We stayed for our honeymoon at FS Jimbaran Bay, Amankila and Sayan (you can see reviews of the other two hotels on this site). I also toured Amandari and Begawan Giri while we were in Ubud so we could compare them to FS Sayan for future trips.
The rooms at FS were by far the nicest in Ubud in any reasonable price range. (Begawan Giri has beautiful rooms and unbelievable service, but the costs are astronomical.) They have private plunge pools, awesome views of the river, complete privacy and gorgeous bathrooms. My husband, who likes modern architecture, found this to be his favorite hotel. Certainly, it was our favorite location. Ubud is a dream for those who love culture and shopping. We found wonderful antique stores, spas, restaurants, and temples only minutes away.
I did find the service better at Jimbaran Bay than at Sayan. The room service was a little haphazard at Sayan. We sometimes would get the wrong order, or they would forget a condiment that came with a dish, and one time, they only cooked our pasta halfway through. This was annoying, because for some reason, it took the kitchen about twice as long as any other hotel to deliver the food, so if they forgot something, it would be another 10 minutes before you could get salt or pepper and by then, your food was cold. We also ate at the main restaurant, and while the view is beautiful, the food was good, but not outstanding. I would definitely recommend eating outside the hotel - Begawan Giri's restaurant is the best in Bali, and Mozaique was also wonderful. Breakfast was also not as good as JB, though their fresh juices and muffins were very nice.
The staff went out of their way to be nice, and there was one person in particular who was great. Sometimes, however, the staff seemed distracted or disorganized when we would call, and they were not nearly as warm as the staff at Jimbaran Bay. (Here, you felt like they were willing to do anything you asked, but you were made quite aware of the fact that it was a bother to them, like when I asked for their advertised vegetarian menu of dishes). They wouldn't remember on their own our transfer times to the next hotel, and you would have to ask for things instead of someone just volunteering.
The spa was nice, nothing outstanding compared to top U.S. spas in terms of facilities. We liked the plunge pools and hot tubs outside the spa. The massages were not as good as Jimbaran Bay, but they were still fine, and the rooms were clean and professional.
The common area is stunning when you come in. It's hard to describe, but there's a sheer drop off with panoramic views of the jungle and the river. The use of multi-levels is gorgeous, very Frank Lloyd Wright in shape as well. I preferred the architecture at Jimbaran Bay or Amankila, because the only downside is that the entries were always the top levels (both for villas and for the entry to the hotel), and the living/eating areas were always downstairs, which were darker. It could have been partly influenced by the rain that happened during this portion of our stay, but it was not nearly as sunny and bright as the other hotels, almost a little cave-like. I also found the common areas spectacular but, after the initial view, not nearly as "usable" as the common areas of the other resorts. You're not really going to lounge on the top entry level of this hotel. I think that's why magazines love this hotel so much, but I actually found Jimbaran Bay a more pleasant overall hotel - its facilities were so much nicer. Also, the hotel did not seem to have as many activities as the other resorts. JB, for ex, had nightly cultural lectures and Amankila had local dancers and talks, but we weren't made aware of anything sponsored by the hotel during our stay.
I do think the rooms are as nice as any in Bali (besides being a little dark), and the artwork was actually the nicest. They were also the most private - you couldn't hear anyone or see anything but the river. If you like stone and more traditional architecture, you'll probably like JB or another hotel better. If you like sleek, modern, you will be in heaven here. The landscaping was really amazing - no matter what your sensibilities. And the preservation of the jungle around this resort is incredible.
Overall, it's hard to pick any faults with a FS resort. We loved it and would definitely stay here again. Hopefully, in the future, the room service will be a little more professional and there will be more attention paid to the food, but it was still an outstanding experience and these flaws were probably only noticeable because Jimbaran Bay, where we had stayed just before this vist, was so amazing.
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan
- Four Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan Hotel Ubud
- Four Seasons Hotel Bali
- Four Seasons Ubud