Stephanie Mee makes hay while the sun shines at the Four Seasons Resort Jimbaran Bay.
When it comes to beaches in Bali, surfers head to the Bukit, party peeps hit up Canggu and Seminyak and solitude seekers escape to the serene shores of Amed. But where do you go when you want a mix of it all? Jimbaran ticks all the right boxes for its great balance of bright energy and chill vibes, stellar scenery and fab food. And if there’s one spot where you’re guaranteed to find all of those things and more, it’s the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay.
Nestled in the gentle curve of a three-mile stretch of golden sand, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay is one of Bali’s grand dames, having graced the shores here for nearly 25 years. Yet you’d never know it from walking the grounds, as the hotel recently underwent a huge revamp with renovations to all 147 luxury pool villas, a fresh new look and dining concept for signature restaurant Taman Wantilan and an exciting new cocktail programme at renowned beach club Sundara.
Now more than ever, the resort is drawing in folks from all corners who come not just for the divine seaside accommodation, but also the all-day offerings in a gorgeous setting. Whether you’re looking to just chill by a pool, do some action-packed water sports, indulge in world-class beverages and bites, or get pampered next to the sea, the resort is your one-stop spot for the ultimate day in Jimbaran.
Mosey in mid-day and make your way to Sundara where you can relax in a breezy balé next to the longest beachfront pool in Bali. Work up an appetite doing laps in the 57-metre infinity-edged pool that hovers over the beach. You can also get the body moving with a stroll down the beach, snorkelling or stand-up paddling in the calm waters close to shore, surfing the breaks further out, or even some AntiGravity Yoga.
When the hunger pangs set in, the daytime menu at Sundara features Asian-inspired bites and vibrant beach club fare. Start with a chirashi bowl brimming with yellow fin tuna, sea bream and snapper sashimi. The soft-shell crab comes with a light tempura crust and sits atop a zesty green mango salad with crunchy cashews and roasted chilli jam. Larger plates include the green curry with duck, blue swimmer crab linguine and grilled snapper with wok-fried morning glory and spicy sambal matah.
For those after a bit of pampering, an Al Fresco Flow spa treatment is just the ticket. The treatment takes place in a balé perched above the rocky shoreline where you can listen to the sound of waves crashing below as a skilled spa therapist stimulates the senses with gentle dry body brushing, a fragrant flower rub, a Balinese massage that combines long, soothing strokes, skin softening body oil and tension-relieving compresses, and an anti-ageing floral facial treatment.
As the sun starts to sink below the cliffs of the Bukit, the terrace at Sundara is the place to be for one-for-one happy hour specials and live music. The new Liquid History menu takes you on a journey through Indonesia’s past with a seductive selection of libations that showcase house-infused arak, local fruits and spices. Try the Pandan Harum with pandan wangi-infused arak and vanilla tonic or the Wajik Ireng with coconut charcoal-infused arak, young coconut water, coconut purée and palm sugar.
After a few cocktails and cool tunes, you’ll probably be ready to fuel up again, and Taman Wantilan is just the spot. Set in a huge Balinese-style pavilion, the restaurant offers nine live-action cooking stations where you can pile your plate high with an array of international delights. Choices include fresh sushi and sashimi, aromatic Indian curries and tandoor creations, smoky Indonesian satays grilled to order, pastas like the truffle mac n’ cheese, and savoury roast meats to name just a few.
Be sure to save room for dessert because the sweet treats by award-winning executive chef Yusuke Aoki (world champion at the 2018 Valrhona Chocolate Chef Competition and Best Pastry Chef at the 2018 Indonesian Salon Culinaire) are to die for. Yusuke draws on his French training to create decadent sweet treats that burst with Balinese flavours. Must-haves include the mango mousse cake with coconut sponge and earl grey tea crème brûlée with spiced poached pear.
Here’s an insider tip: if you really want to up the ante on your Jimbaran Bay experience, we suggest coming to Sundara on a Sunday when you can indulge in Bali’s longest brunch. Running from 11am to 5pm, this lavish half-day affair includes an unlimited selection of vibrant small plates, live acoustics on the open-air terrace, access to the infinity pool and kids club, and free-flow options that include arak and tonics, imported wines and Prosecco. Cheers to ending the weekend on a high note!
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