Earlier this month I had a chance to visit Sanur, a sleepy little beach town in Bali’s southeast. Sanur was one of Bali’s first tourist hotspots, but over the years it’s stayed laid-back while the rest of the island has become a bit… full on.
In stark contrast to the spring-break style craziness of Kuta or Seminyak, Sanur’s beaches are calm and quiet. There’s a very different crowd here, and it shows — the restaurants and bars are chillled out. And as Bali’s gateway to the famous Nusa Islands, Sanur is the prime home base for a relaxing getaway.
Enter Akana Sanur. I was lucky enough to spend two nights at this boutique hotel just off Sanur’s main tourist strip, and I am in LOVE. From location to staff to room to in-room dining (crucial), they absolutely nailed it all.
If you’re planning a visit to Bali, read on for all the deets on Akana Sanur and why this hotel (and town!) are must-visits.
Fast Facts About Akana Sanur Boutique Hotel
- Stars: 4
- Price range: From ~$70 USD/night
- Selling points: outdoor pool (!), boutique hotel with only 36 rooms, excellent location
- Website: check current rates and availability here
You can choose from three room types at Akana – Superior Room, Deluxe Pool View, or Deluxe Pool Access. Superior Rooms are the standard option, Deluxe Pool View are on the upper levels and feature a private balcony, and the Deluxe Pool Access are at the lower level by the pool and feature private stone terraces and an outdoor bath.
I stayed in the Deluxe Pool Access and would highly recommend it for the outdoor bath alone. When in Bali an outdoor shower is a must, and the huge stone tub was an unexpected bonus! I also loved lounging outside in my private terrace. It’s fitted with a little chair and table so made a perfect space to work + snack.
The room itself was stylish, modern, and comfortable. No complaints! There were a lot of thoughtful touches – great lighting, beautiful wooden paneling, etc – the room is smartly designed for the modern traveler. I loved that there was a desk area AND a little sofa to work on.
My one issue with the room was the lack of power outlets near the bed. As a self-employed person who
is lazy really prefers working from bed, bedside ports are a necessity for me. The staff were kind enough to bring me an extension cable ASAP though, so crisis averted.
Akana’s pool caught my eye online and it was the main reason I wanted to stay here in the first place. The hotel is built around an open central courtyard with an outdoor pool — I’m an absolute sucker for a good pool, and this one did NOT disappoint. It was beautiful, clean, well-designed, and gets enough sun to warm it up.
Since the hotel is so small, there’s always plenty of loungers available, and I never saw the pool crowded. There’s nothing that gives me anxiety like competing with strangers over pool seating. This is one of the reasons I usually recommend boutique hotels over bigger resorts (which I personally find totally overwhelming).
I took a dip every morning and had the whole pool to myself! Then I’d venture out for the day and end my afternoon with a long tanning sesh on the loungers. You can order drinks and snacks to the pool so I literally just posted up there for hours. HIGHLY recommend this hotel if you’re looking for an upscale but laid-back spot to relax.
The staff at Akana honestly make the hotel. Everyone there is so lovely and eager to help you have the best possible stay. I’ve stayed at several hotels managed by the same company as Akana, and ALL of them have had the absolute most amazing staff. Whoever their hiring manager is deserves a raise.
Not only did they assist me with random requests like finding an extension cord, they were a great source of information about what to do and see in Sanur. And they did everything with a smile. One even offered to help me with an early morning photoshoot!!
I really appreciate staff who go above and beyond – and the staff here delivered a 5-star experience. From receptionists to bartenders to restaurant staff, EVERYONE was so kind, warm, and welcoming.
Selada Restaurant, which is attached to Akana, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Breakfast was complimentary with my booking so I got to sample a few dishes. You choose a main dish like Eggs Benedict or Nasi Goreng off the menu, and then there’s a spread of the standard juices, cereal, pastries, etc, plus coffee or tea. Every morning I’d eat on the terrace, enjoying my coffee accompanied by the sweet sounds of Balinese traffic lol! Great spot for people-watching.
I’m a huge room service person so made a point to try out some dishes for dinner. I had the green carbonara which was BOMB and a huge portion, plus the chocolate souffle (also bomb). For lunch the next day I tried the soft shell crab salad and got a side of fries … plus a bottle of sparkling wine. Everything was fantastic, fresh, and prepared perfectly.
I did find myself wishing they had a few more Indonesian options – maybe a curry or rendang – but they do offer a good mix of Western/Indonesian dishes so there is definitely something for everyone.
The restaurant food is really high-quality, generous portions, and great value for money considering it’s a 4-star boutique hotel. Prices are on par with tourist-focused restaurants in the area (mains between 60K-100K), although of course you could grub at a local warung for 15-25K. But you definitely get what you pay for here.
The Location + What to Do Nearby
Akana Sanur’s location is PERFECT. It’s just off a busy street with tons of shops and restaurants, which means you’re walking distance to all the action. The beach is just a few minutes’ walk away and Akana has a private section reserved for guests, complete with loungers and umbrellas.
Sanur is super laid back but there’s still a lot to do.The entire waterfront walk is paved, so you can walk or bike for kilometers along the beach and stop into one of the many restaurants or bars on the way. The beach is really calm here and perfect for swimming. There are tons of cute beach bars and the streets are full of shops.
If you’re looking to pamper yourself, Sanur is THE spot too. Massages, manicures, and the like are significantly cheaper here than Kuta or Seminyak – like, we’re talking half the price. Highly recommend treating yourself to a Balinese massage one afternoon, there’s nothing better!
Best of all, boats to the nearby Nusa islands leave from Serangan Harbour nearby. If you book with a speedboat they can typically organise to pick you up at the hotel and drop you off at the harbour – it’s beyond convenient. I suggest booking with a more expensive but more reputable company like Gili Getaway or BlueWater Express.
If you want to day trip out to the islands Sanur is THE spot, since you want to get out as early in the morning as possible! I definitely recommend staying here over somewhere like Canggu or Seminyak, which are much further away (traffic in the area is brutal) and will add a couple hours to your day’s travel time.
All in all I had a SUPERB stay at Akana Sanur. I couldn’t recommend visiting this hotel or Sanur itself more highly. If you are looking for a true getaway and a bit of relaxation in Bali, this is your spot. I know I’m looking forward to my next stay already!
If you’re planning a visit, check out current rates and availability at Akana Sanur here.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Akana Sanur in exchange for content creation & an honest review of my experience.