On the way to Australia recently, I decided to have a little holiday en route and booked a five day stopover in Bali. During this trip I was lucky enough to stay at both of The Four Seasons Resorts in Bali; Four Seasons Sayan and Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay (for Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay see review here).
The two hotels are very different and are located in completely contrasting locations and surroundings. The first stop was Four Seasons Sayan, located in the Sayan Valley near Ubud, Bali’s spiritual capital. This has to be one of the most impressive hotels I’ve ever stayed at.
The Four Seasons Sayan is surrounded by rice paddies and beautiful rainforest, around a 15 minute drive from the centre of Ubud. You enter over a suspended bridge, onto the roof of the main hotel building with a beautiful lotus pond. The views over the forest are incredible, and it’s a great spot to watch the sun go down in the evenings. They also offer a romantic dinner setting up here.
The hotel building is a round rice bowl shape, and from the roof, you descend into the hotel lobby. Here there is the Jati Bar, with more great views across the valley, and on the levels below are the Ayung Terrace restaurant, health club, spa and the 18 hotel suites.
The rest of the hotel’s accommodation is private villas, and these are scattered across the two acre site. We were driven on a golf buggy from the main building to a one bedroom private villa.
The Villa of the Four Seasons Sayan
The Villa was beautiful. Entering again from above, the roof of the villa has a seating area and lotus pond, with a stairwell down to the front door.
Once inside (although it is technically outside) there is a huge terrace with an infinity pool overlooking the forest. It’s totally secluded and an incredibly relaxing setting.
The villa itself has a large bedroom and bathroom, with a lovely roll top bath that looks out onto the terrace. There are both indoor and outdoor showers, and his and hers sinks as well as a dressing room.
The rooms have universal plug sockets, which I thought was a great addition, no need to worry about adaptors!
After relaxing in the room we decided to head to the main swimming pool.
It’s easy to walk around the resort, but if you prefer you can call reception and someone will come and collect you in a golf buggy and drive you around the resort. We weren’t far from the pool, so walked through the hotel grounds.
The main pool is multi tiered and overlooks the Ayung River, the longest river in Bali. It’s a lovely place to relax.
We ate lunch overlooking the pool in the Riverside café. It was a great menu with lots of healthy options and we opted for the “Rice and Pastures” Bowl, with charred hanger steak, tabanan red rice and vegetables.
We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing by the beautiful pool. Bliss!
Before dinner, we headed to Jati Bar for a cocktail. The views really are beautiful and we watched the sun go down over the Balinese jungle while enjoying our expertly crafted drinks.
On Friday evenings the Riverside Café has a ‘Fisherman’s Night’. It’s a buffet style and there is an incredible selection of food, including oysters, lobster, scallops, sashimi, ceviche and a huge variety of fish. You select the fish you would like and it is prepared and cooked for you at your request. There are also salads, pasta and plenty of other options to accompany the seafood and some delicious desserts! The hotel grows its own herbs and vegetables and sources most of its other ingredients locally. It’s a beautiful setting next to the river and the infinity pool.
After dinner, we headed back to our lovely villa for a great nights sleep in a very comfy bed!
A Day in the Life of a Balinese Farmer
We were up early the next day for our ‘A Day in the Life of a Balinese Farmer’ experience.
We met our guide, who took us to the edge of the hotel grounds, to the rice paddies. The farmers were already at work, and we were to learn about rice planting at the end of the experience. But first, we went on a jungle trek!
Even early in the day, it was boiling hot, as we walked through the trees. Our guide pointed out different plants and wildlife along the way. The trek looped through the jungle and through a small village before returning to the rice paddies.
Here we were greeted with an amazing breakfast, which was much needed after the walk!
Following the breakfast, we began our lesson in growing rice, which involved standing in muddy pits and raking the earth before sowing the rice seedlings.
The experience ended with a massage in the hotel spa.
There are two parts to the spa at Four Seasons Sayan; one is in the main building and the other is by the rice paddies in the spa villas. I went to the latter. It’s a beautiful spot surrounded by water.
Before my massage, I was given the choice of four oils and then left to shower and change before the treatment.
It was a fantastic Balinese style massage, which left me feeling incredibly calm and relaxed. I would definitely recommend a visit to the spa if you stay at the Four Seasons Sayan!
After the massage, I headed back to my room ready to check out, from what had been a wonderful stay at the Four Seasons Sayan.
Thank you to The Four Seasons Sayan for hosting A Lovely Planet. Rooms at the Four Seasons Sayan start at £390 per night.
Travelling in Bali? Check out our reviews of Bali’s resorts Kayon Ubud, Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay and Anantara Uluwatu.