A short while ago we had a holiday in Bali and stayed at the Ayana Villas. Finally I've gotten around to blogging (life is still a whirlwind) about it so you can consider this place for your next holiday.
I feel it's perfect for couples.. like for a honeymoon. We brought Myla Rae with us and it was still very enjoyable, so don't strike this place off if you have toddlers/babies, it's good for families too. I don't feel this place is like for a big group of friends type holiday, even though the villas are huge and the grounds sprawling, it's still more of an intimate setting and feel. Plus I feel its a bit too pricey for a bunch of friends type holiday... that kind just share some cheaper villa ... (probably closer to cheap eateries and booze also, within Ayana the prices of food and drink is Singapore 5* Hotel prices)somewhere else in Bali.
Getting there- Plenty of flights heading to Denpasar Bali, so just choose within your budget. We flew AirAsia, and Myla flew as a lap infant (her last Free air ticket before she turned 2!), still comfortable and spacious enough, plus the flight is really short anyway.
You can then take a taxi or pre book transport through the villa, it was around sgd 40 for one way from the airport to Ayana via their villa's private car. I'm not sure how much the taxi would have cost (but traffic is very heavy ah). It took us between 40mins to an hour to get to Ayana. Both Adamson and Myla had a nap.
Once you're on Villa grounds and have checked in, Ayana Villa guests have their own butlers and buggies (driven by the butler, you cannot anyhow take and drive yourself lol)... so getting around the resort (to the beach, restaurants, Rimba, Rock Bar, etc) is very convenient.
|The villa's living room area|
We booked the one bedroom ocean villa, but were upgraded to the Cliffside villa. We went during low season (and also shortly after that Bali volcano eruption, so business hadn't really picked up yet in Bali). The deco is generally Balinese style, each villa is self contained, you can lock the main doorway to your compound at night. It felt very safe.
OMG the bathroom. I forgot to take pic of the automatic toilet, the lights go on as you step in and then the toilet seat cover is automatically raised as you step towards the toilet bowl. The whole 4 days we were there, I never had to touch the toilet bowl with my hand at all lol. There was also a standing shower which we used instead of the tub. Oh if you're travelling with a toddler, you can request for some rubber bath mats for the shower (cos it's marble and super slippery, Myla totally could not stand on her own in there when it's wet).
The master bed is a huge King size, they set up a pack n play type cot for Myla. There's two TVs but we never used any lol. A huge walk in wardrobe ( I LOVE).
A private pool that's a good size for us and Myla, we didn't use the main pool at Ayana... because lazy haha.
There's a gazebo thingy which is where we spent chilling out (and stuff...) with drinks and room service desserts hahaha ...most of our nights after Myla sleeps (at 7pm).
Villa guests get special treatment when it comes to the Rock bar, you're guaranteed a reservation when you want one. And your butler drives (buggy) straight there, you skip the queue and we got a nice day bed type seating arrangement with a great view of the horizon. We really enjoyed our time there.
We only planned on a few drinks there because we were worried about Myla's bedtime. But she was having such a good time dancing to the music and waving at other guests. By 7.30pm she got tired, and she lay down to sleep on the day bed we were seated at! WAHHHHH we couldn't believe our luck. I mean this place is quite bustling, but she didn't wake up at all. So we managed to order dinner and enjoy it there.
There's also a private beach at the resort, your buggy takes you to one point and then there's a huge drop down the cliff but you go down in a 'sort of' lift.
Another part of the resort you should explore is Rimba, it has no villa accommodation there, only hotel rooms but there are loads of facilities and the main pool at Rimba is fun! Villa guests can choose to have their breakfast (inclusive) at Ayana or at Rimba. I much preferred the modern setting and food variety/layout at Rimba.
One pool is adults only (so we could not go), and the other pool is great for kids because there are floaty stuff for them to get on and a huge spiral water slide.
If you want to head out of the resort, just ask for a taxi. Jimbaran is around 30 -40mins away (quite comfortable ride). There's loads of places on Jimbaran Bay to have fresh BBQ seafood right on the breachfront. After some research, I came across a place called Warung Bamboo. Good choice, food tasted great, they're not pushy, and it's not over priced.
There are many choices of eateries there (but many places have jacked up tourist prices though), all beach front, and have these mariachi type buskers who entertain from table to table, for a small tip. Also not pushy.
Oh and a tip, while you're out at Jimbaran, stock up at a minimart or supermarket (drinks, snacks, diapers, smokes, etc etc) because not only is it expensive at the resort but also very little variety (they don't have big shops there).
Feel free to ask me any questions if I missed any info out :)