I first visited Amandari in 1991 shortly after the Peter Muller designed resort was opened. Back in those days Ubud and Bali, as a whole, were far different places than they are today. That was before the major development, traffic, noise and pollution - that now mar this once beautiful place. I was completely mesmerized by Ubud, the amazing views of lush green paddy fields worked by the local people and the slow pace of life. At the time I was working on a new hotel project in Nusa Dua and visited Bali on numerous occasions.
So with interest we spent a couple of days at Amandari recently in the hope that we would find some solitude on this busy island. Amandari is a beautiful sanctuary just minutes off the main drag. The lush green natural view from the resort is now unfortunately compromised by a clumsy residential building on the hill over the valley - built and owned by a westerner we were told. A new Ritz-Carlton resort is being built in the valley below and the locals are protesting by draping long lengths of silver fabric down the hill opposite Amandari.
This aside the architecture and planning of the resort are beautiful. Our villa was on one level and recently refurbished. Very roomy and beautifully landscaped. Gorgeous gardens outside the sliding doors on each side of the room. The main view on the terrace was more a foliage view than distant valley view. The outdoor bath was a pleasure to use. The only incongruous element in the room being the new vinyl wallpaper inserts on the timber wall panels - that although beautiful looked more Japanese than Balinese. I prefer the traditional natural feel of the Amandari room to the monumental character of some of the other Amans designed by Ed Tuttle. In saying that Amankila is divine and not to be missed.
Our arrival was seamless. We were met off the plane by an Aman rep, whisked through immigration and into the Aman car on our way to the resort.
The only negatives were the wifi access and the quality of the food.
The wifi did not work well which was annoying and really no excuse for this. It's lovely not to have a TV in the room, however, these days one relies on ones iPad for reading and communication.
The food quality was also not great. The Balinese food served at dinner was bland and boring and we were the only guests in the restaurant. We were surprised when the waiters asked if we thought the food too spicy. Last year we stayed at the Alila Uluwatu and the food was truly memorable.
The staff were just lovely as you expect from Aman. No sight of the GM - perhaps he/she was on leave.
We would definitely recommend a stay at Amandari on a visit to Ubud. We have also stayed at the Four Seasons and that was a very good experience. Perhaps combine a visit to both resorts?
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Amandari (meaning peaceful spirits) is located in the village of Kedewatan, on the fringe of Bali's cultural capital, Ubud. Perched on an escarpment high above the winding Ayung River gorge, this resort follows the design of a traditional Balinese village. Pebbled walkways link the thatched-roof suites, each of which has its own walled garden. Amandari provides a unique setting from which to experience the cultural richness of Bali's artistic centre as well as its mountainous region to the north. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Amandari Hotel Kedewatan
- Amandari Hotel Ubud
- Amandari Resort Ubud
- Amandari Bali/Kedewatan