Bali is an exotic cocktail for the body, mind and spirit, with a heady combination of beach (perfect for surfing), verdant rain forests (perfect for wildlife), volcanic mountains (perfect for hiking), rice terraces (perfect for idyllic stroll) and vibrant nightlife (perfect for losing yourself). Bali has a very strong cultural personality, which manifests itself in its cuisine, traditions, art and temples.
It takes you on a spiritual journey, which vitalises all your sense. Bali attracts visitors with its bohemian and friendly personality. It is also called “The Paradise Island” due to its reputation as a tropical paradise of untold beautiful nature, idyllic mood and never ending fascination. But this post is not about Bali, it is a review of a property in Canggu Beach area. I chanced upon this property, while looking for something, which imbibes Balinese feel completely, is central and close to tourists spots yet not over run by foot traffic. Property is Ametis, a collection of exclusive villa compounds.
Canggu is quiter and offer lovely views of rice fields and is great for sunset watching. Ametis is a boutique property, which is nestled in a quite lane leading to the sandy beach. Ametis Villa ticked all the right boxes to exude that perfect, elusive and authentic Balinese Feel. Unparalleled hospitality, exotic pool villa, natural materials, tropical cabanas, plenty of space, vaulted ceilings and sumptuous food. Our first impression of the villa was wow! Almost all our plans of touring beaches, temples, mountains melted as soon as we laid our eye on our home for next 3 days.
There was no point of leaving this paradise. Our villa had an exquisite private 13 metre pool!! It is central to the villa with massive open space one one side, which has seating and dining area and the other side of the pool lead to the large bedroom and huge bathroom with rainforest shower. Landscaping is lush and furnishing is luxurious. Tidbits like TV loaded with content, open bathroom and lounge area, from where you can directly jump into the pool and exquisite silverware added dollops of excitement. It is an open plan architecture and you can fulfil your dream of skinny dipping under the full moon light without any inhibition. It is like your private sanctuary, with ample space to relax.
Excellent service is hallmark of Asian hospitality. We had a dedicated butler, Augus, who was assigned to look after us and he did a fabulous job! He contacted us before arrival and received us at the airport. Augus planned our days, served dinner in our villa, booked our excursions. He was not at all invasive, being there when we wanted him and leaving us alone at all other times. He would always magically welcome us whenever we were back from our excursions. He treated us like royalty; nothing was too difficult, always happy to serve with the biggest smile in-spite of falling sick one of the days ! Absolute customer delight. It is like your own private mobile concierge desk.
Free wi-fi, welcome drink, complimentary snacks are the norm these days but Ametis went to great length to give us phones with local sim to stay in touch with our butler, newspaper of our choice ( based on our language preference) every morning, 8 pieces of laundary service every day and complimentary cocktails and canapés at sunset. We were also treated with complementary spa treatment at the in house Ruby Spa and fresh fruits and flower were arranged daily at our villa. It was luxury in true sense and rightly put by Coco Chanel, “Luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury.”
We had breakfast in the restaurant – Eternal as well as enjoyed breakfast in the villa – I loved the fresh strawberry pancakes and the Nasi Goreng. Ametis has its own small garden growing many of the herbs and species used in preparation of food. It sources fresh ingredients from the cool hills of Bedugul and seafood from Jimbaran Bay. If you don’t intend to venture out, Ametis is well equipped to satiate your hunger for spicy Balinese cuisine.
Otherwise, this area has some excellent eating out options. Legendary barbecue at the Beach House ( at Echo Beach), juicy steak burgers and watermelon Gazpacho at Deus Bali ( by the team behind Sydney’s Deus ex Machina), excellent patisserie in Monsieur Spoon. I have eaten at all of these places and food is really fresh and tasty. World famous clubs (Potato Head, Kudeta) are in Kuta and 20 minutes drive from Ametis Villa.
If you get tired of lounging by the pool or exhausted all your supplies of preloaded films on television, you can
- go for a massage in their in-houe spa, Ruby
- join a surfing or sailing session,
- go for scuba diving, white –water rafting or horse riding
- have a romantic lunch at Canggu Beach, arranged by Ametis.
- Explore the surroundings on complimentary bicycles
Ametis Villa is only 100m from a major sandy beach and a few minutes ride on cycle to Echo Beach. Echo Beach is perfect for surfing because of high waves. Beautiful surf side location and freshest food on the island, makes this a great place for breakfast, lunch, sunset, dinner and party nights. Beach House restaurant sets up amazing barbecue every evening as sun sets.
You can visit Tanah Lot either in the car driven by Ametis or rent a scooter and venture out independently. Tanah Lot temple is one of Bali’s most celebrated attractions where travellers gather daily to experience a breathtaking sunset. This small temple, which is perched on a rocky islet and surrounded by pounding surf, is also a site of spiritual reverence for followers of the Hindu faith.
Canguu has a very relaxed atmosphere compared to the hectic nightlife of Kuta. There is no rush to be anywhere and when you step out, you will find yourself in beautiful setting all around, sans the crowd. For us, the main highlight of our trip was a “Bali by Candlelight” romantic dinner in our villa. I would definitely stay again in a heartbeat!
Now that you are convinced, lets bring you up to speed with the practicalities. Know more about Ametis Villa
Get there :- It is a 45 minute drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport. For extra charge, Ametis Villa will arrange transfer from airport. Seminayak is 15 minute drive from the Villa in ideal conditions.
Hole in your Wallet :- We paid around USD 1000 net of taxes for 3 nights in a shoulder season. Rack rates are higher, (USD 500 per night). Credit cards are accepted. Ask for discount during lean season, it will not hurt and you may land a vacation of lifetime.
Internet/ Television :- Wifi works just fine and television is a bigh 55 inch plasma screen with huge volume of preloaded audio/ video content.
– Staff speaks excellent english and is extremely polite
– Bar is stocked daily, rooms come with iphone dock, pre-loaded ipod, speakers in bedroom and in lounge
– Good collection of wine
– Car drop till Seminayak and Kuta is compliementary. You have to pay extra for Tanah Lot. They will happily arrange car, scooter for self drive or rental.
The author of this article only profiles properties he has visited and where he would like to go again, without blinking an eye or changing anything about it. Author paid for himself, during the visit. Any property is reviewed on five parameters, which are:
- Setting :- The property needs to have its own personality.
- Service: I like being looked after, without the staff being intrusive.
- Food: Has to be sumptuous, even if there are limited options.
- Facilities: No minimum requirement but should have basic comforts that should add to the character of the place.
- USP: There has to be one unique quality, which makes it different than the other offerings out there.