Four Seasons Resort at Sayan in Ubud, Bali

by Santorini Dave • Updated: May 7, 2019

Review of Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan in Ubud, Bali.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – Unimaginable opulence in a dramatic, riverside setting.

From the main road, a short path leads over a footbridge floating above a yawning valley to the lobby, which is shaped like a spaceship and seemingly suspended in mid-air, offering 360-degree views. The split-level suites with separate lounge/dining areas face the river and jungle-clad ravine, while villas with private pools are hidden behind elevated walls, sacrificing views for seclusion. All accommodations are spacious, luxurious, and immaculately furnished, featuring ultra-modern touches like espresso machines and sunken bathtubs – but nothing looks or feels Balinese. Wide balconies and abundant windows maximize views, and the split-level infinity pool with edges that seem to blend into the forest provides arguably the finest vistas in Ubud. It also offers a kids club, which is quite rare for Ubud. Located in Sayan, a short drive from central Ubud, the Four Seasons doesn’t seem as isolated as other resorts nearby do.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – The Location

  • Address: Along Jalan Raya Sayan road in Sayan, a village outside the area known as Ubud, the most popular tourist region in central Bali. About 6km west of central Ubud. The lobby is about 200m from the main road.
  • Area: In a spectacular but isolated area, with only a couple of shops and cafés around. Alongside the Ayung River, used for serious white-water rafting.
  • How to Get There: Best to arrange an airport pickup with the hotel, which is about 1 hour (37km) away (depending on traffic). See other options under “Local Transport” below.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters well for families, but the isolation, serenity, and prices seem to mostly attract older couples.
  • Kids Club: The Pici Pici (‘Little Snail’) Kids Club is among the very best in Ubud. Offers numerous activities with a cultural focus, as well as the usual computer games and toys.
  • Views: Panoramic views from all rooms of the forest, rice fields, ravine, and/or river below.
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: All villas (not suites) feature plunge pools.
  • Extras: Yoga classes. Shuttle service to central Ubud.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free throughout for all guests.
  • Parking: More (free and secure) parking spots than most places, but think long and hard before driving anywhere in Bali.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: (0)361 977 577
  • Email: Send a message through the website fourseasons.com
  • Website: fourseasons.com

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – Amenities

  • Pool: Stunning split-level pool among virgin forest and surrounded by a wooden deck.
  • Spa: The world-class Sacred River Spa boasts an extraordinary setting among lily ponds. Extra-long list of traditional Balinese treatments.
  • Fitness Center: As amazing as expected. Open 24/7, with steam room, plunge pools, and sauna.
  • For Families: Baby-sitting. Cots. Family activities in Balinese culture.
  • Activities: Private tours. Cooking lessons. Traditional dance/music performances.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – Food and Drink

  • Restaurants & Bars: Ayung Terrace – Focuses on Indonesian cuisine, including Balinese specialties like babi guling (roast pig). Setting and views must be seen to be believed. Open all day, and offers themed buffets some nights. • Riverside Café – Down the hillside and along the mighty Ayung River. Casual meals during the day, and more sophisticated and romantic dining at night. • Jati Bar – Near the lobby, with jaw-dropping views in all directions. Cocktails, afternoon tea, and snacks.
  • Breakfast: Not normally included, but depends on the type of room and how it was booked.
  • Room Service: Available 24/7.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – Rooms

  • Room Types: River-View Two Bedroom Villas • Family Suites • One Bedroom Suites • One Bedroom Duplex Suites • Royal Villas • Sayan Villas • Riverfront One Bedroom Villas • One Bedroom Villas
  • Smoking Rooms: No smoking permitted in the rooms or public areas, but allowed elsewhere.
  • Best Room: The Riverfront One Bedroom Villas are the finest among an extraordinary choice. Multi-tiered, with a private pool below and traditional bale hut above the luxurious bedroom – and all with breathtaking views.
  • For Families: With 2 bathrooms and TVs, and positioned close to facilities for children, the stupendous Family Suites comfortably accommodate 4. And some villas can fit up to 9 people.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: Nowhere exciting to walk to in either direction along the busy main road. Some hardy expats cycle around Ubud, but the road near the Four Seasons is too busy and hilly for cycling. And there’s nowhere to rent bicycles anyway.
  • Public Transport: There is no reliable public transport anywhere in or around Ubud.
  • Cars, Motorbikes, & Taxis: Driving a car is not recommended anywhere in Bali, but motorbikes are popular for visiting local attractions without the traffic of southern Bali. Both can be rented from the hotel. Metered taxis from southern Bali can drop passengers off in Ubud but are forbidden to operate here. So the best (and really, only) option for day trips is to charter a car with a driver through the hotel.
  • Shuttle Bus: For towns popular with tourists (e.g. Kuta and Lovina) shuttle buses are comfortable and cheap, if a little overcrowded at times. Local operators, as well as the major island-wide company, Perama, will normally pick up (but not drop off) guests from hotels. But they won’t come this far, so get a hotel transfer to/from Ubud. The Kura-Kura Bus company links Ubud with southern Bali, but schedules are convoluted and routes confusing.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    There are no places to eat or drink of any note within walking distance, so arrange a lift on the hotel shuttle bus. To avoid traffic in the town center, try these places on the road into Ubud:

  • Bridges Bali – Super-swish and award-winning, with an extensive wine list, live music, valley views, and 5-star service. 6-minute drive (2.4km).
  • Murni’s Warung – On 4 levels, facing a river and ravine. Local favorite since 1974 for Indonesian, Thai, and French food. Art shop inside. 6-minute drive (2.4km).
  • Bebek Sungai Ubud, Bali – Quieter than rivals, but just as good for crispy duck (and other meals). Sleek décor and chunky wooden tables. 7-minute drive (2.8km).

Otherwise, within the center of Ubud, these places are renowned:

  • Ibu Oka (0)361 976 345 – Offers almost nothing but babi guling (roast pig), a Balinese speciality. The outlet along Jalan Suweta is more spacious, and guests can peek into the kitchen (animal lovers beware). 9-minute drive (3.4km).
  • Ibu Rai Restaurant – Been around since the ‘70s (but moved since). Still one of the finest for its elegant setting and extensive menu. 13-minute drive (4.5km).

Shops

  • Minimart along the main road near the resort entrance, but very little else. So, arrange a hotel shuttle bus to central Ubud and shop along Jalan Hanoman street, with a selection of boutiques to rival Seminyak, and/or the produce and art markets.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan – The Hotel

The resort is located in a remote area outside Ubud.

The resort is based in a remote area on the outskirts of Ubud, the most popular tourist region in central Bali.

The pond at the reception is larger than swimming pools at rival resorts.

The setting is quite extraordinary, with a pond at the reception area larger than many swimming pools at Kuta resorts.

The reception is elevated, offering 360 views of the forest.

The elevated setting at the reception provides 360-degree views of the forest, ravine, and rice-fields.

The resort features some rice fields as well.

The layout of the Four Seasons even includes some rice fields.

The Ayung River at the bottom of the grounds is used for white-water rafting.

Along the bottom of the resort grounds, the mighty Ayung River is used for white-water rafting.

The pool offers stunning views of the river and forest.

The infinity pool boasts a stunning setting overlooking the river and forest.

The Jati Bar by the reception offers amazing views.

The Jati Bar at the reception area provides even more superlative views.

The panoramic views from Jati Bar are some of Ubud's best.

Panoramas from the Jati Bar are among the finest in Ubud.

The vast resort requires buggies for room transfers.

The resort is so vast that guests can be transferred to their rooms by buggy.

Most accommodations are in attractive buildings.

Accommodation is in attractive buildings facing the rice fields, ravine, river, and forest.

All accommodations come with large balconies offering excellent views.

Balconies are sizable, providing maximum possible views.

Rooms have full-length windows that maximize light, air, and views.

Full-length windows at all levels ensure plenty of light, breezes, and views.

The luxurious suites feature spacious living areas.

Suites are luxurious and feature spacious living areas.

Some villas have compact but comfortable second bedrooms.

The second bedroom in some villas is compact, but still very comfortable.

Suite and villa bathrooms are gorgeous.

The bathrooms in the suites and villas are as gorgeous as imagined.

Murni’s Warung serves good traditional Indonesian food.

Take the hotel shuttle bus and try some traditional Indonesian food at the renowned Murni’s Warung.

Bridges Bali restaurant opposite the river is excellent.

Just opposite the river from Murni’s is the exquisite Bridges Bali restaurant.

Bebek Sungai in the town center is known for its crispy duck.

To avoid traffic in the town center on the hotel shuttle bus, try Bebek Sungai, famous for its crispy duck.

Ibu Oka in central Ubud is known for its babi guling roast pig.

In central Ubud, Ibu Oka is renowned for its babi guling roast pig.

Ibu Rai Restaurant is also worth visiting via the hotel shuttle.

Also worth using the hotel shuttle bus to Ibu Rai Restaurant.

Ubud Art Market is very popular with tourists.

Popular among all visitors is the Ubud Art Market, accessible by hotel shuttle bus.

Jalan Hanoman has good places to shop.

A superior selection of places to shop is along Jalan Hanoman street in central Ubud.

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