Could The Villas at Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali be the holy grail of group holidays? With true international-class luxury on offer for the whole family from young to old, with enough space and activities for all to co-exist in harmony, we think they just might be.
But where is Sanur, what will you experience when you get there and what makes these villas so special? We go behind-the-scenes to find out more.
In comparison to Seminyak or Kuta, the fishing village of Sanur on Bali’s south-east coast may be one of the island’s lesser-known destinations, but with that comes a definitively more laid-back vibe that is sure to appeal to those looking to experience Bali’s culture and beauty over its bright lights and nightlife.
“My favourite thing to do in Sanur is to wake up early, ride down to the Sanur’s beachfront and watch the spectacular sunrise. Sanur is in essence, a beach destination,” says Gde Wirama, the resort’s front office manager.
“Its offshore reef creates a waveless lagoon with onshore winds that make it a favorite place for kite- and wind-surfers. There is very good surfing too, outside the lagoon. Along the foreshore there is a 5km paved beachside pathway which runs the entire length of Sanur’s extended water front with shops, stalls, restaurants, bars and hotels.”
“Sanur is the quiet child among Bali’s half-dozen-or-so established tourism centres,” adds recent guest Adam Fenton. “It is simple and undemanding. It keeps to itself, confident and self-assured. Mature. If you seek late nights and yakkity-yak cocktail parties, look elsewhere. If you seek hassle-free, sophisticated, deep relaxation and a traditional village atmosphere – seek Sanur.”
At the resort, guests are invited to experience a unique insight into Balinese cuisine, whether that’s through locally-grown herbs and spices infused into the cocktails or a hands-on cooking class with a bicycle tour to the local market, where they can rub shoulders with the locals and feast their senses with the myriad of herbs, spices, fruit, vegetables and unique ingredients.
“We Balinese love our culture and gastronomic heritage and we take a lot of pride in sharing it with avid cultural observers like our guests,” says Alit Sugiana, the resort’s sous chef who leads the cooking classes. “A lot of guests manage to either take home some ingredients or find alternatives in order to practice their newly-acquired skills in making Satay Lilt (fish or chicken skewers with lemongrass) or authentic Balinese Gado-Gado (a vegetable dish with peanut sauce).
“I take extra time in the market to answer questions and buy fruits that guests have perhaps never seen before like the durian. We also browse for Balinese delicacies and sweets.”
The chef teams’ passion and commitment to authenticity is evident throughout the resort’s cuisine. Guests can sample the complex flavours of South-East Asia at Layang Layang, where dishes ignite the tastebuds with a medley of sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavours. Locally-caught fish and seafood is a calling-card of Balinese cuisine and can be savoured at the poolside Nyala Beach Club & Grill along with succulent chargrilled cuts.
Fairmont is a brand well-versed in luxury, having produced some of the most iconic luxury hotels in the world including The Plaza in New York and The Savoy in London. Guests can experience this world-class level of accommodation in the resort’s spacious two- and three-bed villas, amongst the finest of the resort’s room categories and each set in their own tropical gardens. The villas offer two levels of living space with fully equipped kitchens, swimming pools and hand-crafted furniture, providing ample space for groups of up to nine people.
The private swimming pools become the focal point of daytime fun, whether that’s kids splashing around as parents and grandparents watch on a multi-generational family holiday, or sun-worshippers lounging around the periphery with a cocktail in hand on a girls’ trip.
“The advantage of having your own pool, other than the obvious privacy, is that you can go for a swim at any time of night and the kids can make as much noise as they want to, without us parents having to yell at them and worry about what all the sunbathers are thinking,” says recent guest Gretta Schifano.
Fun for all, young to old, is clearly an objective that staff at the resort strive to meet.
“Children are a significant customer segment for most leisure facilities. Our activities are geared towards the different age groups so it’s the family holiday where everyone can play,” says Laksmi, a supervisor at the resort’s kids’ club. “We make sure that they are treated like VIPs. What I believe is how pleased children are with the way we treat them at our Kids Club – and how effortless the experience is for parents – is important, because this means mum and dad will be able to have a truly peaceful holiday and some couple time as well.”
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