FOUR SEASONS BALI AT SAYAN
In today’s blog post (part four of the Hotels We Love series) guest Brittany tells us about a hotel she recently visited and loved.
Last year, my husband and I planned a diving trip to Komodo Island. We were hoping to extend the trip beyond our time in Komodo, so we started researching hotels around the Bali area. Eventually, we found a private travel agent whose job is to book hotel stays for clients at the Four Seasons, and just from booking with him, you receive free upgrades. We decided to book a five night stay through him, and in addition to a room upgrade, we also got free breakfast each morning. The Four Seasons in Bali, Indonesia is actually in Sayan, a small village town outside of Ubud. The luxury hotel is secluded, surrounded by the jungle and the Ayung River, and the looks and sounds of its water features and rainforest gardens make it blend peacefully into the scenery. The room upgrade got us a private villa with a pool, an indoor/outdoor patio, and a small cabana. It was pretty sweet! And the rate we paid was significantly less than the advertised price.
The Four Seasons is about 45 minutes from the Ngurah Rai airport, so we decided to take a tour of the town of Ubud and shop to kill time before our check-in time (2pm). When we arrived the hotel, a wooden walkway and spiral staircase led us to the lobby, which was on the level below. The modern complex almost looks like a spaceship; each level is stacked on top of one another, with each level smaller than the one above. The restaurants and lobby form a semicircle on the top level, and the floors below are occupied by the hotel rooms and the Sacred River Spa. Our private villa was located to the right of the main building, so the hotel staff drove us back and forth from our room to the lobby in golf carts. There are three dining areas on site- the Ayung Terrace, Riverside Café, and the Jati Bar. You could also snack poolside, as the staff frequently brought by delicious coconut refreshments and light snacks.
Our private villa was on a hillside, with views out to a garden, and had every luxury of your typical hotel room. Much of the open-air villa walked out to our private indoor/outdoor patio and pool. The interior was beautifully decorated with authentic woods, materials and fabrics. We had a king bed, a walk-in closet with two built-in dressers, and amazing bathroom. Super high-end toiletries, robes and slippers, bathtub, rain shower, and a separate toilet room. There was also an outdoor shower on the patio to rinse off after taking a plunge in the pool.
Surrounding the hotel was a dense, tropical jungle. Some of the greatest perks offered by the hotel were the activities and experiences they organized for their guests, many of which were complimentary. One day, we went to the rice fields nearby to spend “a day in the life of a Balinese farmer“- working with them to plant rice seeds in the rice paddies- followed by a traditional bathing ritual led by healers in the river. We also went on a bike tour that was organized and led by one of the hotel staff members. And if you wanted to venture into Ubud on your own, they had a van that would drive you to and from the town, which was about 15 minutes away. Several nights each week, they even had performances by Balinese dancers at the Jati Bar. There was even complimentary yoga and meditations in the mornings!
When booking, free breakfast seemed like a nice ‘extra’, but we were even more impressed with the value after eating there our first morning. Pancakes and waffles made-to-order on the outdoor grill, decadent pastries, dozens of types of tropical fresh fruit, Ibérico ham, and eggs made any way you desired. It was one of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve ever had- if not one of the best breakfasts we’ve had anywhere.
Service was impeccable, which is expected at the Four Seasons, but it was especially so because of the incredibly friendly local staff (including the housekeeping, management and the dining staff!) Everyone went out of their way to make us feel special and comfortable. We’re not surprised that the hotel has been recognized as one of the top resorts in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. We loved this hotel and can’t wait to return!
Tip: If you’re considering this hotel versus the other Bali Four Seasons, check out The Blonde Abroad’s post comparing the two! (She covers it better than we could!)