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Hotel Review: Sun Suko Boutique Retreat, Pemuteran, Bali in Indonesia

Many of Bali’s tourists remain devoted to its sunny surf beaches in the south or the central yoga hub of Ubud. Those that do wander from the well trodden track are rewarded with opportunities to explore at a leisurely pace and with breathing space.

The fishing village of Pemuteran, on the lesser visited north west coast, invites you to kick off your shoes and put your feet up for an afternoon or two. It is here that Sun Suko Boutique Retreat offers a romantic getaway for those seeking the ultimate in rest and relaxation.

Sun Suko Boutique Retreat
Sun Suko Boutique Retreat is located in the fishing village of Pemuteran, around 25 miles from Lovina

Owned by independent fashion designer, Anja Braendli, the resort aptly displays her stylistic flair and impeccable attention to detail. At the very far end of a long narrow dirt track, Sun Suko hides behind two artistically distressed doors. As they swing open, a bright and vibrant garden greets the guest. Bushes bloom with flowers in fuchsia and scarlet, while trees have branches laden with sweet pomelo fruits. It feels as if one has stumbled into a Disney film.

A circle of villas surrounding a curved infinity pool create a little communal haven. Sun loungers in duck egg blue complement the turquoise of the water. Smooth sandstone and untreated wood evoke a natural beauty enhanced by driftwood sculptures, with little dashes of decadence in the hand-painted designs on villa doors. It really is a visual delight.

yoga hall
The retreat’s yoga hall offers the perfect setting to escape from every day life

In one corner is a shaded restaurant, though this has more of a poolside cafe vibe. The quality of food is good – a mozzarella pizza came with a beautifully baked base – but menu choices are a little uninspiring. There is better value variety down on the beachfront, where dishes come with the pleasure of feeling the sand between your toes.

Included breakfasts are delicious, with excellent omelettes, fresh fruits and pancakes smothered in maple syrup. Plus proper coffee in a cafetiere, a rare luxury in Bali where local style comes unfiltered. Staff are sweet and attentive, kindly bringing cooled jugs of filter water to the room whenever we desired.

ROOM

batik bedroom
All ten of the rooms are unique yet harmonious in their design

All ten of the rooms are unique yet harmonious in their design. Natural timber, white walls and nude floors have a stripped back almost shaker feel. It’s simple and soothing, while beds come with plump pillows and a real duvet. So it’s good to find the aircon works a treat!

Pieces of furniture are carefully picked; a solid teak wardrobe, a vintage dresser, a writing desk. Warm but muted splashes of colour are added through ornamental vases, large art pieces and patterned cushions. Our Batik room also benefits from a stain glass window, creating dancing dappled kaleidoscope patterns on the floor.

The bathroom is a design feat; the waterfall shower a vast step-in stone enclave with embedded seat and adorned with mosaic tiling. Ornate cut-out tiles provide ventilation and light.

Balconies are huge with wicker loungers where it is surprisingly easy to while away many an hour watching the skies evolve above the mountains. The view may be my favourite thing about this place, proving every step of the walk from the main road worthwhile. Sun Suko is tucked just at the foot of the mountains, making for the most impressive backdrop. There’s nothing but nature between this little cluster of villas and the mighty summits above.

With the mountains as its stage, the elements put on a show. The sun curves its daily colourful arc, clouds gather and dissipate and the skies fill with sunbeams then sparrows then stars. It’s meditative and enchanting, and makes me feel at peace.

batik bathroom
Many of the resort’s bathrooms offer waterfall showers

LOCATION

A slither of high street sandwiched between mountains and ocean, Pemuteran is not so much a sleepy rural village as a quick tourist pitstop. Diving is a key attraction here, and there are plenty of places to get yourself buddied up, zipped into a wetsuit and blowing bubbles in the deep. We chose a day trip with Reef Seen, which proved a superb decision. Though a cheaper and easier option is to just grab a snorkel and take yourself for a swim off the shore.

The tiny Menjangen Island is a favourite dive spot. Part of the West Bali National Park, it is home to the barking deer. Surrounded by coral, there are plenty of colourful, tropical fish to be enjoyed. Our group, a mix of divers and snorkelers, were also lucky enough to catch a pod of frolicking dolphins as we headed back to the mainland.

SUN SUKO BOUTIQUE RETREAT
Tranquility succumbs those that stay at Sun Suko Boutique Retreat

Proyek Penyu turtle hatchery is well worth a visit. A non-profit conservation project, eggs and babies are rescued and nurtured by volunteers. Each morning, juvenile turtles are set off into the big wide world and tourists are invited to assist with their release in return for a small donation.

For the more adventurous, a hike in the mountains or even up one of the nearby volcanoes might be a tempting challenge.

IN A NUTSHELL

Tranquility succumbs those that stay at Sun Suko Boutique Retreat. Take a moment to relax, recharge and revitalise.

Rooms start at £87 in low season and £104 in high season (15 June – 15 September & 15 December – 8 January)

Address: Sun Suko Boutique Retreat, Jalan Seririt, Gilimanuk, Gang Sahadewa , Pemuteran, Bali 81155
Tel: +62 82 413 39994
Email: contact@sunsukoretreat.com
Web: sunsukoretreat.com