With heavy hearts, we reluctantly left our forest hideaway at Four Seasons Sayan and headed south west, away from Bali’s heartland towards the coast at Jimbaran Bay, where the mainland is connected to the protruding Bukit Peninsula. Our itinerary was taking us to the second of Bali’s resorts from the global hotel group, the Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay; another unique, luxury resort, but with a different character altogether.
Yes, it had been difficult to leave the lush forests around Ubud, but our hearts lifted as soon as we entered the cool open-air lobby of the Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay, to the sound of waves crashing on the beach in the distance.
Much like our last hotel, the service was sublime, and after a warm welcome, we were on a buggy once more, meandering our way down to our new villa home, craning our necks for a glimpse of the sea as we went.
Designed to feel like a traditional Balinese village, the hotel’s 35 acres of terraced grounds are covered in winding pathways, flowerbeds brimming with bright blooms and 147 private luxury villas, surrounded by rustic stone walls, with quaint wooden gates at their entrance.
It is impossible not to fall in love with this hotel, for the effort that has been put into perfecting every little intricate detail.
Inside the privacy of our thatched villa’s walled garden, we were greeted with the trickling sound of water from the pretty fountain in our private infinity pool, and the most breathtaking of sea views.
The outdoor living area was more elevated and open than our one at Sayan, and in the absence of the tall forest canopy, the space was flooded with sunlight.
Welcome shade was provided by a covered seating area, adorned with cushions, where many a plate of Nasi Goreng was scoffed.
Through traditional painted wooden doors, lay a light and airy bedroom decked with wooden floors and simple home comforts.
It was at night time that this room really came alive, as the low glow of the lamplight lit up the curtained bed and highlighted the beams in the peaked ceiling.
Next door, through a well-appointed dressing room, was the most stunning marbled bathroom, with a deep tub, rain shower and outdoor shower out the back so that you could enjoy a refreshing morning pick-me-up to the sounds of the dawn chorus.
The well-maintained and beautifully presented gardens of the hotel were once again a highlight of our stay. Sophia enjoyed pointing out all of the ‘fwawars!’ en route to breakfast every morning, and we all enjoyed regularly making the decision to take a random path on a whim, to discover where it would lead us.
Ultimately, all paths led to the tranquil waters of the hotel’s main infinity pool, which provides a perfect spot for taking a cooling dip in the heat of the day…
Or for sundowners later on.
This pool is a designated quiet area and usually reserved for the over 12s, so after a while we would move on down to the lower plunge pools where Sophia could splash about and shriek to her heart’s content.
As you move down the terraces towards the beach, you come to Sundara, the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay’s newest swanky addition, and an iconic destination in its own right.
With its 57 meter infinity pool located right on the edge of Jimbaran Beach, this spot became our daily hangout, and favourite place from which to watch the sunset.
One of the best things about Sundara is the fact that it’s located right next to the Kid’s Club, meaning that we could have a guilt-free
swim cocktail each day while Sophia played or napped, but could bring her straight out to the pool again as soon as we were done.
The babysitters were fantastic, so much so that we even entrusted one of them with our precious daughter for a whole evening while we escaped for a very special date night (more on this in due course).
Apart from swimming and lounging, we did very little else during our last few days in Bali. We headed to Jimbaran Beach one day to play in the sand and jump the waves…
Until the sun went down and it was time to head back to the villa.
There was a fabulous spa and fitness centre, there were cooking classes and tennis courts, but all we wanted to do was to lap up as much beautiful Balinese sunshine as we could before it was time to say goodbye.
World class food and drink is something that the Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay prides itself on.
Despite this, the best part of breakfast at Taman Wantilan was not the food, but the well-stocked fish ponds at the edge of the terrace, which kept Sophia amused for hours on end. Combine this with a resident 3 foot-long lizard, and she was in raptures!
The breakfast buffet was colourful and varied, and the views over the sea were impeccable.
Fresh fish, snacks and light bites were consumed at the Poolside Cafe, where regular complimentary refreshments were also brought round.
The rest of our meals were largely consumed at Sundara, whose five star Asian-inspired cuisine provided the dual benefits of being both an excellent casual daytime poolside eatery, and a sophisticated nighttime dinner spot, full of candlelight and romance.
Our time at Jimbaran Bay was a special end to one of the most incredible holidays of our lives.
The green oasis of the Four Seasons at Sayan had won our affections, but it was the Four Seasons Bali Jimbaran Bay that stole our hearts.
When I picture Bali, I will always speak fondly of the rice terraces and the lush forest around Ubud, but once you have watched a Bali sunset across the beach from the warm waters of one of the world’s most iconic infinity pools, it’s difficult to conjure up an image of anything else.
What do you think about when you picture Bali?
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