Nestled between jungle and sea at the base of Mount Agung in eastern Bali’s remote Karangasem Regency, Amankila mimics the shapes and materials of nearby palaces yet also captures the spirit of everyday Bali. The 34 suites are modeled after traditional Balinese beach houses—stilted amid palms, banyans, and frangipani flower trees and topped with alang alang thatched roofs. Inside, the design blends royal doorways, a pillared bed canopy, and marble vanities with more understated pieces crafted from bamboo, rattan, and coconut wood. Elevated marble walkways turn and intersect from the suites like an Aztec relief until they reach the colonnaded main buildings and three-tier pool, inspired by Bali’s hallmark rice terraces. Steps wind down from the resort to the oceanfront Beach Club, which features a restaurant, a 130-foot lap pool, and eight shady bales (pavilions) tucked into a coconut grove. Ocean equipment, including windsurfing boards, Hobie Cats, and outrigger boats designed like jukung (traditional fishing crafts) encourage guests to get in the water, also great for snorkeling and diving. Amankila (meaning “peaceful hill”) offers everything a guest could need for a relaxing holiday, but nearby family temples, ornate water palaces, and artisan villages complete the overall experience.
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The quiet Karangasem Regency is ruggedly beautiful and one of the most important cultural centers of Bali. Set between the volcanic peak of Mount Agung and the Lombok Strait in eastern Bali, guests will find the royal palaces of Klungkung and Karangasem as well as the water palaces of Tirtagangga (now a public bathing area) and Ujung, which inspired much of Amankila’s architecture. Karangasem is also known for authentic villages like Sidemen and Candidasa and such spiritual hubs as the Pura Luhur Lempuyang and Besakih temples as well as the devout community of Tenganan, one of only two places in the world that still makes double ikat cloth in the traditional way. Seraya is another village known for weaving and dying; Kamasan is renowned for a painting style where figures resemble the characters in wayang kulit, Bali’s shadow puppet theater; and Budakeling, at the foot of Mount Agung, is filled with goldsmiths and silversmiths who produce intricate temple crafts. Outdoor activities also abound, from surfing and diving to trekking and whitewater rafting.
Need to Know
Rooms: 34 suites. From $700. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:The colonial-style Terrace serves Asian and Western cuisine for breakfast and lunch, while the thatched-roof Restaurant is open for cocktails, aperitifs, and dinner. A number of special-occasion dining options can be arranged, such as a satay evening, which begins with a countryside drive in the late afternoon and continues with a candlelit walk through a peanut plantation before a sunset feast of urab (salad), sate (skewers), ikan pepes (fish cooked in banana leaves), and dessert in a private pavilion. Spa and gym details:Guests can experience traditional Balinese massage, baths, scrubs, or wraps in their suite, at the Massage Pavilion, or hidden away in a coconut grove. The aromas of tamarind, lime, rice, ginger, vanilla, and coconut milk accentuate the age-old therapies; a local village healer performs the Mepijet treatment. A small gym is housed in a space that looks like one of the stately suites, and a number of pools are great for lap swimming. Private yoga sessions and custom outdoor adventures are also available.
Who's it best for: Outdoor enthusiasts and culture buffs with a penchant for jungles, coral reefs, and traditional villages. Our favorite rooms: Every suite is outfitted with such luxuries as a wood-pillared bed canopy, a deep soaking tub looking out onto gardens, and an outdoor terrace furnished with a daybed, coconut-shell table, and rattan chairs. Many also have ocean views and private pools, especially the two-bedroom Amankila suite, which opens up to a large terrace with an aquamarine-tile pool, two lounging bales, sun beds, lily ponds, and unparalleled vistas over Amuk Bay. Outdoor exploration:Amankilaoffers some incredible outdoor adventures, whether it's a meditative morning walk up Mount Agung—dotted with shrines, temples, and stone steps strewn with fruit and flower offerings—or a surfing excursion with Oka Sulaksana, the undefeated windsurfing champion of Indonesia.