FOUR SEASONS SAYAN
I couldn’t leave Ubud without experiencing the Four Seasons Sayan. It came highly recommended and is another great choice when looking into luxury accommodations in Ubud. Also located in the middle of the rainforest and alongside the Ayung River, the Four Seasons exudes complete tranquility surrounded by the beauty of mother nature. It’s unique architecture was built from the inspiration of Ubud’s signature rice terraces, staying true to traditional Balinese design. The resort’s main entrance is breathtaking, with a vast circular lily pond on top of the main lobby, signifying the center of a large rice bowl. The lush property is surrounded by tropical palms, rice farms, lily ponds and scattered gardens of fruit trees, medicinal and spice plants, all of which are labeled by name.
The Four Seasons put together a personalized itinerary of Sayan Signature Experiences which allowed me to really get the full resort experience. I practiced Power and Anti Gravity Yoga in the amazing open air bamboo studio overlooking their own rice terraces. Anti Gravity Yoga uses a dynamic “flying” technique with hanging hammocks used to support and stretch the body. It was a unique experience that I recommend trying (although be prepared for a challenge- it was a lot harder than it looked). Other activities included a Mediation and ‘Life Talk” session, a Rice Bowl Architectural Tour on the resort property, and a Rice and Spice Body Scrub & massage at the beautiful Sacred River Spa which was incredible. Although I had a busy schedule, I still had enough down time time to relax in my villa and by the resort’s amazing signature pool.
The resort offers 60 luxury suites and private villas. I stayed in an amazing two-level villa with a private plunge pool and patio with breathtaking views overlooking the Ayung River. My favorite part was waking up to breakfast served out on my villa patio. The breakfast menu is extensive and you have the option to enjoy it in your villa or at the Ayung Terrace, located below the main lobby. Breakfast became the highlight of my Bali trip. Whether I dined at the Ayung Terrace, Riverside Cafe or in the privacy of my villa, I was impressed by every meal. The food was delicious. I recommend having dinner at the Riverside Cafe which is the restaurant by the main pool in a beautiful open air setting alongside the Ayung River. I enjoyed an amazing seafood dinner on “fisherman night” which happens every Saturday evening.
The Four Seasons Sayan enhanced and took my Ubud experience to the next level. I was blown away by the service, food and hospitality and was equally impressed by the beauty of the place. The resort took such good care of me and I left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
FOUR SEASONS JIMBARAN BAY
My last stop in Bali was the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay. The Jimbaran hotel had a completely different feel than the Four Seasons in Ubud, both unique and special in its own way. Designed after a traditional Balinese village, the property is a beautiful oasis of luxurious oceanfront villas set on Jimbaran Bay beach. Each villa has its own plunge pool and ocean view, with direct beach access just a few steps away. The resort’s massive inifinti pool over looking Jimbaran Bay was quite impressive, but if you want more of a beach club experience, the newly built Sundara Beach club and restaurant is a great way to spend your day relaxing in one of their poolside cabanas. The indoor-outdoor design combines an open air terrace, an indoor restaurant and bar, as well as beachfront daybeds with a view of the Infinity Edge Pool and Jimbaran beach.
The Four Seasons is a great place for foodies. On my first night, I met Executive Chef Liam Nealon of Sundara and enjoyed dinner and drinks watching the sunset over Jimbaran Bay. Offering modern Asian inspired cuisine, Chef Liam brought out dishes like Tempura Bulgogi Frog Legs with Kim Chi slaw, Crispy Pork Belly, Tuna Chirashi and a refreshing Crab and Coconut salad. The cocktail menu is creative and we onjoyed a few delicious fruity cocktails to compliment our dinner. It was a great dining experience, and after dinner, the chef brought me into his kitchen to meet the people behind the food.
The resort also has its own cooking school, Jimbaran Bay Cooking Academy, which gives food lovers a hands-on cooking experience using organic Indonesian ingredients from the local Jimbaran markets. It’s a fun and interactive activity for all age groups. The next morning I woke up early to meet Chef Kris, one of the resort’s cooking school chefs, and we hit the local Jimbaran markets to shop for ingredients. I’m all about venturing into the local side of town so this was definitely a highlight of my trip. Chef Kris taught me all about traditional Balinese ingredients as we walked through the local spice and fish markets. We took all the ingredients back to the resort where I had my own private Balinese cooking class at Sundara Beach Club. I was totally in my element and it was such an exciting and enriching experience.
Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay is great for couples or families. Being right on the beach, they offer plenty of beach activities, water sports and Power and Anti Gravity Yoga in an open air studio with beach views. Although the resort is very kid friendly, it still has a quiet and exclusive feel. There are also the Four Seasons Residences on property where you can stay for longer periods of time (I got a tour of the residences and they are absolutely beautiful). They are perfect if you’re traveling with a larger group of family or friends.
I was extremely impressed with The Four Seasons Bali, they made my Bali experience unforgettable. Both resorts offer the ultimate luxury vacation with impeccable service and hospitality.