Ayana was the name that cropped up again and again when I talked to people about Bali. Set on a stunning clifftop location, the resort is huge and offers nine restaurants, several pools, a private beach, a spa and a kids clubs. It’s easy to see why it’s popular with couples and families alike.
Ayana is conveniently located a short 30-minute drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. Everything feels grand as soon as you enter the resort’s beautifully maintained grounds. A small band of local musicians was playing in the main reception area welcoming guests, the ever so friendly porters were quick to help with our luggage and even the hotel manager himself, Clive Edwards, was making the rounds and mingling with guests. My first impression was a thoroughly positive one and this pretty much set the tone for our stay.
The “smallest” rooms at the resort are 48 m², which makes it larger than my first apartment. The Resort View, Jimbaran Bay and Ocean View rooms are all the same size, but the main differences are that Jimbaran Bay and Ocean Views offer private balconies and water views, and Resort View doesn’t. There are also 98 m² suites and even a separate complex offering expansive villas with private pools.
My Ocean View room had a comfy king-size bed, a separate sitting area and a huge bathroom. The room was beautifully decorated; warm tones, dark wood and marble touches gave it an opulent feel. There was also plenty of wardrobe space and a desk, should you feel inclined to do some work.
My favourite pool was the adults-only infinity pool – for the views, the peace and quiet (I was travelling with my kids) and the super comfy sun beds. The staff in this part of the resort was also a fun, attentive bunch. I also spent a lot of time at the family pools, which the kids adored. There were two slides into the main family pool, and there was a separate pool with a sloping entryway, perfect for the littlest guests. The main pool is huge and has great views of the ocean. I loved it that the hotel staff occasionally came around offering cut fruit or small glasses of fresh juice. There were also musicians playing there at times and it was a fun and lively area.
The buffet breakfast at Padi was superb. There was a huge variety of international and Indonesian dishes: croissants, pancakes, eggs and bacon, congee, noodles, curries – you name it, they had it. The quality was superb and I felt completely spoilt. It was a great start to the day. We had dinner at Kisik Bar and Grill, the Japanese restaurant Honzen and the upmarket Dava. Of the three, my favourite was Kisik for the superb seafood, wonderful staff and enviable sunset views. For lunch, I loved the food and service at Damar Terrace. And of course, no review of Ayana would be complete without mentioning the Rock Bar, Ayana’s iconic open-air bar literally perched on top of huge rocks jutting out from the sea. I loved it! It was quite mesmerising to sit there with a drink and watch the crashing waves.
Exemplary staff, infinity and family pools, buffet breakfast
Main pool can get crowded
Ayana has a nearby sister hotel, RIMBA Jimbaran. If you’re on a budget, stay here instead and use the free resort shuttle bus to visit Ayana. Also, American Express customers with access to the Fine Hotels group can get complimentary upgrades and late checkouts when booking via Amex. Uber is available in Bali and is a hassle-free way of getting around. I booked my airport transfer with Uber and it was super convenient. Click here for your first free ride with Uber.
The Travel Nova’s verdict
If you are after a beautiful resort that offers exemplary service, a place where the staff greets you by name, and world-class amenities, then you’d love Ayana.
Ayana Resort & Spa
Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera | Jimbaran | Bali 80364 | Indonesia