For a very long time, the island of Bali had the reputation of being the Costa Brava of Asia, a sunny and inexpensive destination for Australians on group trips, starting with Kuta Beach, and worse the circus where frolic rowdy drunks and revelers or spawn a la Bo Derek, with braids and beads in their hair. This reputation is not, moreover, totally usurped.
But, thank goodness, all the fast food restaurants, cheap bars, and giant mega-pool slides are concentrated on a small part of the island. Beyond Kuta Beach begins the real Bali, the Bali of small villages, rice fields, Hindu temples and the jungle. Bali being still sparsely populated, there are still many villages without advertising panels and many beaches spared by the disastrous pseudo-Tahitian constructions.
Candi Dasa, on the northeast coast of the island, is a perfect example. It is here that Adrian Zecha, the impresario of the phenomenon Aman, has created a seaside resort that is unique in the world. Perched on a cliff, hundreds of meters above a secluded beach, the Amankila overlooks the Lombok Strait. It is built on a series of plateaus carved into the side of a terribly steep hill. All on different levels, the Amankila offers carefully orchestrated vantage points, the most spectacular embracing the three waterfalls that leap up the cliff. Although they are some of the most photographed waterfalls in the world, they are no less impressive to see. These waterfalls are, like everything else at Amankila, pure visual enchantment. Whether restaurants, bar, beach club, reply individual (covered with thatch and planted around the beach and the basin, they give you shade and isolation), every detail, every shape, every texture is the result of a meticulous reflection of the architect of Aman, Ed Tuttle. The Amankila is really nothing like a conventional hotel. For starters, there are no bedrooms. Each, or each couple, has their own bungalow located on one of the levels, which communicates with all the other levels by a network of stone stairs that wind through the property. From the living room terrace as well as the enormous sofa bed, each bungalow offers panoramic views of Bali's crisp emerald waters. But all that can be described will give only a faint idea of the charm of the Amankila. Is it due to the feeling that you have everything to yourself? Or the refinement of the bath oil bottles? Or the closets so large that one would fit Elton John's wardrobe? As for the service, it is, of course, legendary, according to Aman's rule. And then there are the facilities. A maximum of seventy people share four pools (the three spectacular waterfalls and a beautiful forty-five meter long swimming pool, near the Beach club), three restaurants (two with a view and one near the pool), a bar, library and beach full of everything for fun on the water, from catamarans to windsurfing. The table also participates in the same quality. Amankila's chef worked at Level 41, one of Sydney's best restaurants (which is no small recommendation). The menu combines Asian and continental flavors, but Indonesian specialties are obviously the most interesting. We remain a little skeptical in front of these Indonesian new cuisine dishes: the small pyramid of saffron rice and the few pieces of grilled chicken, artistically skewered, seemed more prepared to seduce the eye than the palate. However, the fact is there: the many regulars of Bali assure that it is at the Àmankila that one can find the best Indonesian cuisine. And they are not wrong.
Address: Amankila, PO Box 33, Manggis 80871
Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia.
Telephone: +62 363 41 333 - Fax: +62 363 41 555
Website : https://www.aman.com/resorts/amankila