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Hotel Highlights

  • Private villa living in serene green coconut groves
  • Staggering views of the Lombok Strait from hilltop thatched bale pavilions
  • Afternoon tea beside a three–tier infinity pool

Overview

From the top of the hill, you can sprawl in a traditional Balinese bale, admiring views of the Lombok Strait; from the bottom, you can sun yourself on the sand. Halfway up, you’ll find the walkway-linked villas of Amankila, each one equipped with terraces for sun-soaking and day-beds built for losing days on.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Amankila with us:

A 60-minute massage for two

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Amankila

Aman Bali break: three-night offer Aman Bali experience: six-night offer 'Bali and beyond': seven-night offer

Facilities

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Amankila Hotel – Bali – Indonesia

Need To Know

Rooms

33 suites.

Check–out

Midday, although later can be arranged if the room is available. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $950.00, excluding tax at 21 per cent.

More details

Rates usually exclude breakfast (à la carte) but include airport transfers.

Also

Amankila operates an assortment of excursions and activity packages – our favourite is the reef-friendly snorkeling trip on Aman XII, a 50-foot Balinese fishing craft.

Hotel closed

No check-ins or check-outs are allowed on 21 March 2015, when Bali observes Nyepi Day (Day of Silence), although stays are still possible. Bali’s airport also closes for the day.

At the hotel

Spa, library, DVD/CD selection, free WiFi throughout, Balinese art gallery, boutique store. In rooms: sound system with iPod dock, minibar. TVs and DVD players can be provided on request.

Our favourite rooms

If you don’t plump for the panoramically endowed Kilasari Suite, Ocean Suites 6, 7, 11, 19, 36 and 37 offer the most eye-pleasing visuals. All the suites are freestanding beach house-style huts, with alang alang thatched roofs and terraces furnished with coconut-shell tables and rattan chairs. If you want lashings of space (or you've got tots in tow, opt for the Indrakila Suite).

Poolside

As well as the enormous lap pool by the Beach Club coconut groves, Amankila’s signature three-tier infinity pools step down from reception towards the shore like rice paddy fields. They’re lined with loungers and thatched balé pavilions.

Packing tips

You’ll be doing a lot of poolside lounging, so make sure you’ve got a tome or two to regale yourself with. Some sturdy sandals will get you to the beach and back.

Also

Amankila likes to keep it real by sponsoring a local village, Jati Tuhu.

Children

Amankila’s well suited to young ones and welcomes under-12s for free. Older children can stay for $100 a night. Babysitting can be pre-booked for around $10 an hour.

Read more

Food & Drink

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Amankila Hotel – Bali – Indonesia

Hotel Restaurant

Just above the topmost swimming pool, Amankila’s restaurant blends local and Western culinary nous to produce a zingy, healthy menu with some excellent veggie options. You can eat on the terrace by the pool, or enjoy light lunches in the Beach Club.

Hotel Bar

The open-air island bar beside the restaurant is capped with a thatched wooden roof and furnished in bamboo. Three nights a week, you can watch traditional Balinese dancing by the pool. On other nights, there’s the lilt of live rindik music.

Last orders

The restaurant shuts at 11pm, but the bar keeps the ice cubes a-plopping until there’s no one left to enjoy them.

Room service

A selection of enticing Indonesian and Western dishes can be brought to your suite 24 hours a day.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Slinky halter-neck dresses for Mrs Smith; crisp, pressed linens for her squire.

Top table

For that sky-painted-with-stars, sunset-over-the-ocean romance factor, arrange to dine privately beside the pool or down on the beach.

Local Guide

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Amankila Hotel – Bali – Indonesia
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Ask the hotel for a picnic hamper and go and have a private picnic on the hillside (private dinners on the beach can also be arranged at the drop of a beach hat). Staff will take you out on treks or cruises, or lend you snorkelling gear so you can familiarise yourself with the local sea life. Take a trip to Tenganan, Bali's oldest traditional village, where you can listen to amazing Gamelan music and admire ornate double ikat fabrics. Your eyes will widen at Tirta Gangga, a former royal palace decorated with lush gardens, tiered fountains and stone sculptures of creatures, whose mouths spout water. 

Local restaurants

The Smith-approved Alila Manggis hotel has a seductive restaurant called Seasalt, set in a traditional Balinese pavilion over a lotus pond. Expect gorgeous Modern Asian cuisine, presented with flair. Mozaic (+62 (0)361 975 768; www.mozaic-bali.com) has garnered a loyal following – it's arguably Bali's most famous restaurant, thanks to its elaborate degustation menus (and prices to match) and romantic garden setting. It's in Ubud, an hour and 15 minutes away by car, but we reckon it's more than worth the journey. Ku De Ta in Seminyak (90 minutes by car) is also something of a crowd-pleaser, thanks to its prime beachside location, expert DJs, potent cocktails, zingy dishes and well-dressed clientele (+62 (0)361 736 969; www.kudeta.net). 

+ Enlarge
Unspoilt East Bali coconut groves

Amankila

Manggis, Karangasem, Karangasem, Bali, 80871

Planes

From the international airport in Denpasar, the drive to Amankila should take an hour. Flights from the US tend to stopover in Singapore or Hong Kong. The airport is served by carriers including Garuda, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar and JAL. If you need one, visas can be bought on arrival, so have cash with you if necessary. Hotel transfers are free.

Automobiles

Denpasar is 130km away; Kuta is 120km away.

Other

Speedy helicopter transfers between the airport and the hotel can be organised (US$2,125 from Ngurah Rai Airport; US$1,625 from Benoa Port).

Reviews

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Amankila Hotel – Bali – Indonesia

Anonymous review

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Some hotels get quite the reputation. Celebrities flock, the rich return and the rest of us aspire to grace the hallowed grounds while attempting not to ogle someone famous stretched on the sunlounger next to us. Such is Amankila on Bali’s thankfully less-developed east coast. One incredibly well-travelled friend – a boutique connoisseur with a form of hotel ADD – names it his …
Read more

Amankila

By Mr & Mrs Smith.

Some hotels get quite the reputation. Celebrities flock, the rich return and the rest of us aspire to grace the hallowed grounds while attempting not to ogle someone famous stretched on the sunlounger next to us. Such is Amankila on Bali’s thankfully less-developed east coast. One incredibly well-travelled friend – a boutique connoisseur with a form of hotel ADD – names it his favourite holiday destination in the world and, trust me, he’s seen a few (thousand). Posh and Becks don’t seem to have checked into Amankila just before us, but fear not: your intrepid reviewers are ready to report back nevertheless. Armed with a healthy dose of ‘it can’t be that good’, we accept our brief to find out what all the fuss is about.

Amankila’s greeting is understated. We enter the hotel compound from above, the ubiquitous Balinese jungle gradually giving way to tamer, more manicured frangipani and tuberoses and, finally, the genteel reception area. I recognise a slight ‘I told you so’ brow lift from Mr Smith, but it’s soon replaced by an embarrassing ‘oh my god, are those three cascading infinity pools?’ jaw-drop as we begin the show and tell en route to our villa. Yes, those are indeed three swimming pools terracing the cliff. They’re lined with sexy grey volcanic slate, surrounded by expansive thatched bales and overlook the deep blue sea of Lombok Strait. I pick out one for cocktails later. Meh, I guess it’s alright.

The villas are another revelation we try hard not to get overexcited about. Perched high above the undergrowth on concrete stilts and accessed via a series of elevated walkways (does Bali have earthquakes?), they manage to deliver absolute privacy and ocean views. Ours is on the resort’s westernmost boundary and its generous entrance terrace, complete with enticing day-bed and casual desk, faces the sea. Inside, a suite the size of our city pied à terre is all beige tones, marble floors, woven roof coverings and his-and-his gold bathroom fittings. OK, it’ll do.

As it happens, we choose neither to lounge in our new home nor live it up poolside. Instead, we venture to the private beach, a five-minute walk down the hill. Here, we see double: another 40-metre pool, serviced by its own café, sits among sleek lawns and a sparse coconut palm grove. We resist again and finally make it intact to the sandy shore, where more bales and plumply cushioned sunloungers provide hassle-free reading spots. Glasses of tangy ginger beer appear as if by magic, and we settle in for an afternoon of reading, snoozing, wandering and swimming. OK, I admit it, we’re finally hooked.

Dinner that night does nothing to undermine the effect. Our sundowner G&Ts are superbly mixed and chilled. A generous menu of Asian and European favourites seems flawlessly executed – an East Balinese fish curry is wonderfully sweet and sour, and the satay sauce a revelation of perfect peanuttiness. A gamelan plinks away in the background.

It is hard not to sleep the sleep of two overgrown babies that night with the distant crashing of waves acting as a lullaby. In some ways, this might be considered the sum total of Amankila’s charms – pool, beach, villa, restaurant, plus the occasional spa treatment and daily tea ritual – but it’s a strangely large total in this particular execution of that time-honoured combination. It is hard to put a finger on what makes Amankila so incredibly special. Partly, it is to do with scale. We discover later that the resort’s land footprint at 34 suites is, in fact, the same as a recently developed luxury hotel in Jimbaran – at more than 800 rooms! It’s easy to lose the crowds here. Hell, it’s easy to lose yourself. Service also plays a big part – it’s attentive, constant, understated, genuinely proud and never servile. And seclusion is clearly one of its key attributes for camera-shy celebs, since only the most determined paparazzi could get anywhere near close enough for a shot.

But somehow the sum of these elements is far greater than its parts – a multiplication factor in many ways caused by its location on one of the world’s great island getaways. This is Bali, remember; volcanic Mount Agung towers above the coastline like something out of a geography book and everywhere – even in the resort – little elephant gods wear their black and white scarves in incense-filled shrines.

Our Amankila stay happens at the end of an extended island break, so we have the perfect excuse to make like complete sloths and not take up any of the hotel’s many ‘off campus’ activities. It gives these heavy-lidded Smiths even more time to road-test (read: nap beside) all the beach and pool hotspots and come up with a considered opinion on Amankila’s many charms. The verdict? Our spoiled friend with the short attention span is right. This could well be our favourite holiday ever.

 





 
 

The Guestbook

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