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Amankila, inspired by the wealth of the area's local tradition and by the innocence of its unaltered habitat, created an exclusive 'hideaway' resort, with views across the enigmatic turquoise sea of the Lombok Strait. Its peaceful cliffside setting, beneath the towering Mount Agung, surrounded by the tropical spoils of the region is a sanctuary for romantic, spiritual, cultural and rural pursuits.

Amankila or 'peaceful hill', is set on a cliffside overlooking the Lombok Strait in East Bali. Below the resort is its private stretch of sand and beach club. From the intimate, airy lobby, the views are already very much in evidence. The resort is close to Manggis, Candidasa, Tenganan and other villages in Karangasem, Bali's most traditional regency.

Service, like at all Aman properties, is stellar. Uncannily, they seem to know what you want before you do yourself.

With just 33 suites, the atmosphere is calm and quiet, with guests enjoying the stunning surroundings of the resort.

The swimming pools have pride of place, and some of the best views around, while dining and activities are also superb.

Part of Aman Resorts, widely considered one of the best hotel groups, Amankila is an excellent example.

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Rooms

Amankila’s suites are elevated to take advantage of the spectacular views to the sea and surrounding hillsides. The 33 free-standing suites, with their alang alang roof thatching, are fashioned as beach houses with a twist.

They reflect the lines and flow of their East Bali surroundings, in particular the royal water palace just outside Amlapura, the district capital. Suites are connected to the reception and restaurant area by stepped walkways. Wireless broadband connections are available in all resort accommodations and public areas.

All room types have air-conditioning, hairdryer, minibar, coffee maker, and can have a TV and DVD player on request.

Location

Set on Bali's east coast, Amankila is one of the island's most luxurious hotels. The scenery is lush, traditional and unspoilt in this, the rural heart of Bali. The hotel cascades down jungle-clad hillsides toward the sandy beach and Lombok Strait beyond.

The resort is remote, with a black volcanic sand beach, although you can go for interesting treks through rice paddies. Should you want to have a bit more action, the hotel runs a complimentary shuttle to Candidasa.

Food and Drink

The Restaurant, located above the main pool overlooking the ocean, is open for dinner. The menu features a mix of international and Indonesian cuisine.

Adjacent to the Restaurant is Amankila's Bar, with its views to the sea. The Terrace, set just back from the signature three-tier pool, is open for breakfast and lunch, and serves Asian and international cuisine.

Afternoon tea is served daily in front of the Library, where local women, dressed in sarongs and kebayas, offer Indonesian ginger tea, Bali kopi and local Balinese cakes.

The Beach Club offers a simple menu of salads, pizzas, Indonesian and international light dishes for brunch, lunch and afternoon tea. Private dining is available in the suites 24 hours a day.

Families

This is more of a couples' resort, but Amankila does offer four hours of free babysitting per day.

Facilities and Activities

You can walk to the beach, or be driven there in one of Amankila's open-air buggies. Set within a grove of coconut palms, and partially shaded by a frangipani tree, is Amankila's largest swimming pool.

Windsurfers, boogie boards, kayaks and hobie cats are available at the Beach Club. For cruising and snorkelling, Amankila offers two outriggers, designed after the jukung, a traditional Balinese fishing craft. Aman XII, a 15 m (50 ft) vessel with a large sundeck and shaded area, is used for the daily morning and afternoon cruises. Aman XVI has a sundeck and some shaded area, used mainly for private sunrise or lunch cruises across to Nusa Penida. Snorkelling equipment is available onboard both boats.

Cooking classes begin at dawn, with a guided tour around a nearby market, where you can choose fresh ingredients for the Indonesian feast they will learn how to create back at Amankila.

East Bali offers some of the island's finest trekking, ranging from walks through rural villages, tropical forest and terraced rice fields, to mountain climbs and temple visits. Amankila's guides are experts on the local terrain. The hotel also provides a number of full-suspension mountain bikes for guest use. Countryside trips can be arranged to the many villages around Amankila. The downhill route leading to Sideman is among the most popular, passing terraced rice fields and ending at one of the island's famed textile villages. Guides are available for personalised tours.

There's a library with oversized daybeds and a wide selection of books, newspapers and magazines. Games, CDs and a laptop for Internet access are also available.The Boutique has a generous selection of unique Balinese art, crafts and antiques.

Aside from the 41 m (134 ft) Beach Club pool, Amankila's signature three-tier pool dominates the landscape just below the lobby. Set into the cliff edge, the blue-tiled pools face the sea and flow one into the other down a stepped gradient, similar to terraced fields.

Trips can be arranged to several Balinese villages, famed for their crafts. In Sideman, textiles from Bali and all over the archipelago can be purchased in an idyllic countryside setting.

Local Excursions

Trips can be arranged to several Balinese villages, famed for their crafts. In Sideman, textiles from Bali and all over the archipelago can be purchased in an idyllic countryside setting.

In Tenganan, there's more on offer than the rare double ikat cloth. From simple wood tables set out along the main town walkway, boys sell lontar-leaf calendars, coloured with the resin of the macadamia nut. Painted wooden eggs, masks, bamboo hats and wayang puppets hang from shop walls. Baskets, too, are of the finest quality.

In Kamasan, just south of Klungklung, a distinctive style of Balinese art is produced. Named after the village, Kamasan-style painting makes use of figures resembling the puppets of wayang kulit, Bali's shadow puppet theatre. For generations, a number of goldsmiths and silversmiths have produced temple crafts and containers in the village of Budakling, at the foot of Mount Agung.

In recent years, a few shops have also opened to sell jewellery. Handicrafts can be found in the village of Candidasa, just beyond Amankila.

Our opinion

World-class accommodation, with fine dining and discreet service, located on Bali's peaceful eastern coastline.

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    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.