My last visit to Bali was in 2009. It was a quick two-night trip to/from Taipei…not enough time. So we are back again.
Four Seasons operates two properties in Bali. One near the water (Jimbaran) and another in the jungle (Sayan).
I’ve lived on islands (Oahu and Manhattan) all my life. I like being near the water, but love homes surrounded by greenery. Deep in valley and up mountains. Big trees and wild flowers. It was Sayan I found enchanting…
…and that’s where we spent most nights.
But the first night was at Jimbaran (which is closer to the airport).
I was walking around the property and found all these pandan plants. Heaven! Pandan is my favorite flavor and scent. Mom infuses it in everything from water to rice and coconut-based Vietnamese desserts. It’s a beautiful, flowery vanilla.
A late lunch.
Little pools in each villa (best part is that you can go skinny dipping and no one will ever know).
The best part about hotels is…breakfast! Hot curry noodles, fresh watermelon juice and all the fruit in the world. (More on hotel breakfasts here.)
Then off to Sayan. It’s a two-hour drive inland to Ubud. You must walk across this long bridge to enter the property…
…and once you’re on the other side it’s ahhhhhh.
All blissed out.
Sayan is really good with liquids. So many types of juices (watermelon was my favorite) and jamu (which are like tonics).
The “classic” jamu is made of turmeric, honey, and tamarind.
Variations include one with black tea, lemongrass, ginger and honey.
This ginger one also showed up as a hot, extra spicy version at the spa.
Watermelon juice all day, every day.
Lisa flew in from Hong Kong for a few nights ^-^
We went out to Will Goldfarb’s Room4Dessert one night…
…and had every dessert on the menu. Big thanks to Will for the ride back home.
But aside from that, I never left the property. There was plenty to do…
…and not do. I spent an entire day just reading in the villa, eating noodles for lunch and curry for dinner.
Though I did go up to the lobby…
…for afternoon tea that day.
Saving the best for last. Breakfast!! I woke up extra early for this. Breakfast is buffet + a la carte. I basically ate everything.
Are you familiar with salak gula? It’s also called snake fruit.
Looks like this when you peel it. Hard to find in the US. (The orange fruit to the left of the snake fruit is tamarillo.)
It might be an Asian thing but I love starting the day with a hot bowl of noodle soup…
…savory, big, wide rice noodles. Fried shallots. A clean chicken broth, lots of herbs. Bean sprouts and greets. Fish balls and ground pork balls. A bit of chili paste.
Each breakfast featured a daily sweet. Bubur injin days were the best. On those days I’d have my usual soup plus two bowls of bubur injin. It’s magical. Black rice, palm sugar, coconut milk. Makes me so happy.
One morning we had breakfast near the rice paddies. That’s more bubur injin on the right.
Hot water for tea was brewed here to the side of the table.
Another daily sweet featured tapioca and bananas in coconut milk…
…and yet another featured klepon. Dessert like this makes you happy to be alive. It’s mochi (with a texture similar to local Hawaii mochi), stuffed with gula jawa (hot liquid palm sugar). The mochi is scented with pandan. Each piece is rolled in grated coconut. Eat it in one bite.
Till we’re back again ^-^