At the luxurious Kayumanis Ubud resort in Bali, Indonesia, guest villas offer private pools in tropical surroundings. // © 2014 Kayumanis
Feature image (above): Villas at Kayumanis Nusa Dua have sleeping pavilions that open up to private outdoor areas with pools. // © 2014 Thinkstock
Among the hundreds of villa resorts on Bali with private pools, the Indonesian Kayumanis hotel group stands out as an award winner. Two of its four Bali properties garnered the Villa of the Year Indonesia Travel & Tourism Award in 2013 and 2014.
Kayumanis Nusa Dua, designated the villa of the year in 2013, won us over with its hideaway location near the glorious gold sand beaches of Nusa Dua, Bali’s luxury resort area. On complimentary bikes, we pedalled five minutes down the hotel’s shady path to its beach club, then cycled along Nusa Dua’s palm- and bougainvillea-lined beach path.
Back in our one-bedroom villa, we cooled off with a swim in our own private pool, sprinkled with white plumeria blossoms dropped from overhanging tree branches. Playful squirrels would scamper down these branches looking to be fed nuts and cookies that were replenished daily in our villa.
The 21 villas at Kayumanis Nusa Dua are enclosed in ivy-walled gardens for ultimate privacy. Each villa has two separate thatched-roof pavilions set in an L-shape on an expansive wood deck abutting a pool of at least 25 by 20 feet in size.
With burnished wood floors, glass walls on three sides and a four-poster king bed draped with white muslin mosquito netting, our sleeping pavilion was modern and clean in design. A breezy, sleek white bathroom was attached to the sleeping pavilion. The roofed bath area, open to ferns and lush greenery, included an outdoor shower featuring cinnamon-scented bath products. The living pavilion had a black marble kitchenette, dining table and seating via a sofa and chairs.
But it was the Kayumanis property in Ubud (Bali’s cultural center) that completely stole our hearts. Surrounded by tropical jungle and overlooking Ayung River, the property has 23 villas connected by flagstone paths lined by flowering hibiscus and ginger. Service is exceptionally warm; most members of the staff live nearby and have been with the resort since it opened in 2002. Lovely Balinese traditions are strong here. When checking into our villa, our feet were bathed with rose-petal water to wash away any bad feelings.
Including the pool, the deluxe one-bedroom villas at Kuyamanis Ubud offer guests 3,000 square feet of space. Our open-air bathroom had its outdoor shower tucked steps away in a garden. Our living room pavilion had no walls, just a soaring thatched roof held up by tree trunk columns. When it rained one afternoon, it was magical to lounge on the couch, feeling the warm breeze flow through and watching raindrops splatter on gigantic palm leaves.
Early one morning, we took a complimentary walking excursion with a butler/guide through traditional rice paddies to a rural village. On another morning, we enjoyed a short complimentary guided bicycle ride down hilly village streets and into the countryside, past duck ponds and more emerald-green rice fields.
Conceived as romantic adults-only retreats, both Kayumanis villa resorts offer many other complimentary perks. These include private 24/7 shuttle service to town, airport transfers (with chilled facecloths and bottled water available in the vehicle) 30-minute welcome massages, Wi-Fi, full breakfasts (we loved the fresh carrot-and-orange juice), and afternoon tea with egg or bacon-and-tomato sandwiches and little cakes (in your villa, if you would like).