You’ve never stayed at a hotel quite like Four Seasons Bali at Sayan. Carefully folded into layers of undisturbed Ubud jungle, it begins with a journey across a suspended bridge from the outside world and into the resort. This signals your entry into the immersive Four Seasons experience, where impeccable service, culturally rich activities and a light-touch approach to the surrounding environment ensures a truly transportative trip. Read on for the full review.
The hotel’s central feature is the incredible main building that rises out of the lush Ubud landscape. The multilevel lobby and restaurant space — crowned by a tranquil lotus pond that seems to plunge into the surrounding canopies — looms like a spectacular reimagining of the area’s famed rice terraces. It casts a quiet eye over the undisturbed surrounds, as do the balconies of incredibly private villas, from which the only sound you’ll likely hear is a tweet of birds or a trickle from nearby Agung River.
Where is Four Seasons Bali at Sayan?
Tucked into lush tropical foliage astride the Ayung River, Four Seasons Bali at Sayan is about 15 minutes from the centre of Ubud, a relaxed city in central south Bali. It takes just over an hour to reach the hotel from Ngurah Rai International Airport, 13km south of Denpasar (providing there’s little traffic).
What’s near Four Seasons Bali at Sayan?
Although it feels worlds away from anywhere, you’re actually only 15 minutes from central Ubud (and there are free transfers to and from the hotel until around 5pm), the shaded town of yoga studios and smoothie cafés. Ubud’s central temple, Saraswati, is also just 15 minutes drive away.
You’ll find only suites and villas at Sayan, ensuring maximum comfort. Every retreat is spacious, with teak as the reigning wood and most everything — including the slatted blinds and grand beds — carved from it. Villas include private plunge pools and balconies to help guests snatch some of the tranquil surrounds. The Family Suite, with a separate room for a single child, is bliss when parents want to continue their evenings past lights out.
Restaurants and bars
There are three on-site eateries – the relaxed Riverside restaurant, which hugs the pool; Jati Bar, a snack spot in the main building; and Ayung Terrace, an open, balcony-edged space that’s as high as the surrounding coconut trees. Riverside serves tasty Western-ish dishes, such as burrata with heirloom tomatoes or salty pan-seared halloumi. Jati Bar is an afternoon kind of place, serving light snacks such as pizza, falafel, pide and mezze plates (plus tea and coffee, of course). Ayung Terrace, which boasts incredible views as it seems to jut out over the jungle, is where guests head for fresh breakfasts of chai-spiced granola bowls and elevated Indonesian in the evenings. Order the juicy Iga Babi, a spicy pork rib dish, and finish with a fresh bite of Jumu Kunyit, coconut panna cotta with turmeric granita.
Travel for work
Must you? There is wi-fi throughout, as well as in-room desks and plenty of space to spread out in that incredible lobby-lounge space.
Spa, pool and gym
The riverside pool, a cascade of several layers of infinity structures, is glorious, not least because it curves — and seems to merge — with the Agung River as it rushes past. Villas also have their own plunge pools, with incredible views across the property’s extensive gardens.
The Sacred Nap treatment is as heavenly as it sounds. While suspended from the ceiling of a soaring bamboo pavilion like a baby in the womb, you’ll be guided into a blissful sleep-state by former Buddhist monk Ibu Ferausing, who uses storytelling and the sounds of nature.
What you need to know
Don’t skip out on the activities. For children, the Pici Pici kids club organises everything from creative games to Balinese art classes and for adults there are complimentary yoga classes, guided walks through the private surrounds and a private terrace-side picnic, where lunch is cooked on coals while you admire the quiet rice paddies.
Best for: Switching off
Number of rooms: 60
Rates: From IDR 13,150,000, plus 10 per cent Service Charge
Address: Jl. Raya Sayan, Sayan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 977577
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels