First of all, I regret not having written this review immediately following our stay in January 2014, as while the 5 star experience was wonderful, my memory of some of the specific examples of what made this holiday one to remember sill have no doubt escaped me with the passage of time! Nevertheless, I can't speak highly enough of this amazing place and its high class staff.
We are regular travellers to Bali but have previously stayed in Kuta, Tuban, Legian or Nusa Dua. On this occasion I asked my husband to surprise me with a hotel. I could ever have dreamt of what awaited me! As soon as we took the turn from the airport towards Jimbaran Bay I was intrigued...until we arrived at the grand entrance to Ayana, what became our home away from home for a week.
The hotel grounds are lusciously green and expansive. We were checked in at what appeared a very quiet and intimate check in desk overlooking lily ponds and the ocean in the distance. Not your usual hotel lobby, so where were we staying? After a prompt and friendly check in, we were greeted by a gentleman who escorted us on to a buggy (loaded with our luggage in the meantime). It was then the next part of the surprise was revealed, we had a butler service! Our butler meandered through the gardens, past the main hotel and a number of gorgeous pools and wedding chapel venues until we pulled up at a traditional Balinese gated entrance to a stand alone villa.
This just kept getting better...we walked in and had a tour inside. Spacious, lovely decor, massive four poster king bed, separate living area with couches, flat screen TV and mini bar. Humungous two roomed bathroom with double vanity, huge spa bath overlooking an outdoor water feature and outdoor shower, chaise. Separate inside shower and separate toilet. To the side of the first bathroom area, a massive walk in wardrobe with ample space for luggage, two hanging areas, multiple drawers and shelves.
Just when I thought I had seen it all, our butler opened the curtains and another part of the surprise was revealed...we were in fact staying in a cliff top oceanfront villa...we rushed outside to the hilltop and were welcomed by a breathtaking view. We also had a private plunge pool and double sized gazebo day bed...were we in heaven? Close enough for me!
So the location was clearly spectacular, but that wasn't all that made our stay one to never forget. The staff were fantastic (special mention to butler, Gus) - couldn't do enough for you. Yes, you could argue that when you're paying for a villa with a butler service that this is what you should expect. However, all the staffer encountered including our butlers were so genuinely kind and caring in everything they did, you could tell they took pride in among sure you had the best time possible, they weren't just 'doing a job'.
Some examples of the outstanding and personalised service: We had gifts left for our daughter (rubber ducky bath set and toiletries) and rose petals in a heart shape carefully placed in our bedroom one night when we returned from dinner. The staff were caring towards our daughter and made sure she had everything she needed (cot was set up in the villa prior to our arrival etc). Also, during our stay we had an issue with controlling the air conditioner thermostat and noticed some maintenance required on one of the curtain rails (loose screw, coming off wall). These concerns were dealt with promptly, courteously and without fuss or inconvenience to us (resolved while we went out).
What else? In regard to the villas, they had a really handy set up whereby you were provided with a mobile phone which could be used within the resort to call the butler at any time of day or night, whether it was to order some room service or be collected and transported in a buggy (the resort is sizeable and hilly and given we were traveling with a 10 month old, walking with lots of 'hand luggage' was not always an option, so we really appreciated this service).
The pools were beautiful - a few to choose from. Our favourite was the main two tiered infinity pool overlooking the ocean and adjoining a couple of the restaurants. It had great atmosphere and was suitable for kids, plus here was a nice hot jacuzzi to jump in and out of. Plenty of day beds and gazebos to escape the sun. There were other pools to enjoy too, including one which was for villa guests and another which was adults only, on the cliffside (amazing but we didn't use it since we had our daughter with us).
Food was impressive at all venues. We enjoyed an a la carte breakfast with other villa guests at the fine dining restaurant. Other mornings we preferred to opt for the buffet at one of the restaurants in the main part of the hotel. So much choice and all great quality! In addition to breakfast, we could not fault any of the meals we had in the variety of restaurants. There was Italian, Asian, Seafood (down beneath the hotel overlooking the bay) and much more. There were also several bars, although we never bothered to line up to get into the very popular Rock Bar (hotel guests get priority entry but even then, you really needed to line up around 4pm ahead of sunset - access was via an inclination which could carry only about 10 people at a time).
The fitness centre and spa were excellent. Good sized gym with a variety of equipment and never a shortage, even when busy in the mornings. The spa was sooo relaxing and treatments were great. That was in the spa, but there was also the world class option of having a massage (individually or in a couple) in a gazebo over the ocean or a thermo spa experience - both sounded amazing although did come with a hefty price tag so I refrained!
I am sure I will have forgotten something but no doubt by the description above, most will be convinced this is one place to definitely try! Even if you don't stay in a villa, the main hotel is lovely too. We asked to have a look at one of the hotel rooms and were very impressed with their size, amenities and standard of finish. We would not hesitate to stay in the main hotel next time (the reality being that the household budget may not always stretch to the dream of staying in a villa!). The entire resort is so well set up that we could have gone the whole week without leaving - we only did as we had arranged to meet some friends in Kuta. It is also worth mentioning that the hotel is connected to another hotel establishment called Rimba Jimbaran - guests of each hotel can use the amentities of both and there is a regular shuttle service between them.
Thank you so much Ayana for making this one of our most memorable trips. We hope to return one day soon!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The award-winning AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI is a world-class destination resort located on 90 hectares of cliff-top land perched above Jimbaran Bay, just 10 kilometers from Bali airport. AYANA’s majestic sunsets and ocean-front views are complemented by white-sand beach and shared facilities as Bali’s only integrated resort with RIMBA Jimbaran BALI. With full access to all dining and recreation at both AYANA and RIMBA and complimentary resort shuttle, guests enjoy the most extensive on-site facilities of any resort in Bali. There are 19 restaurants and bars including the famous Rock Bar; exclusive private beach; 12 swimming pools; world-class Spa with Aquatonic Seawater Therapy Pool and Spa on the Rocks treatment; golf-putting and fitness center; and complimentary WiFi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ayana Hotel Jimbaran
- AYANA Resort And Spa Bali Jimbaran