Bali – Rimba and Ayana

We lodged in two rather different hotels.

One was the five star spanking new boutique resort Rimba, sister hotel of the Ayana, which was the previous Ritz Carlton Bali.  We only stayed there because our friends had chosen to get married in that swish resort.  Otherwise, it’s not really the kind of accomodation we’d opt for on any holiday. 😛
 
The Rimba and Ayana resorts are located in this huge sprawling private estate, which I felt was large enough to form a little town all by itself.
 
For our stay in Ubud, we opted for a rustic bed and breakfast, recommended by a friend.  It was tucked in the midst of a padi planting village, 15 mins drive away from the main street of Ubud. (Will write about that in a separate post.)
 
In their own (very different) ways, both were great.

Rimba

The wedding guests were given a special rate for the Rimba, which is very new. Upon arrival, the modern design of the lobby and its infinity pool seating area, certainly impresses. We had a fun time lounging around with our welcome drinks and taking ‘ah-this-is-the-life’ photos.

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Infinity welcome area

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Gorgeous rooftop bar and swimming pool.

The special thing about Rimba’s pool area (apart from the many separate pools), was the numerous little coves set into the wall along the main poolside. You can see one in the bottom right photo above, like a little private lounge area.

I was so fascinated by this that I went to take photos of every single one.  After choosing my favourite, I spent some time in there, reading a book whilst the hubs went for a swim.

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Fascinating poolside nooks of the Rimba.

Wish I had more time there! Best place to nua.  The breakfast at Rimba was also 5* in variety and quality.  Overall, it lives up to its reputation as a luxury boutique hotel.

There was a free shuttle departing every 15 minutes, if I recall correctly, between Rimba and Ayana. In a quaint ‘trolley’ style bus, most of the time. Since the pre-wedding dinner reception, and morning wedding ceremony were both at Ayana, we were there quite a bit!

Ayana Resort

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Trolley shuttle and views of Ayana

The wedding was a special one, because both of us are friends with both of them. In fact, they knew us before we got together, and we also knew them before they got together. Long history!

Our entire little clique of good friends made it down to witness the wedding. Nothing like an overseas wedding to sift out those who matter most as attendees, heh.

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Beautiful blossoms and scenary – Rock Bar at bottom right.

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Spot the guest book I helped to create! Loved the theme of yellow frangipani and cream roses too.

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The grounds of the Ayana were massive and most guests need a golf buggy to bring them to their villa. We had a good time strolling around, and catching sight of the various wedding and event venues. The amount of space and landscaped greenery was really wonderful.

 Rock Bar at Ayana

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The Rock Bar at Ayana was apparently famous, and folks not living in the hotel would travel in to have a drink there for its amazing sunset views.

We checked in, and were told by the wedding couple that the queue was incredibly long when they went around 530pm the day before. So it’s best to go around 5pm or earlier, and you can stay till sunset and after as you wish.

There is a priority queue for hotel guests, but even that was long and snaking when we got there around 6pm. So we decided to go early the next morning instead.

Part of the reason why the queue is long, is that one needs to ride a tiny funicular elevator (technically called an inclinator), down the steep cliff that the expansive bar is perched on.

Very high waves crash on the rocks, sending spectacular sprays over the front rows of tables, during high tide.

It was relatively calm when we visited in the morning (the premise is already open at 6am, so early-risers or the jet-lagged have that as an option), and once we saw the view, we understood the queues. The bar doesn’t open so early, but we were happy just to gaze at the crashing waves and soot black rocks.

 

 So if you’re looking for a five-star experience, the Rimba and Ayana are some of the best Bali has to offer.

All in all, a luxurious stay that’s quite out of the ordinary for us as a couple!  🙂

  2 comments for “Bali – Rimba and Ayana

  1. September 30, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    The Ayana Rock Bar! It was on my list of places to visit in Bali, only not with my whole entourage…
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