This post is part four of my Bali adventure – for parts one through six, please see below.
After three nights in Ubud, we wanted to see another part of Bali, and thus headed to the Eastern side of the island. I wanted to incorporate a stay in East Bali because I had heard that the area was closer to the “traditional Bali,” and wasn’t as crowded as Ubud or Kuta/Seminyak. Our three days in East Bali and at our resort Amankila were amazing. There were so many aspects about our stay that I loved that, I had to split my review into two posts.
On our day of checkout in Ubud, Amankila sent a driver over to Chedi Club to pick us up. The car was equipped with cold water, wifi and snacks. We headed towards the town of Manggis, where the resort is located. Along the drive, we began to see glimpses of the coast and ocean and started to get excited. About an hour later, we passed a sign announcing that we were about to enter Amankila!
The car pulled up and we headed to the main lobby, where we were immediately greeted.
While our check in details were being completed, we were walked over to the bar and presented with a delicious virgin cocktail by the bartender. I can’t remember all the components but it had fresh passionfruit, sorbet and ginger beer.
We also had our first glimpse of Amankila’s famous “three tiered” infinity pools, inspired by the rice terraces of Bali. The view over the ocean was gorgeous.
After we finished our drink, we were brought to our villa. Amankila only has 34 villas, but the grounds are huge. Some can be quite a walk away (as well as up some stairs), and the resort has buggies that you can call to take you up.
Here’s a photo that shows you just how sprawling Amankila is.
Our villa though was a very nice walk for us, not too long.
We requested a specific villa on the recommendation of a friend – #37. Villa #37 we later found out was famous with the staff for having the best ocean view. Randomly throughout our stay, drivers and staff would say, “You have the best view!”
Our villa was an “ocean view” villa, so no pool, which I didn’t think was a loss as the resort’s pools are so amazing. Our villa was a bit smaller than ours at Chedi’s, and incredibly well designed. The architect was Ed Tuttle, who designed another hotel I’m very fond of, the Park Hyatt Vendome in Paris.
I also appreciated the large sitting area out front, where I spent a lot of time reading.
Upon entering, you immediately found the bed to your right (which was a nice big one, always appreciated by an American like myself). I had requested a pillow top addition since sometimes beds in Bali can be quite hard – however I was told that all the beds in the resort now had this topper.
The bathrooms were also split into a separate men’s and women’s vanity area. There were also two separate open wardrobe and luggage areas for each person.
There were several day beds around the room which were always lovely and had great light. I want one of these for my home (and no, a couch doesn’t count). I think if you have small children, these day beds can be converted into children’s beds.
One of my favorite aspects about our villa was the small design details which were everywhere. Mother of pearl for example, was used throughout – everything from the toothbrush holder to table top inlays featured it. Here was a detail I didn’t notice until our last night – the mother of pearl inlay on our bed.
There was also the obligatory fruit basket that we had in all three of our various hotel stays within Bali. However I have to say that Amankila’s was the best. I’d recommend trying the mangosteen – amazing!
Even though Amankila had a great restaurant where we usually had dinner, we took breakfast in our room every single day. The view was just too amazing and we loved sitting out on our little deck. The service and setup was flawless.
Seriously…can you see why we couldn’t make it down to the restaurant?
The food was of course fantastic as well. Like at Chedi, we’d order a mix of both traditional Indonesian and Western breakfast options. The only drawback about breakfast was that you’d wake up with a relatively flat stomach, put on your bikini…and then fill your stomach with pounds of food…and it’d no longer be so flat. Totally worth it though.
First we’d start with the fruit plate. The item on the bottom right corner is mangosteen, it’s probably the first time I’ve ever had it fresh. I have to say it again – it is a must try when at Amankila! The town of Manggis, where Amankila is located, actually means mangosteen.
This was a chicken porridge that was delicious and very soothing.
The Nasi Goreng which featured two of my favorite items in the world – fried chicken and a giant shrimp chip. Yeah!
Awesome fresh banana pancakes. Actually my favorite part of these bad boys can be seen in the left bottom corner of the picture. Freshly made butter with bits of honeycomb inside, the whole thing just melted together when you spooned some off into this swirled goodness. Oh my.
Fresh Moroccan doughnuts with some amazing toppings/dips I cannot remember except that one was a coconut custard and the other was like a sweet latte sauce.
After breakfast each day, we’d putter around for a bit and then either head down to the pool or the ocean.We’d usually pass by these sweet local girls in the afternoon, making flower garlands.
Our first full day, we went down to the pool. We enjoyed the bales and always chose one as our pool base. I really don’t see why all resorts don’t have these…a fabulous place to nap the day away. Do you see me?
The pools were a very nice temperature and it was always comfortable to hop in and enjoy the ocean view. I spent most of my time by the pool though chatting with Mr. Feather, sleeping, reading, and of course, eating more. Our first day by the pool, we decided to order a little snack. However, all the options looked so good, we ended up with a large burger.
And….pho. I was very excited to see pho on the menu. To be honest since I’ve had pho countless times, it wasn’t my favorite pho ever, but still a good noodle soup. I’d say it was more like a Thai/Indonesian soup than pho.
We also ate desserts by the pool. Here was our favorite, a classic Indonesian dessert called Dadar Gulung. They were basically thin crepes/pancakes with a coconut filling. Delicious.
This was another dessert we tried. I don’t remember much about it, except that it was good and I ordered it because it featured the words chocolate and toffee in the description. I will always choose a Skors bar at the vending machine.
As you can see, the food at Amankila was really delicious. We also loved our dinners there. One of the nights when we happened to be taking dinner in the resort, there was a traditional dance being performed by local villagers that the resort had arranged, right by the pool.
It was lovely to watch, especially as we had missed the traditional dance at Chedi Club. The dancers are so talented (especially their hands!). We sat on the steps while the staff distributed some roasted peanuts and waters.
There were several dance vignettes, and the entire show lasted somewhere between 30-45 minutes. Here are all the dancers, taking a bow at the end.
We felt very fortunate to be able to witness this dance.
That concludes the first half of my review on the fabulous Amankila! Part two will cover the wonderful beach, and some special experiences that the resort offered.