Four Seasons Sayan: My #1 hotel in the world.

Four Seasons Sayan: My #1 hotel in the world.

Having finished our experience in the north of Bali (Tulamben), we ‘drove’ over some ‘roads’ to reach the city of Ubud.  Now, I have been creeping on the Four Seasons Sayan website since we made the booking and I can tell you the property is even better than its pictures or reviews.  Equal parts tropical and private, the property is perfectly proportioned at 60 keys.  With a smaller total number of guests (and a very high ratio of staff to guests), the lush property never feels crowded.

I timed our arrival slightly early to (hopefully) take the most advantage of our room (which, unfortunately, was only 2.5 days).  On arrival, we informed that although our room wasn’t ready, we had been upgraded.  It was at this time we also met the first of many of the senior managers.  This was not in a planned way, simply, these hospitality professionals wanted me to know who they were and personally welcome us to the resort.  Hungry for lunch, we hopped in a golf cart down to the poolside restaurant.  As we were finishing our meal, one of the wait staff approached me with a phone.  Somewhat confused, I answered, and it was one of the managers advising that our room would be delayed another 15 minutes and could he buy the next round of our drinks.  This, hospitality professionals, is exactly how you do things.  The call was proactive and really, the drinks unnecessary, but still appreciated.

As we entered the private one bedroom villa and walked outside, I was completely speechless.  While I’ve been fortunate to stay at some divine properties (the Shangri-La in Boracay, above water villas in the Maldives, along with some truly unique boutique properties in South Africa), I have never been so impressed with a view, room, and experience as at the Four Seasons Sayan.  As we walked down the path to our super private oasis, we were greeted by our own lily pond at the top of the villa.  Down a set of stairs, past a small water feature, a set of double doors opened immediately onto a large covered deck.  Outside, we found a large couch, a covered sun lounge, and a table (with shade).  We didn’t get the chance to dine outside, but I sincerely wish we had!  The outdoor space was made even better by excellent lighting, a refreshment area, and an overhead fan.

The bedroom can be accessed by either a front door (immediately through the front set of doors) or closer to the private pool.  The large deck area also connects to a private outdoor shower (which, in turn, connects to the bathroom).

While I can wax poetic and run out of adjectives of how impressed I was with this villa, in this case, I think photos will do far better:

four seasons sayan
Welcome home! (Photo courtesy of FS website.)

Four Seasons Sayan img_6319 img_6341 img_6347Four Seasons SayanWith all usual standards in place for a luxury brand (high thread counts, deluxe amenities), there are still many ways a hotel can distinguish themselves.  Some of my favorite details include:

  • Upon arrival to the hotel, the greeting ritual.  I won’t give anything away!  🙂
  • The outdoor shower.
  • Mosquito coils (replaced as often as we needed them).
  • I left my iPhone lead in a mess and returned to find not only was it bound perfectly, held together with a Four Seasons branded tie.
  • Ice already in the mini bar — !
  • Bespoke incense (which smelled heavenly).
  • Too much sun?  Among the items in the bathroom, there was a small container of after sun lotion.
  • One of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in.
  • When we checked in, Hubs was addressed by my last name (this happens literally every place we go).  We jokingly corrected them and within minutes every single person we came in contact addressed us by our correct surnames.  I’m still puzzling how quickly the staff made this happen!
  • Although not requested, the hotel provided a delicious cake for Hubs’ birthday.
  • We were waiting one evening for a driver at the forward reception area, the driver was not present by the time we had expected.  Exactly ONE minute after, the very kind hostess collected the details from me for the driver and called to follow up.  For once, I was happy to wait, but she was determined to find where he was (and she did)!
  • The absolutely genuine attention with which we interacted with every person on staff.

All of these things came easily together to produce my favorite property in the world.  With all of this attention to detail, it is no wonder that despite the short duration of our stay (2 days, 7 hours — yes, I calculated), it felt was if we were on site much longer.

Should you find yourself in Ubud, or rather, anywhere on the island of Bali, I cannot recommend this property enough.  It is well worth a few nights (and longer if you can make it happen).

Do you have a favorite resort in Bali?

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