Monday, December 27, 2010
WE HAVE JUST BEEN TO BALI, part 2, Aman Resorts
BALINESE ENCHANTMENT FOR AMAN LOVERS
Bali is good news for “Amanoholics”. Here Aman Resorts creates its own Balinese flavour in three different settings, offering beach, tropical adventure, and access to the rich culture of the island. Amanusa overlooking a white beach close to Nusa Dua, Amandari among jade green hills and artist colonies, and Amankila on a verdant hilltop with backdrop of ocean and active volcano, close to villages where ancient ways continue…
We made an enchanted journey between resorts, and thoroughly recommend experiencing more than one, all luxurious and culturally in tune. Here is a quick run-down.
It is impossible not to be blown away by Amankila! Located in East Bali, an area steeped in local tradition, near the village of Mangiss. It’s perched on a cliff, with a striking three level main pool with expansive ocean views.
Yes, there are a lot of steps and raised walkways around the resort connecting accommodations and amenities, which might be a consideration for some. But it’s absolutely worth the exercise to walk around this exquisite property with its 34 free-standing suites.
Beautifully appointed with thatched alang alang roofs, Garden and Ocean suites do not have pools but are still highly recommended. If a pool is a necessity, Pool suites, Kilasari suite, Indrakila suite and Amankila suite all have private pools. Pool suites can connect with garden suites.
Spa and beauty treatments are available in your suite or at the Massage Pavilion. We recommend a massage outdoors at the Coconut Grove, with the beach and beach club just beyond. It is quiet a walk down from the accommodation, and the hotel car can transport you back.
Dining is superb – from breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea to dinner – all excellent with wide choice of Eastern and Western cuisine.
Many activities can be arranged – trekking, mountain biking, tennis, cookery classes, elephant riding, horse riding, white water rafting – if you can tear yourself away from Amankila.
Special mention must go to the great staff at Amankila. They all seem genuinely happy to be there, from Management to housekeeping. Service is absolutely faultless.
So all in all Amankila is one of our top favourite resorts on Bali, without question!
HOW TO GET TO AMANKILA
60 minutes by car from Bali International Airport
Serene, private and luxurious in an understated way. Close enough to the chic shops and restaurants of Nusa Dua, but far enough away from the more ordinary hotels for it to feel really special.
Only 5 minutes transfer takes you to a pristine beach with private beach club, private bales and casual restaurant. The sand is whiter than white! This beach can be booked exclusively for dinner, highly recommended, so our advice is to think ahead and prebook.
All 35 thatched suites feature romantic four posters, sunken baths and spacious outdoor living festooned with tropical flowers. Linked with the public areas by elevated walkways.
An array of treatments including Balinese massage can be arranged in villa. Golf, tennis, snorkelling, scuba, diving kayaking, fishing all possible at this wonderful property.
HOW TO GET TO AMANUSA
30 minutes by car from Bali International Airport
The drive off the main road to Amandari in the village of Kedewatan. makes you wonder what to expect – the road, not owned by the hotel, is a bit basic. But when you reach the property, you know you have arrived somewhere special!
Local school children perform a traditional dance daily and were there waiting to greet us. Understated yet perfect, the architecture owes much to Balinese Hindu spiritual traditions. Absolute serenity…
Villas are very spacious and create an immediate feeling of relaxation and privacy, with the echoing sounds of the jungle strangely comforting.
Coconut wood and teak are used throughout the Village, Valley and Pool Suite categories – some overlook Ayung River Gorge and paddy fields. All comprise a lush garden courtyard and living area with outdoor sunken bath (walled for privacy but open air).
Single-storey or duplex suites: the duplexes have a four-poster bed on a mezzanine level while the single-storey suites offer a king-size bed; the single-storey suites were our favourite, but for families you need a duplex. Altogether there are 33 thatched suites.
Pool Suites feature private plunge pools of an excellent size. You would hardly need to venture to the main pool. Except perhaps to hear the the gamelan players performing from the music pavilion behind the pool – for extra peace of mind.
A staffed 3 bedroom villa lies at the far end of the resort. The hotel car can transport guests to/from the main amenities as the pathway is not ideal.
The Spa at the hotel is excellent. So is the dining, but it is also tempting to try the many casual and fine dining options in and around Ubud.
There is much to do from the hotel – trekking, cycling and rafting, and the shops, galleries, studios of Ubud with jewellery, art and crafts are close at hand. There is a complimentary hotel shuttle during the day making sorties into Ubud easy. The surroundings of Ubud feature small villages that for centuries have been devoted to wood carving, pottery, silver jewellery, silk batiks and endless crafts.
Amandari Pool Suite
HOW TO GET AMANDARI
90 minutes by car from Bali International Airport