Amankila Bali opened in 1992, was one of the very first entries into Aman’s now 33-strong global portfolio. With its freestanding villas and statement swimming pool, it helped form the blueprint for many of the luxury resort group’s most recent openings; but, like its clientele, refuses to show its age.
Situated in the shadow of the Mount Agung volcano, which recently rumbled its way into the news, the property sits on a cliff on the north-east coast, with some of the best views on the island, and happily lives up to its name, which means “peaceful hill”.
Aman junkies (there’s even an Instagram hashtag) seeking quiet elegance and luxury, away from touristic Ubud.
Even by Aman standards, the three-tiered infinity swimming pool is pretty special. Built into the cliff edge and flanked by steep stone staircases, it creates
a real sense of drama.
As much as relaxation is important here – with most guests taking advantage of in-room massages – dining is a key draw. Amankila’s gardens supply most of its vegetables, grown in volcanic soil, and the resort even raises its own ducks in the nearby Jasri village. In the evening, local musicians play to an elegantly dressed audience who first sample drinks from an expansive cocktail bar menu infused with Balinese flavours, before heading off to dine.
The hotel is quintessentially Aman, designed by Ed Tuttle and Danilo Capellini, the architects behind many of the group’s other properties. Simple finishes, crisp clean lines and an understated luxury is the core of the group’s design aesthetic. However, Aman also manages to draw on local inspiration, incorporating thatched roofs, ornate stone carvings and details taken from the nearby Karangasem Palace, including the nested motif of the Maskerdam Building.