Surfers have been in on the secret for years, but now luxury hounds also have a reason to seek out laid-back Canggu Beach. Bali boutique hotel Ametis Villa brings sophistication to this seaside haunt, with pool-toting villas, and relaxed wining and dining, just 20 minutes from buzzy Seminyak.
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10 per cent off spa treatments; GoldSmiths get a 30-minute massage and a free upgrade, subject to availability
Noon; check-in, 2pm. For late check-out up to 6pm, 50 per cent of the nightly rate is charged. After 6pm, the full rate applies.
Double rooms from £336.21 (IDR5,504,616), including tax at 21 per cent.
Rates include breakfast. Only Standard rates include private return airport transfers, coffee and snacks throughout the day, a 30-minute massage, sunset cocktails and canapés, afternoon tea, private butler service and in-villa fresh fruit.
Book a couple's treatment room at Ruby Spa for a pampering session à deux.
At the hotel
Ruby Spa, gardens, CD/DVD library, 24-hour butler service (semi-private for Bed & Breakfast rates), free transfers within the area (from 7am to 11pm for Bed & Breakfast stays; 24-hours for Standard rates), free WiFi throughout, mountain bikes to borrow (free), welcome drinks. In rooms: flatscreen TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock with preloaded iPod, coffee machine, kitchen utensils, beach bag, Ametis Original toiletries.
Our favourite rooms
Bali meets Morocco in these breezy pavilions, where cool stone and exposed timbers are offset by lavish fabrics and candle-lit lanterns. The open-plan living areas with gourmet kitchens, spa-style bathrooms and bedrooms with king-size platform beds are grouped around a generous central pool. Premier Villas are perfectly suited to honeymooners; plump for an Imperial Villa if you're after extra space.
No need to jump out of bed to bag the best poolside spot here... At the heart of each villa lies your very own aquamarine swimming pool, surrounded by a lounger-topped sundeck and tropical gardens.
From beach bags to bug spray, you'll want for nothing at Ametis Villa. Pack light and save space in your bag for all the booty you'll score on Seminyak shopping trips.
Smoking is permitted.
Ametis Villa is only suitable for children aged 12-and-up.
A table for two on the terrace – or dinner in the privacy of your villa.
Will Meyrick’s Billy Ho is inspired by the hand-me-down recipes and relaxed atmosphere found in family kitchens across Asia. The dishes are sourced from Will’s own notebooks, filled with favorites that the star chef discovered on his travels across the continent. The flavours and rich and varied, coming from far and wide – Japanese izakayas, South Korean tea houses and Hong Kong’s cha cha tengs, where locals get back to basics with familiar comfort food. Now, these simple, home-style recipes have been paired with the best of Bali’s produce, reflecting what’s in season and available at nearby markets.
Running the length of the restaurant, the bar adds a burst of colour thanks to its decorative wall, which is covered in diamond-shaped pieces of sirap wood. Each panel has been painted by hand and overlapped with the next, echoing the scales of a kaleidoscopically-coloured fish. There’s an enticing range of craft beers, cocktails, fresh juices, artisanal teas and locally-roasted coffee on offer.
Billy Ho serves lunch from noon to 3pm, dinner from 6pm to 11pm. Drinks are shaken and stirred from 5pm to midnight.
During restaurant hours, a butler can deliver dishes from Billy Ho to your own villa.
Ametis Villa is located in the sleepy coastal village of Canggu, a 20-minute drive from the bars and boutiques of Seminyak.
South of capital Denpasar, Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (www.baliairport.com) is served by carriers including Garuda, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar, Air Asia and JAL. You can buy a Visa on Arrival, if required, which costs US$25 for 30 days payable in cash. Private car transfers for the 45-minute drive north-west to the hotel are included in the room rate.
Tackling Bali's bumpy, traffic-thronged roads isn't for the faint-hearted. If you plan to go exploring, ask the hotel to arrange a chauffeur-driven car for you.
Helicopter transfers from Bali's airport to the hotel can be arranged at additional cost.
Worth getting out of bed for
If you tire of lounging by the pool or exhaust your supply of 250 films, Ametis can hook you up with a host of activities, including surfing sessions, sailing, scuba diving, white-water rafting, horseriding and elephant safaris. That ought to keep you occupied for a while... Food lovers, jump on board the market tour and cooking class. Seek out fresh produce with the hotel's chef, then whip up an Indonesian meal back at your villa. Don't fancy manning the pans yourself? Have staff arrange a romantic picnic lunch for two on Canggu Beach.
Spend a day at The Lawn on Canggu beach. Start with a laidback lunch on the lawn, sipping sangria and watching long boarders ride the surf, while snacking on their signature Lawn Board sharing plate of cured meats, cheeses, breads and olives. Once the sun sets, move indoors to wine and dine with your loved ones on fresh fish, beef straight from the farm and their petit pizzettas.
Just down the road is Betelnut Café, a hotspot for healthy, fruit-filled breakfasts, vitamin-rich smoothies and a range of delicious local dishes. Everything, from the noodles and stir fries, to the handmade cakes are incredibly colourful – the phrase 'looks good enough to eat' has never been so appropriate… Holidaying Aussies will find a familiar face on the Canggu café scene. From the team behind Sydney's Deus ex Machina comes Deus Bali, delivering knockout coffee and delicious Thai snacks. Action junkies can also score a new surfboard or custom-made motorbike at this hip hangout, dubbed the Temple of Enthusiasm.
Drinks are an art form at Lacalita Bar y Cocina; take a seat at the bar, or around the corner, next to the patchwork of posters decorating the hot pink walls. Try their Balienese margarita made with fresh pineapple, lime, mint, honey and of course, our favourite Mexican export, tequilla; or one of their Mexican twists on classic cocktails, such as a bloody fresh maria (a spin on a bloddy mary) or a mai tai my my. Their non-alcoholic drinks are made to order – no orange is squeezed, banana peeled or watermelon blended without your say so. Close by, Potato Head Beach Club is a breezy restaurant/bar, with palm-dotted lawns and an infinity pool leading down to the ocean. The standout feature is a curvaceous ampitheatre crafted from hundreds of 18th-century teak shutters.
Berlin is cool, as everyone knows by now. You can party for three days in a row in endless underground clubs and bars. Loads of artists and creatives from all over the world call the city home. It’s rough, it’s dirty, it’s real. But what if you want nice? You go to Bali – and not anywhere in Bali, but to Ametis Villa.
Ametis Villa is the ideal escape. Located in the lovely coastal area of Canggu, near Seminyak, it is the exact opposite of Berlin: it’s perfect. Unimposing from the outside, it’s immediately obvious that this is not your average Balinese hotel. Arriving at the car park we’re welcomed by a small, kind Indonesian man who accompanies us to the reception. Rather than typical rooms, the retreat offers a collection of exclusive villa compounds designed with the highest standards of luxury and quality.
First up, we’re assigned a butler who is at our service 24/7. His name is Wadu and he greets us with a big smile. Speaking faultless English, he guides us through the property’s paths, decorated with beautiful flowers and surrounded by bamboo trees. Once in a while we spy big, gleaming wooden doors, which we assume are the entrances to the different villas.
Finally, we reach our own private paradise and the wooden door to our exclusive sanctuary swings open. We walk down a little track until we see an airy house, at least six metres high, with a generous veranda. There’s a large modern open kitchen and a lounge equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system and TV. Wood meets marble in the sleek interiors, which feel like one of those house shoots that you’d usually only see in design magazines such as Architectural Digest or Wallpaper. Right in front of the kitchen and living area is a huge pool furnished with Dedon loungers. Behind it we check out the chic master bedroom that’s the ultimate in indulgence; large floor-to-ceiling windows, a marble bathroom equipped with a big tub overlooking the pool and an outdoor shower where you can look out at the stars. It feels bizarre to be here. It’s just too idyllic. So not Berlin!
You know when you visit nice hotels and restaurants and you’re really impressed by the interior, but you always find something that you would have done differently? Well, not in this case. We try really hard to spot something that we can complain about (it’s a German thing I guess), but design-wise it’s a dream. Every little detail is just right and so well implemented. Ametis Villa is the kind of place that you don’t want to leave.
Bali boasts so much to see, from culture to nature, but for us being there meant an escape from everyday life. An escape from society. A holiday from worries. The service is as splendid as the wide array of food on offer. We even receive our favorite daily German newspaper with our names on it every morning.
The only surreal moment in our serene stay is when I have my celebrity moment. Passing reception one day I have a chat with the hotel manager who kindly explains the whole history and concept of Ametis Villa. At the end of our conversation, she hesitates but then says, ‘Sorry to ask, but are you Cash Warren?’
‘Cash Warren?,’ I respond, ‘Who is Cash Warren?’
‘Jessica Alba’s boyfriend!,’ she replies.
Damn, I should have gone for it, I think to myself. There are worse things in life than being Jessica Alba’s boyfriend I guess. Unfortunately, I have to disappoint her, but luckily she did still talk to me afterwards.
The last word in charm, Ametis Villa is a private paradise for people who appreciate design and a certain way of living. It delivers complete comfort, but in such a way that you don’t feel like you’re at home but rather that you’re experiencing a lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of – albeit one you perhaps can’t find in edgier-than-thou Berlin...