If an oceanfront resort is your kind of paradise, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay is the place for you. The glistening blue of Jimbaran Beach can be seen from the moment you enter the hotel’s open-air reception area, and it’s no surprise this resort, with its traditional touches and modern luxuries, was listed among Travel + Leisure magazine’s 500 best hotels in the World 2014.
One of the features that make this resort unique is the way it draws on the basics of Balinese village life for its layout. “Three important areas of any Balinese village are the village square, the village lane and the courtyard house,” says Ringga Salim, Public Relations Coordinator at Four Seasons Resorts Bali. The resort has been designed with this in mind – its layout is a series of seven villages surrounding the central facilities building. Within each village is a village square surrounded by 20–25 courtyard villas. All Balinese homes have an indoor and outdoor dining pavilion and these, too, have been lovingly replicated in every villa here.
The resort’s private beach, Coconut Grove, offers a long, enticing stretch of sand for swimming and water sports. Reserved exclusively for Jimbaran Bay guests, it features open-air gazebos and day beds, badminton, table tennis and non-motorised water sports (Hobie Cat, windsurf, kayak, paddleboard, boogie board, surf board and snorkelling equipment).
Adjoining Coconut Grove Beach is the recently opened Sundara, an “all-day destination” named after the Sanskrit word for “beautiful”. It features the Sundara Bar, the open-air Sundara Patio and day beds for lounging by the 55-metre infinity pool. Enjoy a bite to eat on your daybed, sip on cocktails while watching the sunset or immerse yourself in a magnificent seafood dinner in Chef Pasquo King’s modern Australian restaurant, Sundara.
For me, the many swimming options on offer are the best bit about the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. The first pool you will see when you arrive, the Infinity Pool, is set on the stone terrace, home to beautiful sunrises and views out to sea. Water flows from here to the Lower Waterfall Pool, my personal favourite. It is a shallow pool meant for kids yet I loved to sit and hear the sound of the waterfall while reading. Then there are the hot and cold plunge pools, Coconut Grove Beach and Sundara’s infinity pool. Attendants offer complimentary amenities, such as ice cream, fresh fruits, water, cold towels and sunscreen. Last but certainly not least, all villas have their own private pool.
For a glimpse of real Balinese life, ensure you experience the complimentary biking tour on offer: a one-hour guided bike trip through the neighbouring village of Jimbaran. The final destination is Tegal Wangi Beach, a hidden beach in Bali rarely visited by tourists. Hello, paradise!!
After all the activities on offer, it’s almost a must to have a relaxing treatment at the resort’s spa. I chose one called “Welas Asih”, which focuses on the heart chakra and refers to “the capacity for love and compassion”. It features a scrub, bath, massage, rose oil and warm rose quartz to restore calmness and strengthen the connection with yourself or your partner. Pure bliss.
The Four Seasons residence villas offer an exclusive experience for those wanting the ultimate hideaway. Hidden within private walled gardens and located opposite the resort, these nine villas range in size from 1076m2 to 2230m2 and can accommodate up to 10 guests. Here, the focus is on the grand living, dining and outdoor areas, with a 24-hour butler on hand, making it the perfect place for a special occasion with friends and family.
My travel tip – wake up for sunrise so you can experience the bright pink sky from the comfort of your own bed.