As much as we enjoy the consistency and (geographical) options of large hotel groups and chains as leisure travellers, boutique resorts and hotels get a lot of love from us at City Nomads for their amazing personalized hospitality – especially with the low staff member to guest ratio – and intimate experiences.
Quietly tucked away in the heart of Seminyak, The Amala is a perfect example in our books. Couples would be hard-pressed to find another retreat that really allows you to be a couple, mostly due to this gorgeous wellness resort’s “no children under the age of 12” policy (sorry, kiddos!). So if you don’t have the budget to go luxe all the way on your weeklong trip to the Island of the Gods, splurge on The Amala – it’s worth it.
Befitting a property its size – just 15 rooms and villas – the entrance to The Amala is easy to miss, but when you find it, your travel anxieties just fade away because even the entrance and reception lounge shouts (or is it, whispers?) tranquility. After a painless check-in, we were escorted past the hotel’s restaurant and lap pool to our Spa Villa.
If we had only one word to describe our not-so-humble abode, it would be…dreamy. Spanning a spacious 120 square metres (1291 square feet), the thatched-roof Spa Villa is anchored by a private plunge jet pool next to a small tree, a pretty outdoor bathtub, and even a steam shower that can be scented with a selection of wild herbs of your choice. Around the pool, there are sundeck lounges so you don’t have to go to the lap pool for a midday sunbathing session.
Although the shower is outdoors, you’ll be glad to find the toilet in the air-conditioned part of your room, alongside a lovely four-poster bed (mosquito net included) and a complimentary minibar stocked with healthy drinks. It is a wellness resort after all, which is probably a good thing since all the debauchery Bali can offer is right at your doorstep.
Thus at the in-house, al fresco restaurant Bamboo, you’ll find healthy, raw food, and vegetarian cuisine easily accessible. The complimentary breakfast is a la carte, with healthy juices and mains like grilled butterfish with steamed rice, bubur ayam (Indonesian chicken rice porridge), and egg white omelettes. Best part? You can order as much as you want – they definitely get A for guilt-free indulgence!
Practitioners of yoga will be glad to know that the Wellness Studio offers yoga sessions at 8.30am and 5.30pm daily. The Amala Spa also goes above and beyond your usual spa treatments with things like reiki, acupuncture, and Tibetan bowl music therapy. On top of using organic produce wherever available for its treatments, their on-site spa professionals are able to customise individualized wellness programmes and treatments.
Another thing we love about The Amala include transportation from the villa-hotel to anywhere in the Seminyak and Kuta neighbourhoods, as well as to Ngurah Rai International Airport. It was really helpful and you don’t risk the wrath of taxi drivers by using car services such as Uber and Grab, which are generally cheaper.
There were minor nuisances during our two-night stay, such as the spotty (complimentary) wifi and the fact that the stem of my bedside reading light breaking. That said, we would still highly recommend The Amala for your next vacation to Bali, especially if you’re travelling as a couple or couples.
Top Image: Pool Villa