Bloomfield: We stayed at this eco-chic boutique hotel in Umalas, but should you?

Bloomfield Bali. Photos: Coconuts Bali

We never really make a point of going to Umalas. In fact, we usually just pass around it on our way from Seminyak to Canggu — but we found ourselves spending the Chinese New Year holiday in Bumbak for a change of scenery.

Full disclosure: We were invited to check out the premises and stay a couple of nights, and that’s what sent us here for a staycation.

Should Bloomfield be on your Bali bucket list, though? Here’s a full breakdown of our experience — read on to see why this eco-chic boutique hotel might be worth (or not worth) your hard-earned dollars. 

The Location

Bloomfield is situated in the Umalas neighborhood on Jl. Bumbak.

The main selling point of Umalas has got to be that you’re in a pocket of (soon disappearing) rice paddies amongst a quickly developing, trendy triangle of Seminyak, Petitenget, and Canggu that’s become one big South Bali sprawl of activity.

Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali
Photo: Coconuts Bali

All the trendy beach clubs and boutiques of Seminyak, restaurants and beachfront of Petitenget, and the hip, cafe-laden surfer town of Canggu, within reach. So basically, you’re in a quiet, chill spot with a view, with access to cool stuff, without being right in the thick of things (read: traffic).

However, these points of interest are all about a 15-20 minute scooter drive away. Close, but not exactly safely walkable with the busy streets and nonexistent footpaths as you leave the Umalas bubble.

Transportation is the tricky thing when staying here (although it’s a challenge in most spots of Bali, not necessarily a problem unique to Umalas). While you can get dropped off by whomever you darn well please, Grab, Go-Jek, and Bluebird Taksi are effectively not allowed to pick up passengers in Umalas, thanks to conventional drivers who have a corner on the neighborhood’s transport market. So any time you want to go anywhere, renting a scooter (if you can drive and have a proper license) is certainly the most convenient way to go — otherwise, you can ask the front desk to help you hire a driver (which of course is going to be more expensive).

There’s not a ton of stuff for food, grocery, and convenience store options, let alone points of interest and shopping within walking distance, so you will want a ride to places of interest, unless you want to spend your entire stay vegging out by the pool. If you’re looking for lots of convenience, though, then the cafe that’s adjacent to the property, Kembali Bumbak, is just next door and is worth a visit.

Sunset time. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Sunset time. Photo: Coconuts Bali

As we drove from Umalas to Petitenget and Canggu and kept winding around the suggest Google Maps routes, we kept thinking to ourselves: There’s got to be a quicker way. There was.

On our last day, we found out a narrow ledge of a shortcut slicing through a rice paddy that’s hardly wide enough for two motorbikes to pass in opposite directions. We can only assume there’s another motorbike-only accessibly shortcut to take you between Umalas and Berawa — but this info is only relevant for scooter-riders, because you sure as hell can’t take a car through this route.

The Grounds & Overall Aesthetic

Perhaps Bloomfield’s biggest wow factor is the aesthetic appeal of the property grounds. The design revolves around a paddy view, the villa taking a horse-shoe shape around an infinity pool, perched over the green rice fields. Worth noting: there’s also a second pool next to the open air, breezy dining room which has a bamboo canopy.

Add in the hotel’s no-kids-under-14 policy (unless you book the whole place out), and you’ve got yourself one tranquil oasis.

The hotel lobby. Photo: Coconuts . Bali
The hotel lobby. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Rooms. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Rooms. Photo: Coconuts Bali
The living room. Photo: Coconuts Bali
The living room. Photo: Coconuts Bali

Before it was reborn as a boutique hotel in December 2017, Bloomfield used to be a private residence. As it stands now, the property comprises 16 rooms and one three-bedroom villa.

The hotel spins out a philosophy of eco-friendly sustainability and wellness, and this seems to be reflected in the minimalistic yet chic natural design, with bamboo building materials, woven and an open-air thatched roof dining room.

The dining area, sandwiched between two pools. Photo: Coconuts Bali
The dining area, sandwiched between two pools. Photo: Coconuts Bali

It’s definitely a very relaxing setting — just feel prepared to face the interesting, yet at-moments-awkward, reality that those rice paddies you’re looking out on as you sunbathe by the pool are farm plots, meaning there will be farmers coming and going, tending to their crops as you soak up the rays in your bikini. 

The Rooms

We stayed in a deluxe room with pool-view. The room has high ceilings with woven-bamboo mat ceiling panels, neutral gray and tan accents, long windows and windows everywhere (we got the corner).

The deluxe rooms have all your typical hotel amenities: AC, hot water, a TV with satellite channels, mini-fridge, toiletries, a safety deposit box, wifi, etc.

Room with a paddy view. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Room with a paddy view. Photo: Coconuts Bali

The room was spacious, especially with its high ceilings, yet still had a cozy vibe. The linens were soft and the mattresses were comfortable, but on the small side as singles (you can, alternatively, book the room as a king, which means that they push two twin mattresses together and make it as one big bed).

If you stay in one of these rooms, do yourself a favor and don’t look up at the mosquito net. It looks white from the outside, but dang, when you’re laying in bed with the light illuminating it, you can see every stain and speck of dirt on there. At least the net was protecting us from all the dirt, though, our companion correctly pointed out.

The bathroom is kind of a quirky layout. It’s like a long corridor, running parallel behind the bed’s headboard, and the toilet is in a separate tiny room from everything — meaning, the sink and shower. That means that every time you use the throne, you have to walk across the bedroom and around the bed, with dirty hands to go wash up afterwards.

The room situation, with a welcome drink. Photos: Coconuts Bali
The room situation, with a welcome drink. Photos: Coconuts Bali
The bathroom situation. Photos: Coconuts Bali
The bathroom situation. Photos: Coconuts Bali
The door situation. Photos: Coconuts Bali
The door situation. Photos: Coconuts Bali

As relaxing as the setting is, the room door here was the bane of our existence during our stay. To get into the pool rooms, you’ve got to get through two layers of sliding doors that were a bit difficult to move. The first layer is just a bamboo frame, while the second layer is glass. It’s the bamboo frame that has the lock in it, so you’ve got to deal with both layers every time you want to leave or lock up for the night.

Exacerbating this lack of ease is the key. It’s an “alternative” kind of key, you see — it literally looked like a screwdriver, which would’ve been cool, except you had to angle it precisely at the right degree, at the right depth — or else, no entry for you.

Game over trying to get into this room after a night of drinking.

At least no one would ever be able break in without us hearing, though. 

We will say that on the second day, though, that Bloomfield’s housekeeping staff must have picked up on us struggling at prying the door open, because they seem to have sprayed some WD-40 on the frame, which made the door significantly easier (but still not easy) to slide open.

The Food

Bloomfield’s thing is wellness with a locavore philosophy, so you can expect the menu to be mainly healthy things with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Overall, we had a great experience with the food at Bloomfield, but we’d like to clarify what they mean when they say breakfast is included.

Bloomfield sets up a small breakfast buffet, and they’ve got an a la carte menu you can order off if you want more than a featherlight breakfast. 

The buffet spread was about the same, but ever-so-slightly different, on both mornings we were there: mixed juices, fruit salad, granola, yogurt, mason jar chia-seed pudding, toast with butter, and a couple choices of jam.

If you’re traveling with someone else, then our suggestion would be to fill up as much as you can on the breakfast buffet and order one menu item to share.

The breakfast buffet. Photo: Coconuts Bali
The breakfast buffet. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Breakfast buffet day one. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Breakfast plate. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Breakfast buffet day two. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Breakfast plate. Photo: Coconuts Bali

The a la carte menu has options like smoothie bowls (IDR80k/US$5.61), banana flour pancakes (IDR80k/US$5.61), and eggs any way (IDR50k/US$3.51). We purchased an add-on dish, the smashed avocado (IDR80k/US$5.61), which had feta, parsley, pumpkin seeds, watercress, sesame dressing and two poached eggs on sourdough. It was a solid avo toast — not a standout version, but still satisfying.

The Bloomfield Pizza (IDR80k/US$5.61) was nice, but it was certainly of the “pizza, but make it healthy” variety. This is a “wellness” hotel, after all. It was a gluten-free banana flour base topped with zucchini, roasted tomato and mushrooms, lemon basil pesto and kemangi leaf. To us, it was a more like flatbread than pizza, but as far as flatbreads go — this one was good, with all the roasted veggies and zing of the pesto.

Lunch. Photo: Coconuts Bali
Lunch. Photo: Coconuts Bali

Our traveling companion was satisfied with her Malaysian Laksa with chicken (IDR90k/US$6.32). With the essential ingredient of coconut milk, this laksa didn’t seem to be much lighter or “healthier” than your typical bowl of the rice noodle dish, but we appreciated that the ingredients used were really fresh, and that the spice blend used was the real thing — not that crap that comes out of instantly-ready sachets.

The Yoga

Bloomfield’s got a spacious yoga studio near the front desk, as well as a little shala just past the pools, looking out over the paddies.

If you’re not there doing a pre-booked yoga package with the hotel, you can arrange to have a yoga class based on your schedule — but you’d need to reserve that at least one day in advance.

Canggu’s teeming with yoga studios, but we definitely appreciated the flexibility of the schedule and the ability to roll right out of bed and straight onto the mat, so we went for sunrise in the shala, which offered a gorgeous clear view of Mount Agung.

Unfortunately, large black ants were out of control at the shala. Like we haven’t seen anything like this, outside of the Ants Canada YouTube channel. The ants were swarming all over the yoga mats and on the shala’s pillars, making it almost impossible to practice without distraction.

Perhaps if the hotel put down an all-natural (read: humane) mixture of white vinegar and water on the floors before classes, it would help. Even our yoga instructor was distressed about how to handle the ant situation disrupting our zen. 

The yoga shala. Photo: Coconuts Bali
The yoga shala (different from the yoga studio). Photo: Coconuts Bali

As for the yoga itself — from this session, it felt like to us that they are targeting practitioners who prefer something on the lighter side. For us, we prefer something a bit more dynamic, and the pacing and positions for this class felt more like vigorous stretching to us. If you’re into calisthenics, though, then you’d probably love this class.

They have a minimum charge of IDR300k/US$21.05 per class, so that’s how much you’re paying if you’re doing a private class. Otherwise, it’s IDR150k/US$10.53 per person for classes of two people or more. For comparison, it’s IDR130k/US$9.12 for a single class at the Yoga Barn. For us, the price was too high for what we hoping to get out of the session. 

The Spa

The spa at Bloomfield is operated by Glo, a chain of day spas with multiple locations in Bali, so it’s not under direct management of Bloomfield itself. When we checked in, we were told that Glo was not open during our stay, so if we wanted a treatment, we’d have to do it in our room.

We would have rather had the spa setting and not get our bedsheets greasy with massage oil, so we decided to skip the spa sesh during this visit. However, we’ve since been informed by the hotel that the spa is now open for business again.

The spa. Photo: Coconuts Bali
The spa. Photo: Coconuts Bali

The Bottom Line

The cost of a standard room, at the time of writing this article, is US$55 a night on Agoda — that’s for a quotation two weeks ahead of check-in. That price goes up to US$127 a night for the deluxe pool room, on the same booking platform, for the same dates.

We didn’t stay in the standard room, but since we didn’t discern much of a difference between these two room options (other than the view) while we were there, we’d actually prefer to pay US$55 for that deluxe room next time.

Meanwhile, the rooms closer to the front of the property, the Bamboo Room and Palm Deluxe Room, were listed at US$153 and US$133, respectively.

If the prices are right for your budget, then you might want to try to get the pool suite instead, which was listed at US$167 when we last checked Agoda. This room’s set off to the opposite side of the dining room from the other pool-view rooms, has a stone bathtub, and a more distinct patio area, facing over the hotel’s second pool.

Bloomfield also offers package stays that include yoga, pilates, and different excursions with various meal options thrown in. We didn’t do the package, so we can’t speak on the quality of those experiences, but it’s something to consider for people who prefer the convenience, and/or don’t want to venture too far from the property grounds. If you’re like us and like to get out and about during the day, then you could also just go to one of Canggu’s other yoga studios, of which there are many. 

Bloomfield is a beautiful hotel in an attractive, strategic location — especially if you can ride a scooter or don’t mind paying extra transport fees. We’re big fans of wellness, being healthy, and the locavore eating philosophy, so we also feel good about supporting a place that operates under those tenants.

The staff were extremely attentive, helpful, and friendly, too, which is ultimately what brought the experience to the next level for us. But with the quirks — and perhaps growing pains that the property is currently experiencing — personally, we’d only be enticed to book this place if we got a particularly good deal on the stay. It’s hard putting a flat out number on it, but we’d suggest using the quotations we detailed above as reference points, and weighing it out according to your own budget and expectations for a boutique stay.

FIND IT:
Bloomfield Bali is at Jl. Bumbak no. 25, Gang Pulau no. 6
Reservations: 0857-3888-3093
Email: info@bloomfieldbali.com


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