Getting to the Resort & Checking In
Sanur is a seaside town around 30 minutes from Bali’s international airport. It’s a more laid-back, ex-pat kind of vibe than Kuta and Legian, and has white sand beaches for miles. Here at Bali Kids Guide, we love Sanur for loads of reasons, but especially because it’s really easy to get around on foot and its nice and family-friendly. Maya Sanur stretches from Sanur’s main street Jalan Danau Tamblingan all the way down to the beach. From the outside it looks incredibly impressive with its sloping grass-covered roofs and stone walls. However, I would never have guessed what lies behind the trendy looking restaurants at the front if I didn’t know it was a hotel. When we arrived we were shown to the lobby, where an amazing art installation, modern furniture and a mad mix of building materials all meld together into a pretty amazing sight. The lobby was extremely quiet and I was a bit worried that I was in for a weekend of shushing, but no one seemed to mind Marlow shooting his Hotwheels across the shiny floor. Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived so we went straight to Reef Restaurant for lunch…more on that later.
We stayed in a Deluxe Garden View Room, which was on the 3rd floor close to reception. The room was plenty big enough for all 4 of us, and has a nice little day bed that was made up for Lola (10). Marlow (5) still sneaks into our bed, so he usually sleeps in the big bed with my husband and I when we stay in hotels. At some point we’ll have to reconfigure, but for now it works out perfectly. The room had a nice mix of modern and Asian antique-style decor. We loved the Chinese dog/dragons by the bath with lights in them. The mix of old, new, textures, wood, stone and textiles seems like it would be all wrong, but somehow it works perfectly. It ends up being somewhere between super-sleek and easily lived in. The bathroom is fitted with a huge bathtub, a shower with a stone seat in it, which the kids loved, and double sinks. There were all the amenities we needed and fluffy towels and stylish robes (kids and adult sizes) that the kids took to swanning around the hotel in. They are getting a little too comfortable in hotel life I think! There is a nice selection of tea and coffee and much to my surprise, a very reasonably-priced mini bar. Rp15,000 for a Coke or Rp35,000 for a can of Bintang isn’t the same price as the shop next door, but it’s much less than we’ve seen at other hotels. I like when I don’t feel like I’m being bled dry by a hotel. There are other rooms to choose from as well – most noticeably the Deluxe Lagoon Access with fantastic little daybed/pods on their balconies next to the pool that runs down the centre of the hotel. Deluxe Lagoon View Rooms are above these, and there are also Beachfront Pool Suites. If I had to say anything negative at all about our room, I would say the garden view isn’t really a view at all. We didn’t spend much time at all in our room, so it wasn’t a problem at all, but if we were staying longer it would probably be nice to have a view.
The Hotel Grounds
The Maya Sanur is not a huge sprawling resort. In fact it is on quite a narrow strip of land running from street to beach, but somehow it seems huge. There is something about the different levels and styles of landscaping and building that make the hotel really interesting to walk through. It’s like lots of different concepts under one roof with very 3 different restaurants, 2 pools and the lagoon, Tree Bar right on the beach and the spa and wellness area. There isn’t really a centerpiece at the Maya like you might find at larger resorts, but every area has its own personality and atmosphere. Saying this, the whole resort is very chilled out and there is a lot of reading by the pool, floating in the pool and sipping cocktails on daybeds by the pool going on. One of our very favorite things about the resort was the rooftop garden. It’s pretty amazing to be able to walk down the roof of the hotel you’re staying in. And even better to roll your stuffed animal down it (kids and parents enjoyed this). The views are gorgeous and it gives you a whole different perspective on Sanur.
Outside the Hotel
Sanur is relatively small compared to Kuta or Seminyak. It’s really easy to get around on foot, by bicycle or even bemo (local trasnport vans). There are also taxis around pretty much all the time. The main street and the beach pathway run parallel to each other and both have lots of restaurants, cafes, shops and market stalls along them. If you’re a huge shopper Sanur might not be for you, but for casual browsers it’s great. Sanur is also easy when it comes to super markets, pharmacies, money changers and other necessities. The beach is literally a few steps from the hotel grounds down a few stairs. It’s not the widest part of the beach, but it’s quiet and the waves are very calm. It’s ideal for small kids because the reef that protects the beach here and keeps it warm and shallow. My kids will play for hours on Sanur beach, and I have no worries about them running back and forth to the water to fill their buckets. Sunrise is also spectacular in Sanur as it faces to the east. I wasn’t up for sunrise when we stayed but luckily my husband loves to get up early and take photographs.
We started our stay at Maya Sanur with lunch at Reef Restaurant. This is a lovely setting at the front of the hotel with indoor and semi-outdoor tables set over the pool that runs alongside the restaurant. The style is very relaxed and like a upscale cafe. I was surprised to find they also have a great kids menu with colouring pages and even a free scoop of ice cream when you finish colouring! You can’t go wrong with keeping the kids busy and free ice cream can you? Happy Hour starts at 5 at Tree Bar on the beachfront, and I took full advantage of the 50% off cocktails. They were delicious but not so strong so I actually managed to try 4 different ones. There are also virgin cocktails for the kids and delicious cassava chips and peanuts for the table. After a late lunch and snacks at happy hour, we weren’t too worried about dinner…so on to breakfast. A buffet breakfast is served at Reef or you can also choose a la carte at Graze at the front of the hotel. The kids always go for the buffet option, so we went back to Reef. At this point after a day of great service and excellent food I expected nothing less than an amazing breakfast, and it definitely delivered. Everything was fresh, beautifully laid out and there was tons of choice. It’s not the mammoth buffet you get at some resorts, but the quality was definitely better than pretty much anywhere else we’ve been.
Spa at Maya
If there is one thing Lola and I love to do together it’s getting a spa treatment. This is one of the few times we can get away from Marlow and just have some girly time together…even if we both fall asleep. The Spa at Maya was a beautiful place to chill out and have a relaxing massage and they were wonderful with Lola, who is pretty tickly. The rooms are simple but bright and have big baths, a private toilet, changing area and shower. We got to choose our oils, and Lola somehow managed to get it up her nose as you can see in the picture. We had Balinese massages, which is a light massage with long flowing strokes. This is a great massage if you just want to relax and not be pummelled to hard. If you want something a little more specific to particular aches and pains, it’s probably best to try something else. I can imagine getting this massage before bed would be amazing as well! Spa at Maya also does beauty treatments like manicures, pedicures and facials. I can only imagine they are as high quality as the massage.
My Roundup of the Maya Sanur
I’m not sure how much more great stuff I can say about the Maya Sanur without sounding over-the-top, but we really did 100% love this hotel. Even without a kids club I felt so incredibly relaxed I really wished we were staying longer. The staff we incredibly professional and lovely with it, the food was great, rooms were cozy and the outdoor areas are stunning. Sanur is one of my favorite places in Bali because it’s so laid back and a little old school, so the location of the hotel was also 5* for me. I understand other families might want more shopping, excitement and screaming in the pool, but I think it’s nice to have a little downtime as well. We’re happy with a day bed by the pool, good cocktails and a beautiful view. And Maya Sanur ticks all those boxes. Find out more about Maya Sanur