Amankila, an iconic property on Bali’s eastern flank, instills the exotic tranquility of the island’s past while delivering contemporary luxury for a lucky few.
For regular travelers to Bali looking to escape the bustle of the south, and for newbies looking for an experience that encapsulates the beauty and spirituality of this remarkable island, Amankila, a clifftop retreat far from the crowds, might be the perfect hideaway from the world.
Aman resorts are synonymous with spearheading trends rather than blinding following behind, and for infusing the culture and traditions of a destination into any stay. Amankila, a palatial citadel of seclusion perched high on the cliffs of Candidasa, is a well-kept secret of the world’s jet-set, who escape the rat race for its lavish stilted suites, breathtaking infinity pools, and chic beach club. Frangipani-wreathed walkways, indulgent poolside cabanas, and the lush gardens which surround this end-of-the-world property, combined with the vivid hue of the Bali Sea, define the Balinese experience of old with understated sophistication.
Of course, the most important place in any romantic hilltop hideout has to be the guest rooms, lavish little corners that couples can retreat to after a long day exploring nearby temples and coastal islands. Amankila has 34 free standing stilted suites, each of which seemingly floats in the warm evening air, connected to the rest of the world only by a tiny walkway. Each spacious suite features traditional alang alang roof thatching, deep covered private patios with day beds, an ample guest room decked out in rich wood tones and a canopied king-sized bed, and in many cases views down to the sea.
In typical Aman fashion, bathrooms are a celebration of space and contours; our Ocean Suite features a stone shower stall and a bathtub beside a window that opens to the warm breezes coming up the valley below. Little touches add to the room’s elegance, from the coconut-shell dressing table to the terrazzo vanities, to the grinning Balinese deities perched above the front door.
Couples looking to truly escape should opt for one of the resort’s pool suites, including Kilasari, which boasts its own 40-foot (12-meter) infinity pool, or the opulent Amankila Suite, with its two bales, beach views, butler service, and private aquamarine-tiled swimming pool.
If you do emerge from your room, you’ll need sustenance; The Restaurant is located beside the main pool and does brilliant lingering breakfasts with views to kill down the coastline, as well as Asian and Western lunches. Complimentary afternoon tea is offered daily in the Library and served by local women dressed in traditional kebayas. The spicy local ginger tea is not to be missed.
For those willing to further embrace their tropical surrounds, brunch, and lunch are also served at Amankila’s chic Beach Club, a hideaway within a hideaway. Boasting its own expansive 135-foot (41-meter) swimming pool and attentive service on and off the beach, the Beach Club is one of the island’s most luxurious and is where many guests while away their afternoons. There are dawn and dusk yoga sessions held on the coconut-strewn lawns, shaded salas perched on the white sand beach, and two teakwood massage tables, perfect for guests who like to combine their wellness with the great outdoors. Reach the Beach Club by the well-worn cliffside track down from the main pool, safe in the knowledge that one of the resort’s novel little 4×4 buggies will climb you back to reception.
Of course, not every couple wants to spend their days sequestered and Amankila’s cultural tours offer plenty of opportunities to delve into the local landscape, from visits to the royal water palaces of Klungkung and Karangasem to the unique religious community of Tenganam, home to a rich and ancient textile tradition. Explore two of Bali’s most important temples – Luhur Lempuyang and Besakih – both of which are located in the east; climb the flanks of the sacred Mt Agung; or do we did and join other guests for an afternoon boat trip and a spot of snorkelling on hidden coral gardens.
You’ll find yourself falling in love with Bali all over again.
For more Travel inspiration click here.