Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
What We Love
- Trekking and biking through neighboring villages and rice paddies is free
- Harmonious integration with nature and emphasis on cultural activities
- Private villas are ripe for romance
What To Know
- Free shuttles to Ubud run five times daily
- In-room Internet costs extra
- Food and drinks at the resort can be expensive, but other options are 15 minutes away
- Electric carts are available to tackle the hilly grounds
- Free WiFi
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Like something out of a James Bond film, the ultra-luxe Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan receives no shortage of accolades for its want-for-nothing service and license-to-thrill views. The curvaceous, modern 18-suite main building clings to the side of a gorge with widescreen vistas from the bar, restaurant, fitness center and lily-pad-filled pond on the roof. The 42 traditional thatched-roof villas wind to the Ayung River and bring the symphony of the jungle even closer with outdoor living rooms, showers, private plunge pools and deep soaking tubs, while rich teak and Sulawesi silk add a dose of contemporary Balinese flavor.
In the Area
Ubud is known as the cultural heart of Bali, not just for its central highlands location — and starring role in Eat, Pray, Love — but for its almost mystical vibe. While hiring a knowledgable guide is a good idea to get the most out of the surrounding cultural highlights like Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Puri Saren Agung royal palace, Gunung Kawi (Poet Mountain), or the hotsprings of Pura Tirta Empul, the Bali Bird Park and Ubud Monkey Forest are great places to see on your own. In town, Gaya Art Space, Neka Art Museum and ARMA showcase some of the area’s best art exhibits.
How to Get There
While travelling around Bali for a month we stayed twice at the Four Seasons - Sayan. We travelled two adults and two kids. We were visting the island in July and weather was nice. We awere happy to avoid the rainy season. Our first stay was 4-5 days, we were staying in a Family suite in the main hotel. Reception and welcome was very nice. The location is magical, there is no doubt about that. The outer entrance is certainly not impressive, but the inner courtyards and walkway to the main building is very cool. The reception area is nice and I personally liked the design of the architecture. Check-in was quick and simple. The rooms were, to be honest, not really of the quality I expected. The hotel shows its age, and while they rooms had been "updated" they were rough. The indoor/outdoor design is nice and certainly compliments the awesome outside areas and jungle views, but you should notice that whatever insects you see outside will be in your room as well. We had doors so crooked that they were gaping 3-4 centimeters and you were exposed to any and all jungle critters. The modernized bathrooms were nice, but the accents of the original design showed their age. Cleaning and roomservice etc was on par with Four Seasons quality. The two main restaurants were nice, but selection at breakfast was odd to me. I know why they run a la carte instead of buffet but it just came off as weird, and the language barrier was steep with most servers so you couldn't really 100% understand what food options were available. First world problems I guess. The place was very much a honeymooner / senior citizen scene. Our kids are well behaved and pretty old, so it was okay, but as the teenager noted, it's not really a place you can feel entertained if you stay for a long time. The perhaps biggest gap in quality was the poolside restarant and pool scene in general. The restaurant layout shows its age, and while the outdoor dining in principle is a great idea, the whole structure just seems old and dodgy. The pool bar has the same vibe. My hands literally stuck to the bar counter becase it was so sticky - yuck. The alcohol selection was subpar - according to the hotel due to alchol taxes and local pracices, but there is just a minimum requirement on how poor alcohol you can serve in my opinion.
The restrooms at the pool are very subpar. Both size, configuration, cleaning and just seemed way old. The pool is sorta tiny and we had several days where the pool area was so full that we ended up having to put our towels on the pooldeck and basically sit on the floor. It was just not good enough. Our second stay (6 days), we had originally booked double interconnected duplexes at the main building (not cheap!). The maintenance of these rooms were so poor that we moved to a 2BR Villa instead. We are not only talking about cleaning (filthy walls, dirty toilets, subpar all around) but a state of disrepair that I have never seen at Four Seasons. I won't post the pictures here, but trust me, those rooms should have been gutted 10 years ago. Service recovery was okay, and the 2BR Villa we moved to was nice - the experience was eventually handled okay, but really left a sour taste. But as the rest of the resort, the villa showed it's age. We had windows that could not close. One bathroom was so badly infested by insects that the kids refused using it. The Villa layout is pretty nifty, but it's really the kind of place that instagrams well but when you look at the interiors, furniture, features up close it's not crisp by a longshot.
The little pool at the villas is okay, and I can see how honeymooners will stay at the villas instead of the main hotel. Getting around the hotel is pretty easy, but just walk, the buggy service is honestly a pain. Sometimes you wait a minute. Sometimes 15 minutes. The walkpaths are dodgy at night and some of the buggy drivers go *fast* so be careful. Altogether the hotel and setting is awesome. The indoor/outdoor jungle living is an awesome experience. We experienced better F&B at other high end hotels on Bali, and that surprised me. The hotel has supposedly been renovated, but in my opinion it's rough around the edges. The service recovery and experience is 5 star. After staying 8-10 days, the language barrier becomes annoying. Especially if you want bespoke food, bespoke service, or just want a diet coke. We also found the hotel cars (you pay for) and drivers to be subpar. The cars are ancient. Not luxury, and the language skills of the drivers are borderline OK. We really enjoyed the Four Seasons River Rafting trip. The external guide that FS uses was above and beyond what we expected. We had a really fun trip, and getting off the river by the hotel was pretty awesome.
We also had several treatments at the SPA and they were the best we had on Bali. So that was awesome. The small plungepools in the SPA was very popular and they certainly had good views and good service. (and unlike the main pool you could actually get a sunlounger to lay on)
We did notice on several occasions that restaurant guests not staying at the hotel were there for pictures/instagram shots. Personally I have never seen that before, it was pretty uncomfortable as a paying guest to be a unvilling participant on other peoples travel blogs.
There are other options on Bali that are not as worn as the Four Seasons Sayan - that said, if you are only into instagram pictures, the Sayan is the best hotel in the world.
This hotel was amazing from start to finish. From the moment you walk in you are greeted with a short Bali ceremony and ushered into the lobby. Not only is the resort itself beautiful, the staff make sure your every need is taken care of.
Ellen and I stayed one night at this wonderful Resort in Bali at Sayan Ubud region and the experience was outstanding!! The Resort comprises a meditation area, spacious outdoor living room, restaurants, gym area, spa treatment and plunge pool complete your private sanctuary - a tranquil one with the hypnotic sound of the river cutting through its lavish green grounds!! The whole experience was rather over our expectations from the moment we arrived and being greeted by the well mannered staff and the special welcoming guests’ ritual which was all overwhelming!! We stayed in a private Villa 29 with views across the valley below and the river which guest can also experience themselves the rafting adventure. The Villa has a spacious outdoor area, a generous size room and bathroom with also outside shower area. Its grounds is huge and covered with lavish green everywhere and it’s worth to have a wonder around and take photos after the breakfast as it may take it 45min to an hour to see everything. At the breakfast on the following morning, Ellen had ordered eggs Benedict from the a la carte menu (that’s the only option available a la carte menu) which she didn’t like it and asked to change for something else. Unfortunately it took over half an hour to her order to arrive and despite we had spoken with 2 waiters during the waiting time - none of them ever got back to us with a feedback explaining why it was taking too long. Eventually it came but Ellen was a little upset and almost gave up waiting for it and before we left the restaurant one of the manager came over to apologise for the inconvenience caused which was much appreciated from our side - hopefully the matter was looked after properly after this incident. Overall speaking, we had an amazing experience apart from the breakfast but the staff are extremely helpful and very friendly.
Rated as the #1 World’s Best Hotel
(Travel and Leisure 2018)
So, we had to see it!
“Over the top” care by the entire staff
Romantic Sayan Villa
Large “In- Villa” pool
The suite was massive, with separate meeting areas, poolside lounge, covered bale, large bath tub, inside and outside showers, and a luxurious king sized bed...
We had a Great short week in the four season, including New years Eve!
We had connecting villa’s, Which were So good, that we didn’t feel any need to go out!
Great a la carte Breakfast, small But good gym, and Fantastic environment, and river views.
We had a small medical question for one of Our children, and there was a good doctor in the premises.
The resort was beautifull, in perfect harmony with nature.
Dinner on New years Eve was a unbelieveable buffet, But not worth the money.
Ubud is to busy with christmass, and is not that attractive due to the crazy amount of cars and mopeds.
But Great restaurants!
But iT doesn’t resemble at all with the ubud from my last visit, 30’yrs ago!