Amidst stylish décor, the cooking school will have your cuisine skills improved in a destination that fulfills dreams. You will not want to leave Alila Manggis Resort in Bali, Indonesia. Amidst the beauty of Bali's tropical rice paddies rolling down lush jungle mountainside and seated by the ocean is where you will find the magical Alila Manggis resort. With the volcanic Mt Agung in the distance, Manggis is a small coastal town on Bali's east, just a drive to the nearby township of Ubud and distanced enough to be your secluded paradise.
Alila Manggis Resort is happy to arrange airport transfers and you'll also notice the staff, who speak very good English, are more than happy to help you in any way possible. Upon arrival to the comfortably chic foyer, you are treated to a refreshingly chilled towel and local health tonic of turmeric infused juice. After check-in a butler escorts you to your modern room, with a tour of the grounds and information of activities along the way.
Chilled air conditioning cools your senses as you enter a bright and clean room, with balcony lounge overlooking the palm-tree peppered resort grounds. Your holiday view is a large centrally placed pool, ocean horizon and outdoor style restaurant. The room boasts a large bed with dreamy soft pillows to embrace slumber, flat-screen TV with plenty to watch, and seashells and orchids complementing the décor. The bathroom comprises divine rain shower, separate toilet, large snug and soft towels, quality hair dryer and bathrobe, and fragrant Alila soaps and creams to cleanse and moisturise.
Sip a complementary Dilmah tea, as you flick through a complimentary magazine - or email home with complimentary internet access (bring your laptop and cables) as you describe to friends and family how you are about to join the poolside banana-bed bathers - but, in reality, you are far too relaxed on your own balcony sofa watching the world go by to actually move.
The holiday community at Alila Manggis is abuzz with activities at the resort or organised nearby. Why not experience yoga and Thai chi in the spa garden, take an introduction to diving, try deep water fishing, ocean kayaking, bicycling off the beaten track, inland adventure trekking or take a Balinese dancing class. You can enjoy a class in organic soap making or a traditional painting class. Spiritual enthusiasts can visit the local Balinese healer or holy man, or follow a day in the life of a Balinese priest. Day trips combining activities also include arts and handicraft traditions, sea salt making and photographic trails to name a few. An abundance of activities suited to children are on offer, a popular class being Kids in the Kitchen. Best undertaken when adults are involved in a traditional cooking class, for which the hotel has secured a fine reputation.
The Alila Manggis Balinese cooking school is of international standard, and you will receive a certificate of completion at the end of your day. After breakfast your class is driven to nearby local food markets for a guided tour on local Balinese produce and market life. Alila Manggis supports the local community and staff purchase fresh produce along the way.
Back at the resort, the Head Chef conducts a lesson in Balinese rices, grains and vegetables, noting the differences to what you are probably used to. Tasting ginger, smelling galangal, feeling uncooked Balinese grains - the senses come alive in the lesson of ingredients. Next, onto the cooking station where you will learn that cooking is all about technique. A food processor will create the same texture, but slightly different taste to the manual hand pressure of mortar and pestle. So, how does one perfectly grind chillies into a fine paste? The head chef shows you his master technique. After your meals are cooked, you then get to enjoy them! Nasi goreng never tasted so good when you cooked it yourself!
The Seasalt restaurant at Alila Manggis is dining outdoor style - a giant pagoda style roof provides shelter and, seated by candlelight, you are surrounded by a lily pond and serenaded by traditional musicians. Friendly waiting staff seat you and you choose from a menu offering traditional Balinese feasts and western delights, not to mention juices of divine intervention. Special Banquets will have your mouth watering. I tried the traditional Balinese banquet, which offers an enormous serving of local tasters, best eaten with your fingers (as per tradition)!
You cannot leave the resort without a visit to Spa Alila, where trained therapists kneed away aches and pains in either air-conditioned comfort to the sounds of relaxing music or, if you prefer, a luxury hut set up by the beach with the swishing sounds of waves nearby - it's your choice. When your pure massage indulgence is up, chilled ginger tea and magnificent mango sorbet will set you on your way.
Everyone who visits Alila Manggis yearns to return and many do. Alila Manggis exudes romance making it perfect for honeymooners; is overflowing with family activities; and it's the ultimate holiday destination for groups. The central pool, abuzz with bathers relaxing and laughter of kids splashing, makes for a perfect family holiday. The reosrt is also a recommended wedding venue.