The following is a review of our hotel experience when we stayed at The Ayana Resort & Spa resort in Jimbaran Bali, in April 2017.
When you get to the main entrance of the resort your transport has to clear a security checkpoint. You then drive for about 100 yards before approaching the main hotel entrance. The resort itself homes two hotels, the Ayana Resort & Spa to the right, and then the Rimba Hotel to the left. Between the two are the Ayana Villas, but for these you need to check in via the Ayana side.
Ayana Hotel is the more expensive option, but if you stay in the Rimba you can actually get an unlimited shuttle bus to Ayana and use all the facilities – the pools, the restaurants, everything. The same goes for Rimba.
TRAVEL TIP: If you’re on a budget, you can book a cheaper room rate at Rimba, but still be able to use all the facilities at Ayana at no extra charge.
When you approach the hotel entrance the staff outside hit a huge gong on your arrival and then place a necklace of frangipani flowers over you. It’s quite a nice welcome and the flowers smell amazing! They are picked fresh every few hours.
Upon entering the hotel you walk down an open pathway with the most picturesque views in front of you of the resort. To the right is the main lobby, which is beautifully decorated, laced with marble flooring and huge chandelier lighting fixtures in addition to traditional Balinese flower arrangements. You definitely feel like you are in a luxurious 5* hotel.
The check in process was fairly straightforward. We were greeted with a cold towel and delicious drink that was a mix of kiwi, lemon and mint. It was so refreshing and just what we needed in the Balinese humidity.
The rooms in the Ayana hotel are beautiful! The colour pallet in the room was rich majestic purple and olive tones; very luxurious interiors, tastefully decorated with solid timber furnishings and artwork by local artisans, which really gave a true Balinese feel. We booked a deluxe resort view room, 48-sqm in size. The private balcony was delightful. It overlooked the lush green gardens and sea and became a regular spot for early morning sunrise views & late afternoon relaxation.
The bathroom was fully fitted in marble with a separate shower and bathtub, double sink, in addition to a closed off toilet. You are provided with slippers, dental kits, and free toiletries, which are, replenished daily.
Free Wi-Fi is available in all of the rooms.
There are over 10 pools to choose from in the Ayana Resort and each one looks completely different and has a totally different vibe.
The main resort pool located in the middle of the gardens is really big and has a mix of children and adults present. You can order food and drinks from the pool, and there are also a number of large bed/cabana style loungers, which are nice to chill on for an afternoon nap. Adjacent to the main pool, behind the cave area, you will find an additional pool connected to the children’s pool/play area that mainly consists of parents with their kids.
If you carry on walking towards the ‘Rock Bar’ vicinity, you come to a cable car entrance, which takes you to both the Rock Bar, and another pool area. This pool area was my favorite as it has an amazing infinity pool, which overlooks the ocean – a perfect Instagram worthy photo opportunity. There are only about 8 cabana style beds here though, so you have to get here super early. We got there at 9:30AM sharp and there was only 3 beds left. What I like about this pool location is there are no children here whatsoever and the vibe is so chilled out, not to mention the unbelievable views. We did a lot of people watching here. It was funny to see how everyone, myself included, only entered the pool to make way towards the edge for the impromptu photo shoot.
One of the iconic Ayana pool shots is actually located in a pool that is positioned in the private villa section of the resort. You can’t really use this pool unless you are staying in one of the private villas as it is meant to be exclusive, however, as we were doing some ‘travel agency market research’ on the resort for potential clients, we were invited to see inside one of the private villas in addition to spending a day by the pool.
The pool itself is so pretty. It has a cliff top infinity style construction, which provides the perfect spot for catching a tan and relaxing.
FYI – the infamous picture is not easy to capture! My poor cousin nearly fell off the top edge into the pool itself, in addition to being bitten by ants and spiders just to get ‘the perfect shot’.
One thing worth mentioning is that the weather in Bali during April is really touch and go. So for this particular photo session make sure as soon as you see the sun out you rush to take the picture, as if it gets cloudy the iconic shot does not look half as inviting. We spend a few hours chilling by the pool just taking it all in before deciding to take some ‘icon pool’ pictures. Thirty minutes later the weather became very overcast in preparation for a tropical shower! Thankfully we got the shot though.
With over 20 restaurant choices in the resort you are totally spoilt for choice with food. Unfortunately we didn’t stay long enough to sample each restaurant.
Surrounded by terraced lotus ponds reminiscent of rice fields, Padi restaurant serves breakfast buffets each morning. Get there early to get a seat as close to the buffet as possible. Is it just me who likes to do this? LOL.
There is a station island that includes all the fresh fruit you could want in addition to yogurt, granola, porridge, salads and cold meats. Opposite this there is another island specifically for pastries; both savory and sweet, in addition to separate food stations serving European, American, Thai, Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian specialties.
Fresh fruit juices, tea or coffee is also available. The quality of the food is outstanding and you will not get bored one bit.
We also had dinner here one evening, which was equally as delicious – the evening meals comprise Indonesian, Indian and Thai dishes.
We occasionally had snacks at the Kubu Beach Club, and Pool Deck.
UNIQUE Rooftop Bar & Restaurant located in the Rimba Resort was quite possibly the most scrumptious Mexican-inspired food I have ever tasted! The enchiladas, burritos, tacos and taquitos were delicious – so delicious in fact that we specifically ordered them again via room service at 10pm just before we checked out so that we could get our last minute fix!
Another restaurant we tried was the Rock Bar, but I will do a separate post on our experience here (all very good!) including recommendations and tips.
The Ayana Experience
The facilities at Ayana truly make it a wonderful resort to just spend all your time there. With various activities such as Cooking Classes, Bicycle Tours, Batik Painting, Beach Picnics, Golf Putting, or visiting the Thermes Marins Spa or private Kubu Beach, you will not get bored here one bit.
You could easily spend a week at this resort before even feeling the need to venture out of it to explore Bali, and with how beautiful Bali is, that’s saying something! I can’t wait to visit Ayana Resort & Spa, Bali again!!