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January 18, 2017

Bali: Ametis Villa @Canggu

Hi all!

It's our first time blogging on our travels, so what's a better way to start- from writing about a luxury villa that we decided to spend a bomb on, in Bali?

The Premier Villa
With a very handy discount app, we spent USD 420 (with 21% tax) for 2 nights in the Premier Villa. (Imagine the price without discount! *gasps*) The Premier Room is like their superior room, and their Imperial Villa's like their deluxe room.

What was being offered when we directly booked with them:

Rate includes Luxury Benefits :
·         Return airport transfer with Ametis exclusive private car
·         Special Cocktails or Mocktails welcome drink based on guest preference and refreshing chilled towel upon arrival
·         A 30 minute relaxing massage
·         Daily breakfast on variation menu
·         Fully complimentary coffee, tea and homemade snack around Ametis villa, 07.00am - 11.00pm
·         Daily complimentary sunset cocktail and canapés at Eternal Restaurant & Lounge, 18.00pm - 20.00pm
·         Daily complimentary afternoon tea at Eternal Restaurant, Lounge or in villa, 16:00pm -18:00pm
·         Daily fresh fruit and flower arrangement in villa
·         Daily Newspaper ( based on Language preference )
·         24 hours drop and pick up service by Ametis private car within Canggu and Seminyak area
·         Personal Butler service
·         24 hours WiFi internet access
·         Complimentary daily stocked mini bar in room
*Imperial Villa Add benefits :
·         Upgrade A 30 minutes massage into A 60 minutes massage
·         Daily complimentary laundry 8 pcs per villa

When we arrived, we were given a very warm welcome by our butler. Instantly, we felt at home.
Lots of attention has been paid to the landscaping in the estate. The villa was big, and looked quite luxurious.

View when we enter the villa

Living, Dining & Kitchen area

Daily fresh fruit and flower arrangement in villa

View of the pool from Living area
The pool is pretty big for a villa, at 1.4 metres deep. 

Beautiful King-size Bed

Our Honeymoon Dessert! 
Sadly, it crumbled quickly into a mess after we explored the house because of the sweltering heat.

Sweet welcome note

Complimentary daily stocked mini bar in room
Yes, 2 bottles of complimentary Bintang beer and the all of the rest here everyday.

Complimentary cookies in the bedroom if you get peckish

Complimentary water in glass bottles. What a luxury.

Bathroom amenities
Unlike hotels, they do not replenish them everyday. But with Oral-B toothbrushes and decently-sized toothpastes, who needs replenishments?

Another small bottle of mineral water for each of us...

Big tub! Comes with bath salts as well.

Friendly house dog!

The room is cleaned twice a day, with a army of people, after all, the villa's huge. We forgot to lock our door in the morning, and a group of people entered, and we panicked slightly, wondering what was happening.

With so much nature around us, the existence of mosquitoes is inevitable. We were given our anti-mozzie kit consisting of a clear bottle of lemongrass spray to bring around, some Baygon mosquito coils, and another spray for the rooms. Yes, the mosquitoes were real. We were each bitten in the hour we arrived, but the lemongrass spray helped tremendously afterwards.

More pictures of how it looks in the sunset, and the bathroom...

Sunset view of the pool...

Separate glass cubicles for the toilet and shower

Night view

Ametis Villa is situated in Canggu area, 20-30 minutes distance from Seminyak city by car (without traffic jam), so if you're looking to spend more time in Seminyak, you might want to take this into consideration, because transport can become an issue, especially for late-nights out at those clubs... (read 'Transport' section below...)

It's a quick 5-8 mins stroll to Canggu Beach, but it's quite a simple beach with nothing much to do, but the good thing is the crowd is definitely so much less than those beaches in Kuta or Seminyak.

Nearby, there are many restaurants and cafes which sell local and foreign food at decent prices. The clothing stores are somewhat expensive, but you're paying for the quality. There're also chic-looking day spas, and guys' barber shops, within walking distance as well.

There're complimentary bicycles which you can just take and go from the Villa, but you have to cycle on the road, together with the other vehicles, and risk them going missing if you decide to go into the stores.

As mentioned, they have a benefit, 'Return airport transfer with Ametis exclusive private car'. Tell them your flight details or where you wished to be transferred from and they'll gladly pick you up. Not that Bali's transport is costly, but for a place where taxis are very unwilling to turn on their meter, this is great.

Their private vehicles which all has the number plate 88.
Gede is the most friendly driver ever!

As for their '24 hours drop and pick up service by Ametis private car within Canggu and Seminyak area', we weren't so lucky to enjoy it on our first night, which left a slightly sour taste.

We went out for dinner at a restaurant in Seminyak area, which we were duly dropped off at our reserved timing of 8pm. We told him we will require transport back at 11-ish as we wanted to explore the area after dinner. Halfway through at 9-ish, our butler called to tell us to hail a cab, and the villa will reimburse us, with a receipt. A taxi fare receipt in Bali sounds highly improbable to us, but we decided to believe our butler who sounded quite confident. What made things worse was the increasing rain. Luckily, the restaurant helped us hail a taxi.

However, when we got on, the taxi driver insisted on bargaining on the taxi fare, at 200k IDR. We knew it's way too much. We were not given the villa's mobile phone when we left, so lucky us to have bought sufficient credits on our SIM card. We called through and requested to speak to our butler, but he wasn't around and someone else was on the line. His English wasn't too good as well, so that wasn't much help. We had to sit in the cab for the first 5 minutes and try to persuade the driver to turn on the meter. It wasn't a very good experience, and we could have just hailed an Uber which would have made going back easier.

Luckily, the meter was turned on as we persisted, and we reached the Villa. As expected, the taxi did not have receipts. The security guard became the witness to the fare on the meter. The staff, whose voice seemed to be that on the line previously, came out and asked if we were alright and asked about the fare- 75k IDR.

You have to plan your journey the day before with your butler, so they can arrange transport for you. No dilly-dallying, for they will call your villa on the dot and ask if you're heading to the lobby. This might be a factor for people who wish to travel freely.

We were given two spots to drop off at Seminyak on the second day, Bintang Supermarket and Seminyak Square. They call it a 'Private Shuttle Service'. Wherever else you want to go in the afternoon is on your own. Then in the evening, if you wished to return to Ametis, you have to call them 30-mins in advance. Although they might have acceded to your request if you wished to be picked elsewhere, the options were never mentioned.

Their drivers, especially Gede, are all quite friendly and love to share about their culture, so when we asked about food spots, they gladly directed us where to go.

The food comes with cling-foil most of the time, perhaps due to the rain when the butler delivers them to the villa. There're a lot of varieties, from Korean, Japanese, Chinese Set Meals to Mee Goreng. They have the usual omelettes and pancakes as well. The Pineapple Pancakes were delicious.

Welcome Cocktails & Snack

 Daily complimentary afternoon tea at the Lobby (with mosquitoes as companions...)

Daily complimentary sunset cocktail and canapés in-villa

Breakfast Day 1
We chose 3 main courses. Wished we could finish them but we had to rush for a massage soon after. They were delivered in-villa. Slightly cold, but delicious nonetheless.

Breakfast Day 2
Unlike yesterday, we were told we could only choose 2 main courses today, so we did.

While the space is undeniably huge, some parts of it were slightly worn and old. (That's probably why there weren't recent awards listed on the page...) But, I can totally imagine the extravagance of the estate when it first opened its doors to guests.

The bedroom and bathroom, were lined with great lengths of polished filled Travertine, a costly natural stone in Singapore. It made the place all the more luxurious. The grout lines in the bathroom were actually gold- but had turned grey in the dry area of the bathroom. Bathroom tap was leaking and the vertical blinds were grey due to mould. The kitchen and TV cabinets were chipped and the cushion on the sofas and chairs looked quite tired. With a little repair, this place can easily regain its former glory.

The butler service can get stifling at times, being free-and-easy travellers, having to wake up and at least clean up a bit at 8am because we agreed with this timing, when the rainy weather is so good to sleep in... because he will be bringing breakfast soon. Don't dilly-dally too much, if not someone will call your villa while your butler waits outside. If you've had stayed in a hotel, you get to choose what time you want to go for breakfast without much rush. You can also leave the hotel at any time you wish, at your own pace, without worrying about the butler and driver who're waiting outside for you.

That being said, they're really nice people and will try to cater to your needs. The best thing is that they actually remember your names, Ibu and Bapak, which were a really nice touch. We loved the hand-signed welcome note as well.

There are lots of extra activities that the villas for honeymooners and couples looking to celebrate their anniversaries. During our stay, couples had Balinese dancers with dinners in their villa, a full Frangipani-petals walkway into the villa, and even Fireworks arranged! They also do sunset dinners by the beach, and picnics. Well, all with an extra cost, or an 'all-inclusive package' of course :)

Side note: Try their complimentary sachets of coffee, placed in a corner of the pantry. It's fabulous.

It's a good place to explore a quieter part of Bali, and to just chill the day away, suntanning or swimming. Being our first villa-stay experience, it was pretty memorable and we look forward to many more wonderful trips to Bali :)