Ayana Resort Bali

*These excerpts are taken from a travel review written for Gulf Business Magazine

After adventurous rice paddy and volcano treks and playing with wild animals in Bali, we sank into the luxurious lap of the Ayana Resort in Jimbaran. The resort is a destination in itself, covering acres of land. It is also a parallel universe where you can rely on your butler to book a massage at the spa while you enjoy raspberry sorbet at a cabana near the saltwater infinity pool.

This is a resort with a capital R. The Ayana has 12 swimming pools and 19 places to dine. It’s set on 90 hectares of tropical gardens up on a clifftop, so the views are just astounding. This is a big statement to make in Bali, a place where every corner takes your breathe away.

The Welcome

I visited Bali with two of my favorite girlfriends years ago. The lovely Lauren poses in the beautiful, airy lobby:

Sweet Suite

The villas are aptly named – they are so spacious that the three of us would get lost finding each other. How stunning is this room? The sheets have a high cotton thread count and those billowing curtains gave the entire room a regal feel.

Even the bathrooms were a photo opp.

I’d love to visit again with my husband because every corner of the suite was dripping in romance. Even the doorway to the room was beautiful:

The best part of the room is actually right outside:

Cheesy, but we had to do it.


The resort has a world award-winning spa, offering traditional Balinese massages and an aquatonic pool with jet streams that will give you a workout. A perfume- making atelier on the premises gives ladies a chance to experiment with Balinese flowers like champaca and frangipani to create their own scent. How cute are these spa robes?

Fine Dining

At the Kisik restaurant, you can choose your lobster or fish to be served at a table on the sand surrounded by tiki torches.

After a delicious dinner of fresh seafood, we attended a traditional Balinese dance performance at the hotel.

Crowds queue to sip on creative cocktails and snack on popcorn chicken at Rock Bar while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world from the jagged cliff.

Breakfast is delicious and revives the soul with its views:

Let’s Go Swimming

…because of the roaring sea nearby, and the 12 pools to choose from. Our favorite had to be the saltwater pool with stunning views. We were first one there in the morning:

And almost last ones to leave at sunset:

We ended the trip with a pic with our wonderful butler:

Driving back to the airport with a garland of frangipanis around your neck, a tan, and monkey horror stories, you will have a smile on your face reserved just for Bali. I can’t wait to come back with the hubby!



Go breezy with these colors inspired by the sea!

Beachside Chic



Seafolly maxi dress
685 AED – harrods.com

Kate Spade sandals
170 AED – nordstrom.com

Accessorize white beach tote
48 AED – accessorize.com

Ross Simons polishing gold jewelry
1,465 AED – ross-simons.com

Floppy brim hat
110 AED – luxurydivas.com

Nars cosmetic
100 AED – asos.com

Sun care
215 AED – popmap.com


Guest Post by Rupert Wright of Ashbright
Paris holds no terrors for well-heeled travellers, who can check into one of the city’s eleven palaces such as ­ the Georges V, Plaza Athénée, Le Bristol or my favourite, Le Meurice. But for those on any kind of budget, finding a decent place to stay in the French capital can be a challenge. Bedrooms smaller than a bathroom, bathrooms smaller than a bidet, we’ve all stayed at one of them and lived to regret it. So, it’s with great pleasure that I have found almost the perfect Parisian hotel – and you don’t need to be a tech billionaire to afford it. The Bedford has been family owned and run for more than a hundred years, combining Swiss roots, French flair and English tradition. It benefits from strong leadership, attention to detail, and a staff eager to look after you. With just 140 rooms, it is large enough to intimate, but not so large that you are anonymous. It’s a 4 star, but deserves more.
The rooms
Parquet flooring; high ceilings; comfortable beds and pillows; keys rather than plastic cards; and best of all, real switches, that turn the lights on and off. The Bedford has sensibly ignored many of the technical traps that can make staying in a hotel room more challenging than setting up your own satellite transmission site. The result is a place that combines understated elegance with modern touches and old school service. Some rooms overlook the rue de l’Arcade, others look over a courtyard, but all are a decent size and a muted colour. There is air-conditioning too, which is a relief when the summer strikes.
Breakfast is a buffet in a glorious belle époque room, boasting stucco reliefs and a glass roof. Dinner happens here too, French cuisine and fairly formal. There’s also a relaxed bistro/bar that serves meals and cocktails.
A stone’s throw from the Place de la Madeleine, the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Gardens, and the Opera, this is one of the best areas to stay in Paris. (Marcel Proust used to live just around the corner). It is a lively area, with great boutiques, wine bars and an eclectic mix of restaurants, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Korean, Lebanese and French too.
Don’t miss
The Bedford knows that many people like to travel with their pets, so they are allowed to stay too.
HOTEL BEDFORD, 17, RUE DE L’ARCADE 75008 PARIS Tel. : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 77 Fax : +33 (0)1 44 94 77 97 More information at www.hotel-bedford.com
Rooms from €250; Suites from €450


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Sara Hamdan

Welcome to a magazine editor’s guide to luxury hotels and what to wear when you’re there! My work has appeared in: The International New York Times, Rolling Stone, Variety and CNN Travel. I’ve held editorial roles at VIVA Magazine, Dubai Magazine and Stylist Arabia.  Now, I freelance for the likes of Google, CNN and Savoir Flair!

Editing travel pages was always my favourite part of working for lifestyle magazines. I started this blog out of a love of beautiful hotels that provide the fairytale escape of a day as a princess where breakfast is a buffet and chocolates appear on my pillow.

PR queries, feedback and compliments? Email sara@holidaysinheels.com!