Sun-drenched Bali has something to offer for all ages so no wonder it is a perennial favourite with holidaymakers from around the world.
The Indonesian resort island has fine stretches of sand, river gorges, ancient temples, adventure sports, luxury lodges, affordable spas and friendly people, top-notch golf courses, exotic food and resorts to suit all budgets.For those looking for a little romance and a lot of luxury, the recently refurbished and re-branded M Gallery Amarterra Villas take a lot of beating. Other highlights include a free gym, welcome drink and cool towel on arrival, daily mineral water, fruit basket, free mini bar and snacks, whirlpool Jacuzzis and the lavish main swimming pool.
Amarterra Villas, small and offering personalised service, are perfect for visitors who want to be close to the action in the Nusa Dua tourism precinct but who cherish peace and quiet in their own private compound, each of which comes with a private courtyard, lush gardens, day beds and lap pools that are actually long enough for you to do laps (and private enough to swim nude, should you so choose.
The resort comprises an idyllic collection of 39 luxury one-, two- and three-bedroom villas in an exclusive gated enclave a short walk from the beach (where the resort has its own beach club). You don't have to walk, of course; staff will be happy to ferry you there and back on one of the resort's golf buggies.
Opened last year, the resort's point of difference are its serenity and the quality of the staff, who are omnipresent but never intrusive.
The villas are beautifully appointed with Balinese themes but 21st-century technology including free wi-fi, cable TV and DVD players.
The tranquil compound is within walking distance of the Bali Collection shopping precinct and several restaurants, while the Bali National golf course is just a short drive away.
The villas boast luxurious en-suite bathrooms with separate open-air showers, well-equipped kitchens, mini bars with free snacks and soft drinks, state-of-the-art entertainment systems, and open-air lounges and dining areas.
The use of local materials, quality interior fitting and selected Indonesian artifacts ensure a modern version of the Balinese kampung experience, while on-site Terra Terrace restaurant offers fusion food (and some rather confused combinations) and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That said, enjoying a private romantic dinner by your own pool is a real pleasure.
The plush Amarterra Spa follows traditional Dharma rituals and offers Balinese 'Urut' Massage, a deep-tissue massage known for its ability to accelerate healing.
Treatments range from massages and head messages to aromatherapy baths, face accupoint treatments, mud therapy and body exfoliation (I tried the massage, but passed on the exfoliation) - and the therapists are uniformly charming.
Overall, this is a brilliant place to relax and unwind for a few days. You are even cocooned from much of the construction noise on the Nusa Dua beachfront. One bedroom villas start from around $445 and several packages are available.
Amarterra Villas, Nusa Dua, Bali. +62 361 776400. www.amarterravilla.com.