A beautiful hotel, highly recommended. No beach but a stunning pool. Restaurant dull, but with delicious food.
There is no beach! I am putting this first as it could be a decider for you. At high tide the waves hit the sea wall, at low tide you have huge waves, a few metres of sand with big stones, and no dry area to leave your things. Obviously not the hotel's fault, but if you want a beachfront hotel, this is not for you. Apparently the nearest nice beach is 30 minutes away! One story goes that in the 70's and 80's they "mined" away the protective coral reef (presumably for tourist mementos!) and so the full force of the waves have eaten away many beaches around Bali, destroying one of the reasons that tourists came to Bali. Another story is that land reclamation altered the currents, which ate away at the beach. Either way, there is no beach.
Generally we liked the Alila Manggis a lot for a few nights visit, and we would certainly recommend it to friends. But you cannot walk anywhere from the hotel, there is no beach, the town is 10 minutes away with shuttles every 2 hours, there are a few other issues, and the restaurant was relatively expensive and quite dull, with no atmosphere. .
Service in general is hit and miss. Everybody says hello very nicely, but we had to ask twice for different pillows to be brought, and when they came 1 hour and 15 minutes later, they brought the wrong pillows. Then the greeter in the restaurant is very polite, but the waiters were not. Having said that, one other person made a generous gesture that we were very thankful for.
Breakfast was a disappointment. For some reason they prefer table service, which means more waiters and more cooks to cook to order as compared to buffet. As a consequence, the portions were tiny. Really tiny, and I was still hungry after eating everything served. I reckon that the scrambled eggs my wife and I ordered was 3 eggs between the 2 of us: and there are chickens ALL OVER Bali! 3 tiny butterballs (see photo) between us with 4 slices of toast! Fruit plate was pretty small too; 4 different fruits each cut into a small rectangle not even 10cm across lengthways, and I got 1 segment of mandarin orange!
Lunch was great. The pork ribs were superb, absolutely fabulous. Succulent, full of flavour, tender, the meat literally fell off the bone, WOW! Highly recommended. The chicken curry was great too! We had club sandwiches on the first day as a packed lunch when we went to a local village to see a festival.
Dinner was great too, both the roasted duck leg with bok choy (three tiny strands: again, why so little of the cheap ingredient, bok choy?) and the seafood risotto.
Oh, they serve a delightful afternoon tea from 3 to 5. Black tea or a delicious and potent spice tea (with liquidised ginger, slices of lemongrass, cinnamon and honey) plus different local cakes. Don't miss it!
By the way, the restaurant is said to be expensive, and it is for Bali compared to what you could get in average restaurants on the street, but this is great food in a beautiful environment. Yes, it needs music and maybe a bar and area of sofas up at the higher section in the middle - something to liven it up a little. Music would help create a better atmosphere, as would lower prices which should encourage more people to stay to eat instead of going to Candidasa. The increase in number of customers would more than make up for the lower prices and make guests happier by not making them feel that they have to try Candidasa's pretty poor restaurant selection
The rooms are lovely, even if a bit small and lacking in surfaces and storage. The odd thing is the curtains, or lack of them. Ok, so there are wooden doors that close inside the glass doors to block out the light, and they are great at doing that. But where are the net curtains that will allow me to get dressed in the room without having to use the wooden shutters? Every hotel that I have ever been to has white net curtains, giving me privacy yet bringing light into the room while still letting us have a view of the outside, and here they are desperately needed as the resort is pretty intimate!
Another odd thing is the lighting in the terrace or balcony. At night you cannot sit in your balcony in the dark, or perhaps with just a small light. The reason is that although there are 5 bulbs in the balcony (yes! FIVE!) you can only switch ONE of them off! So you are stuck with stadium lighting. (I can't understand why they give you a switch for only 1 bulb out of 5, surely it should be all or none). Anyway I asked for maintenance to bring a stepladder and unscrew the other 4 bulbs :-) which they kindly did.
We were in room 217 and it is the closest block to the hotel's neighbour, and we had hammering, a potent smell of burning of wood and rubbish one night, and once outside the room a perpetual smell of chicken poop!
They organise several interesting activities on a daily basis, and others as and when local festivals arise. You can go snorkelling, fishing on a local fisherman's boat and the hotel restaurant will cook your catch! Tours to local villages, a trip to a "white sand beach" 30 minutes away, they have bikes for you, there are different hikes to do, etc. Oh, and they hung a badminton net up between 2 trees near the pool, and we and other guests very much enjoyed a few minutes of gentle exercise! Also if you want to head to a gym, they can take you to one in Candidasa that is supposed to be not great but easily worth the 3 or 4 US$ entrance.
Wifi was excellent all over the hotel grounds.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.