower or family version of Kuta Beach which is where the party people go – so I am told. Also, Sanur Beach is a nice location to go to other places…it’s 30-40 minutes from Ubud, and 30-40 minutes from many of the beaches of the south which are cliff-side gorgeous locations.

We studied where to stay, with oceanfront access being a priority. Oceanfront access is actually not common, probably because the big fat resorts take up all the frontage. That meant we had to choose a big fat resort, and the one that had availability was the Sanur Beach Hotel. We had a very nice stay, but thought I should show you Sanur Beach Hotel just because it’s kinda funny. It IS nice, I mean, it’s a resort, right? But Aly and I jokingly described this part of our stay as being on a beached cruise ship from the 80’s.

Beach View, Sanur Beach Hotel

Here is the view from our hotel room. Admittedly, it is quite nice. There are 2 pools and they are both gigantic. Gigantism seems to be the overall theme, actually.

pool bar

You can order your umbrella drink straight from the pool! Another bar on the beach has swings for seats, haha!

Buffet Breakfast

Giant Buffet Breakfast in a giant open air space

Ship that ran aground 2+ years ago

Unfortunately, the main view from the Hotel beach is that of a government ship that ran aground 2+ years ago and may be there indefinitely…”¬†Radar Bali¬†underlined in a recent edition the absolute lack of action to move the ship and the mysterious reluctance of port authorities even discuss the current status of the ship, its actual owners, the circumstances of its grounding or when the Mertasari reef, opposite a popular public beach, will be free of the eyesore.”

Aly and I, of course, have many ideas of how to turn that ugly ship into some sort of public art , but somehow, I don’t think people will be very interested.

We weren’t sure if we were just being overly critical or whatever. I mean, Aly and I are not well-versed in what makes a nice resort. But after visiting some of the others on the beach we realized that some have indeed made it to the 2012 version of pampered style (recommendation if you want a big fatty resort in Sanur: Puri Santrian – AND there are many really cute smaller places to consider, even without the beach frontage).

This “research” clued me in to what a massive undertaking it is when a resort or hotel of any kind goes through a real renovation as opposed to the regular furniture replacements and surface treatment updates they do. I just never realized how much space design and allocation follows trends the same way other design-oriented parts of life do.

For instance, I never actually realized that giant open lobbies and restaurant spaces, huge pools and big-lawn outdoor spaces were kinda 80’s until I stepped into this resort. And I still couldn’t really put my finger on what felt dated until we went to Puri Santrian which is a large resort taking up a similar overall footprint. But there are more, smaller pools and each pool has twists, turns and visual breaks. The restaurants were broken into smaller areas, so even though it was all one restaurant, it felt like more, smaller ones. The grounds were a series of paths and small open areas, and the hotel itself was designed so that you could never actually see the whole hotel, you could only see parts of it from any given perspective.

So, the Puri Santrian is designed with today’s luxury in mind, which I interpreted to be exclusive intimate and personal, with romantic nooks and niches and views that only a few people could share together at a time. The Sanur Beach Hotel is designed with 80’s luxury in mind, which I think to be about BIG – being able to see everything at once, being able to meet and share the experience with the other people who are there. It seems to be more about the social part of vacationing… a party feeling without it necessarily being a PARTAY feeling.

Anyway, all this is just a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Beaches are great no matter whether you are in a beautiful spa, a beached cruise ship, a 50’s lodge or a tent.