From the imperious main building – all blonde stone, Corinthian columns and puffs of pink bougainvillea – to its shimmering black-sand beach complete with linen-clad attendants, to the gracious guest villas, Amankila – Bali, Indonesia exudes a refined Balinese charm. The views across the Lombok Strait, one of the hotel’s main selling points, is somewhat marred, however, by the convoys of giant oil-belching cargo ships that criss-cross the channel, meaning you never quite feel like you’ve escaped the grasp of modern life.

Taking centre stage is a spectacular three-tiered swimming pool, which steps down the hillside echoing Bali’s cascading rice fields. Wind your way downhill from here and you’ll find a fourth fabulous pool at ground level, as well as a stunning sweep of volcanic beach.

ACCOMMODATION

Elevated to maximise sea views and joined by meandering walkways, Amankila’s Suites appear to float amidst frangipani and bougainvillea trees. With lines that reflect their east Bali surroundings, the architecture is inspired by the royal water palace of Ujung near Amlapura. Several Suites feature private pools.

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All the villas are designed in the style of Balinese beach huts. With ample space – 6.3 hectares in total is allotted to around 60 guests – the villas feel more like luxurious private homes than hotel rooms. Décor has been kept simple but stylish with swathes of cream travertine, warm woods and delicate local artworks.

DINING

Amankila’s ocean-view Restaurant focuses on locally sourced ingredients. Traditional local techniques are combined with contemporary cooking styles for revitalising cuisine. Ducks are raised at the resort’s free-range farm in Jasri village; herbs are grown in Amankila’s garden; and cold smoking is done in the smokehouse. Vegetables and exotic fruits are the result of the rich volcanic soil spread beneath Mt Agung.

Breakfast is à la carte so you might as well enjoy it on your own terrace, listening to birdsong in your bathrobe while you feast on mountains of tropical fruit, fluffy eggs and baskets of pastries. The sole restaurant, located on a gorgeous open-air terrace, serves international and Indonesian dishes throughout the day. Guests can also order food and drinks by the pool and at the beach club.

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WELLNESS & SPA

Drawing on the energy of east Bali, the Spa’s therapies aim for complete relaxation and presence in the moment. Natural ingredients are used in traditional Balinese baths, scrubs and wraps – available in the privacy of guest Suites, the massage pavilion, a beach bale or secluded open-air spot with tropical canopy.

ADVENTURE EXPERIENCES AND LUXURY CRUISES

The panoramic views from Amankila, perched on a hillside above the Lombok Strait, are the first step to discovering east Bali’s mix of spiritual and regal heritage. Sacred mountains tower over villages tucked between emerald-green rice paddies, where life has changed little over the centuries. Watersports such as scuba diving, sailing and paddle boarding can be enjoyed in the pristine water.

The waters of Amankila are teeming with options for discovery: regular cruises on the resort’s two boats, available for private charters, leave twice daily. Indonesia has the largest number of fish and coral species in the world, meaning virtually every stop in the shallow, pristine waters offers a new encounter.

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