Resting on the beautiful black sands of Sukawati beach, The Royal Purnama Art Suites and Villas is genuinely the nicest hotel I have ever had the pleasure to stay at. We spent four nights here during the middle of our trip, having spent the first week in Ubud and the second in Seminyak. Having taken so many photos of this place, largely food related ones, I thought a review of this hotel deserved a post all of its own. Isolated and peaceful, this hotel is perfect for honeymooners, couples, and groups of friends as well as events; we saw a couple of weddings being prepared for! The hotel operates an age 12 and over policy.
Although it is possible to take tours to nearby Sanur and if you were to stay here for the entirety of your trip it would be perfectly fine as a base from which to take all of the tours we did, if you wander outside of the hotel there is very little around, the experience here is very much focused around staying within the grounds and enjoying the facilities. That said, the grounds are just stunning, the main pool area and the standing stones restaurant exude all the charm you’d expect from a top of the range boutique hotel. I am still adamant that I want one of those beautiful poolside lounge beds in my own home, the fluttering drapes in the sunset were so magical. The grounds are also rather large! But you soon learn your way around the labyrinth of treelined cobbled roads. The staff navigate this on little golden golf buggies, and will always give you a lift if they are passing! The staff in general are outstanding and cannot do enough for you. There is a very well equipped gym and a beautiful spa, although this is so popular it gets booked up very quickly which caught us out, so plan ahead!
Sukawati beach sunset and sunrise
We enjoyed one beautiful pink sunset here and got ourselves up at 6am to watch a stunning cloudy sunrise. Sukawati beach is quiet and peaceful; because the sea is too rough to swim in here and the location is remote, there are few if any tourists around.
Our stay here was the real ‘foodie’ aspect of our trip, when all you need to do in the day is relax, essentially the day is planned around it! The made to order breakfasts here are outstanding, and in my supreme originality I think I had either Nasi Goreng (fried rice and vegetables) or Mie Goreng (fried noodles and vegetables) every morning! Both came topped with a perfectly fried egg and some sweet peanut chicken satay presented on their own little barbecue. The orange juice is freshly squeezed and delicious and this is possibly the prettiest fruit platter I’ve ever seen.
Lunch and Poolside
Purnama offers an extensive room service menu at no extra cost if you wish to take lunch in the comfort of your own villa. We did a combination of this and venturing out to the standing stones restaurant to get the benefit of the full menu. Scallop pesto pasta with grilled vegetables and a marinated squid with rice are just a couple of the options. Also highly recommended is the Royal Purnama Burger which comes without the heavy brioche bun and instead in a tortilla wrap which was perfect for the heat.
The poolside menu is also outstanding from what we sampled. We tried the calamari, onion rings, mini slider burgers and black bean scallops on a salad bed. Much like all the food here, even the snack menu is immaculately presented and delicious!
Dinner is where the restaurant here really comes into its own, with the sea breeze, pink sunset and sound of the crashing waves, the ambience of the al fresco dining is unparalleled. The spicy seafood Mie Goreng, the beef curry, the tuna steak and especially the herb crusted white fish are all beyond delicious choices, just stay away from the vegetarian enchiladas unless you happen to be a huge fan of minced tofu. Purnama also offer special beachside dinners where you have a private table almost on the beach away from the rest of the diners. You can have a variety of special menus, the seafood one in particular looked amazing but in the end we went for the summer BBQ consisting of lamb, chicken, prawns, rice and a green vegetable curry. Whilst tasty, this was not the most incredible food we had whilst here, when everything was so excellent expectations end up very high! Nonetheless the atmosphere made this one of the best nights of the trip.
Dessert and cocktails
The reasonably priced and creative desserts here come very highly recommended! This was an area where we felt we could be adventurous! We tried the chocolate risotto which is an absolute must, the beetroot creme brûlée and the classic nutty chocolate brownie, all of which were heavenly. Purnama also does happy hour cocktails from 7-9pm and makes an incredible espresso martini. This was their fruity special of the evening, with the straw speared through a ‘snake fruit’, apparently very popular on the island according to our driver.
I must say this was the highlight of our visit to Royal Purnama; a breakfast cooking lesson with Head Chef Jay to cook some classic Indonesian dishes. We tackled my favourite Mie Goreng and a new potato and vegetable dish, covered in peanut sauce. This was such a great experience that in future I plan to incorporate some sort of traditional cooking class into every holiday. Wherever you go, learning about the local cuisine is such a good way to immerse yourself in the culture, and there is the added benefit of having another delicious recipe in your repertoire which will always remind you of the fabulous memories of your travels.