Returning from each holiday, we bring home fond memories of the iconic landmarks we had previously only seen on TV or once-in-a-lifetime experience that had always been on our bucket list. How often does the hotel or resort that you stayed in become more than accomodation but one of the highlights itself though? These are the four reasons why we fell in love with Belmond Jimbaran Puri during our recent trip to Bali.
The story began in the mid-1980s, when a local family purchased some beachfront land on Jimbaran Bay on Bali’s south-western coast and built nine simple cottages. Despite changes in ownership and size over the years, the philosophy and village feel of the resort has remained much the same, with an unwavering commitment to traditional Balinese ambience.
Entering its compound, Belmond gives the sense of wandering through an exclusive Balinese village. Whilst the cliffs and mesmerising temple of Uluwatu, the exciting social scenes of Seminyak and Kuta, the beaches of Sanur and Nusa Dua, and the water sports of Tanjung Benoa, are all within forty minutes’ drive, the resort remains a tranquil and luxurious oasis.
The ocean at Jimbaran Bay itself is shallow. With strong waves only really kicking up a couple of times per month, it is possibly the calmest swimming beach in Bali. Motorised water activities are prohibited in order to protect the marine reserve which only adds to the idyllic ambience.
The fresh, local seafood at Nelayan Restaurant
Up until the 1980s and the arrival of tourism, Jimbaran was solely a fishing village and renowned as one of the largest suppliers of salt water fish to Bali. The local fishing industry remains today and seafood is a key component of the menu of Belmond’s on-site restaurant, Nelayan. As the resort welcomes guests from Europe, America and Japan, the menu is a blend of western classics and Indonesian cuisines but it is the local fresh seafood that we opted for.
Situated right on the beach in a bamboo structure, Nelayan is where we were treated to a front row view of Jimbaran Bay and a gentle sea breeze. Needless to say the lobster and jumbo prawns are sourced locally in the nearby fishing village before being cooked on a hot grill.
The meat of the lobster is noticeable sweeter and more tender than the Australian version. The prawns are enormous and only required the merest drizzle of lemon juice to complement their succulent flavour.
At our host’s recommendation, we tried a local dish called Soto Ayam; Soto meaning ‘broth’ and ‘Ayam’ chicken. This is a traditional Indonesian dish and varies from region to region. Belmond’s version features light coconut milk and vermicelli noodles.
We also took the opportunity to sample Belmond’s exclusive cocktail – Mojito De Ladro – a refreshing blend of traditional Indonesian liquor Arak, lychee liqueur, fresh mint and lime. You need to remember the ingredients if you want to have it made elsewhere as it is a unique creation by Belmond.
The Jaw-Dropping Sunset
As well as providing a fantastic dining experience, Nelayan restaurant also offers fine views across Jimbaran Bay and the famous sunset at dusk, with Jimbaran beach in the foreground and a postcard-worthy sunset in the distance.
Between 5.30 and 6.30PM every evening, hundreds of locals and tourists gather on the beach to take in the view. You need to get the camera ready and snap the perfect shots fast before the sun fully sinks below the horizon. The sunset can also be enjoyed over dinner at the local seafood cafes along the beach both left and right to Belmond within a few minutes on foot. We are not talking about one or two cafes but about a dozen of them spread across the beach. Follow the smoke from the hot grill and you won’t miss them.
The Privacy and Serenity
Belmond Jimbaran features forty-two cottages and twenty-one villas but even with every room full, the resort is noticeably quiet. There are 5 units of two-bedroom: 2 two-bedroom pool cottage suites and 3 two-bedroom deluxe pool villas, making this essentially a child-free resort.
Our one-bedroom deluxe villa sprawled over 350m² and featured a separate living quarter, bedroom with ensuite as well as an outdoor garden with an oversized day bed, outdoor shower and a 6.6 x 5 metre private pool.
The bedroom has a king-sized bed whilst the ensuite features a black-stone tub filled with fragrant salts and powerful indoor rain head showers. The living quarter is where you can enjoy your daily breakfast and afternoon tea served by your dedicated butler who remains on call at all times.
For a holidaying couple, this is nothing short of heaven. Not only can you enjoy the luxury of this enormous space, but you are able to soak up the Balinese sun or relax in your own swimming pool in complete privacy away from prying eyes or noisy children.
The Belmond Jimbaran is firmly an upscale Balinese holiday experience offering unparalleled luxury and serenity. A stay here allows you to experience the feel of a Balinese village in a beautiful setting close to a fabulous beach with local food to die for. Come here to decompress, relax, slow down and leave feeling recharged.
Belmond Jimbaran Puri
Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Yoga Perkanthi Lane, Jimbaran, Kuta Selatan, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali, Indonesia
Phone: +62 361 701605
I Ate My Way Through stayed as guests of Belmond Jimbaran Puri