A lush, luxurious Bali getaway near Ubud
Traffic in Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital, is notoriously chaotic, but the minute you turn on to Amandari’s long, shaded driveway, the buzz of motorbikes is replaced by birdsong.
Aman resorts master the art blending boutique hotels seamlessly with their surroundings, and Amandari, modeled after a Balinese village, perfectly captures traditional Balinese style. The resort is in the village of Kedewatan, and like the neighboring homes, buildings here are made of local teak and mahogany, their vaulted thatched roofs supported by bamboo poles.
Its lush grounds are dotted with statues of Hindu deities at which staff make daily offerings.
Amandari is a luxury hotel for those who value intimacy and privacy. The resort is remarkably quiet, and the cheerful, accommodating staff caters to your every need but is also unobtrusive.
Stone and pebbled pathways ringed in moss lead to Amandari’s villas, which are entered through stone gateways. Suites open on three sides through sliding glass doors that give way to gardens and, in some suites, private plunge pools.
Room and bathroom décor is all about achieving Zen — blond or honey-colored wood, beige wicker chairs, cream tiled floors — the better not to detract from the views of the surrounding jungle.
Bathrooms have twin vanities and magnificent outdoor sunken marble soaking tubs.
To look out on the verdant Ayung River Valley without lifting your head from the ultra-plush pillow, book the duplex Ayung Suite. Sleeping up here feels remarkably peaceful with wood-paneled walls and wraparound windows.
The Bali hotel is big on wellness, and this extends to its restaurant. The open-air dining pavilion overlooks the pool and the Ayung Valley.
Breakfast kicks off with fresh juice like the vitamin-C-rich alkalizing juice with carrot, pineapple, ginger, orange, turmeric and lemon. Clean eating is the focus of the menu, with dishes such as cacao granola with cashew cream, housemade coconut milk and banana. The menu clearly notes which dishes are gluten- or dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan.
Amandari gets most of its produce, as well as free-range pigs and poultry, from local organic farms. You can opt for Western dishes as well as some Balinese favorites, too.
Thoughtful amenities include jars of delicious baked goods atop the minibar, a colorful fruit platter on arrival, and an ikat sarong for you to take home. Sunscreen is provided in each room, too. To make leaving this idyllic Ubud escape a little easier, reception staff send you off with a sweet treat, such as big, fudgy brownies.
Orchids decorate the halls of Amandari’s spa, which has two open-air treatment rooms, each with two tables.
Treatments utilize local ingredients, such as the black rice exfoliant and volcanic clay used in the Village Spa Journey, which draws from an ancient Balinese melukat (ritual purification) ceremony. There’s also a sauna and marble steam room.
If you can tear yourself away from the resort’s pool, partake in the garden yoga. To venture farther afield, arrange visits to take in the ceremonies at the nearby temples in Kedewatan, and more active pursuits such as back-road bike rides or hikes along the river.