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In what has been a tumultuous year of travel for me, a luxury stay at Ayana Resort in Bali was just what the doctor ordered. It was as if the Gods were set against me, with a bout of Ross River Fever earlier in 2022 and then three days prior to travelling overseas to Hawaii and Alaska in June, I contracted Covid-19. Never have I felt more aggrieved than I have this year!
As a person who is passionate about travel and also maintaining good health, it made me appreciate that health is everything. If you don’t have this then it impacts on everything else in your life. Things like playing sport, exercising, playing with the grandchildren and travel are all affected by poor health and mobility. So I felt blessed to be travelling on my first overseas holiday in over 3 years to the Indonesian island of Bali.
The Ayana Resort is located high on a clifftop at the southern end of Jimbaran Bay, south of Kuta. It is only a short drive from the airport and is set on 90 hectares of land encompassing three separate resorts and villa complex. These are the Ayana Resort, Rimba Resort, the newly completed Segara Resort and Ayana Villas.
From Jimbaran the drive into the Ayana Estate is amongst natural forest with 200 plant species, prolific birdlife and monkeys. All resorts are separated by patches of forest and you can easily hop from one resort to another via a tram that services the estate.
There is wide choice of dining options with 15 globally-recognised restaurants, 13 sparkling pools, 980 breathtaking rooms, suites and villas. Plus there is the iconic Rock Bar that is set below the Ayana Resort, surrounded by rocky cliffs and pristine ocean. So there is absolutely no need to leave the estate if you don’t want to.
We purchased a Luxury Escape deal to the Ayana Resort, following our cancelled trip to Hawaii and Alaska, to somehow make up for the disappointment. It certainly helped in every way to appease that disappointment and we came away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after 6 nights here.
Our Luxury Escape deal included 6 nights at the Ayana Resort in a deluxe room that had ocean views, daily buffet breakfast, 6 dinners or lunches, 2 free cocktails each day, unlimited use of all the four resort’s amenities, unlimited games of putting golf, a 2 hour session in the hydrotherapy pool and a 50 minuted massage at Ayana Spa.
Our room featured very traditional Balinese decor with dark timber, consisting of a king-size bed, separate spacious bathroom with toilet, shower and bath, a small dining table and 2 chairs, a sofa and a roomy balcony with a large day bed. We were extremely comfortable.
With 13 pools to choose from, we made the most of these and tried to swim at a different pool each day. On the first day we swam in the infinity pool, that featured magnificent ocean views, and afterwards swam under the waterfalls at the lower pool at the Ayana Resort. The infinity pool appeared to be a popular photo shoot location for guests.
The following day, we spent a morning at the beach club at Kubu Beach in our own private cabana. To reach Kubu Beach we jumped on one of the trams that took us directly there and we got a lift (funicular) down to the the beach club that sits above the stunning beach.
There are stairs down to the sandy beach where you can sit on a sun lounge or take a dip in the ocean. However there are waves here, and it can be a little rough – so I would advise for experienced swimmers only.
On day 3 we took another funicular down to the rock pool – an infinity style pool that has stunning views over the beach at the bottom of the cliff at the Ayana Resort. Here there is a restaurant/bar, toilets and private cabanas surrounding the pool. We easily passed the morning here dipping in and out of the pretty pool and watching the “Instagrammers” take their perfectly posed pics.
On our last day we ventured over to Ayana Villas to check out the river pool here. It was raining very heavily when we first entered the lobby of the villas, but fortunately it soon stopped and we were able to shelter under a large beach umbrella beside the series of pools.
The main pool was rectangular-shaped, overlapping a larger pool underneath and curved around, much like a river I guess. It was another great place to capture some stunning photos, surrounded by frangipani trees of all colours.
There is also a shallow children’s pool with water slides located at the Ayana Resort. At the Rimba Resort there are a choice of six swimming pools, including the rooftop pool at Unique Restaurant and Bar. the newly opened Segara Resort has an indoor/outdoor pool and also a rooftop pool at Luna Rooftop Bar.
Our Luxury Escape deal included a 50 minute massage at the Ayana Spa. We were in for a treat at this opulent spa facility, that is a short walking distance from Ayana Resort. We had a choice of the type of massage we would like and were taken to a large change room to get into our robes before indulging in our own private treatment. It was divine!
The following day we returned to have our two hour hydrotherapy session at the aquatonic pool. After a quick shower we immersed ourselves into the warm sea water in the large pool that comprises of a series of twelve hydromassage stations with over sixty individual jet streams, micro-bubbles, and geysers that massage joints and muscles. The aim is to rebalance mineral deficiencies, stimulate blood circulation, tonicity, and promote muscular rehabilitation. It certainly gave us a work out without having to lift a muscle!
There are a number of treatments available at both the day spa and aquatonic pool, plus there is a dry sauna and wet steam room. It’s basically a complete rejuvenation package if your are so inclined.
If you truly want to pamper yourself try the decadent Spa on the Rocks, which features two luxury spa villas that are perched atop large rocks surrounded by the sparkling blue Indian Ocean.
We were definitely spoilt for choice with dining options at Ayana. There are over 11 dining establishments, since the addition of Segara Resort. Select from Japanese, Italian, seafood, Chinese, Asian, Mexican, steak and international cuisine.
On our first night we headed down to the Rock Bar, where we drank cocktails and watched the sun dip into the ocean. We then dined from a 3-course set menu, that did not disappoint.
We tried Sami Sami Italian Restaurant on the second night, that was also very tasty. Once again the sunset views were exquisite.
We ventured over to Unique Rooftop Bar at Rimba to experience another Bali sunset. Rimba Resort is a luxurious, modern 5-star resort within Ayana Estate surrounded by 8 hectares of beautiful gardens.
Unique boasts stunning 360 degree views of Uluwatu Hills and the Indian Ocean. It is an extremely stylish and upbeat pool club, great for lounging and a sundowner or two, serving Mexican inspired cuisine. We liked it so much here that we came back twice.
On our second Rimba visit, we dined at the Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant that offers authentic Chinese cuisine. We then tested out Asian cuisine at Damar Terrace, surrounded by terraced lily ponds, at the Ayana Resort.
Other choices are HonZEN Japanese, Dava Steak & Seafood and Kisik Lounge & Seafood Restaurant located oceanfront on the sand and near the pier.
If relaxing by the numerous pools or sunbaking at the beach all gets too much for you, then there are a host of other activities provided at Ayana Resort. We played a few round of putting golf on the 18-hole putting greens. Instead of catching the tram around the extensive estate we took a couple of walks through the forested areas amongst the tropical plantation. We saw many birds and several monkeys during our walks.
Wellness activities include: Yoga, aqua zumba or pilates, healing meditation, tennis or personal trainer sessions. The fitness centre is also well-equipped if you’re interested in keeping up your fitness regime during your stay.
For foodies try the organic farm tour or the farm to kitchen experience, where the chef takes you on a tour to experience selecting and harvesting the best quality of vegetables from their very own organic farm. Enjoy a romantic dinner for two in your own secluded location or a sunset picnic dinner.
Cultural experiences include batik painting, canang making (traditional Balinese offerings with local flowers), with a temple visit, or ketupat making (a woven container made from young coconut palm leaves).
Ayana Resort is an all-encompassing experience for those who want a relaxing holiday being removed from the overly busy and bustling locations of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. I found it to be a total chill-out and really couldn’t fault my stay.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.