Travelogue: Off-the-Beaten-Path Boutique Resort Hotel Offers Glimpse into the Other Bali

Balinese Adventure Part 8

A resort in Cangcu hosts Michael Taylor for 3 nights. He eats yummy food, takes a cooking class, and enjoys a 2-hour spa treatment. During his stay, he stumbles across a Hindu festival and witnesses a ‘Balinese barbecue’.

According to the On-line Merriam-Webster dictionary, the 1st definition of ‘karma’ is “the force created by a person’s actions that is believed in Hinduism and Buddhism to determine what that person’s next life will be like”.

The 2nd definition of ‘karma’ is “the force created by a person’s actions that some people believe causes good or bad things to happen to that person”.

Since I am currently in an overwhelmingly Hindu society, I can’t help but contemplate what I did in a previous life (or earlier in this life) that led me to Ametis Villa Bali in Cangcu.

I’ve stayed at lots of five-star resorts in my time (plus more than a few no-star dives). Some of them have been better than others. But rarely have I received such a warm welcome. And rarely have I had so many amazing experiences stuffed into such a short time span.

On my 1st day, we stumble across a Hindu festival on the way back to the hotel from the market to buy stuff for a cooking lesson.

On the 2nd day, a Hindu procession passes my hotel. I follow it and witness a triple cremation on the beach.

Or maybe it has nothing to do with karma. Maybe stuff like this happens in Bali all the time. Maybe I’m letting my imagination run wild.

Hotel Review

Ametis Villa Bali is situated in Cangcu, an ‘up-and-coming’ district popular with surfers – but still a bit off the well beaten tourism track.

The stylish resort is especially popular with repeat visitors to Bali, who are looking for a property situated away from the maddening crowds, which can offer a more authentic experience, General Manager Akiko Yoshioka says.

Honeymooners and others wanting a bit of privacy will also find the property ideal.

Located on a quiet street a leisurely 5 minute walk from the beach, Ametis is an all villa property with 14 units – most with one indoor bedroom as well as a covered outdoor space with a kitchen, dining room, and living room.

Each unit also has its own small swimming pool set amid a landscaped garden.

Personal Butlers

Many hotels have butlers, but in most cases this is nothing more than a glorified room service. Either your butler is shared with other rooms, or different people appear every time to give them a call.

What sets the butlers at Ametis apart from other hotels is that each unit is assigned a personal butler, who makes contact with guests one week in advance of their arrival.

First, photos are exchanged so that you will recognize each other at the airport. Second, you are asked if any special requirements need to be made.

Butlers can arrange airport pickups and various kinds of activities. Mine, for example, not only met me at the airport. He also arranged a cooking lesson for me in my villa.

One of the more unusual requests has been for ‘surprise’ marriage proposals.

Suitors and their would-be spouses were taken to the beach for cocktails at sunset. When they returned to their villa, it was decked out with candles and flowers.

Food and Beverage

I’m not a big fan of hotel breakfast buffets, so I was happy that breakfasts – which are included in the tariff – are served ala carte.

While American, Chinese, Japanese, other choices are available, I opted for Indonesian dishes all three mornings, and I must say, the Nasi Garang – which I had twice – is the best Indonesian fried rice I’ve ever had.

Guests can eat breakfast at Eternal, the hotel’s restaurant, the lobby, or their room. The restaurant also serves lunch and dinner.

I tried a salad followed by a yummy vegetarian dish – the daily special – on my first night. I particularly liked the Cardamon Ginger, a delicious mocktail that is said to prevent bad breath and aid digestion.

On my second night, I ordered the Iga Babi Panggang Ametis Style Barbecue Glazed Pork Ribs, which are strangely reminiscent of American style barbecue spare ribs. Except … They are much, much better!

They were about as meaty and succulent as pork ribs can get, and that gooey pungent sauce was pure dynamite. They were served with a delicious cucumber slaw and potato wedgies. I could go for some right now!

A complimentary afternoon tea is served from 4 pm to 6 pm. Complimentary sunset cocktails and yummy snacks are served from 6 pm to 8 pm.

Ruby Spa

The hotel also has an intimate spa with one single and two double treatment rooms. Guests can choose from three types of oil. Several spa packages are offered.

I had a two hour treatment, which comprised a one-hour Balinese style massage followed by a one hour Japanese style Reiki treatment, which is designed to balance negative and positive aspects in the body.

How was it? I can’t really remember because I quickly fell asleep and slept through most of it.

But I DID feel fantastic when it was over!

There is also a 24 hour complimentary shuttle service to Seminyak. Guests are given mobile phones when they go into town so they can call their driver when they want to return to the hotel.

No need to schedule things in advance. But you should give 30 minutes notice in advance. Should guests wish to travel further afield, they will be charged a fee.


Ametis Villa Bali, Jalan Pantai Batu Bolong, Canggu – Kuta, Bali, Indonesia. Telephone: +62 361 844 5567.

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