Marry among the coconut groves on Bali’s east coast – Alila Manggis
The first of our travel blogs on Bali comes from the luxury Alila Manggis resort. We were given such a warm welcome to the ‘Alila way’, and offered the most tantalizing insight into why it’s so special to get married in Bali…
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 greeted by Chuka from Alila who takes us to our transfer. It is approximately an hour and thirty minutes to this tranquil part of the island but our luxuriously fitted out car is well equipped with squidgy pillows, juices, water and cashew nuts hand wrapped in little paper parcels. Alila has its own range of toiletries, all made from essential oils and infused herbs. As we settle into our seats we are given a refreshing Alila face spritz and handed a cold lemongrass infused flannel to refresh as we make our way to the hotel.
Spend evenings listening to a Gamelan under the stars at Alila Manggis
There is something about arriving in Bali at night time. The smell of incense and cloves seem to be intensified by the day’s heat, while the chatter of geckos and the gentle melody from a Balinese Gamelan provide a typical setting for a balmy evening in Bali. Alila Manggis blends beautifully into this peaceful scene. Its architecture mixes Balinese tradition with modern design. If you are looking for high end glitz and glamour then this is probably not for you (although there will be an Alila resort that is). This is understated luxury. The resort’s beautiful stone and muted colours are a calming welcome in the lobby with mid-century modern armchairs adding a touch of inspired design. This neutral palette also sets the perfect tone for the vast green coconut grove where landscaped gardens and palm trees surround the large pool. I can already see how this could be an idyllic spot for a sophisticated beach wedding with Mount Agung, Bali’s most sacred mountain, quietly sitting in the background.
If you love the beach and sea, then Alila Manggis is a wonderful choice for a combined wedding and honeymoon. The coral reef in this part of the island is unspoilt meaning vibrant underwater gardens teeming with colourful fish still exist – something that is sadly becoming harder to find in today’s environmentally challenged world. Our trip out on a traditional Balinese Jukong (wooden boat) was an exhilarating experience and would satisfy any adventure loving guest, however, the hotel has a strict no touch policy as part of their commitment to conserving the reef and replanting new coral. Newly married couples are currently invited to plant a piece of their own coral with their names placed next to it on a natural plaque. There is also talk of underwater weddings in the near future whereby couples will, via specially designed underwater head gear, be able to hear each other exchange vows.
A traditional Balinese wedding ceremony
Sunset reception in the coconut grove
If, however, you are looking for something a little simpler, luxurious beach weddings are what Alila Manggis do best. Take over part, or all, of the hotel and celebrate amongst the coconut groves, under the stars. Choose to have a traditional Balinese ceremony under an altar of tropical flowers by the ocean or hold your event in a nearby Balinese Palace. As with all the Alila Hotels, a list of the islands best make-up artists, florists and decorators are at your disposal.
Puri Gede – The Karangasem Royal Palace and courtyard
Catering at Alila Manggis
Food at the resort is beautifully presented by executive chef Rachmat Ridwan Hakim and during our stay we were treated to a taste of his talents. A selection of canapes typical of those served at a wedding included a bite sized Caesar salad placed on a parmesan crisp, a mini Vietnamese roll bursting with fresh Asian herbs, tuna on crostini, a wonton crispy and three types of satay. What is so refreshing with Alila, as a whole, is that they provide authentic Asian cuisine rather than the usual watered down versions provided for westerners. Similarly, their western menus are equally appetising. For bride and groom the choice is theirs, and menus can be tailored to whatever is desired.
The allure of Bali
The romance at Alila Manggis resonates throughout, making it an easy place to stay on for a luxurious honeymoon. From the spacious suites overlooking the ocean to the couples’ spa bale where one can be massaged to the sound of the sea, or the romantic organic garden where newlyweds can enjoy their first candlelit dinner. Adventure seekers can take a Jukong out for diving or snorkelling while those wanting to relax can do so by the resort’s beautiful pool. A stay at Alila Manggis always includes daily yoga sessions and a complimentary afternoon tea serving Asian cakes by the pool.
Dinner by candlelight is magical in the organic garden
Spa by the sea
A Seaside Suite is ideal for brides and grooms or honeymooners
Alila Manggis is for couples who want a relaxed wedding vibe that also provides luxurious amenities and premium service. Whether you are getting married, honeymooning or holidaying at Alila Manggis, you can be assured that you will be looked after in every way by your hosts at this warm and attentive resort.
Five Reasons to get married at Alila Manggis:
- Beautiful oceanfront setting
- Luxurious but relaxed resort in a quieter side of Bali
- Affordable luxury allowing couples to hire out entire hotel
- Romantic destination to continue a honeymoon
- Perfect spot for water lovers with some of Bali’s best beaches nearby
For more information on weddings at Alila Manggis visit www.alilahotels.com/manggis/weddings
Photo credits: Abbie Ting | Thierry Dehove, courtesy of Alila Hotels and Resorts.