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Entry Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua

It’s been way too long since we were last in Bali and the air is fresh with the scent of frangipani as we pull into the driveway at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua. We are looking forward to diving into our plunge pool and savouring a traditional nasi goreng for lunch. Amarterra has just 42 pool villas and the photos on the website hold the promise of a romantic and secluded holiday experience that looks ideal for couples like us who have no interest in Bali’s party scene.

Greeting me at the reception area with warm smiles are the concierge and receptionist who make me feel as if I’m the only guest staying here. Taking in my surroundings, I give the open-air reception area and the adjacent restaurant the once over but it’s what’s in the middle of this section of the resort that is the most impressive. Looking more than a little like an Indiana Jones movie set are two large reflection pools with an imposing temple structure framing the background. What really caps of the wow moment is the walkway that plunges between the pools with waterfalls on either side.

Road to Reception
Pathway to Reception

Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua MGallery is a boutique all-villa property that has been created in a village-style layout in the heart of the gated Nusa Dua area. It’s no surprise that it’s part of Accor’s MGallery collection made up of properties around the world with a unique personality that can be experienced through the hotel’s architecture, interior design and services. Even though we have only seen reception so far, the architecture and overall feel let us know immediately that we are in Bali.

Morning light at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua
Morning light at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua

With a variety of Amarterra villa choices ranging from one-bedroom to a huge three-bedroom villa, the resort caters to just about everyone from honeymooners to family groups. The facilities at Amarterra Bali are also very impressive with a new spa and gym, a large indoor and outdoor restaurant plus a beach club located only a short stroll away. Add in some stunning landscaped gardens and a large resort-style pool and you have a hotel that you will find very hard to leave.

Amarterra 3 Bedroom Villa
Amarterra 3 bedroom villa

As we finish our check in, my wife and I are offered a buggy to go to our room but we choose to walk to get our bearings. Passing through the impressive temple-like structure, we come to a tree and garden-lined pathway that leads to the resort pool at the centre of the property. To one side of the pool, there is a new Balinese-inspired spa and gymnasium under construction that will be fully completed by the time you arrive. We experienced some noise from these works during our stay but moving to another villa away from the construction immediately restored the serenity.

Amarterra Villas Bali main pool
Main pool area at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua
The Garden Path to Villas
The garden path to the villas

Arriving at our villa, I am seriously impressed by the size alone and have to keep reminding myself that this one is only a one-bedroom. Taking centre stage is a massive 10-metre plunge pool that tempts me to dive in fully dressed. The villa’s king bedroom, bathroom and walk-in wardrobe are also huge and that’s before you venture out back to find the secluded outdoor shower. The only brickbat is the partially frosted glass toilet door that doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Outside, there’s a large courtyard with an open-air living area, with a couch, dining table and kitchenette, television, stereo and deck chairs and a daybed that’s perfect for reading or snoozing the day away. A free minibar with some snacks, iced tea and soft drinks cap off what’s already a lovely villa.

The 10 Meter Pool at a One Bedroom Villa
The 10 metre pool at our one bedroom villa

Dining at Amarterra is taken care of at Maja Restaurant located at the front of the resort. This is a fairly new building and it is impressive with its size and choice of indoor (air-conditioned) or very pleasant outdoor seating. As it was August, the outdoor seating was the obvious choice for us with stunning days and nights around 26 degrees Celsius, with low humidity for Bali. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a large variety of dishes on offer from traditional Indonesian to Pan Asian and Western choices like pizza and burgers. During my stay, the Indonesian options were amazing and featured what turned out to be the best traditional nasi goreng of the trip which saw us staying at four different hotels. There is also the option for in-villa dining or a romantic private table set up under a tree for ultimate romance, especially for honeymooners for couples looking for a romantic night out.

Maja Restaurant at Amarterra
Maja Restaurant at Amarterra Villas Bali Nus Dua Resort

After sampling the dining and much time spent in the pool, our thoughts began to lead to spa treatments so we booked an in-villa massage as the new spa was still under construction. Choosing a one-hour traditional couple’s massage, our two lovely therapists arrived and set up their tables in the outdoor living area. With the sounds of birds in the trees and the gentle splashing sound of the water features in the villa, we were transported to a land of bliss before cursing ourselves for only booking an hour long treatment. Don’t make the mistake we did. Opt for a 90 minute massage, you won’t be sorry.

Massage at Amarterra Villas
In villa massage by the pool

If we had stayed longer at the resort, we would have gladly paid for another (longer) treatment as it was a beautiful experience and my wife and I agreed that our therapists and all the other staff here were some of the best we had encountered in Bali. We found out why later in our stay. Amarterra’s management team paid their team a supplementary wage during the resort’s COVID shutdown so they were able to remain employed. Renovation projects, deep cleaning, gardening and maintenance were the focus until Bali – and the resort – reopened to visitors again.

Maja Restaurant at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua
Outdoor dining at Maja at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua

It’s unlikely you’ll want to leave the romantic surrounds of your villa, but if you do want to venture outside, turning right from the resort’s rear entry door and a short stroll will lead you to a shopping and dining area aimed at western tourists. An ATM is available as well as a large Coco Mart convenience store plus a big assortment of souvenir and clothing stalls. Lots of popular restaurants are also on offer serving everything from traditional Indonesian to woodfired pizza. If you turn left from the rear entrance, you will find the beach area and the resort’s Beach Club.

Beach Club at Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua

Overall, Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua is a stunning boutique resort suited to those seeking an indulgent villa stay with all the trimmings. It is perhaps best suited to romance but during our stay we noticed a large family group with teenage and adult children were staying in a multi-room villa. There were several return guests who received heartfelt ‘welcome back’ greetings and hugs from the resort staff which was lovely to see. We could completely understand why they had come back as this is one of those Bali resorts that inspires a return visit, not just for the villas themselves but the exceptionally friendly and attentive staff.

Disclosure: The writers stayed as guests of Amarterra Villas Bali Nusa Dua and would not hesitate to return to this charming boutique resort.

We’ve got plenty of hints and tips for travelling in Bali and also some great hotel and resort suggestions. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we’ve reviewed the Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort, Peppers Seminyak Resort, Apurva Kempinski Bali, Bulgari Resort Bali, Aria Villas Ubud, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, The Mulia Bali, Merusaka Nusa Dua, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Anantara Seminyak Bali, the InterContinental Bali for couples and those travelling with kids. We’ve compared the Singaraja and Club rooms at the InterContinental Bali and found the best luxury family hotels in Bali and the best honeymoon hotels in Bali.

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Trevor Templeman is a photographer and writer who travels the world capturing the essence of locations through their landscape, architecture and people. His words and photographs are published in magazines, newspapers and online around the world.