Arrival/Check-In: In the open-air, marble-tiled reception area overlooking the Indian Ocean, I sunk into a large cushioned couch to enjoy the view. A reception clerk brought me a glass of papaya juice and checked me in, explaining that my villa offered “one-touch service.” Al I had to do was lift the phone receiver, press 1 and ask for virtually anything I wanted: laundry, food, a driver, ice, fruit — anything. She then introduced me to a buggy driver who loaded my luggage onto the back of his electric cart. “He’ll take you wherever you want to go,” the clerk said, “even if it’s just from your room to the pool or the spa. Just press 1.” A promising beginning. (20/20)
Guest Quarters: I entered the courtyard of my villa through Balinese hand-carved and painted swinging doors. A stone path led to a 129-square-foot plunge pool beyond which was the ocean. On the right was an openair living room with couches, a small dining table and minibar. On the left, two more double swinging doors led to a bedroom with king-size bed. The bathroom had a marble-enclosed shower, his-and-hers sinks and a two-person soaking tub furnished with incense, bath salts and oils. Behind the villa was a secluded outdoor shower — romantic for couples, indulgent for the solo traveler. On a two-night stay, it was difficult to try the indoor shower, the outdoor shower and a bath with oils and salts, but I managed to squeeze it all in. (14/15)
Services/Amenities: At the hotel spa, I had the Lulur Jimbaran treatment: an hour-long Balinese massage, followed by a full-body exfoliation, a yogurt splash and a flower-infused bath. Restaurants on the property include: Taman Wantilan, offering upscale Indonesian cuisine; the more casual PJ’s serving seafood and fireroasted pizza; and Warung Mie, an Asian noodle house. There are two tennis courts, a health club, jogging paths and a seaside golf course. There is also a cooking school (the hotel has its own herb garden). (44/45)
The Experience: The property is as beautiful as the individual villas. There are 1,500 hand-carved stone statues throughout, 200 different species of plants in well-manicured gardens and an infinity pool that cascades over to another pool, to striking effect. A great deal of effort is taken to make sure that guests feel pampered and are surrounded by only beauty during their stay. The Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay is a place where nothing should be forced or rushed. For this place, give yourself plenty of time. (20/20)
Total Score: 98/100
FOUR SEASONS RESORT BALI AT JIMBARAN BAY
Jimbaran, Denpasar 80361
tel 62 361 701010, fax 62 361 701020
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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