24-hour room service: Four Seasons Resort, Sayan, Bali

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The Independent Travel

Walking across the wooden bridge as you arrive at the Four Seasons, Sayan gives little indication of what to expect on the other side. Your gaze is seduced by the huge lotus pond straight ahead, the moisture-soaked vegetation and, 65 feet beneath, a rushing tributary of the Ayung river. So, where is the hotel? Under the pond, of course.

Walking across the wooden bridge as you arrive at the Four Seasons, Sayan gives little indication of what to expect on the other side. Your gaze is seduced by the huge lotus pond straight ahead, the moisture-soaked vegetation and, 65 feet beneath, a rushing tributary of the Ayung river. So, where is the hotel? Under the pond, of course.

As you descend a curling staircase, to the gentle sound of traditional Balinese Rindik music wafting up from below, you are greeted by the hotel's lobby and main bar, panoramic views and an almost startling proximity to the surrounding vegetation.

This is a place where modernity meets the jungle in almost spiritual style. The main section of the hotel looks like a spaceship that's landed between the outlying villas, terraces and paddy fields staggering their way down to the sacred Ayung river. The result is a calm, spiritual hideaway where you can really leave everything behind.

One of the main features of the hotel is the spa, with treatments inspired by local ingredients and Ayurvedic practises. Yoga and meditation can be practised early in the morning on a platform jutting into the lotus pond. And there is also a state of the art gym, a paddy field-shaped swimming pool, white water rafting, hiking and kayaking.

When you've worked up an appetite, head to the Ayung Terrace for the restaurant and Jati bar, both with 180 degree views of the valley. For something more casual, try the hotel's Riverside Cafe or room service.

Location, location, locationThe Four Seasons Resort is at Sayan, Ubud, Bali (tel 00 62 361 977 577; fax 00 62 361 977 588, website: fourseasons.com).

Near the town of Ubud, the hotel is 22 miles from Ngurah Rai International Airport, Denpensar.

Local Transport: you can use the hotel's fleet of 4WDs for trips into nearby Ubud but bike rental and car hire is also easily organised. If you want to be really lazy, hail a golf cart which will collect you from your villa and whisk you around the grounds.

 

Are you lying comfortably?Monumental beds are swathed in crisp, white linen and surrounded by mosquito nets. Bedtime brings a flower on your pillow and a lullaby of croaking frogs.

There are 18 suites in the main hotel, but you should really stay in one of the 28 villas scattered through the grounds. All come with air-conditioning, private plunge pools and wonderful views. The decor has a Frank Lloyd Wright feel.

The big bathrooms are deep blue batik and, as well as sisal slippers, there are beautiful woven rucksacks to carry your bits and pieces around in.

Freebies: Bath products, free local calls, a tropical fruit selection replenished daily, mountain bikes, yoga classes and trekking. Keeping in touch: satellite television, two phones, modem ports and a library offering newspapers and magazines.

 

The bottom lineSuites start at $375 (£245) and villas from $525 (£340).

I'm not paying that: book in at Honeymoon Guesthouse, Jalan Bisma, Ubud (00 62 361 973282) for a bargain $20 (£13) per night.

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