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Historical Traveler Reviews Rahi Tourist Bungalow Balrampur
Best beach option in Bali
Having been to Bali on four occasions, and tried the other Aman and Four Seasons resorts on the island, I believe the Amankila is the best beach resort on the island. I enjoyed the resort so much that I am holding my wedding here
The location is stunning, with the terraced pool on high cliffs overlooking the ocean. The service is what one expects from Aman. The beach is in a private cove below the main hotel and good for Bali. The food is good, they will make anything you want. The rooms are not huge, but good enough
I recommend booking a private beach barbeque in advance, as only one couple can be accomodated each night. I also recommend an ocean view room or even garden view. All the rooms are the same size and given the great pool options, a private plunge pool is not necessary here
If you want to experience more of the local culture, then you may want to consider combining the Amankila with a stay in Ubud
I just returned from Bali where i stayed for the first time in the Amanila Hotel. My stay was absolutely perfect in any way. From the check in where the Management greets your personally to the check out where you receive a farewell gift, the hotel is perfectly managed. Despite the fact that this hotel is older than most other hotels in Bali (14 years) it is still in perfect shape and the staff (most of the work there for many years) is fabulous. For dinner the chef is always around to discuss menu and wine options. During the day you have multiple options of either relaxing at the pool or beach club or take part in several sightseeing options. Breakfast is excellent and lunch as well. I would definitely return and the only regret i have is that i did not stay longer than 2 nights
Nowhere as good as Amandari
Excellent setting but service is nowhere near as good as at Amandari. Staff seem to understand English less well and front office staff are not as welcoming or hospitable. This may well reflect the General Manager's attitude.
If you want to feel welcome, go to Amandari.
Beautiful, but expensive
This hotel has the most beautiful views and common areas of any hotel we have ever visited (and we have visited top hotels on six continents). Unlike some hotels, where the promotional photos are carefully staged by photographers, I am uploading some of my photos so you can see how breathtaking it is!
The service also matches that of any hotel we have ever visited. We came here in October 2005 for our honeymoon, and they upgraded us to an oceanview villa, and every night, had a surprise for us in our rooms, from an outrageously huge bouquet of tuberose to flower petal arrangements every night to chocolates and cookies, free massage, welcome cards, etc.. The food was very good, particularly the asparagus, white cheese, truffle oil pizza. The nicest thing is that they will serve you anything in your room, on the beach, wherever your heart desires. The chef is also incredibly thoughtful. He went out of his way to figure out what foods we liked, and one day, he even sent someone to the market to find a rare fruit that was my favorite and brought it to us at the poolside. I also ordered some wonderful desserts at night in our room. The food does not compare to Begawan Giri, which I think has the best hotel food in Bali if you like fresh cuisine, but it's quite good. There weren't as many vegetarian options as I'm used to (we're from San Francisco, so a bit spoiled), which means that if you love seafood or meat, you'd probably find it even better than I'm describing.
For something like $100, you can rent the pool house and have the entire beach and private pool and lawns (which is already in a secluded area) all yourself with a custom-made multi-course dinner served to you with a private chef and waiter. They light candles and make a bonfire for you, and it's incredibly romantic, well worth the cost!
We also loved some of their excursions, particularly biking through the villages. They seemed expensive at first, but the service was well worth it - they even took us by a village that we had questions about on the way back and spent an hour showing us some great spots. The guides are great. You feel at all times as though you are an incredibly valued guest, and everyone goes out of their way to make you comfortable.
Their bales are private and wonderfully cushioned. If you've never stayed in one before, they are the best! They are cushioned beds that are the size of king beds with pillows and an overhanging roof. They are at the foot of the water, but Amankila was very generous in spreading them out. Though there are at least four or five on the beach, you can't see or hear any other bale, so it feels as though you have the entire beach to yourself. They bring you drinks and fresh towels and sunblock constantly. The spa services were not as impressive as the Four Seasons spas in Bali, but the massage I had was very good and they will do it in room.
Note that our service may have been unusually good, because we came right after the last bombing in Bali, so the resort was deserted. We had something crazy like a couple hundred staff and only 6 rooms booked. It made us sad for the resorts, but it made the experience feel even more exclusive than it otherwise might.
The only downside is that Amankila is much older than some of the newer ones (like the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay or Sayan), so it doesn't have the private plunge pools, private gardens, outdoor showers, and privacy walls of the newer built resorts. There are a few villas that have plunge pools, but these are extremely expensive, like $2,000/night. The amenities in the rooms are quite nice. There are no outdoor showers, but the baths are marble with separate shower and tub. I don't remember if there were plasma TVs (if so, I just don't recall that).
In terms of rooms, we found the Four Seasons hotels to be spectacular and they are about 50% less than Amankila and more private, so the one downside is that Amankila is a lot more expensive, and you won't see a difference in the rooms. If anything, my husband thought that the Four Seasons rooms were nicer. We also had unbelievable service at the Four Seasons, particularly Jimbaran Bay, and the food was about the same at both resorts, with the breakfast the best at Jimbaran Bay.
So the main differences are the resort-like feeling you get at Amankila - it is more isolated and in the "country" in Bali and the spectacular beauty of the site and the common areas, which greatly exceeds the other resorts. You are not going to have any backpackers or day trippers lingering on these beaches or walking on the grounds. The resort itself is also so beautiful that we would spend entire days wandering from one bale to another bale, enjoying the reading. It's a good thing that the resort itself is so all encompassing, because unlike the other resorts in Bali, you're not near any good restaurants and the only real "shopping" is visiting the local villages, which have some beautiful handicrafts but nothing like Ubud.
I didn't find the beach offputting, perhaps because we expected the tankers and the black sand. We actually found it quite pleasant to curl up in the bales on the beach - which are vastly better than any of the setups of the common areas of the Four Seasons hotels - and eat, read, drink and occasionally swim. I suppose if you wanted to snorkel, you'd be disappointed.
Lastly, I have to commend Amankila for our departure. We did a LOT of shopping, more than we had realized, and when we were packing things up for our flight home, the hotel staff wrapped it for us, boxed it for us, researched shipping rates and when we realized it would be $1200, figured out how to tie it together so the airlines did not charge us a penny for the whole thing. The person who dropped us off was amazing and comforting and stayed with us the whole time. It gave us a really warm feeling of Amankila, and that was probably the nicest thing any hotel has ever done for us!
We would definitely come back and plan to do so when we are next in Bali, and it has definitely made us more determined to revisit Aman resorts. I would highly recommend staying here, particularly if you are already staying at the Jimbaran Bay and Ubud areas. It is a different experience with different cultural sights, and it couldn't be a more beautiful resort!
Better than Paradise
We arrived at Denpasar airport where we were greated buy the Amankila car, this was the begining of our first Aman experiance.
We arrived at the Hotel where we were beatifully greeted by the Manager Tracy and some of her amazing team. The view from our suite was breathtaking. We experienced 5 fantastic nights of superb food & service, We have travelled very extensively all over the world and stayed in the very best hotels but Amankila has to be number one.
The New Years Eve celebrations had to be the most sophisticted any yet fun we have enjoyed
The staff treated us and all the other guests like royalty.
We will be back
Best hotel around the globe
How to describe the paradise?? It's not easy at all but be sure if you decide to choose Amankila, you'll be more than happy to stay in one of the very best hotel around the globe. From your amazing villa, often with a large private pool, you can enjoy of stunning views on the ocean. Inside, decoration is pure and incredibly relaxing with large spaces and a fantastic bathroom. Service is sincerely perfect and all your expectations will be satisfied.
And why not to swin in these terrace pools, the most beautiful of the world...
Amankila is like a dream but turn this dream into reality and go to Manggis and return often to this place which is so excellent.
My husband and I stayed at the Amankila in July and were very happy with the hotel. The service could not have been better. Upon arrival we were given a choice of upgraded rooms as the hotel was only about half booked and we were happy that we chose one closest to the beach as the sound of the waves was wonderful. The hotel provided free transportation to the local points of interest for us so there was no need to hire a taxi or car service. When I received an oversea's phone call and was not in my room to receive it, the office quickly found me in the dining room and brought a phone to me. The food at the restaurant was very good and we were surprised to find lovely items in the gift shop at reasonable prices. My husband and I are not "beach people" so we had not planned on going to the beach, but I agree with another writer that the beach is dirty and uninviting. Fortunately, however, the views from the hotel and pool and are wonderful as they sit well above the beach.
Extraordinary architecture, excellent cuisine, stunning views, but...
We finally spent three nights at Amankila: we have been thinking about it for more than 3 years...!!! The hotel really met all our expectations, the setting is beautiful, the rooms are huge with large bathroom and lots of privacy, but the Beach Club is not comparable with Amanusa. The beach is black (OK we knew it, in Italy we have black sand beaches, too), but this is constantly dirty, due to the presence of many oil tankers in the sea right in front of the hotel. Not one of the best panoramas...!!! But Amankila was excellent in every other parts (On our last night we could also see a dance show right on the beach, followed by a delicious BBQ): I know it is not their fault if a port has been built right next to the resort...!!! Go to Amankila: it is one of the most beautiful resort in the world but remember about the tankers...
A Slice of Heaven!
What a wonderful resort! My husband and I stayed here as part of our honeymoon last year. What a treat! The secluded location on a cliff was stunning as was the architecture. Our villa faced the huge blue ocean, one of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. Having said that, nearly everywhere you go in the resort will have this wonderful view. There are so many pretty spots in this resort, it's hard to decide whether to spend your time lounging in one of the bales by the three-tiered pool, get your feet wet along the black sand beach with sand like talcum powder, or do a few healthy laps at the long beach club pool. The service was the best we've ever had, all the staff knew our names and always addressed politely as either ibu or bapak. If you go, make sure to have breakfast in one of their mountain hideaway bales. A delicious and healthy breakfast picnic awaits you while you enjoy the beautiful Balinese sunrise!
Best hotel in the world
The amankila has got to be one of the best hotels in the world. At least it is the best hotel iīve stayed at, and believe me I know some top notch hotels worldwide. We stayed at amankila for 5 nights during our honeymoon in a private pool villa. It is definitely a must. The room is pretty big with his and hers closets, bath tub, shower, terrace with lounge chairs and a 25 X 10 ft pool with lots of privacy. Service doesn't get better than this. when you arrive, they ask you for your passport so they can make a copy and have all the staff know how you look like, so by the time you wake up, everybody knows you by name and are as cortieous as can be. The pools are amazing with great views and with huge cabanas to do some reading or napping. The food is very good although the menu is kind of limited. Even though ordered a lot outside the menu, and we got it. Activities are the best at amankila, we took a bike tour (for lazy guys like us) which is all downhill, that was great. The snorkeling tour is also lots of fun and the boat they take you in is very rustic but comfortable (the roof is all covered in white cushions like a lounge.).
The only thing we didnīt like is that amankila is about a 2 hour drive from denpasar airport, which was an unpleasant surprise. The upside is that the hotel has a helipad which we used to go back to the airport, and was well worth it.
Overall I have to say that amankila was one of the best experiences I've had and can't wait to go back.
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