The first thing I noticed when I entered the gates of Jimbaran Bay's InterContinental Bali Resort was its elegantly traditional Balinese feel. Steeped in Indonesian culture, colourful lanterns sway in the entrance hall and a vast, beautifully decorated lobby echoes the unrivalled Balinese hospitality. I instantly knew I had arrived somewhere incredibly special.
As a Club InterContinental guest, I was ushered discreetly into the private Club Lounge for a seamless check-in into my palatial suite (all the while enjoying a refreshing Bali hai cocktail).
As soon as I unpacked my belongings and finished jumping on the bed in excitement, I headed out to explore this amazing resort. After finding my way past the six gorgeous swimming pools (one featuring an ever-so convenient swim-up bar), my breath was stolen.
Jimbaran Bay's InterContinental Bali Resort is a 20-minute drive from the shopping area of Seminyak. I literally spent hours strolling its bustling streets scoring unbeatable bargains in homewares, clothing, jewellery, shoes and so much more!
By the time I returned to the resort, I was keen to try some of the local delicacies. While just a few metres down the road lies the famous seafood hub of Jimbaran Bay, where rows of open restaurants prepare their daily catch, I was eager to try the InterContinental's new Ko Sushi Lounge and Bar.
After a blissful night's sleep in a cloud-like bed, I awoke to a "hectic" schedule of spa treatments and yoga.
Energised (and hungry) by all that massage and exercise, I was keen for a Teppanyaki experience at Ko Sushi Lounge and Bar. Like edible theatre, the meal was exquisite and the talents of the chef mind-blowing — how does he still have all his fingers?
I won't lie. I was completely disheartened to leave Jimbaran Bay's InterContinental Bali Resort, but when I arrived at Karma Kandara in the cliff-top region on Nammos (approximately a 40-minute drive from Jimbaran) I felt I had been transported into a paradise that made me forget that the rest of the world existed.
Karma Kandara consists of 46 luxury villas, each complete with its own kitchen, three bedrooms with ensuites, a vast living area and a to-die-for infinity pool overlooking the breathtaking Indian Ocean.
Just a short stroll from any of the villas, Di Mare restaurant has the best views of any resort I've ever stayed in. I'll happily admit to indulging in several of the menu's potent cocktails for hours on end while doing nothing else but staring out to the endless azure ocean, then stumbling back to my private villa for an afternoon nap by the side of my infinity pool.
A little more relaxed than Di Mare, and definitely with more of a party vibe, Nammos Beach Club is located at the bottom of the Karma Kandara cliffs. You catch the inclinator down approximately 200m (a thrill in itself) and enter a Gilligan's Island-style hut that features a chilled-out bar and wood-fired pizza restaurant.
If you're interested in sunset cocktails, and let's face, who isn't in a tropical resort, make sure you head to the Temple Lounge. It's set on the rooftop of Di Mare restaurant, and has a whole North African ambience going on.
At Karma Spa and Wellness, it's all about you (as it should be).