This majestic hillside resort claims to have started Bali’s villa-plunge-pool trend. Did it lie back on the banana lounge of life after that, content that its work was done? No, it did not. While the 147 villas have had a lush makeover and the restaurant was recently revamped, much of the 14-hectare property’s brilliance still lies in what can’t be seen – or heard. From its luxe volcanic-stone villas to the fun of the kids’ club, this is well and truly a family-friendly property. There’s a dedicated pool for families and water sports take place away from the accommodation, meaning couples can quietly soak up the romance while kids are hunting for crabs or coconut bowling with a minder. BYO smug smile.
About 20 minutes from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport, the all-villa resort dominates the hill rising up from gentle Jimbaran Bay on the island’s southern coast. Wander along the beach and you’ll hit the area’s famous seafood shacks and just beyond them is where fishermen drag their boats ashore to unload the night’s catch.
There are no “rooms” as such, only quiet villas dotting the hillside, each with a private pool. The largest, at 1300 square metres, has three bedrooms and three ensuites that include a deep bath and both indoor and outdoor showers. It can swallow up nine adults. Even the smallest garden villa has 250 square metres of private indoor and outdoor space. The design is traditional Balinese – weathered stone walls, thatched roofs – with intricate antiques, unique soaking tubs and a four-poster bed with diaphanous white mosquito netting.
Food and drink
The resort’s main dining area, Taman Wantilan, re-opened earlier this year after an extensive renovation. The 120-seat restaurant, open to the balmy sea breeze, now features nine cooking stations showcasing a variety of Asian and western cuisines. Speciality chefs will cook to order and have your meal delivered to the table. For lunch, grab a burger (or a vegan platter) at the Pool Terrace Café (children’s menu available) or enjoy a lazy graze at Sundara beach club (perhaps moules mariniere with chilli, Bali lime and crusty baguette?) followed by a swim in the club’s 57-metre infinity pool. Sundara’s Sunday brunches are legendary.
For business travellers
While there’s no business centre as such, there is a “guest working area” with a computer, printer, photocopier and free wi-fi. There’s also potential for an unforgettable tropical off-site thanks to 200 square metres of meeting and function space and professional meeting planners can customise themes, agendas and, in conjunction with catering staff, menus. A soundboard, AV equipment and wi-fi are available.
For wellness travellers
How better to launch into a tropical getaway than with an invigorating martial arts-inspired “fire sky” ritual? Be guided through warming stretches and breathing exercises, then feel your aches melt away with a deep massage that involves both expert hands and hot bamboo rods. Get your pre-dinner energy flowing with the visually spectacular night fire yoga or submit to an invigorating herbal scrub and wrap. If you like your wellness a little more hardcore, make yourself known to personal trainer Robert Hourmont.
The fab factor
Cocktails at Sundara beach club as the sun drops into Jimbaran Bay, turning the shallows into a blazing mirror and the western sky a watercolour canvas of brilliant red and orange.
Number of villas: 147
Rates from: $AUD1230 per night (room only, including taxes)
Wi-fi: Free for guests (unlimited devices) at 1.5 mbps. Premium connection (20 mbps) available for a fee.
Address: Kuta Selatan, Bali, 80361
Telephone: +62 (361) 701010