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Old Apr 26, 11, 11:13 pm
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DavidO
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Berkeley, CA
Programs: Virtuoso, FSPP, STARS, MO FAN Club, PEN Club, Bellini Club, Dorchester Diamond Club, Travel Leaders
Posts: 1,643
Bali staying near the beach

Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay



We spent two nights at FS Jimbaran Bay, about a half hour drive from DPS. The drive is not the most attractive, but once you have reached the Four Seasons, you will know that you have arrived at an exclusive enclave. The resort consists of 147 hillside villas overlooking Jimbaran Bay. We stayed in an Ocean Front Villa, # 104 (which likely is the villa pictured above from the FS website). All villas have the same configuration, differing only in the view afforded. Each is 200 square meters, that area including private outdoor space.

I was impressed with the architectural design of the resort; villas are built out of blocks of the same black volcanic rock — and with similar design motifs — used to construct the countless temples you will see everywhere in Bali, so you definitely get a sense of "place" at FS Jimbaran Bay. Painted wooden doors lead through a stone gateway into your extensive private courtyard. To one side is a large open air living room under a thatched roof with a ceiling fan, sitting area, minibar, and a round table around which guests can enjoy breakfast or another meal through in-villa dining. Straightaway is a private plunge pool which provided the foreground for our beautiful view of Jimbaran Bay. To the other side is the entrance into the master bedroom suite. Space is very generous. A separate dressing area provides two closets, and the bathroom has a large soaking tub, dual vanities, and both indoor and outdoor showers. Villas are beautifully furnished with marble floors throughout, thatched roofs, and Balinese motifs in the furnishings.

FS Jimbaran Bay is a large resort, and a complimentary "buggy service" is available at any time to take you wherever you might wish to go in the resort. Kid-friendly, there is a complimentary "Kids for All Seasons" programs as well as complimentary baby sitting for parents who want to enjoy a romantic dinner in one of the resort's three restaurants. The spa provides a full menu of treatments, and there is a fully equipped exercise room with views of the lush landscaping around the spa facility.

Being a hillside resort, none of the villas are "on" the beach. However, you can walk to the beach (or take a "buggy"). Four Seasons has several shaded areas alongside the beach with lounge chairs which attendants will set up for you. We spent our final morning swimming in the bay (the water was calm and the temperature perfect), then spent an hour relaxing in lounge chairs under the trees, just looking out onto the water. Wonderful! If you are a fan of Four Seasons beach resorts, you will be satisfied with your stay at Jimbaran Bay.


Amankila



The final stay on our trip to Bali and Java, Amankila is one of the most elegant and serene beach resorts in the world. Situated on east Bali on a hillside overlooking the Indian Ocean. Amankila has just 35 suites, and its guests have access to a wide beach or any of four public pools. Nine lucky guests staying in pool suites can also relax alongside their own private plunge pool (about 30' long by 10' wide).

We spent two nights in a Pool Suite which had a filtered view of the ocean. Suites are large (about 680 total square feet) and beautifully furnished. Floors and bathrooms are finished in beautiful terrazzo, and furnishings, doors, windows, and accents are solid teak wood. The Master Bedroom has a King bed centered along one outside wall, and a twin-sized daybed and large desk (providing both 110 and 220 AC power) on the other side of the room. Free Wifi is provided to guests at Amankila.

Passing through to the next section of the suite, there is a window seat along one outside wall and a terrazzo tub along the other outside wall, along with a toilet and step-in rain shower, both with wooden privacy doors. The final section of the suite has two separate vanities and two dressing areas, each with drawers and closet space, are found on the left and right sides of the room.

Common to a lot of resorts in Bali, Amankila has a vertical orientation up and down a hillside, and you will need to be comfortable climbing stairs. It's an easy walk to the beach and the Beach Club restaurant, but you may wish to take advantage of the buggy service back to the main Lobby area. Guest assistants can help you plan sightseeing or shopping trips in the vicinity of the resort.

Amankila seemed to have the highest occupancy rate of all the Aman properties we visited in Indonesia, and small wonder. If you are desiring a serenely elegant beach vacation, there is no better choice in Bali.


Jimbaran Puri Bali



I wanted to see some less expensive options on the beach in Bali, and as my agency is a preferred partner of Orient-Express, I made plans for a site inspection of Jimbaran Puri Bali. There is a certain feeling that Orient-Express properties creates for me, and Jimbaran Puri provides that same feeling. The resort is neither as large nor as elaborate as FS Jimbaran Bay. Just 42 cottages and 22 newly constructed villas, all at sea level, some with a direct view of the beach across a lovely, shaded, green lawn. What this resort offers is simple: direct access to a great beach and a great pool — in other words, everything you really need for a very comfortable but non-pretentious beach vacation.

Jimbaran Puri is located on Jimbaran Bay, a 30 minute walk on the beach from the Four Seasons (with the InterContinental Bali in-between). The thatched roof cottages are quite understated on the outside (in fact, they look quite humble in photographs), but they are spacious and comfortable on the inside with marble floors, wooden furnishings decorated with cotton batik fabrics, and a high ceiling/thatched roof. Bathrooms have a sunken marble bath tub, dual vanities, and an outdoor shower.

The 22 newly constructed 1BR and 2BR villas are large and exceedingly private, each with its own courtyard, pool and living generous space. 2BR Villas provide a detached King-bedded master suite, twin beds in the second bedroom, along with a dining area and a living room (that can accommodate additional children). Villas do not have beach views, but along with the rest of the accommodations, the walk to the beach is short and level.

With prices perhaps one-third those at the Four Seasons, Jimbaran Puri is a very reasonably priced option to consider on Jimbaran Bay. The clientele is mostly European, but I would not hesitate to recommend this resort.


Amanusa



Amanusa is an elegant and exclusive resort. Perhaps the best way to describe the aesthetic experience is to think about its large and soaring lobby (which seems even larger in reality than this picture) and its palatial main swimming pool … and to consider that the resort has just 35 suites. So much space and attention is lavished on just a very few select guests… that's what Aman is about.

The accommodations are Zen elegant … simple, spacious, and beautiful. The Pool Suite we were shown was absolutely gorgeous, with every detail — from its stunning marble floor to its full-length private pool — exquisitely planned.

While all beaches on Bali are public, Amanusa has a private beach club available only to resort guests. This private area was created just off the public beach and provides shaded lawn chairs, a beach restaurant, washrooms, and recreational equipment. We visited around sunset while a candlelit barbecue was being set up on the beach. The resort itself is high above the water (with spectacular views), and a shuttle service is provided to take guests to the Beach Club. You cannot walk to the beach.

Amanusa provides priority reservations for its guests at the adjacent Bali Golf and Country Club. If you want to play golf while on Bali, this is where you will want to stay. With a location convenient to the airport, this is a resort to consider at the very beginning or end of your Bali vacation.

Last edited by DavidO; May 11, 11 at 6:10 pm
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