One of my travel mottos is ‘you can’t go wrong with the Four Seasons;’ for me it’s a hotel franchise that owns some of the best hotels that I’ve ever stayed in. Since starting this blog I’ve written about The Four Seasons Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Bora Bora and The Biltmore in Santa Barbara all of which offer gorgeous accommodation and very high levels of service. Of course, I had little doubt in my mind where I wanted to stay for the first four nights of our holiday, The Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay.
Jimbaran Bay in the south of Bali, is known as the ‘Beverley Hills of Bali’ as it is home to several luxury beach resorts and expensive villas and has one of the best beaches in Bali. When I first booked the hotel, I thought we’d be in fairly easy reach for the nightlife of Seminyak and Kuta, but I hadn’t bargained on the terrible traffic into town and it actually took us two hours to get to a restaurant on our second night! There are however, some excellent restaurants in the neighbourhood and Jimbaran is a beautiful and peaceful place to stay plus it’s in easy reach of the luxury hotels in Uluwatu and Nusa Dua if you fancy a
hotel snoop somewhere else for dinner….
The grounds are simply stunning with gorgeous water features and beautiful pink flowers around the hotel. The resort resembles a Balinese village with its pretty thatched villas inspired by traditional Balinese architecture peppering the hillside. Though it was August, it wasn’t crazily hot and it was actually very pleasant to stroll around the property. Compared to some of the other hotels that we stayed in it was a pretty big resort with 147 rooms, but guests aren’t expected to walk anywhere and there’s buggy service throughout the hotel.
The hotel is directly on the beach and it’s very easy to stroll down and walk across the water front and check out one of the little seafood restaurants that Jimbaran is known for.
The Four Seasons Jimbaran is also right next door to The Intercontinental Hotel in Bali, and you can just wonder in from the beach, which of course we did!
Just look at that pristine sand and doesn’t the hotel looks gorgeous in the background with the thatched roofs rising in the hills?
When you arrive at the hotel you’re given a delicious lemongrass tea and cool towel, swiftly checked in and taken to your villa.
Delicious summer rolls are bought to the room on arrival to give you a little sustenance after your flight. The room was absolutely stunning! Let’s start with the outside…
You enter the villa to this little garden path which leads to your own private pool with a view of the ocean beyond…
Next to the pool, is a pair of sun loungers just ripe for lazing with a jug of margarita…
Each room has a stunning walled court yard with your own private pavilion and outdoor living space…
The Pavilion was so big you could even have your friends around for dinner! Of course, I immediately inspected the mini bar…I do these things for you, readers…and it contained only a few soft drinks though you could ask for it to be filled with what ever you wanted. I immediately put in my order for a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc!
The bedrooms are beautiful, inspired by Balinese homes and are decked out with Indonesian furnishing and fabrics to give you a taste of the traditional.
The bathroom was also huge with a gorgeous double vanity unit, large soaking tub and lots of cute extras such as candles and incense.
The bathroom also led on to its own garden with an outdoor shower.
One thing I loved about the Four Seasons was that they provided a daily program of activities such as cocktail classes, water sports, art tours around the property, yoga and loads of stuff for kids. Everyday you’re provided with a ‘what’s on’ activity sheet to plan your day and many of the onsite experiences are free of charge. There’s lots of other activities at the resort that are chargeable and need to be booked such as the cookery class academy and the spa.
Though we didn’t get a spa treatment, we took a look in the beautiful Healing Village which offers treatments inspired by Balinese traditions as well as yoga and salon treatments. Around the spa is the gym offering personal training and boot camp and a tennis court which provides tennis lessons from pros.
But just writing that is making me feel exhausted…if you just want to lie and do absolutely nothing (ahem…Mr S) there’s two pools.
One very quiet and chilled out infinity pool slightly higher on the hillside. It was very relaxed with excellent service and attendants providing ice cream and refreshments along with cold towels and sunscreen.
We loved the pool and the hotel’s beach club, Sundara which was quite lively in the afternoon. You could relax in the shade of one of their chic daybeds sipping on chilled cocktails or wine. The area is mostly for guests of the Four Seasons, but non-resort guests can hire one of the day beds and use the facilities. Just a few steps away from Sundara was the kids club and just on from that was Coconut Grove Beach.
A platform raised just off the beach that gave guests a chance to lie on their resort loungers, shaded by tropical trees and gaze at the ocean without getting too covered in sand. From here guests have complimentary water sports such as wind surfing, kayaking and snorkelling, as someone that’s not a strong swimmer and scared of the ocean, I’m not big on water sports but Mr S loves them! However, for this holiday he was quite keen just to relax and not expend too much energy on sport.
In terms of food there were three restaurants; breakfast was served in the main restaurant Taman Wantilan meaning Garden Outdoor Gathering Place.
The restaurant was a gorgeous indoor / outdoor space with views out to the pool and the ocean beyond. It was surrounded by beautiful gardens and we admired the indoor pond and the gentle music of the Balinese Kim (xylophone) as we enjoyed our breakfast.
Breakfast was wonderful and featured so many different things but all of such high quality; there was an egg station, local Indonesian and other Asian options as well as the stuff we’re more used to such as bakery goods, fruit and sausages.
Taman Wantilan doesn’t serve lunch but we had dinner there one night and sampled some of their delicious Indonesian cuisine.
Sate Lilit or grilled Balinese mixed satays, these are incredibly popular in Bali and are generally made from minced beef, chicken, pork or fish and skewered on sugar cane or lemon grass.
We also tried the Nasi Goreng, one of Indonesia’s most well known dishes that can come in different varieties but this one contained prawn fried rice, dried anchovies, prawn satays and fried egg. It’s delicious and totally addictive but watch out for that spice – I think Indonesian’s have a different definition for spicy than Europeans!
One option for lunch is the poolside cafe which serves a mixture of Asian and Western food.
You know I can’t say no to some delicious sushi!
As I mentioned Jimbaran is famed for it’s delicious seafood which we sampled at the pool side cafe; a beautifully cooked selection of snapper, jumbo prawns and calamari in Balinese spices. We didn’t visit ourselves but apparently Jimbaran fish market is well worth a look and if you sign up for the Cookery Academy, the hotel will give you a tour of it.
The final restaurant is Sundara at the Beach Club where we ate a couple of times;
The setting over looking the pool and the ocean is absolutely stunning and definitely worth a visit even if you’re not staying in the hotel. There’s both indoor and outdoor seating for the restaurant and a bar serving tropical cocktails using local Balinese ingredients.
We went there for dinner on our first night and enjoyed champagne by the ambient glow of fire pits and chilled out live music.
The food was served tapas style and you could choose the size of your dish (small, medium or large) from an Asian inspired menu. We went for lots of small dishes so we could try as much of the menu as possible.
Highlights were tuna sashimi served with nashi pear and benito soy as well as giant king prawns with bumbu spice and kangkung.
We also returned to Sundara for the signature Sunday Brunch which featured unlimited starters to graze on – a mix of European and Asian, a choice of main course, and a choice of incredible desserts….oh and the option of unlimited drinks.
I have to say we weren’t overly impressed by the starters but we loved the snapper for main course…
And do I even need to write a word about the bombe Alaska with layered ice cream cake and burnt meringue. I mean just look at it!
The other option is in-room dining in for own pavilion which we did for breakfast one day.
I just love the way they lay out the table so beautifully! The waiter even produced a toaster and toasted our bread freshly for us! It seems a really simple thing but it really was lovely. The hotel can also organise romantic dining experiences such as candlelit dinners in the room or in an ocean front gazebo or even a champagne sunrise breakfast with your own customised menu.
As you can tell by the length of this gushing post, I totally loved The Four Seasons Jimbaran. You come to expect the high levels of service from such a luxurious hotel – Mr S and I look at each other and nod knowingly – that’s the Four Seasons training…But what really struck me about this beautiful property was the friendly atmosphere. It’s not one of those places where you never see another guest, but none of the public areas are ever too crowded; the staff chat away to you and remember your names and your favourite wine. Overall a hotel that’s very hard to fault.
The Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay
62 361 701010