ZIN Canggu Resort and Villas Review
Well, isn’t this whole COVID-19 situation incredible? It’s been pretty amazing to witness the speed at which so much can change as the world attempts to come to grips with the rapid spread of this illness. So, whilst we may not be able to physically travel right now, I’m armchair travelling to keep my wanderlust sated and already planning epic holidays for the future. I thought this might be the perfect time to try my first Hotel Review – to get you inspired if you’re planning a Bali escape once planes are back in the sky after COVID-19.
Our time in Canggu revolved around Dani and Andrew’s sensational wedding and visiting with some family friends who happen to live in Canggu. As such, we didn’t do as much exploring around the town as we did in Seminyak, so I can’t give you very many recommendations. We were rather hermit-like when not at wedding events or at our friend’s place – holing up in our lovely villa at our lovely hotel, ZIN Canggu (perhaps practice for what was to come in 2020? Lol). So rather than a destination guide, here’s a review of ZIN.
Location, Location, Location
ZIN is a beautiful new hotel situated 200m down the road from Nelayan Beach (which merges into Canggu beach a little to the north). Taking the 1 minute walk to the beach, you’re able to wander along the sand and straight into any one of Canggu’s well known beach clubs; take your pick of The Lawn, Echo Beach Club, La Brisa and more. We chose ZIN for its proximity to Dani and Andrew’s wedding venue, but were happy to find it within an easy 10 minute stroll of Canggu’s main shopping and eating district as well. It’s sort of tucked into what seems a suburban area of Canggu, neighboured by many other holiday villas. As a result the resort is very peaceful and quite serene. Interestingly, when I booked I read a few reviews complaining about the noise from a nearby nightclub. I’m pleased to say we didn’t hear a thing – and considering we were staying on Friday and Saturday nights, I had expected that we might be disturbed by some noise.
Upon arrival, you’ll find the property’s popular ZIN Café fronting the road, with a discreet driveway to the right leading you to the villa reception area hidden behind the café. The villas sweep down behind the Café building , with lovely meandering, tree-lined pathways winding through the property. The reception area is open and spacious with a little library and lounge area if you feel like relaxing outside your villa. The welcome was warm and attentive, with paperwork completed quickly before we were shown to our villa with promises that our luggage would follow.
Our receptionist personally guided us around the villa, which was huge and privately walled in. We’d sprung for a villa with private pool, so loved walking through our private gate to find the sun soaked pool surrounded by lovely decking and a simple but relaxing garden. A couple steps led up to the villa with a beautiful glass frontage – huge sliding doors and expansive floor to ceiling windows looking out over the deck and pool. Stepping inside, we found polished concrete floors and walls, a sunken lounge, simple wicker dining table and chairs, a simple kitchenette and a very enticing four poster bed on a raised platform. The style of the villas is very modern and minimalist but comfortable. The wardrobe was nice and large, and the bathroom luxuriously functional although not very well lit (not ideal when you’re trying to do your makeup for a wedding).
We slept very comfortably in the four-poster bed, and found the villa very comfortable for lounging around. Built substantially out of concrete, the villa is a modern take on traditional Balinese architecture with a lovely high thatched roof, wooden shutters, and warm earthen-toned fabrics throughout. It was comfortably cool and could be made more so with pretty strong air conditioning. The pool was not quite large enough to lap, but definitely larger than a plunge pool and very refreshing in the Bali humidity. Laying in the hammock, suspended over the pool, could very easily be the definition of relaxation. Weirdly enough, I’d describe the whole villa as kind of sexy – it’s all sleek, smooth lines, low atmospheric mood lighting, with warm wood accents throughout, and, well, the canopied bed is a big, inviting canopied bed which they turn down very nicely in the evening. 😜
Food, Glorious Food
After a several action-packed days and late nights in Seminyak, Jason and I were keen to do the quintessential Bali thing and relaxxxx. So, even though ZIN Café was only a 50m walk away, we indulged our inner sloth and ordered room service for all three of our meals at the hotel. The service was always very quick and discreet, and our meals were delivered with a smile.
The food at ZIN did not disappoint. Centred around fresh produce and with a healthy slant, breakfast included a range of fresh juices and smoothies, smoothie bowls, a range of egg dishes and pastries. I tried the Junkie juice – a potent dark green shot of ginger, lime, kale and turmeric which definitely woke me up and cleared the senses. My Gorilla Loco smoothie (coconut milk, berries, chocolate, almonds, banana and chocolate mint) was filling without making me sluggish. I finished what turned out to be a liquid breakfast with a Kopi Kelapa – double ristretto shots of coffee blended with ice and coconut milk which was seriously delicious. ZIN roasts their own espresso, with organic coffee beans from the Kintamani region of Bali. It was smooth and rich and helped me understand why the café is such a popular spot in Canggu. ZIN’s breakfast menu is also available all day.
Jason thought his breakfast of scrambled eggs and avocado with hash browns was passable, but he raved about his Sloppy Fries for lunch (which I’ve just seen is no longer on the menu!). We also tried the Chila Chilquile – fried tortillas with chicken, black beans, avocado, tomato salsa and local feta – which was tasty and light – a great lunch option if you’re not heaps hungry. We also tried a burger, but it was eclipsed by the Sloppy Fries so I can’t even tell you what sort it was lol. ZIN has a wide variety of vegan and vegetarian dishes, and a fulsome dessert menu (our pick was the Lava Cake), as well as some fun iced drinks which are great for sipping by the pool.
The Little Things
As I’ve mentioned a couple times, the service at ZIN was excellent. All of the staff were eager to please, courteous, responsive and professional. The wifi connection in the villa, in the reception area and in the café was strong and fast. Service to the villa was efficiently handled through WhatsApp (which seems to be the usual order of business in Bali). Everything could be arranged through a WhatsApp chat – room service, car service, laundry, you name it. We loved the fun accents throughout our stay – drinking coconuts stamped with ZIN, emojis from our concierge, jets in the pool.
There were a couple things that disappointed us in our stay. Unfortunately, the booking process was more convoluted than it should have been, given we used Booking.com. We chose a free cancellation, no prepayment required booking, only to be contacted by the resort after confirmation and advised we had to make a non-refundable deposit of the first night’s stay in order to guarantee the room. This was completely contrary to the conditions advertised on Booking.com. The deposit also could not be paid by credit card, but had to be paid by direct transfer to the business. If you’ve ever tried a direct international bank transfer, you’ll know this is not the easiest thing to do. Additionally, direct transfers to overseas accounts come with the added worry of security. Obviously this time it worked out, but it was still frustrating having to go through this when the booking conditions so clearly stated no pre-payment was necessary.
The other issue we had was in relation to the construction at the hotel. It’s a brand-spanking new property, which is awesome, and some sections are still under construction. This means there are workmen present on the property which is not a problem – they work only during the day, so there’s no construction noise at night to bother you. On our second day, we could hear workmen behind our villa. We assumed they must have been behind the back fence (each of the villas is individually walled and gated), but when we stepped outside to go for a swim, we realised the workmen were actually within our villa area – working on the drainage pipes of the villa itself. Again, this of itself wasn’t a problem – the issue was that we hadn’t been told by staff that workmen would be working on our villa and that they could come and go through the back utility gate into our villa area. It was a bit of a shock to step outside in my bikini for a swim, only to find a couple workmen smiling at me from the side of the villa. We were also a little miffed at being told that the lockable gate that we entered and exited through was for our privacy and security, when there was a utility gate at the back of the villa that workmen could come and go through.
Now the Balinese are lovely people, and Jason and I never felt unsafe as a result of finding out there was a back utility gate and that workmen were doing work on the villa. Our issue was more the lack of communication and notice that the workmen would be there.
Despite those two little snafus, Jason and I thoroughly enjoyed at our stay at ZIN Canggu. Delightfully responsive and friendly service, a luxuriously comfortable villa, and fantastic food all combined to make ZIN a stay to remember. We’d happily stay at ZIN again, and recommend it to you if you’re after the spaciousness and retreat-like privacy of a villa, coupled with the full service of a hotel, all located in a central location in Canggu.
Property: ZIN Canggu Resort and Villas
Accommodation type: luxury villa resort
Booked through: Booking.com
Room type: Villa with Private Pool
Cost: two nights AUD$770
Style in a few words: chic minimalist Balinese adult luxury