This luxury resort on Indonesia’s most famous island provides more than just a weekend of staycation fun
What can one anticipate from a resort that sits on almost 100 hectares of land? Now, don’t hold your breath, but that’s the size of Ayana Resort and Spa. And it’s also Bali’s one and only fully-integrated resort that’s home to three hotel properties, 19 restaurants and bars, 12 swimming pools and an astounding 15 wedding venues. Safe to say, you can embark on a foodie’s culinary journey in the resort itself.
Perched above Jimbaran Bay and a mere 30-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport, it’s no wonder that the resort has become increasingly popular among visitors of the Land of Gods. Make no mistake, with a seemingly endless list of facilities and services that’ll keep guests occupied for more than just a long weekend, there truly isn’t a need for one to step out of the resort until it’s, well, time to check out.
The resort offers three distinct properties for its visitors: Ayana Resort and Spa, Rimba Jimbaran Bali and The Villas. While the former two are better suited for those travelling with friends and family, the latter offers the most lavish and dreamy setting for couples on romantic escapades.
Given the size of the resort’s compounds, exploring it in its entirety isn’t really doable if you’re just there for a weekend. But should a short staycation call out to you, here are our four favourite spots in the resort.
The Villas Get Our Vote
Residents of The Villas are entitled to a huge perk that guests at the other two properties don’t have access to: a personal butler. This also includes private transportation around the property. At the touch of a button, my butler appears at the entrance of the villa with a buggy within minutes. On lazy mornings, I opt for breakfast in the pool (yes, you heard it right), where my butler serves up a three-course gourmet breakfast on a floating tray. I’m treated to fresh strawberries, eggs benedict, scones and even a glass of champagne and slowly decompress in the warm, lucid waters of the pool and soak in breathtaking views of the horizon.
The Best Sunsets Are At Rock Bar
Guests of The Villas are also given exclusive access to the VIP Round Deck at the acclaimed Rock Bar. Apart from potent bespoke cocktails, this is the vantage point for viewing the most spectacular panoramic sunsets in the area. Since Rock Bar is also a hotspot for tourists who travel from neighbouring areas such as Seminyak and Kutait’s best to arrive before 5pm to guarantee the best seats for sundown.
Fave Dining Spot: Kisik Bar and Grill
And while you may head to Rock Bar for the view, we recommend heading to Kisik Bar and Grill for dinner. Here, you may relish one of Jimbaran’s best seafood culinary experiences on a wooden pier that stretches out from the shore. Pace yourself well and don’t skip signature dishes such as the grilled lobsters smeared with garlic butter sauce, giant Balinese barbecued skewers and sauteed mussels. All this, complemented by lighted tiki torches and the tranquil crashing of waves.
While Your Afternoon Away At Kubu Beach Club
What’s Bali without some sun and fun? We weren’t kidding when we said Ayana provides everything you need for a retreat, and that includes a beach accessible only to residents. As the inclinator transports me down to one of Bali’s last remaining hidden white sand beach coves, I’m instantly greeted by the primitive charm of Kuta’s bygone era. Kubu Beach Club, located at the edge of the sequestered Kubu beach, is a far cry from the chic, modern clubs that run on the coasts of Bali today.
Instead, you’re greeted by a harmonious assembly of rugged limestone cliffs and ancient Balinese architecture inspired by island elements such as shell, wood bamboo, stone and antique roofs. I’m truly glad that even with the rise of posh, contemporary establishments to lure holiday-makers, true Balinese heritage still has its place on the island. Local staff donning traditional straw hats attend to me with several beverage recommendations and soon enough, I find myself settling in a bamboo-and-straw cabana, with a freshly-carved coconut by my side.
Ayana Resort and Spa, Bali
Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera
Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan