One of the top properties in southern Bali, the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay is laid out like a series of Balinese villages that stair-step down to the sea. Each features a village square surrounded by 20 to 25 thatched-roof units enclosed by a courtyard wall. These smaller clusters make the 156-accommodation property feel more intimate. The villas are modeled after typical local homes—adorned with teak furnishings, traditional textiles, and hand-painted doors. Daybeds, private plunge pools, and ocean views are resort upgrades, as are offerings such as lavish spa treatments, hands-on cooking classes, and twilight yoga. After a day of exploration or relaxation, there’s no better way to unwind than by enjoying a cocktail on the deck at Sundara restaurant, where fire pits warm the air and waves provide the background music.
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With a cooking school on-site, a fun surf break visible from the property, and even a village temple next door, the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay offers just about everything a traveler could ever need. But the beach district, halfway between stylish Seminyak and the world-class waves and temples of Uluwatu, is also known for its fish market, seafood barbecues on the sand, and other luxurious resorts with stunning restaurants and bars.
Need to Know
Rooms: 147 villas, 9 residences. From $649. Check-in: 2 p.m. (4 p.m. for residences); check-out: noon. Dining options:The gardenlike Taman Wantilan restaurant serves home-style Indonesian fare such as lime-marinated prawns, barbecued pork ribs, and gado gado (steamed vegetables with tofu, bean cake, egg, peanut sauce, and grated coconut).Sundara is a beachfront hot spot that has a different personality for every time of day. On Sunday mornings, it hosts a lively brunch; midday, it churns out burgers and wood-fired pizzas; and at dinner, it’s a dream for fans of Australian beef and Indonesian seafood. After dark, sophisticated foreigners and locals talk over DJ beats and ocean waves, the taste of star fruit and chili cocktails tickling their tongues. Spa and gym details:The Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay has a gym, spa, tennis court, and three pools. Signature experiences include the Karmic Cleansing Ritual, during which a Balinese priest conducts a purifying incense and water ceremony. Guests can also book treatments in their rooms or under a gazebo near the shore. But they should come back to the spa for twilight yoga where the sea sets the rhythm.
Who's it best for: Festive couples, families, and business travelers who want to taste the traditional while living in luxury. Our favorite rooms: Even the smallest of the freestanding villas occupies more than 2,000 square feet and features traditional Balinese architecture, a private outdoor plunge pool, a claw-foot tub in the bathroom, and tropical landscaping. The decision of which villa to book comes down to how big a space and how good an ocean view a guest wants. The Oceanfront Villas are the closest to Jimbaran Bay, while the two Royal Villas have massive entertaining areas and such deluxe touches as four-poster beds and hand-carved teak furniture. If that’s not enough, there are two- to four-bedroom residences, which are private, palatial, and just steps from the water. Enticing extras:Memorable experiences abound on and off-site. For an inspiring day at the resort, guests can join aclass at the Cooking Academy, browse the works of local and international artists at the Ganesha Gallery, or paint on an easel set up at an ocean-view gazebo. Farther afield, guests can tour temples, ride a boat to an idyllic island, surf, snorkel, or hike up an active volcano. Parents in need of some alone time? Drop off the little ones at the kids' club.