Trust Como to put a cosmopolitan spin on surfing: Como Uma Canggu channel’s Bali’s famous surf culture, but adds a generous dose of luxe. There’s a chilled-to-horizontal Beach Club (cue seafood feasts and fruit-packed cocktails), an utterly lovely lagoon pool and an array of spacious, soothing sleeping quarters that are equally suited to canoodling couples and fun-seeking families. Since this is Como, there’s also a knee-weakeningly blissful spa, where hushed treatment rooms, nimble-knuckled masseuses and fragrant Como Shambhala lotions and potions await. Hang 10…
Get this when you book through us:
A Como Shambhala aromatherapy gift; GoldSmiths staying in a Residence also receive a welcome cocktail for two, served in-room or at the Como Beach Club
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £129.95 ($168), including tax at 21 per cent.
Rates usually include buffet breakfast, plus a welcome drink, local bottled water and daily group yoga sessions.
No arrivals or departures are permitted on Nyepi (the Day of Silence) in March. Guests staying on Nyepi are expected to remain on site.
At the hotel
Public beach; waterfront Beach Club; Jungle Sports Centre; Tropicsurf programmes; yoga and Pilates; select family-friendly activities; valet parking. In rooms: TV, DVD player, WiFi, Como Shambhala bath products, air conditioning, free bottled water, kettle, tea- and coffee-making kit.
Our favourite rooms
Lagoon Pool Residences have direct access to that giant lagoon pool, so you can swim to and from your bedroom. The Uma Pool Residences offer a little more seclusion, and come with their own 10-metre private pool.
The massive lagoon pool is shared between three of the five main buildings; there’s also a tempting al fresco pool at the Beach Club. (Both are family-friendly; one is supervised by a lifeguard.)
The Como hotel group is world-famous for its spas – and Como Uma Canggu’s temple to wellness doesn’t let the side down. Expect eight treatment rooms and a dizzying choice of treatments.
Bring your best bikinis, beach shorts and beach hair.
Como Uma Canggu has a dedicated disabled-access room with an extra-spacious bathroom adapted for wheelchair-users; this room is accessible by lift.
Little Smiths will love it here. Babysitting can be arranged with two hours’ notice; all of the Residences have a kitchenette, making them ideal for families.
As close to the waves as possible without falling in.
Socialite surfer: beachwear, beach hair and mermaid- or merman-worthy accessories.
The Beach Club’s restaurant is a light and breezy open-plan space, with relaxed, friendly service and an industrial-warehouse-feel to its styling. Black-and-white metal columns are complemented by black, white and grey chairs; the menu is more colourful, starring Como’s signature healthy, international cuisine. Begin the day with nasi goreng, laksa or chicken broth with quail’s eggs if you’re feeling adventurous; end it with local seafood, cooked to toothsome perfection on the wood-fired grill. (Save room for wood-roasted pineapple with coconut gelato and pineapple rum for dessert.)
Sample devilishly good tropical cocktails – a Cojito perhaps, starring coconut, rum, lime and mint – at the Beach Club. Snuggle up next to your favourite colour-pop cushions on the comfy grey banquettes.
Como Beach Club is open from 7am until 11pm.
The tempting room-service menu includes health-food salads, posh toasties, burgers and more.
Como Uma Canggu is a five-minute walk from popular Echo Beach in Canggu: a ravishing resort village on Bali’s south coast.
Ngurah Rai International Airport is an hour away by car. Hotel transfers cost IDR572,000 one way, for up to three passengers in a car. Let Smith24 take care of your flights.
You’re unlikely to bring wheels with you to an Indonesian island, but if you do, the hotel has valet parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
Spend at least half a day in the amazing Como spa. Visit Tanah Lot: Bali’s famous sea temples, which are just 12 kilometres away (staff can arrange a tour). Take a trip into Ubud for the day: visit more temples, explore the emerald rice paddies and visit Ubud market. (Eat, eat and eat again, while you’re there.) Embark on a bike ride through the rice paddies in Ceking – an hour from the hotel – and around cinematic Ubud. Perfect your surf game with help from Tropicsurf, the hotel’s partner surf school.
La Brisa beach club and restaurant is right opposite the hotel – and it’s worth popping over for a leisurely lunch or romantic dinner. Deus ex Machina is a multi-talented restaurant, café, motorbike shop and clothing store hybrid. Dishes fuse Indonesian and Western influences; it’s fun for lunch and adds live music to the mix at dinner. The Lawn in Canggu serves international cuisine in a loungey beach-club setting; it’s popular for good reason.
Let's face it, turning up at Como Uma Canggu with a beaten-up backpack after two months of travelling might be a first for this recently-opened hip hotel.
Not that the hotel staff bat an eyelid at this intrepid explorer when they hold the door and welcome me into their almond-scented white minimalist lobby where my eyes are immediately drawn to a small library of books on everything from Balinese architecture to the world's most stunning coastlines. Before I've had time to say 'selamat siang', I'm promptly handed a fragrant hand towel and a refreshing glass of hibiscus lemonade – both of which are much appreciated in this soaring heat.
As I'm checking in early my room isn't quite ready so I make a beeline for the pool, which is surrounded by sun-loungers and large light-grey swinging beds and chairs facing out to the ocean. I find myself whiling away the afternoon rotating between lounger, pool and swing.
When I've clocked up what seems to be the UK's yearly equivalent sunshine in a matter of hours, I head to my room and discover I've been upgraded to the residence suite – score! With its open-plan bedroom and lounge, kitchen with a minibar stocked with tempting Indonesian chocolate bars and gigantic tub that that could fit a small party, it feels like I've been handed a Balinese queen's quarters for two nights.
One of the bonuses is the sprawling balcony, complete with grey loungers, which I can see myself having an aperitif on while watching the sunset. But unfortunately, like everywhere in Bali, there's noisy building work being carried out at a new hotel right next door. I close the patio doors and decide that sundowner will have to wait.
Instead, I revert to the gym, a huge and empty space where I enjoy a solo weights session (everyone else is probably in the right mind and catching one of Bali's soul-stirring sunsets). After working up a sweat I'm rewarded with a calming 90-minute Como signature massage which weeds out my knots. Rather than succumbing to the vibrant beach club, I opt for hibernation and head to my suite where I'm soon knocked out in the soothing white bedding that just makes you zzz.
After staying in my cocooned state until breakfast time, I head down to the beach club restaurant which serves up a panoramic vista of the volcanic sand and rolling waves. And while I gorge myself on everything from delicious mango topped with chia seeds and passionfruit yoghurt to traditional nasi goreng and glasses of orange juice, I become entranced with spying on the surfers as they attempt to catch a wave.
As tempting as it is to bask in the unadulterated luxury of Como, post-breakfast I venture to the beach before checking out the main thoroughfares of Canggu, where hip cafés dishing out acai bowls and delicious green smoothies sit alongside new yoga studios and modern industrial-style stores stocked with beautiful jewellery and beach attire. The latter tempts me and I eventually splurge my rupiahs on a colourful kaftan from one boutique. It turns out to be my attire of choice later that evening when a friend joins me at the beach club for drinks.
We sip on cocktails as we hang out on one of the swinging loungers whilst a band belts out everything from Al Green to Beyonce. If ever there were ever a perfect evening, I think Como just nailed it. Later we dine at the beach club, where we feast on plates of roasted Java goat's cheese with sourdough, fusilli pasta and off-menu cocktails knocked up by our friendly bartender. We later decide to check out the Canggu nightlife and end up unexpectedly dancing barefoot on the beach till 5am...but that's another story.
When I eventually open my eyes I realise I've just missed the cut-off for breakfast. I call up the restaurant to ask if they could set aside a few jars of yoghurt and fresh orange juice, but before I've had time to run a bath, the staff are knocking at my door and have hand-delivered me my breakfast. Now that's what I call exemplary service.
I lap up my final hours at Como by vigorously working my core muscles in an intense – but oh-so-worth it – pilates class led by hands-on instructor Ray, and treating myself (yet again) to both a pedi and a floaty green floral dress made by a local designer and stocked in Como's boutique store.
When I finally tear myself away from Como, with that 20kg once again strapped to my back, I depart slightly more sun-kissed, utterly relaxed, and raring for my next adventure.