Occupying a greenery-swathed pocket of southern Bali, Aman Villas at Nusa Dua could almost be mistaken for a traditional Balinese village. We say almost, because in this idyllic settlement, every villa has a private chef, two butlers and a pool overlooking gardens filled with fragrant frangipani. Aman’s signature minimalism has been combined with features from the island’s traditional homes, including pitched rattan ceilings and furniture carved from timber that looks auburn in the afternoon sun. There’s no communal lounge areas or restaurant, but you’ll hardly notice once you’ve met your duo of butlers and private chef, who’ll see to your whims and prepare gourmet meals and snacks at any time of the day or night.
Get this when you book through us:
A 60-minute massage for two per bedroom; GoldSmiths also get a barbecue dinner for two per bedroom
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from £686.35 ($944), including tax at 21 per cent.
Rates include breakfast in your villa, return airport transfers and a pick up and drop off service in the local area.
You’ll need to cover your legs, shoulders and upper arms when visiting temples and shrines.
At the hotel
Beach, laundry, free WiFi throughout. In villa: open-air dining pavilion, library with a home-theatre system, minibar, tea and coffee kit, free bottled water. Each villa has two dedicated butlers and a private chef, all of whom are available around the clock.
Our favourite rooms
Every villa has spacious living areas, a library, open-air dining pavilion and a private pool overlooking the gardens. They’re all furnished to the same exacting standard in Aman’s signature style: a Zen-inspiring sort of minimalism that borrows from the local architecture, in this case thatched roofs, tropical timber and pale stone. In the end, it all comes down to how many bedrooms you need.
Every villa has a large private pool surrounded by sun terraces, wooden loungers and a day-bed.
There’s no spa, but you can organise private yoga sessions and Balinese-influenced treatments at your villa. If you’re looking for something a little different, try the vanilla pandan treatment, a soothing session that covers the whole body. You’ll start with a lavender and green-tea foot bath, then be scrubbed from neck to toe with vanilla and mint. After that, you’ll have a wrap, facial and a herbal bath before finishing with an aromatic massage.
There’s no need to dress to impress. Sandals and sarongs will serve you well during the day; in the evenings, opt for linen to keep the humidity at bay.
All of the common areas and villas are wheelchair accessible.
All ages welcome. The villas are ideal for families, not least because of their private pools, home theatres and private chef, who can customise meals to suit picky eaters. Babysitting is available from US$12 an hour with a day’s notice.
The villas are 10 minutes from the beach in Nusa Dua, Bali’s southernmost peninsula. This stretch of palm-fringed coastline is known for its pristine beaches, enticing restaurants and easy-going pace of life.
Bali’s Ngurah Rai Airport is a 20-minute drive away. You can fly directly from most of Australia’s larger airports, or from Amsterdam if you’re coming from the Continent. From the UK, you’ll need to take a connecting flight; popular stopovers include Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore. Return airport transfers are included in your rate.
Most guests manage without a car – your rate includes pick ups and drop offs in the local area. If you’re set on exploring further afield, it’s easy to hire a car with a driver. If you do decide to hire your own, the hotel has free valet parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
When you’ve got a 25-metre pool all to yourself, the prospect of a sunrise dip becomes all the more appealing. That, and the fact that sunrises at Nusa Dua are soundtracked by tropical birds and scented by frangipani. Not bad for the first few moments of the day…
By the time you’ve tasted your chef’s first lunch, you may feel inspired to learn more about Indonesian cuisine. You can ask them to lead a cooking class in your villa’s kitchen, where you can try your hand at some of the island's classic dishes. Beyond your villa, the white sands of Nusa Dua Beach beckon. The beach is a 10-minute drive away, where you can swim, surf and snorkel under the watchful eye of a lifeguard. East Bali Surf and Sailcan organise private surfing lessons, catamaran sessions and scuba experiences. If you want to go all out, your butler can arrange for you to sail the archipelago on a private yacht – complete with a full Aman staff, naturally. For an alternative swimming spot, try Geger Beach to the north, overlooked by a stone temple perched atop a coastal cliff.
Fans of Asian cuisine will relish the globe-trotting menu at The Café, which has counters dedicated to several of the continent’s culinary stars. At one, the chef might be a specialist in delicate sushi and sashimi; at another, they’ll be a dab hand at roasting Chinese duck. You can mix and match to your heart’s content, making this a winner for fickle diners. For lunch, try show-stealing Japanese restaurant Sake no Hana, stood atop a limestone cliff overlooking the ocean. Order toban and kamameshi dishes from the à la carte menu or pull up a pew at the sushi bar, where you can watch the nimble chefs at their craft. Dining out isn’t a longstanding custom in Bali, so Art Café Bumbu Bali was founded to give diners a taste of what it’s like to be invited for dinner at the home of a local. Authentic, home-style dishes are the speciality here – try the slow-roasted chicken, duck cooked in banana leaves or one of the traditional satays, a Balinese street-food staple. Kayaputi, at the St Regis Bali Resort, is the place for a dressy dinner. Overlooking Nusa Dua Beach, the window-walled dining room is outfitted with furniture carved from local timber, crisp white linen and Indonesian artifacts. The menu offers the best of Bali along with dishes influenced by Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. Ask for one of the booths on the terrace, where you’ll be able to hear the lapping waves.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this collection of villas in Bali and unpacked their ceramics from local store Jenggala, a full account of their south Bali break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Aman Villas at Nusa Dua in Bali…
Seafood and crisp French wines at sunset; listening to the birdsong from your wood-clad library; sunrise dips in a pool flanked by fragrant frangipani: sounds blissful, doesn’t it? Moments like these are the bread and butter of a stay with Aman Villas at Nusa Dua. This collection of luxury residences is on the southern tip of Bali, away from the throng in the island's backpacker hangouts. You’ll never have to hurry to make breakfast, plead for a dinner reservation or go in search of a midnight snack – oh no. Here you get to be master of your own home, which comes complete with indoor and outdoor living areas, a library and home theatre, gardens with a private pool, two butlers and a chef. Whether you want a fresh ginger tea delivered poolside or feel the pull of a sunset cruise, satisfaction is always just a phone call away…