We hardly ever stay in hotels when we travel, choosing Airbnb or family run guest houses instead, both to keep the budget down and experience the place in a more meaningful and ‘real’ way. That said, on our recent trip to Bali, we chose to end the holiday with a couple of nights at Artotel in Sanur. A touch of luxury to end what was essentially a budget break.
Keen to avoid the crowds we chose Sanur, a small town on the South East coast, across the island from the well-known party destination of Kuta. We didn’t want to be in a huge faceless hotel either so we opted for Artotel – owned by a small Indonesian group and appealing thanks to its unusual architecture and a large collection of local art on display.
Sanur is by no means off the beaten track. There are the same shops you see in Kuta selling tourist tat and the same selection of bars and restaurants offering ‘international’ cuisine. However, it also has a certain local charm which I’ll talk more about in another blog post soon.
Our last night was marred by a very loud private function on the roof bar. We (along with most of the hotel it turns out) complained several times to reception who told us it would finish at 10 pm, then 10:30 pm, then 11 pm. It actually finished at around 11:30 pm. Not ideal when we were facing an early long flight the next day. The party had a DJ and full blown sound system in operation which drowned out our TV despite us being at the other end of the hotel.
In Artotel’s defence, they gave us a full refund for the night and apologised to us at breakfast the following morning. They haven’t been open long and are still working out the logistics of what they can and can’t do. Turns out, in a hotel made of open spaces with very little closed areas, loud, DJ led roof parties aren’t going to work. They handled the situation well enough to leave us satisfied in the end.
One final thing to add. I left my kindle in the hotel room and they arranged postage to get it back to me. Customer service above and beyond what was required. My kindle is ancient so I was resigned to the fact that I’d just buy a new one. In fact, I think the Cath Kidston cover is probably worth more, but the gesture from the hotel to help send it was awesome and I’m pleased that we’ve been reunited (and I finished my book!).