Friday, 1 January 2016

Five-star luxury beyond my wildest dreams at RIMBA Hotel, Jimbaran, Bali

I'd thought my hotel in Ubud was luxurious - and it was - but it wasn't a patch on where I went next.

I shimmied down (and when I say shimmed I mean took a taxi) south through the lush Balinese landscape to Jimbaran Bay on the West coast of the island.

For the very final night of my whole two months in South-East Asia, I'd decided to push the boat out. Aaaaaand I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to treat myself to five-star luxury more often (*makes mental note to stop spending all savings in Zara and health food shops*). Pleasingly, hotels are much cheaper in Indonesia than back home - I daren't think how much my stay would've cost had the hotel been in London!

Ladies and gents, welcome to RIMBA by Ayana.

Location and Arrival

You may have heard of Ayana: it's widely considered one of the best (and snazziest!) hotels in Bali. RIMBA is an ever-so-slightly more affordable new part of Ayana, taking up eight hectares of Ayana's incredible 90-hectare grounds overlooking Jimbaran Bay.

And the awesome thing is that as a RIMBA guest you have access to all Ayana's facilities including their incredible restaurants and bars (I'll get to that, bear with).

I'd never in my whole life stayed anywhere quite like RIMBA, and let me tell you, after two months backpacking round Asia on a real shoe-string, I was absolutely positively wowed beyond my wildest dreams.

When you reach the resort entrance, the porters give your bags a quick security scan and tick you off on their iPads so the check-in staff know you'll be arriving in a minute or two.

My arrival at RIMBA was unlike anything I'd ever experienced, my bags were whisked out of the taxi for me, a gong was struck and a fresh flower necklace was placed round my neck, all while the staff greeted and welcomed me to the hotel. It was lovely!

The hotel lobby took my breath away. It was so beautiful! Super stylish whilst still retaining some traditional Balinese style, not to mention lots of Christmas decorations, and boy, was I excited to see some signs of the festive season.

Can we all just pause for a sec and appreciate the awesomeness of this water/pool/view/seating situation?

Good. On we go.
As I checked in, I was brought a refreshing beverage, which is something I'd become rather used to (why am I not greeted with fresh juices everywhere I go in the UK?). I was also thrilled to hear that I could check-out up to 3pm the following day for no extra charge which was fab as my flight wasn't until midnight. (Oh, and RIMBA is about 15 minutes or so drive to the airport so a really great place to end a trip.)

One of RIMBA's many charming staff members then took me up to my room and showed me round. I'd once more got a good deal through Agoda but I'd still gone for the most basic room available, a hillside room. With this in mind, I was expecting it to be nice, of course, but how nice could it possibly be?




I hyperventilated for a good ten minutes upon arriving in my room. This then switched to hysterical laughter before going back to hyperventilating.

Never in my life have I stayed anywhere incredible as this room.


For starters, biggest bed I've ever seen ever ever ever. Crazy comfy and the blanket was wonderfully snuggly and cosy too.

To the side of the bed in front of the TV was this beautiful sofa/chaise-longue situation, complete with mini table. Perfect for mooching around on your iPad whilst mindlessly watching a film in the background.

A table and chairs complete with fruit bowl and welcome pack (including a very necessary map of this blimmin' huge resort.)

The TV was mahoosive and there were more TV channels than I've ever seen in a hotel.

Tea- and coffee-making facilities including multiple types of tea (YUS!), two complimentary bottles of water and an extremely tempting (but extremely expensive) mini-bar and drawer full of treats.

My room had a private balcony too with yet another recliney/sofa/armchair situation - whilst it didn't overlook the most spectacular view, sitting out there felt like I was a world away from any other human being, which was rather nice.

Having opted not to pay the £20 or so for hotel breakfast (sob), I thoroughly enjoyed my banana bread (bought from the amazing Garden Kafe the previous day) spread with peanut butter on the balcony.

It was most pleasing to find not only loads of plug sockets in the room but a few British ones too. There was an iPhone dock/speaker and even different light settings depending on your mood. How awesome is that!?

All the boxes for the toiletries and info looked like they could be made by Smythson too. I wanted them. What's more, the aircon was completely silent, which impressed me.

And then there was this utterly glorious bathroom featuring the most wonderful shower I've ever experienced.

There were two shower-heads: a normal one on the side and a ginormous one overhead creating the sensation of showering in a tropical storm which was rather fun. I don't think my pictures quite show just how huge it was but you'll have to take my word for it.

I was a smidge excited. And never wanted to take off my flower garland.
Naturally I was provided with fluffy towels of various different sizes, including some that were actually large enough to cover my modesty which was a first for South-East Asia.

There were even RIMBA nighties and slippers which I definitely made the most of too.


As I previously mentioned, RIMBA guests have access to all Ayana's facilities. The trouble was that there was so much amazingness at RIMBA that I didn't have time to venture out and explore what was on offer at Ayana.

Come and see what I mean...

I'd never seen quite so many poolside lounging options.

There was of course wifi everywhere and poolside service. With the sounds of rushing water and birds tweeting, lounging by the pool was wonderfully peaceful.

And check out these little caves you can rent for some poolside privacy - each one was different which I loved.

As you'd expect, the whole grounds are gorgeously landscaped and there are so many members of friendly staff wandering around, but not so many that they're annoying.

And as well as multiple pools and restaurants there's a pretty great gym. Oddly enough I didn't quite get round to using it but I was grateful to be able to use the lovely changing rooms and showers after lounging by the pool long after checking-out.

Yeah, those snaps are the gym entrance and lobby. Maybe if more gyms looked like that I'd go more often!

There are multiple chic restaurants, but of course, with five-star luxury come five-star prices.

And I know there was so much more that I didn't even get round to exploring - I swear you could come to RIMBA for a fortnight and never leave the resort. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing is up to you.

Rock Bar and Unique

For my one night staying at RIMBA there was no question where I was going to go - Ayana's famous Rock Bar, situated on the cliffs overlooking the sea.

Although part of the hotel, Rock Bar is open to the public, but as a RIMBA guest I got priority access [insert sassy girl emoji here].

I took the free shuttle from the RIMBA lobby to Ayana's (they go every 10 minutes) and excitedly strolled through Ayana down to the cliffs.

Overlooking the West Coast of Bali, Rock Bar is the perfect location to watch the sunset over the sea

It was also huge! I hadn't been expecting the bar to be so big.

I met up with my friends Sarah and Karl who were staying nearby and we sat down, drank up and watched the sun go down.

Well, OK, it was more like a gradual darkening of the sky as it was an unfortunately cloudy evening, but the view was still fab.

The cocktails were as wonderful as the setting.

Oof, I thoroughly recommend the lychee martini.

Pleasingly, our crisp bowl was continuously replenished - they went down a treat.

Yes, the drinks cost a lot more than I'd got used to paying in Indonesia, but actually, compared to cocktail prices back in the UK and considering the location, they were really quite reasonable.

Having lost the sun, we took the shuttle back to RIMBA, marvelling at the pretty twinkly lights everywhere.

If only we had palm trees at home - they look gorgeous draped in fairy lights, I thought.

We went from one rooftop bar to another and continued our evening at Unique, where the cocktails and crisps kept flowing.

It's a chic pool club by day which transforms into restaurant and bar above the trees come evening. The frozen daiquiris were top notch.


Oh, I could sure get used to five-star staff. Everyone at RIMBA and Ayana was simply amazing. So friendly, helpful and obliging. Nothing was too much to ask and each staff member genuinely seemed to care - they all appeared to want me to have the most fantastic stay. I really can't fault the service at all.

So yes, it's 10/10 for RIMBA for me! I genuinely don't think I have a bad word to say about my stay. I only wish I could've afforded to stay longer! It was the perfect place for the final night of what had been a long trip on a tight budget, and although staying at RIMBA had taken out a sizeable chunk of my savings, I don't regret it for a second. I really appreciated the luxury and think it was worth every penny. Go on, #treatyoself.


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