Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hotel Review: Bali AYANA Resort and Spa Stop 2

One of our family’s favorite vacation spots has to be Bali.  Gwen was about five when we were there and it has always been listed as one of her favorite vacation spots ever since.  We stayed at the AYANA Resort and Spa, which at the time we were there was under the management of Ritz Carlton.   It has won the award for the top resort by Conde Nast Traveler.  The resort as whole was the most amazing property of any we’ve stayed at.   From first check in with the open-air lobby, we knew this was going to be an amazing property.  The rooms were nice and bathroom well equipped, but this was a resort with so much beauty, that we didn’t want to spend any time in our room other than to sleep.

The pools on this property were among some of the most beautiful we have ever seen.  The property sits atop a cliff with stunning views of the ocean.  One of the pools is literally carved into the side of the cliff with an infinity edge and saltwater.  It was like no other pool we have ever seen.   The beach is accessible via a short walk down some stairs carved into the side of the cliff, which is a tough walk back up but keeps the private beach absolutely private.  I don’t think we saw more than one other person down there. 

The staff took tremendous care of us during out stay.  One morning we had a knock on our door and there were several members of the staff with a cake that they wanted to present Scott for his birthday.  They would also take Gwen by the hand and walk her through the breakfast buffet in the mornings, putting each item that she pointed to on her plate. 

Bali is generally not viewed as a family destination, rather more of a couples only vacation, but we would rate it as one of the easiest family vacation spots we have been on.  One of the reasons it was so easy is would be the kids club.  They had activities planned all day for the kids and Gwen requested to go there every day we were in Bali.  We were more than happy to let her spend as much time there as she wanted because it was free.  We only had to pay for lunch if she chose to stay for lunch.  Because most people do not bring their kids along on a trip to Bali, she was sometimes the only child, or one of just a few, so there were always several kids club workers doting on her, braiding her hair, painting her nails, anything she could possibly want.  So, while Gwen spent hours being pampered and entertained in the kids club, we spent a lot of time lying by one of the five pools on the property, or at the private beach (by ourselves many times I should add).  The property was completely booked when we were there, but it still didn’t feel crowded at all.  Many of the rooms are actually villas equipped with a private pool, which kept a lot of people away from the beach and common pools.

Bali is definitely on the list of places we would like to visit again.  There are many temples we would like to see.  Overall a great cultural trip along with great beaches, wonderful people, and an amazing property.
Open air lobby at Ayana Resort and Spa


Katie and Gwen

Private beach with just Katie, Scott and two staff employees

Water slides by the kids' pool

The salt water cliff side pool

View from the salt water cliff side pool

Main large pool overlooking the ocean

Scott and Gwen at the infinity edge overlooking the ocean

Found this pool on our last day, didn't even have time to play in this one


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