AMANKILA (link) (instagram)
My latest escape has taken me to Bali, where I got to relax at the closest thing to paradise – Amankila resort in Manggis, Bali just off the east coast of the archipelago. Amankila means ‘peaceful hill’, which describes the resort in the most minimal way. Built in March 1992 by architect Ed Tuttle, the resort was inspired by the palaces of Ujung and Tirtagangga. Each suite is built like a beach house and is connected with pathways, each suite elevated on stilts to maximize sea views. It overlooks the Lombok Strait and everywhere you turn is a picturesque moment. The resort is a perfect mix of modernity and tradition with Balinese elements and greenery paired with clean lines and open spaces in the walkways and pool areas.
The resort facilities revolve around dining, wellness, and adventure. In addition to the three different pools on site, Amankila is just a hop skip away from many different water sports and temples. The beach club provides equipment for all water sports including kayaking and scuba diving or for more relaxed activities, you can lounge at the pool, yoga pavilion, or play volleyball or badminton on the massive lawn. The private black sand beach, kept pristinely clean and maintained, is a luxurious treat and a great way to get a tan or hang out by the waves.
My favorite part of staying at Amankila was walking around and exploring the property while enjoying the trees and Indonesian greenery. Amankila maintains an air of exclusivity while keeping an extremely hospitable and friendly attitude from all staff. Every turn you take, you are greeted with a beautiful smile and a cheerful “Hello, how are you?” And while these details are small, it was a breath of fresh air compared to the usual crowded pace in Hong Kong where you’re lucky if you don’t get tackled by a suited shoulder. I was so excited to wake up every morning and embrace the day because of the calming views and peaceful green everywhere, another breath of fresh air compared to the polluted city I call home. Knowing all of the activities and nature waiting for me outside of the villa, I felt a jolt of energy every morning.
Just a five minute walk down a beautifully shaded path from the main resort is the main restaurant, which includes a good mix of Balinese and international dishes. The menu is created with wellness in mind, so everything is light and health-focused yet fresh and delicious. Besides chowing down on Balinese sate and noodle soups, I made sure to maximize my time out in the water. Amankila helped arrange a snorkelling trip on one of Aman’s traditional wooden boats. We had a private car take us to Padang Bai Port, which is about fifteen minutes away from the property. After a short twenty minute boat ride, we snorkelled in Bali’s crystal clear waters and had a light packed lunch before heading back to the tranquility of Amankila. To keep up with my wellness routine, I ran at the gym every day and also got massages at the spa. If you’re looking for an exclusive and tranquil experience in Bali, Amankila is definitely where you’ll find peace.