The Four Seasons Resort is more than an hour away from the frenzied environs of Denpasar Airport. As you drive past mile after mile of activity (motorbikes, stray dogs, roadside vendors) it is impossible to anticipate just how tranquil the resort setting will be. A sudden turn off the main road, descent down a steep slope and you are in a different world. The resort is set on the banks of a river amidst jungle and rice paddies. Although built only 14 years ago, there is no newness about the buildings, indeed it feels as if the jungle has grown around them.
Our room, a villa with a plunge pool, was not the most expensive but it is difficult to think of anything more that you could conceivably want or need. The large outside terrace is not overlooked and all that you can see from the infinity plunge pool or the outside seating is the lush vegetation with birds, butterflies and occasional glimpses of squirrels after coconuts. Part of the outside area is covered and contains amongst other things the large mini bar. Furnishings outside are largely of cane, rattan and local hardwoods; decorations inside and out have the appearance of local antiquities.
The inside area divides into a large bedroom with more seating, presumably for those cold winter days when the temperature falls below 30c, and an extensive bathroom and dressing room area with copious storage space, his and hers basins, huge bath tub, separate toilet and separate shower. Everywhere it is light and airy. Good quality traditional materials have been used throughout with a great deal of marble especially evident. Decor is luxurious colonial; everything is tasteful and comfortable. A bowl of fresh, exotic (to us, at least) fruit is replenished daily. Technology has not been neglected: the air conditioning is effective, a large television offers channels in a multitude of languages and there is an infinite range of lighting possibilities for every occasion. My one criticism is of the additional charge (approximately £8 a day) for Wi Fi.
Service is a real strength from the moment you are rescued from the chaos of Denpasar airport and swept into the pick-up car's air-conditioned comfort with cold water and flannels, right through to departure where the driver enraged locals by stopping in the middle of busy roads for my wife to photograph the huge ogoh-ogoh (demonic statues made of bamboo and paper which are burnt on the evening before Nyepi or 'silent day'). Wherever we went in the hotel, we were greeted warmly by members of staff and we were amazed by how many were already referring to us by name within a day of our arrival.
Pool-side we were also looked after impeccably: parasols were erected and re-positioned against the moving sun, cold towels and iced water brought and renewed when we moved inside for a short while because of rain and every effort made to ward off hunger with complimentary drinks, iced lollies, fruit and smoothies all appearing in the course of a few hours. Somewhere in the middle of this we also enjoyed lunch in the pool-side bar.
The resort occupies quite a large site on a steep slope and whilst anybody the right side of decrepitude should have few problems in walking from the highest level rooms down to the infinity swimming pool, staff are determined to prevent unnecessary exertion by summoning one of a series of golf buggies to drive you from one location to another.
In our all-too-brief stay (3 nights only) we hired a car and an excellent driver (about £20 an hour) to take us first to the Monkey Forest and then on to an artisan jeweller and a woodcarving studio, both of which had the kind of quality items not to be found in nearby Ubud and at remarkably reasonable prices. (At my wife's request, he also stopped the car in the middle of the road to enable her to get a sunset photograph.) We particularly enjoyed the complimentary village walk which starts from the hotel at 08.00 each day. Lily, our guide, spent nearly two hours with us walking through the rice paddies and gardens where the hotel meets the river then on into the village of Sayan itself. Four Seasons Sayan employs 200 people, most of them from the immediate vicinity of the hotel, which may explain why people seem very happy for you to walk into their family compounds and even their homes. Both she and the driver gave us a great deal more insight into the Balinese people and their way of life than we could possibly have gathered unaided. We were also extremely impressed by the quality of the treatments available at the spa. We both enjoyed the Bali Massage which was new to us but extremely relaxing.
Food at the hotel is certainly not cheap and wine prices were so high because of prohibitive import duties that we were not prepared to pay them but if you choose luxury accommodation of this kind it is entirely predictable. We didn't bother to eat outside the hotel because of the brevity of our stay but there was more than enough variety for such a period of time. Both Western and Indonesian/Balinese tastes are catered for: breakfasts were part of our package and were big enough to eliminate the need for lunch. Dinners are again divided between local and international cuisines, with a fixed price menu and duck or suckling pig banquets prepared with 24 hours' notice.
In terms of what we were looking for on a stop-off at the end of a long, active holiday, i.e. relaxation in a comfortable, luxurious and peaceful location, this delivered in spades. I would recommend it without hesitation to anybody past the age when backpacker hostels lose their appeal.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Venere, Priceline, Tingo, Travelocity, BookingOdigeoWL, Agoda, Despegar.com, Expedia and Otel so you can book your Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan
- Four Seasons Resort Bali At Sayan Hotel Ubud
- Four Seasons Hotel Bali
- Four Seasons Ubud