Time was, travel to Bali was all about surf and sand, a classic beach-front island paradise. Lately, though, the savvy and crowd-shy travelers have set their sights on Ubud, the artist’s colony in the island’s central hills. This departure from habit, presumably, dictated that the Four Seasons at Sayan should be an altogether different sort of hotel as well. The architecture, rather uncharacteristically, is decidedly modern, almost spectacular, in the literal sense of the word — a suspended walkway leads to a lotus pond, below which you’ll find the lobby and the public spaces, cascading down the hillside, as both the open-air restaurant and the obligatory infinity-edge pool dangle precariously over the terraced slopes, looking downward onto Ayung river. The construction may be cutting-edge, but the materials are traditional, and profiles are thoughtfully kept low, helping this modernist monument blend seamlessly into its surroundings. Single and split-level suites occupy the main building, each one with a king bed, sitting room and dining area, all designed in a sleek and handsome modernist style. The bathrooms are very nearly over the top, with deep soaking tubs, separate dressing areas and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of thick towels. And the outlying villas add extra privacy and space, as well as private terraces with views of the river or the surrounding rice fields. The dining experience is extraordinary, the traditional Indonesian fare served at the edge of a balcony looking down into the valley. First-class spa and fitness facilities are available, and nature walks, elephant treks and river expeditions can be arranged. The coasts are packed with beach-front resorts, but if you’re the land-loving type, you just might find that Ubud is the best Bali has to offer.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is a one hour drive (22 miles) from Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. Please contact email@example.com to arrange airport transfers.
Sayan, Ubud, Bali
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