After spending my first three days in Bali amongst the hustle and bustle of the surfy town of CangGu, driving in to Ubud felt like entering a whole new world. As we pulled up at the Four Seasons Sayan, I could instantly feel the serenity overtaking my body. Surrounded by lush, tropical rainforests extending as far as the eye could see, the air was fresh and filled with the melody of exotic birds and the whispering of palm trees.
As soon as we entered the Four Seasons resort, I could tell we were in for a very special couple of days. After walking along an endless bridge floating above the canopy of the rainforest canopy, we reached the entrance of the resort, where we were greeted by smiling faces and refreshing watermelon coolers. As we hopped into a golf buggy and were escorted to our private villa, I couldn’t help feeling a bit giddy. We were far, FAR away from the Bali of noisy scooters, drunk Aussies in Bintang singlets and insistent market vendors. It was time for a complete detox for our bodies and our minds in this tranquil Balinese paradise.
Our Villa at Four Seasons Sayan exceeded my expectations in every way possible. From the private plunge pool surrounded by lush jungle to the luxurious bathtub peering out over the beautiful greenery, you could feel the serenity seep through your bones within minutes in this sanctuary. The Villa was beautifully decorated in a contemporary Balinese style, reflecting the natural beauty of the island through teak furnishings and exotic patterned details. My absolute favourite part of staying at the Villa was being able to have a sneaky little skinny dip by moonlight, then casually rinsing off at the outdoor shower whilst peering up at a sky full of stars. It was simply magical.
That evening, my friend and I headed down to the Riverside Café for the Saturday Night Special - a Fisherman’s Buffet by the water. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t quite in our favour - as we arrived at the café, peering out over a magnificent spread of seafood, salads, sides and sweet treats, the heavens opened, and all the staff had to quickly shift the food to shelter. I felt awful for the staff that had worked so hard to make the fantastic spread. They were very apologetic that we couldn’t experience the buffet in its full glory, which of course we were not worried about. Instead, the chef very kindly brought us out plates with samples of everything from the buffet for us a to try, including six different sweet treats at the end! We finished our meal VERY full and content.
My first morning at the Four Seasons Sayan began bright and early as I met with my local guide, Nova, to take part in ‘A Day in the Life of a Balinese Farmer’ experience. Our first stop was a trek through the jungle of Sayan. As we passed through tiny villages, I savoured the opportunity to have a glimpse into the life of the locals. Nova introduced me to the locals, showed me inside their houses and explained about his own village and their way of life. After our trekking I had built up quite the appetite, so I was very excited to see breakfast waiting for me.
Surrounded by lush paddy fields, lily ponds and a flowing river, I was seated on a cushion at a little wooden pavilion and presented with a breakfast spread unlike any other. Each dish was presented in a wicker basket and wrapped in a banana leaf. I was blessed with the excitement of unwrapping each one, discovering a traditional red rice pudding with fresh coconut cream under the first, a colourful fruit salad under the second, and a fried egg noodle dish under the third. My taste buds were in heaven. I sipped on my fresh fruit juice and looked out in awe of my surroundings. All I could hear was the flow of a nearby river, intermingled with the chirping of birds and the rustling of leaves. It was one of those moment where I wondered if I was dreaming…
After stuffing myself full of delicious food, Nova came over to take me to the most important part of the whole experience… I was about to step into the shoes of a Balinese rice farmer. And by step into the shoes, I mean take my shoes off. My feet were about to get VERY dirty. I was handed over to the farmer, who showed me each stage of the rice-growing process, then allowed me to plant some rice of my own. It was a lot more work than I had anticipated, and the process certainly grew my appreciation for the fluffy white carbs that regularly appear on my plate.
My time on the rice fields ended with my farmer friend climbing a nearby coconut tree and throwing me a fresh young coconut to sip on. With no straws in sight, he made me hold the coconut high in the air and tip my head back to drink, which of course resulted in coconut water soaking my whole front! I could see both Nova and the rice farmer having a good old giggle.
My thirst may have been quenched but I was well-ready for a shower, so I headed to the decadent day spa. After rinsing off and changing into a robe, I hopped in to the jacuzzi for the next half hour whilst I awaited the most anticipated part of the whole experience - a sixty-minute traditional Balinese massage. I was led in to a beautiful spa villa surrounded by a lily pond where I spent the ensuing hour in heaven. From the serene Balinese music playing in the background to the sweet smell of essentials oils, I found every part of my body and mind relaxing as I enjoyed the best massage of my life…
I can’t thank the staff at Four Seasons Sayan enough for being so warm, accommodating and generous during our stay. The exceptional level of service we received during our visit really is what made our time at the Four Seasons so special. For anyone looking for a more than just a classic “resort” stay, you need to experience Four Seasons Sayan. On top of the gorgeous accommodation, range of unique experiences, and impeccable level of service, this resort truly is a sanctuary of tranquillity, relaxation and wellness. For more information on the Four Seasons Sayan, you can visit their website here.
And YES, in case you were wondering, it was very hard to tear myself away from this paradise and enter back to reality!
I was invited to stay at Four Seasons Sayan as a guest. As always, all opinions expressed are my own :)
We're so excited to be collaborating with Nicola Easterby of Polkadot Passport, and publishing some of her features here at Supernomad. We love her photography and the wistful, romantic style of her images as well as her writing. Named as one of the best up and coming travel blogs to watch in 2016, Polkadot Passport is a fabulous source of travel and creative inspiration for young adventurers.
You can follow Nicola at Polkadot Passport here:
Website / polkadotpassport.com
Facebook / polkadotpassport
Instagram / @polkadotpassport
Twitter / @