I hung the white flag from our beachside cabana to get the attention of one of the beach boys so my wife and I could order lunch. Here at Amankila, a swanky beach resort in East Bali, you don’t have to do anything but relax.
This is the third hotel Natalie and I stayed at on our honeymoon in Bali. The first three nights we spent at Amanusa, the next two at Amandari, and the last three here. Below are my eight reasons to stay at Amankila.
When you first arrive in Bali you will probably — like us — want to explore and experience as much of the island as you can. But towards the end of your trip you will be tired and Amankila is the ultimate place to relax. Amankila means “peaceful hill” – and the property is set on a cliff overlooking the Lombok Strait in East Bali. It opened in 1992 and it sure is peaceful. The reason why we chose this as our last hotel is because there’s not much to see in the area. You come here just to chill, enjoy the pools, beach, spa, food, and most importantly your loved one.
Amankila has 34 stilted free-standing suites that are tucked into the lush vegetation around the resort. They are all elevated so the views of the sea are spectacular. The rooms are fashioned as a beach house but with a twist since they have Balinese roof thatching.
Each suite has a large bedroom with a king-size bed, wide windows with thick wood shutters, and a writing desk. The bathrooms have a separate shower and a narrow soaking tub. The outdoor terraces are furnished with a daybed and a coconut-shell table.
One of my favorite parts of the room is they have large fruit baskets and jars of miniature addictive cookies and vegetable crackers which they refill twice a day!
There are no TVs but you can request one if you desire, although there’s really no need as rooms come with fully loaded iPods with thousands of songs from every imaginable artist and free Wi-Fi.
Good to know:
- The housekeeping crew which you rarely see, seem to clean your room every time you leave. They tidied up ours at least three times a day.
- From the room you can hear the waves crashing from the sea below.
- Unlike most tropical places I’ve been there are not a lot of bugs. I’m assuming it’s because they spray the property with repellent or it was because we were in the dry month of September.
3. Three-Tiered Pool
The centerpiece of the resort is their signature three-tiered blue-tiled pool which overlooks the sea and is designed to look like the rice terraces near Ubud. Around the pool are oversized covered daybeds that have pool attendants standing by to promptly cover the cushions with towels and bring you water, chilled towels and sunscreen. They also are on standby to bring you food and drinks.
4. The Beach Club
My favorite spot is the Beach Club. You can either walk down a winding paved path and its 155 steps (we counted) or get shuttled in one of Amankila’s open-air buggies. We walked each time since it takes just five-minutes and the views and flora are just to die for. The club is set within a grove of coconut palms and there’s a 41-meter lap pool surrounded by lounge chairs with an open-air restaurant that has bathrooms and showers.
Just a few feet away is the entrance to the deserted black sand beach. There they have eight private lounging bales that are tucked into the foliage for privacy. There are attendants that will bring you drinks and food (just hoist the white flag when you want something).
They also have a wide selection of windsurfers, boogie boards, surfboards, kayaks and Hobie cats at no extra charge. I took a spin on one of the stand-up paddle boards and the water was ridiculously warm.
We spent most of our afternoons just lounging down by the beach and reading. What was amazing is that even down by the beach Amankila has free Wi-Fi available so we could Skype our family back home. That didn’t make them too jealous.
Unfortunately, the beaches of Bali weren’t as nice as I imagined and my biggest disappointment at Amankila was seeing three oil tankers parked right off shore to unload their treasure at the nearby oil plant. You have to believe the local authorities got greased on that approval and that it was set up after Amankila picked this heavenly spot.
As with every Aman resort the food at Amankila is top notch. They have three places you can eat. The main restaurant simply called “The Restaurant” is located above the three-tiered pool and is open only for dinner. They serves a mix of Western and Indonesian cuisine. Below the Restaurant and set just back from the pool is The Terrace and it’s open for breakfast and lunch and serves Asian and Western cuisine. Down at The Beach Club is another restaurant that offers a simple menu of salads, pizzas, Indonesian and Western light dishes for brunch, lunch and afternoon tea.
Good to know:
- Private dining is available in your suite 24 hours a day.
- Adjacent to the Restaurant is Amankila’s Bar.
- Afternoon tea is served daily in front of the Library.
7. Afternoon tea
Afternoon tea is served daily in front of the Library. It’s a real treat since the cute local girls dressed in sarongs and kebayas from a nearby village offer complimentary Indonesian ginger tea, Bali kopi (coffee) and local Balinese cakes.
8. Spa treatments
Amankila doesn’t have a plush spa or gym – they are both in remodeled guest suites. But the nice thing is the masseuses come to your room to give you a traditional Balinese massage. Or they will go down to the Beach Club where two teakwood massage tables are hidden away in a grove of coconut palms and flowering bushes
Good to know:
I don’t recommend this place to anyone who can’t go up and down stairs very well. There are stairs everywhere and some of them are steep. The steepest is from the pool to lobby where there are 38 steps. To get to our room from the lobby we counted 75 steps. We didn’t mind because it was a great exercise but older and less mobile people should know.
Amankila has won all kinds of rewards including being named the second best hotel in Southeast Asia (after Amandari) by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler Magazine in the November 2012 issue.
There you have it. If you are going to Bali for a special occasion and you want to do nothing by unwinding in a luxurious resort then you must check out Amankila. Below are a bunch of photos from our trip and I hope you enjoy them.