Luxury Hotels

Aman’s luxury Ubud resort

Tuna to start

Bali is black and white, chaos and calm, which can be simply exemplified by this. Be prepared for your journey from airport to hotel to take as long as the flight from Sydney and then be pleasantly surprised that in fact the traffic did sometimes move, albeit at snail’s pace, and the whole car-ride was under two hours. Then, when you arrive at your luxury resort you start breathing normally and feel like staying for ever. This is what happened when the gal finally got to Amandari. It was dark, but the welcome was warm and genuine, and 15 minutes after arriving it was sit-down-at -table, ready for one of the most exquisite starters ever.

Breakfast is set…

Really, Amandari’s food is outstanding. The menu is simply two types of food, Indonesian on the left page and rest-of-the-world on the right. The tuna and the wagyu come from Australia but all the fresh produce, it seems, is not only just Balinese but truly local – as I was to find out. Choose a wine-by-the-glass and you will probably go Antipodean, say Naked Range Jansz Estate Yarra Valley 2016 for a Sauvignon Blanc, and Astrolabe Marlborough 2014 for a Pinot Noir. After a fabulous dinner with Amandari’s GM, Jann Hess, who came here from Dolder Grand via COMO’s Metropolitan in Bangkok, I then walked back through the twisting narrow village-like paths that form this 30-villa resort to my home, #14 – see the video below – and unpacked and tumbled into bed.

.. and OH, the view

In the morning I pulled back the sliding shades to find, paradise (it was not surprising, later, when one of the absolutely lovely people working at the resort confirmed that some guests simply spend all their time in their villas, full stop). See the image of my pool, at the top of the story. I was directed to the gym, which does not normally open until nine – even though breakfast starts at seven – but it seems nothing is too much trouble here so they had it ready for me at six. As I stride the LifeFitness jogger, not missing a television one little bit, I thought of other gyms with great lush-greenery views, say Six Senses Zighy Bay. As I did some laps in the perfect temperature water of my pool, I thought of other marvellous private pools, say Le Cheval Blanc Randheli Island. One shower later, I looked at my beetroot drink and remembered Belmond Grand Hotel Europe.

Three cheery ladies

There, in St Petersburg, beetroot juice, by the half-pint, was, with seven, sic, rounds of watermelon the morning staple starter of a local steel oligarch, but sadly he died. End of that story. Here, the beetroot is a cleansing juice, and it comes with cucumber, lemon, apple and mint and is delicious. To repeat, this luxury hotel really gets the food basics right. The yoghurt is biodynamic, the orange marmalade is home made, as is the toasting bread, which tastes as just-made as my own baker’s, at home. And just as, at home, my morning eggs how off the bright orange of their yolks, so do the eggs here, from the adjacent village, Kedewatan. It was Ritz-Carlton Kyoto who told me their eggs’ yolks were bright saffron because of the hens’ 32-item diet, including seaweed. I must investigate what the Kedewatan hens dine on… NOW TOUR MY VILLA