Travel notes, reviews and useful tips

How to Get the Most Out of the Ayana Resort’s Pools and Beach

Do you remember the last time you went on a tropical island holiday? Lying on the beach or lounging by the pool all day? In the heat island that is Tokyo I sometimes find myself recalling the wonderfully relaxing times we had at the Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali.

The hotel has several pools and a pretty little beach. Here are some tips on making the most of these facilities, for those who are planning to head over there for a well-earned vacation.

The Main Pool

This 33m x 25m infinity-edged, two-tiered, freshwater pool is the largest in the resort. It’s lined with blue green tiles, and features hot and cold outdoor whirlpool baths. Two stone-carved mythical animal fountains stand on guard (They look like the stylistic, Indonesian garuda). Teak chaise lounges upholstered in chocolate brown complete the resort look.

Views of the Ayana Resort's main pool.

Views of the Ayana Resort's main pool.

The hotel offers small, complimentary, daily treats for guests.

12 noon – chilled towels
1 PM – fresh fruit slice
1:30 PM – chilled towels
2 PM – sorbet scoop
3 PM – fresh fruit slice
4 PM – chilled towels

So make sure you are not at the far end of the pool during these times, because the pool attendant will not hold the tray above his head and walk through the water just to give you your fruit slice. Oh, and if you’re on the chaise lounge don’t pretend to be asleep because he won’t wake you up either!

The lower level of the main pool.

The lower level of the main pool.

The lower level pool is 2 meters deep, and holds a complimentary diving class for beginners. Behind it is a saltwater aquarium. The aquarium water looks murky at night so best to stroll over during the day.

Children’s Pool

This is for the well-mannered, considerate parents who want their kids to have fun and make as much splashing noise as they want, without disturbing non-kid-toting adults on the main pool. I’d like to thank the parents who let their children play here. The puzzle piece-shaped pool is kid-friendly shallow and features water slides.

The Children's Pool.

The Children's Pool.

Now to the parents who let their kids yell and scream and make a racket on the main pool, please learn something from the considerate parents mentioned above.

Ocean Beach Pool

We loved this dazzling, cliff-hanging, ingeniously-designed, infinity-edged pool. The backdrop of lush greenery. The saltwater buoyancy. The wenge black wicker cabanas with cushions covered in ecru fabric. And the views? Breathtaking.

At the Ocean Beach Pool, my husband gazes at the horizon. Inset: My turn.

At the Ocean Beach Pool, my husband gazes at the horizon. Inset: My turn.

You can gaze down at the beach, or the sand terrace below, or the endless blue horizon. You can take photos and make it look like you’re in the middle of the ocean. If you’d like pool privacy without the price of a villa, this is it. I recommend going there early in the morning for an invigorating swim before breakfast.

In the early morning, we had the pool to ourselves.

In the early morning, we had the pool to ourselves.

We went there everyday at 7 AM; there was no one else around (except for a pool attendant) so we had the place all to ourselves for about an hour.

Peace and quiet at the Ocean Beach Pool.

Peace and quiet at the Ocean Beach Pool.

It was perfectly peaceful and relaxing, a great way to start the day.

River Pool

This pool is in the villa area of the resort, but we didn’t go there because we forgot it existed!

Views from afar of the River Pool, taken during a first-day resort tour.

Views from afar of the River Pool, taken during a first-day resort tour.

Since there are fewer villa guests than at the hotel, relaxing there might be a good idea. Unlike the main pool the chaise lounges here are upholstered in royal purple, beautifully complementing the turquoise waters. So go (and let me know how it went)!

Kubu Beach

If this lovely, serene little beach isn’t a slice of paradise then I don’t know what is. While there are hundreds of hotel guests on any given day few of them venture to this secluded beach. To access it you have to walk down 184 steps, but even that path is surrounded by greenery and makes a convenient spot for taking landscape photos.

(Top & lower right) View of the beach from the steps. (Lower left) The steps from below.

(Top & lower right) View of the beach from the steps. (Lower left) The steps from below.

Once below you’ll be greeted by shaded bamboo cabanas. The beach has two areas: the main one with the chairs and toys, and a smaller tract of sand beyond the rocks. Later in the afternoon, when the waves have receded, you can walk across the newly exposed rocks and get to the other side. Here the tranquil seclusion is simply enchanting.

A private beach with very few guests.

A private beach with very few guests.

Kubu Beach has the nicest, most accommodating beach staff in the world. They seemed genuinely glad to have guests come over, and they fussed over us and catered to our whims. We got plenty of complimentary, chilled bottled water, and they let us transfer from one cabana to another to find respite from the sun’s glaring rays as it moved across the sky.

For lunch we ordered a picnic basket. Right on the beach we had a Mediterranean meal consisting of sandwiches and fruit, and an Indonesian meal with spicy, local dishes. There was enough left over for dinner so the staff washed our tableware for the next meal. Be sure to order ahead of time, preferably the day before, since the basket takes about an hour to arrive.

Could spend the entire day here.

Could spend the entire day here.

While we were playing with the ocean waves the staff moved our table around to keep the food away from the sun’s rays. When we returned from beachcombing they gave us a small bag to carry our finds back to the hotel. One of them watched over and entertained a small boy for hours so his parents could find some time to relax.

I’ve seen whiter, wider, jazzed up, more accessible beaches. But I’ve never been to a beach where the staff were so incredibly helpful, unobtrusive and friendly. The Ayana Resort’s Kubu Beach is lovely in itself, but it’s the amazing staff that made it truly memorable.

Related Links

Spectacular Casual Dining: Kisik Seafood Grill & Bar – Review of the in-hotel restaurant with spectacular sunset views.
We Will Rock You: The Rock Bar Bali – Review of the uber popular bar that the hotel is famous for.
Artistic Lobby: AYANA Resort & Spa – About the hotel’s lobby that art lovers will love.
Noteworthy Room: AYANA Resort & Spa – Review of the hotel room we stayed in.

External Links

AYANA Resort and Spa Bali – official website

Travel Guides and Books on Bali


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3 comments

  1. Sharon /

    Beautiful! Are the colors really that saturated or is it the camera? ;-)
    It looks like you enjoyed great weather and those treats sound like just the right extra to make you feel pampered.

    • Thanks!
      The blue in the photos is a result of Photoshop post-processing :)
      Yes, the weather was lovely throughout. There was a squall on a couple of nights but they lasted only for a few minutes.

  2. Would love to stay at Ayana one of these days! Those pools look great! The best thing is there doesn’t seem to be tons of people.

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  1. Spectacular Casual Dining: Kisik Seafood Grill & Bar | Beverly Claire Discoveries - [...] Will Rock You: The Rock Bar Bali – Review of the iconic bar. How to Get the Most Out …
  2. We Will Rock You: The Rock Bar Bali | Beverly Claire Discoveries - [...] Casual Dining: Kisik Seafood Grill & Bar – my review of the outdoor dining paradise. How to Get the …
  3. Artistic Lobby: AYANA Resort & Spa | Beverly Claire Discoveries - [...] the fact that the resort was huge, it seemed to blend seamlessly with the natural environment. What an aesthetically …

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