Review: Amankila Pool Suite, Bali

Jyaga loves (4.5/5)


Nearest Airport : DPS (59 km away)
Neighbourhood : Candidasa, Bali
Website :
Address : Jl. Raya Manggis, Manggis, Kec. Manggis, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80871
Chain : Amanresorts

Amankila is surely amongst the most well-known Amans and perhaps one of the most loved. The 6.3-hectare resort was completed in 1992 as a masterpiece of the late Edward B. Tuttle, who also crafted Amanpuri. Located in Eastern Bali, the resort is a well-known haven of architectural splendour, cultural sensitivity, and exceptional service – well, mostly.

Aman Complimentary Transfer

As is standard at Amans in Indonesia, Amankila offers islandwide complimentary transfers for its guests. The Amankila team contacted me the night before my stay to reconfirm our transfer. Whilst we had initially scheduled a pick up at 11.00, we moved it back to 13.00. And back again to 11.00 at 09.00 on the day of check-in, due to sudden changes in circumstances.

A car was dispatched immediately to Ubud, where we were. The car arrived 15 minutes late, although granted I was pushing it a bit far. That said, I was surprised they didn’t pull it off for Aman, considering that the roads had no traffic – but it was entirely my fault anyways it is myself that is to blame.

The driver had seemed rather cold at the start although quickly warmed up after I striked up a conversation. He was a complete delight to talk to thereafter, and we had a great chat about Aman and Bali. Sadly, the trademark white linen-covered interiors have long gone, now replaced by standard Toyota Innova finishes.


Amankila is located in Manggis, near the town of Candidasa of Karangasem Regency. The resort can be reached in around two hours from Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) and an hour from Ubud. Note however that Bali’s unpredictable traffic could make the journey longer.

Amankila is located far apart from other resorts, except for the Alila Manggis (formerly, GHM‘s The Serai), which was built at the same time as Amankila. Also relatively close is Amed Beach which also serves as a great diving destination. Many excursions are offered by Aman, amongst which include a boat excursion around the islands near eastern Bali. We did not partake in any excursions on this occasion.

Driveway to the lobby

Arrival and Check-in

Upon arrival, we were greeted by the wonderful ibu Ari at reception, who welcomed us back ‘home’ and brought us to our suite. The rest of the check-in formalities were promptly done in the suite.

View of main pool from the lobby’s terrace

We booked this stay on a Virtuoso rate and received an upgrade to a Pool Suite, which was a nice gesture. I was surprised that we were initially refused the published Virtuoso benefit of USD100 food and beverage credit, although after a few calls to the reservations team that issue was later resolved. Honestly, quite a poor start.

Our Pool Suite

We were driven to the suite with the resort’s interestingly hybrid car-buggy. This is necessary since regular golf buggies cannot traverse the resort’s hilly setting. We were dropped off at a landing point and ibu Ari walked us down the gorgeous walkways to our suite.

Entrance to the suite

As mentioned, we had been upgraded to a Pool Suite with ocean views. The 204-sqm suite features a nice rectangular pool towards one side and slightly obstructed but still beautiful views of the sea. There are a pair of sun loungers by the pool, which conveniently had a jug of cold water and a bottle of sunscreen provisioned on the table. Additionally, by the suite door is a large daybed and an outdoor desk.

Pool Suite at Amankila
Pool in the Pool Suite at Amankila
Sun loungers in the Pool Suite at Amankila
Outdoor desk at the Pool Suite
Daybed with fans and do not disturb signage


The suite itself is well-kept and was expectedly still beautifully appointed with Ed Tuttle’s timeless design. Whilst virtually nothing has changed since 1992, the suite still looked immaculately fresh thanks to Aman’s thorough maintenance schedule. Yet, long gone is Basil Pao’s wonderful though dated catalogue of Amanresorts (AMAN²), replaced with Aman’s newest catalogue. 

Pool Suite bedroom
Pool Suite bedroom

In the suite is a large four-poster bed, in addition to a small daybed and a nice large desk. Next to the bed is a Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker, a change from the outdated Bose speakers from years ago. The furniture’s light tones and colours beautifully complemented the terrazzo floors – a truly timeless design! I also loved that the desk is made of lacquered coconut wood, which looks incredible. On the table was also an iPad, which serves as the new service directory for each suite. Compared to a normal handbook, it felt quite clunky, particularly when browsing dining menus, but each to their own.

Daybed in the suite
Pool Suite bedroom
Pool Suite bedroom

We were met with the usual fruit plate and welcome letter, the former of which unfortunately seemed to get smaller each year. Shortly after check-in, a staff member showed up to deliver Amankila’s signature ginger and lemongrass welcome drink, which I loved.

Fruit Plate
Welcome drink


Located behind the bedroom is the massive bathroom section. This section takes up around half of the roughly 90 sqm interior of the suite. The bathroom is generously provisioned with two sinks, a separate shower, a terrazzo bathtub, and a second daybed. I also loved that the toilet has been changed to excellent TOTO Washlets. Also located here is the walk-in closet, along with the minibar.

Bathroom daybed in the Pool Suite
Bathtub and minibar in the Pool Suite
Sinks in the Pool Suite
Shower in the Pool Suite
TOTO Washlet Toilet in the bathroom


Interestingly, absent were the usual snack jars of cookies and crisps. Despite that, both jars of their brilliant oatmeal and chocolate cookies, and vegetable crisps magically appeared after explaining how I missed them. Wonderful!

Crisps and cookies


Like any Aman, turndown service usually entailed a small gift being placed on the bed. The first night always consisted of a Balinese canangsari or flower offering, which came with a bedtime story about the offering. Subsequent gifts included a pouch of potpourri and a Balinese fan, all of which were very thoughtful. Additionally, the staff painstakingly lighted a candle on each corner of the pool, making it a beautiful and intimate sight.

Bed at turndown
Pot Pourri
Balinese dancer’s fan
Pool with candles lit


Amankila has three dining venues within its resort complex, aptly named, The Restaurant, the Beach Club, and The Terrace. There is also a single bar located across from The Restaurant. Of the three, The Restaurant is the most significant dining venue, since it is open all day. Additionally, The Terrace is located under The Restaurant and serves Italian food, whereas the Beach Club serves lighter meals. Breakfast was included in our rate, which can be taken either in the suite or at The Restaurant.

The Restaurant
The Restaurant
The Bar
The Terrace
The Terrace


Since there is virtually nothing within the vicinity of the resort, we had dinner a few times during our stay. We also took dinner in the suite, given how ‘busy’ the restaurant got. Instead of bread, dinner dishes are served with a choice of white, yellow, or red rice and Balinese sambal. The food quality was excellent, as expected from Amankila, and everything tasted great and fresh!

Dinner setup
Dinner setup

For dinner, we mostly stuck to their grilled fish and fish curry, which had been dinner mainstays during our Amankila stays. I also tried their fish tacos, which whilst a seemingly new dish, was incredibly delicious. Everything tasted very high quality and fresh, especially compared to Amandari. Best of all was how authentic each dish tasted – I felt that there was no trade-off in flavours compared to local eateries.

Rice choices and sambal
Grilled Mahi-Mahi fish with sambal
Balinese sambal matah
Fish curry
Fish tacos with corn salsa and avocado guacamole


Unlike dinner, we usually ate breakfast at The Restaurant, which beautifully views the coast of Karangasem. Breakfast was an à la carte affair, in which anything could be ordered off the menu, to one’s desire. I noticed that the menu has evolved over the years to incorporate more health-conscious dishes. The dishes consisted of Indonesian and Western choices, both of which I found to be great. At the restaurant was the wonderful ibu Kasih, who even remembered me from my last stay.

Green Goddess Smoothie
Egg White Omelette
Bubur Ayam – Indonesian Rice Congee
Eggs Royale
Mexican Eggs
Nasi Goreng – Indonesian Fried Rice
Chia Seed Pudding
Fruit Salad
Fruit Plate

The food and service were as great as ever and it was more so the case when you can order things off the menu. After all, like any true Aman, the menus serve more as a guide than anything set in stone! Want a platter of just papayas? Done. Life pro tip: Request Moroccan Donuts for breakfast early into your stay. This dish was a mainstay of the breakfast menu and is one of my favourite Amankila dishes ever.

Moroccan Donuts with Coffee Cream and Crème Chantily
Papaya Platter

At the restaurant regardless of staff, service is excellent and praiseworthy. Everyone remembered our preferences and orders and every request was taken care of. Excellent! The fact that ibu Kasih was there every morning made everything better. Service was very polished as expected.

Resort Ground and Amenities

Amankila is spread on a site that covers 6.3 hectares of pristine hillside land. Due to this, the sea can be seen from many points within the resort. Interestingly enough, most suites and walkways are on stilts, meaning that the resort gardens are not as immersive as can be. Regardless, the entire setting was as incredible as ever, more so the case as the plants and trees grow and merge with the structures of the resort. For instance, there are many older trees with trunks that have dug into the stilted pathways. How remarkably beautiful!

Gardens at Amankila
Gardens at Amankila


As I mentioned in my Amandari review, one of the features I love most about Amanresorts are their properties’ libraries. Amankila was no exception and has an amazing-looking library located just under The Bar. The library has many selections of old books in English and Japanese, in addition to French and German. There are also the elusive Basil Pao Aman photobooks, which I love looking at.

Library at Amankila
Library at Amankila

Behind the library is also a media room containing a large television, a daybed, and a few chairs.

Media Room at Amankila

Each afternoon, a small afternoon tea offering is also served outside the library, featuring an Indonesian cake and tea.


The three-tiered main pool near the lobby is probably the most iconic sight at Amankila. The pool is surrounded by a few daybeds in gazebos, as well as a handful of sun loungers. Whilst The Legian also has a three-tiered pool, nothing could compare to the sheer dramatic setting exuded by the gorgeous pool that overlooks the sea. Yet, note that there are sometimes a number of ships off the coast, due to the resort’s proximity to Tanah Ampo and Padang Bai Ports. 

Pool at Amankila
Pool at Amankila
Sun loungers at the Pool at Amankila
Sun loungers at the Pool at Amankila
The Pool at Amankila
Daybed and view from the Pool at Amankila
View from the Pool at Amankila

For an even more phenomenal view, I’d recommend visiting the pool at dawn. The sunrise only made the pool looked even more extraordinary.

Sunrise view from the Pool

Beach Club

In addition to the phenomenal main pool, there is also a beach club located downhill, accessible either by the resort’s car-buggy or by taking the stairs down the hillface. By the beach club are the aptly named Beach Club restaurant and its pool. Whilst not as dramatic as the three-tiered main pool, this one felt a lot more private and secluded, great for a peaceful swim.

The Beach Club at Amankila
The Beach Club at Amankila
Pool at The Beach Club
Pool at The Beach Club

Behind this is the beach. Amankila’s beach is ultimately private since it is located in a cove protected by rocky cliffs, making it a welcome spot to unwind. There are several sun loungers and daybed gazebos on the beach as well. The beach is also staffed, meaning that the sun loungers and the gazebos are serviced with cold glasses of water and cold towels, in addition to the provision of sunscreen.

Since the water is relatively calm, it is also possible to swim at certain sections of the beach. Non-motorised watersports like kayaks and paddle boards are also available to use.

The beach at Amankila
Beach at Amankila
Beach at Amankila

The Influencers

As had been reported pre-pandemic, Amankila’s clientele seemed to have shifted to younger and more tech-savvy crowds more concerned about content creation if anything. I write this ironically, as mid-20-something myself, taking pictures to write a review.

Each to their own, but a guest who seemed to be an influencer constantly had a photo shoot by the main pool and The Terrace, showcasing a load of different dresses complete with two non-staying photographers each morning. Hard to ignore when trying to relax by the main pool! What’s worst was that the management was not aware of these activities, which are looked down upon. Sigh.

Unfortunately, with the rise of influencers and content creators, I can only imagine more and more such scenarios going on in the future. Having said that I am happy that the resort and other Amans have banned the use of drones on the property, which is a welcome decision for those looking to unwind and protect their privacy. 


I was delighted to see many familiar faces who took wonderful care of us during our stay. Everyone was as warm and charming as I remembered, and truly a treat to see again. Yet, since the resort has retired around 50% of its workforce, they have been hiring many people as trainees.

As such, someone unexpectedly came into our suite unannounced and started cleaning the pool not realising that we were inside. After realising that, he explained he was cleaning the pool and left after I asked him to come back later. Furthermore, I was more so disappointed that people in the pool or Beach Club neither knew our room numbers, let alone our names –we were on several instances questioned for our room number. This was so unlike Aman! Likewise, it was sad that the rooms weren’t refreshed as often as before, though logically, it must have been hard running with less staff than before. Not quite as magical as before, sadly.

Yet thankfully, the faults were addressed by management, as well as Amankila’s wonderful General Manager, Ernst L, who was on leave during my stay. Note that Ernst has sadly been moved to Amanzoe in Greece, and was replaced by Akira K from Aman Kyoto. Either way I wish them all the best at their new hotels! In the midst of my stay, I was later approached by the assistant F&B Manager, Hubert. Despite only being at Aman for just over 2 years, he had a very impressive knowledge of Aman and hotels in general and was a delight to talk to. 


Despite its faults, Amankila remains a very welcome place of respite away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The resort’s extraordinary setting and great service and food solidify its status as a haven from the rat race. Whilst the Aman brand overall is heading to unchartered waters, I trust that the resort is trying hard to maintain its long-renowned reputation and keep its magic, despite changing circumstances.

I conclude by saying that despite any shortcomings that had happened and were later resolved, there truly is no other resort that could second Amankila. The setting, architecture, service, food, nature, and location is unfounded elsewhere. I don’t know what the future will bring, but I can say for sure that Amankila is a very special place!

Read more Bali resort reviews here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *