Padang, like most other Indonesian towns, is a bustling, hot and humid settlement located along the Indian Ocean coast in West Sumatra. Instead of staying in a nondescript town hotel, we decided to stay away from the centre in Puncak Air Manis Residence based on the good reviews here on TripAdvisor.
Air Manis, which literally means “Sweetwater”, is actually the name of the beach which is separated from Padang town by the Batang Arau river and the hill called Bukit Gado-Gado which encircles the beach. The road to the Air Manis beach is a narrow winding road which climbs up steeply up Bukit Gado-Gado before descending down to the beach. Puncak means “peak”, and the reason for this is that the residence is located at the top of this winding road before it descends down to the beach.
From the road, all that you can see of the residence is an unmarked gate with no signage and trees. Hence, you would not even know there was anything of significance there if you were just passing by. Sliding open the gate and driving in, you will reach the parking shed and see a glimpse of the main residence. As you walk towards the house, a spectacular vista of Air Manis beach way unfolds before your very eyes. The residence is truly perched on a hill top with fantastic views of the ocean all the way from Sikuai and the other small islands in the distance, the bay entrance to Teluk Karsik and Teluk Bungus, the port of Teluk Bayur, and the entire Air Manis beach including Malim Kundang and the two islands of Pulau Pisang Kecil and Besar.
The main house itself is a nautilus shaped plan, whereby you enter into the dining area and open kitchen. Down a half flight of stairs is the Spartan living room area, and outside to an open terrace overlooking the ocean. This is where we took our breakfast and dinner, and probably our favourite spot in the entire property!
There are also two rooms in this main house, the East Bedroom or the West Bedroom. You could choose to actually book one of these rooms, or book the whole Main Residence. For us, we had chosen to book the Private Bungalow, and we were glad to have made this choice.
Located away from the Main Residence, a short walk down the hill by a garden path, the Private Bungalow is a rectangular glass box facing the greenery of the jungle. The walk down goes past the rainwater swimming pool and it is nice to be away from the main building and have your own privacy.
You enter through the open kitchen and dining area which is shuttered with glass louvres; then into the living area which has 3 day beds. The living area has an attached long verandah facing the jungle, a great spot to just sit and read a book. The bedroom with a four poster bed and ensuite bathroom complete the Bungalow.
The kitchen comes with a refrigerator, gas hob, water dispenser and kettle, so you could chose to do your own light cooking should you wish to do so. But why bother when you are on holiday, and there is a good cook at your disposal based at the Main Residence?
The food prepared by Ibu is excellent. Breakfast is provided every morning on the open terrace at the Main Residence, and although it got repetitive by the third day, it was nice. For dinner, you could place your order and Ibu would prepare it for you at the appointed time. Ibu’s beef rendang is superb and you must try it! The portions are also huge and filling.
Staying at Puncak Air Manis is like staying in your own private home. It is perfect for that getaway that you need to recharge your batteries, especially if there are no other guests at the same time. You do need to be aware that you are staying in a private home and not a hotel and not expect full hotel amenities. There is no air-conditioning or television, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. You are also staying in a glass box house with no curtains, which may be an issue to some people, but not to us. Location-wise you are also away from the town and nothing close by, but to us that is a plus not a negative.
Stay here for the isolation, the greenery, the excellent staff and most of all the spectacular view. We will be back!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- An exclusive retreat set in the garden on a mountain top overlooking the Indian Ocean. Awake to the sounds of monkeys and bird song. Walk in the immaculate gardens where exotic orchids and rare plants surround the private rainwater swimming pool. Visit our on-site silk textile studio and meet local artisans. The bungalow features a large living room, private bedroom with en-suite bathroom, private verandah, dining room with kitchenette and day beds for up to 5 persons. The main residence has two private bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms, a huge lounge and dining area and large kitchen. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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