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May, 2024
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©

A herbal Rosella ice tea welcomes us on our arrival to Amandari on a hot, humid day in September. As we sit in the outdoor, undercover lounge area overlooking the Ayung Valley outside, the magical scene of breath-taking vistas brings a sense of enlightenment and gratitude. This can be no other place than Amandari in Bali.

In one of the most magical areas of Ubud, in the heart of the island, this luxury destination is subtly situated, hidden out of plain sight. Aman, a Sanskrit-derived word for ‘peace’, is synonymous with creating luxury hotel experiences that transform the mind, body and soul.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©

Driven by their carefully considered context, Aman properties are only opened in locations worldwide which can evoke that sense of peace for sense of self. In Bali, Amandari achieves just that.

The third hotel in Aman’s portfolio, Amandari is a testament to the vision of Aman founder Adrian Zecca and Australian architect Peter Muller. Opened in 1989, Amandari retains its allure and title as a leading luxury property thirty decades on.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©


Designed after a traditional Balinese village with thatched rooftops, Australian architect Peter Muller was inspired by his two decades living in Bali. Each Pavilion has been constructed with Balinese craftsmanship and the finest materials.

Clever, original and authentic, it’s one of the most authentic Balinese design experiences in a luxury hotel. There is a flow to the design which relates precisely to context. Even on a humid day, the outdoor patio feels cool, with easy-to-open doors to let a cool breeze inside.

The beauty of Balinese crafts is infused throughout the experience on the property, with hand woven fans, Kanasan tapestries, coconut wood pillars and temple sarongs (complimentary for guests).

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©

Landscaping represents the resort’s location perfectly, with flower-filled gardens and pathways throughout the property bringing awe to the natural world in Bali, where colours and forms of tropical flowers are amplified.

Even a small lotus pond beneath a shrine (one of many on the property) naturally changes daily, with lotus flowers and their floating leaves poetically re-arranging position with the winds, enabling any guests to find beauty and tranquility in the surrounding environment. The landscaping creates a haven for all that visit, to slow down and witness Bali’s unique flora.

Multiple species of birds entertain by day, small and camouflaged into the trees, and at night, small bats fly like shadows in the night. A highlight was seeing the black obsidian and bright yellow butterflies float by all day beneath a bright blue sky.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©


With 30-suite exclusive suites, each are designed as a single or double story duplex pavilion with authentic timber and stone detailing throughout.

The Pool Suites come with their own private pools, but the main hotel pool is just as fun to swim and sit by the deck overlooking the Ayung Valley nearby. A rice patty-inspired swimming pool, it is the first infinity pool in Bali. For larger groups, there is a three-bedroom option at the Amandari Villa comprised of five pavilions and a private swimming pool.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©

Our room smells like freshly-made tatami mats, but the aroma of freshly-dried grass in fact comes from the ceiling above where renovations to the pavilion we are staying in.

Originally built in 1989, the pavilions are a testament to the quality of craftsmanship and construction of the original builds. For more than three decades they have welcomed guests from far and wide, with the suite details championing Balinese interior detailing.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©

Details have been considered everywhere – from the bowl of exotic and local fresh fruits in the living room, to the personal left for guests from staff welcoming them in. Outside, the sound of cicada in season and local roosters and temple dogs at times can be heard. Acknowledged by the hotel staff, at turn-down they place a hand-carved and hand-painted wooden talisman on our bedside.

These talismans are lovingly handcrafted by Madé Subrata, a gifted artist who has been disabled by polio and orphaned as a young child in Eastern Bali. Amandari support him and his family by ordering these hand-crafted items from him. The Ayam Jago (‘rooster’ in Bahasa, Indonesian) and Anjing (‘dog’  in Bahasa, Indonesian) statues promise to be silent if we take them home. They’re a token of understanding for the sounds of squawking and barking from local animals in the morning. For morning risers this is no disturbance, simply highlighting the hotel’s authentic surrounds, exactly what visitors come to Bali for.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©


The Restaurant is where breakfast, lunch and dinner is available with sweeping views of the Ayung Valley and gorge outside from the open-air dining area. Fine dining meets authentic Indonesian and Balinese dishes with a mix of Western dishes to suit any diner.

The menu celebrates Indonesian cuisine, utilising local ingredients and their individual flavours. The menu, described as a voyage through Indonesia, has plenty to choose from, such as megoreng, mekuah and the must-order dish, Bebek Timbungan, duck slow-cooked in a bamboo stalk, grilled above a coconut charcoal.

Included in room rates is the daily breakfast in The Restaurant, the perfect start to the day. Dinner at sunset is a must experience, where dusk falls as another cocktail is ordered. 

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©


With an array of experiences for guests to enjoy, the experience outside of the resort is just as engaging and enticing. From guided cycling in Ubud’s countryside, to guided exploration of the Ayung Valley on a selected two-hour track.

Inside the resort, the outdoor infinity pool, tennis courts, spa, library, restaurant and multiple seating options under well-crafted pavilions mean there is perfect opportunities to switch off and unwind. Every day at 4pm, local staff from the village of Kedewatan bring an assortment of traditional Balinese sweets, offered together with home-brewed tea and coffee for guests.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©


Our highlight? The moon-viewing outdoor baths made out of marble stone. 

Carved geometrically to achieve a tilted and relaxed angle for moon viewing, baths are wide and deep, superbly designed. During our stay at Amandari we were blessed with a full moon, a spiritual and serene moment blessed by the moon’s glow. 

Amandari is an incredibly special destination to visit for those interested in design, architecture and culture. 

Authentic, enriching and going above and beyond in its hospitality offering, a stay at Amandari is enriching and rewarding for the soul. We already planning our return, the most ideal haven in Bali’s centre, the heart of the island.

Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©
Amandari | Photography LOTER for Champ Magazine©

Jl. Raya Kedewatan, Kedewatan, Kecamatan
Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali, 80571, Indonesia

For more design and travel destinations in Bali and Indonesia, click here.

Text: Editor-in-Chief Monique Kawecki
Images: As credited, Champ Magazine©

May, 2024