Review: Rumah Luwih Beach Resort, Bali

Jyaga dislikes (2/5)

Rumah Luwih Beach Resort

Nearest Airport : DPS (33 km away)
Neighbourhood : Gianyar, Bali
Website :
Address : Jl. Prof Ida Bagus Mantra Km. 19,9, Lebih, Kec. Gianyar, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali
Chain : Vignette Collection (IHG)

Opened in 2015, Rumah Luwih is a 75-key beach resort located near Lebih Beach in Gianyar, Bali. Taking inspiration from Karangasem’s Ujung Water Palace, the resort is designed in a neocolonial style by the noted Indonesian architect Hendra Hadiprana. Its name is derived from the Indonesian word for house rumah and the Sanskrit word for more luwih. Together both words instill the concept of Rumah Luwih being more than a house – and more akin to a home. In October 2023, the resort was absorbed into the IHG portfolio, becoming Indonesia’s first Vignette Colletion hotel.


Rumah Luwih is located in a beachfront location between the Lebih and Cucukan beaches in the Gianyar Regency. The hotel is situated along the Jalan By Pass Ida Bagus Mantra, the main thoroughfare on the east coast of Bali. Five minutes away from the hotel are the Bali Safari and Marine Park and the Sababay Winery, which are the only two objects of interest nearby. Ubud and Sanur can both be reached within a 30-minute drive.

Road outside the hotel

Due to the distance of the hotel to major centres, I would really advise coming here by personal mode of transport. Whilst the hotel used to advertise a shuttle service to Ubud and Sanur, it does not appear to have been brought back since the pandemic.

Arrival and Check-in

After nearly missing the signage for the entrance, we arrived at Rumah Luwih at 16.00 – well after the check-in time of 14.00. A brief security check was conducted at the entrance, as standard at most hotels on the island. As we pulled into the under-construction porte-cochère, we were greeted by a friendly member of staff who took care of our bags. For one, I really admired the look of the entrance, which reminded me a lot of a colonial hotel in Indochina.


Whilst the parking was a bit of a hassle, we managed to find ample spots to park. From there, we were brought to the reception desk, where a welcome drink of Beras Kencur was served. As we were being checked in, we were advised that our assigned room would be in the North Wing. When asked why that mattered, the reception agent informed us that the hotel was undergoing renovation work and guests were assigned rooms in the North Wing specifically to avoid construction noise. Okay…

Welcome drink

Regardless, I really liked the proportional and consistent historical theme of the hotel. Perhaps to be expected from the work of the late Indonesian maestro, Hendra Hadiprana, the design neither looked fake nor pretentious. Whilst I initially wasn’t sure about the idea of a colonial-style hotel in Bali, Rumah Luwih had a surprisingly significant sense of place!


After several more minutes of processing our check-in, we were finally handed our room keys to our Arnawakanta Ocean Suite. As we left the reception desk, our reception agent informed the porter of our room number and soon after, we were walked to our room.

Arnawakanta Ocean Suite

We were assigned an Arnawakanta Ocean Suite on the first floor. After walking down the beautiful corridor to the North Wing, we found our cluster, enveloping what looked like a courtyard fountain. Curiously, there are also two sets of tables and chairs outside the room, which may prove useful later on…

Corridor between the rooms and the lobby
Furniture set up in the corridor


The beautiful terrazzo-clad Arnawakanta Ocean Suite is sized at a nice 50 sqm. (538 sqft.), and consists of one large bedroom and a balcony. Despite its name, the room would be more fittingly called a junior suite, since it does not feature a separate living room. Regardless, the entryway opens straight into the small living area, containing a sofa and coffee table, as well as a desk wedged between two closets.

Arnawakanta Ocean Suite
Living area setup

Placed immediately next to the sofa are the two beds, which I found to be comfortable to sleep on. I appreciated that there are multiple power outlets near the nightstand, which proved useful at night. Across the beds is a flat-screen television, which has access to a grand total of two channels. Although there were multiple other channels available, everything else was garbled.

Arnawakanta Ocean Suite
Arnawakanta Ocean Suite

Finally, at the far end is a pair of chairs, which I guess works as a dining table or perhaps a second desk? Whilst I appreciate the multitude of seating options, this one wasn’t very comfortable in the grand scheme of things. Behind these chairs is the large balcony, which as luck would have it, contains no furniture. Perhaps these chairs would serve a better purpose out there.

Dining table?

As you can see, the room has a very high ceiling height, which I estimate to be around four metres high. Combined with a relatively weak air conditioning system, this setup made it difficult to keep the room constantly cold. Additionally, with the blinds closed at night, the room felt remarkably dark, even with all the lights on. This only made sense, given the distinct lack of ceiling lights in the bedroom.

Arnawakanta Ocean Suite


As the room category name suggests, the room faces the oceanfront, although much of the view is obstructed by the trees in the expansive backyard garden. As my room is the closest to the lobby area, a bit of the piano music they play in the afternoon is audible from the balcony. Interestingly, keeping the balcony door open would automatically trigger the air conditioning system to shut down. Since I didn’t try it for myself, I don’t know if the system actually works. There is also a further notice on the balcony door request guests not to hang their wet clothes on the balcony and to use the hotel’s laundry service instead.

View from the Balcony
View from the Balcony


The long and narrow-shaped bathroom is placed right across from the beds and features two separate entryways. The space is separated into three areas, with a double sink in the centre, a toilet area on the left-hand side, and a wetroom setup on the right-hand. In between the double sinks, there is a small powder dressing table, complete with a stool to sit on. Whilst the bathroom looked gorgeous and in tune with the hotel’s colonial theme, I did find it similarly dim.


Double sinks

Moving on to the wet room, the Arnawakanta Ocean Suite is the lowest room category to feature a bathtub. The bathtub is also the reason why I booked this room. Funnily enough, the bathtub is listed twice on the Arnawakanta Ocean Suite page on the hotel’s website, first as ‘Beautiful Bathtub with ocean views’ and ‘Private bathtub with ocean views’. Whilst the clawfoot bathtub does look special nowadays, I personally wouldn’t call it beautiful.

Wet room

Next to the bathtub is the rain shower, which looked nice enough. The water pressure from both the shower and the bathtub taps was sadly very weak, however. In the case of the latter, it would take well over 20 minutes to fill the tub with the tap. Curiously, the water pressure from both the sinks’ taps and the hand-held bidet was exceedingly strong.

Shower gel and shampoo

We did find a workaround for the bathtub, however, by filling it with the handheld shower. This interestingly had the strongest pressure compared to all other taps in the wet room. Unfortunately, I did also note the water being lukewarm at its hottest setting, which combined with the weak pressure made for a relatively unpleasant bathing experience.

In-room Internet Access

I don’t usually have a separate section about a hotel’s WiFi service, though I felt I had to dedicate a section for Rumah Luwih’s. Whilst the resort offers complimentary WiFi resort-wide, I really struggled to connect to the network in my room. When I did get connected to the network, the reception was extremely poor and I wasn’t able to meaningfully use the network. It boggled my mind how bad the network was since my room literally located across from the lobby. What made things worse was how bad mobile internet reception was as well. In most spots in the room, I would only get 2G or EDGE reception on Telkomsel, Indonesia’s national cell provider.

Hotel Amenities


The hotel’s gymnasium is conveniently located across the courtyard from our room, curiously sharing a row with a couple of meeting rooms. Whilst it is small, I reckon it is appropriate for a hotel of this size. The gym features two different treadmills, a bike, a few weights, and a couple of weight machines. There are also yoga mats and an exercise ball placed in one corner. Whilst the equipment looked old, they seemed well maintained.

Gymnasium at Rumah Luwih
Gymnasium at Rumah Luwih


Behind the lobby is the hotel’s infinity swimming pool, which boasts direct views of the ocean. I’d say that the pool is single-handedly the best place to get an unobstructed view of the ocean, which I think looks very nice. The pool is clad in green tiles that give off a cool, river-like energy. This also reminds me a lot of the pool at Maya Ubud, which I adored very much. However, I did think that the modern-looking pool takes away from the generally antique-looking vibe of the rest of the hotel.

Infinity pool at Rumah Luwih
Infinity pool at Rumah Luwih
Ocean view from the pool

There are four pairs of sun loungers next to the pool, which I believe are unattended. Everything seemed to be self-service since there was a pile of clean towels placed conveniently near the entrance to the lobby. Interestingly, the pool rules noted that belongings on the sun lounger will be removed after being unattended for prolonged amounts of time.

Sun loungers
Sun loungers

There is also a spa pool on the left-hand end of the infinity pool. This spa pool features submerged loungers complemented by a constant jet of water on the backside. There is also what I believe is a kid’s pool on the right-hand end of the infinity pool.

Spa pool
Kids’ pool


Rumah Luwih’s visually stunning garden takes up much of the resort’s two-hectare real estate. Engulfing much of this area is a massive pond, complete with a couple of fountains complemented by these strange pillar-like things.

Overview of the garden
Overview of the garden

However, when viewing the hotel building from from the garden, is it just me or are the pillars a bit off-centre from the building?

View of the hotel building

Occasionally, you would also see some ducks walking on the lawn, which is always an adorable sight. This view reminds me a lot of Tanah Gajah Ubud (previously, The Chedi Club), which coincidentally is owned by the Hadiprana family.

Ducks walking on the lawn

Between the garden and the entrance to the beach is a white concrete structure dubbed the Kalyana Ocean Chapel. Whilst small, it looks quite nice as a pre-wedding photo spot. It also doubles as a yoga pavilion, at least according to the hotel’s advertising.

Kalyana Ocean Chapel


Right behind the hotel’s garden is the publicly accessible Lebih Beach. This beach is also quite popular with fishermen and local families who take their kids to play in the water. Despite the hotel’s beachfront location, it does not maintain any beach furniture for use by hotel guests.

Lebih Beach

There is a small estuary to the immediate left of the hotel’s stretch of beach, which I thought looked quite cool and untouched. It is also possible across the shallow estuary stream during low tide, which I found quite entertaining.

Beach estuary

However, given how rocky the beach is, it is neither possible nor advisable to swim on the beach directly in front of the hotel. These rocks are volcanic rocks and some bits tend to be quite sharp. Those wishing to swim could theoretically walk south or north, where there are fewer rocks, although I wouldn’t recommend that due to the relatively strong currents.

Beach in front of Rumah Luwih

Despite the lack of ability to swim at this beach, I did like that it is much cleaner than many unattended beaches on the island. Furthermore, combined with a view of the majestic Mt. Agung, the black sand beach looks really quite magical at dusk.

Beach in front of Rumah Luwih
Beach in front of Rumah Luwih


Located in the corridor between the lobby and the rooms is a small gift shop, which was unattended for the entire duration of our stay. Whilst there was a sign requesting guests seeking to view the shop to call the staff for assistance, the small space looked quite sad and uninviting to begin with.

Hotel Gift Shop

Other Observations

Soon after we settled in our room, the management started testing its hotel-wide announcement system. Whilst it was quite funny at first, it got annoying how they repeatedly attempted to test the in-room speakers in irregular intervals. Thankfully that stopped before the night. After the COVID-19 pandemic, I think it is reasonable that many hotels need renovation work. However, the way it was conducted at Rumah Luwih was unprofessional, given the lack of advance notices about this.

The next day, we were woken up by furniture being moved around at 06.00, which I thought was a wildly inappropriate time to start renovation works – particularly in a hotel. The constant sound of hammering continued onto 21.30, which I thought made no sense. We brought up the noise issue at 21.00, which was met with a response saying ‘But we’re renovating…’. What is that supposed to mean?! It was only after we explained how we couldn’t sleep with that noise, were they apologetic, and even so it took another 30 minutes before the hammering stopped.


Whilst the staff at the hotel were pleasant enough, I felt they were rather inconsiderate and unhelpful (well, except for the porters). I liked that most staff members were friendly and weren’t shy to chat or greet guests. I feel terrible writing this, but I couldn’t make sense of how they or the management could allow noises from renovation and testing to disturb guests well into the evening. Sadly, to make things worse, requests went unanswered. For instance, we asked whether the hotel might have hair conditioner. Whilst they promised to check and call back, they never did.


Overall, I was unfortunately dissatisfied with my stay at Rumah Luwih. I really tried to love the resort, but all the issues I encountered sealed my impressions of Rumah Luwih. It is without doubt that the resort is visually stunning, but between the poor internet, the distant location, and inconsiderate service, I cannot in my right mind recommend Rumah Luwih. I think this is such a shame because apart from the location, the other two major problems wouldn’t be as difficult to fix. Whilst I think the hotel has a lot of potential, I wouldn’t envisage coming back until a fixup has been done.

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