Four Seasons Sayan Bali Hotel

, Bali, Indonesia
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Four Seasons Sayan Bali Hotel

4 star

Rooms: 46

Sayan Ubud - Bali - 80571 - Indonesia Hotel Website | 361 977577
312 Traveller

Reviews - Four Seasons Sayan Bali Hotel

9/10
Beautiful hotel!
Submitted by: Lindsay in 17/04/05
  • Age Group: 26 - 30
  • From: Thailand
  • Traveller type: Adventurer
With many events everyday and beautiful views from every spot there is almost no reason to ever leave this hotel. The consierge is very helpful in confirming flights and they even have someone meet you at the airport. The food is very good and a good value but I was not blown away by it like other Four Seasons reataurants.

Historical Traveller Reviews of Four Seasons Sayan Bali Hotel

Wish we stayed at the Uma or Begawan Giri!

from A TripAdvisor Member
Long story short...feel in love with Ubud, less than impressed with the FS Sayan.

We stayed here for 5 nights two weeks ago. Thought we were going to have a relaxing holiday until we heard the first wave of rafters. For those that want peace, quiet and seclusion, DO NOT REQUEST a riverfront villa! For hours in the morning you will hear whitewater rafters screaming their lungs out. This may not bother some people but it certainly bothered us.

Part of the reason why we stayed at the FS Sayan was because of the view we kept hearing about. Wish we did more research before we went because we went to the Begawan Giri for lunch and the view was about 100 times better than the FS Sayan!

First off, it's hard to compare the two resorts because the Giri is just so much nicer than the Sayan. The grounds are amazing...acres and acres of natural beauty, and the eye can see for miles along deep, deep river gorges on BOTH sides of you! The Sayan river gorge seems like a trench compared to the Giri's.

Another thing that jumped out at me was how distinctive the architecture and the furnishings the Begawan Giri's was compared to the FS Sayan. I tell you something, if you're staying at the FS and don't want to ruin your trip like we did, DO NOT VISIT the Begawan Giri. Man, were we depressed looking at the city hotel-style furniture of our villa after witnessing the African-inspired furnishings of the Fire House (I think that's what it was called) or the outdoor Japanese baths of the Water House.

Getting a suite in one of the Begawan Giri's residences is roughly the same price as a villa at the FS Sayan, yet the occupancy is so low that I was told we could have had an entire residence to ourselves! This means a REAL private pool, not those tiny dipping fountains that we had.

Lest you think we are real snobs that only want to stay in US$1K rooms a night, we also found a small boutique hotel that had cheap rates that we still liked better than the FS! It was called the Uma Ubud and it was gorgeous! Very minimalistic, but island-flavored furnishings...imagine what a futuristic sci-fi Balinese room would be like and you have got the Uma. Just a gorgeous hotel.

Sounds expensive, right? US$200 per night for a standard, but very pretty room. $350 gets a suite with a private pool...not only nicer than the FS but cheaper too.

Why didn't we move out? Wish we could have but we (over)paid for the 5 night FS Sayan stay at a charity auction back in the US.

I like to see a silver lining in everything and certainly in this case, the next time I'm in Bali, I'll know where to stay!

Worth Every Penny...

from SOPHIEGIRL
My husband and I just returned from our 1 month honeymoon throughout Asia...After traveling through Vietnam, Cambodia and Hong Kong, we had our last 12 nights in Bali.

My husband surprised me with 4 nights at the FS...we loved every minute!
Aside from the amazing surroundings, the service was unbelievable. We were known by name at the hotel and were treated like royalty. From the tubarose honeymoon boquet upon arrival to the napkin placed on my lap during our "room service" meal, this place didn't miss a beat. Our reservation was made for 2 nights and after our first hour, my husband was at the front desk inquiring about extending our stay...in order to accomodate his request, we needed to move villas during our stay. At first, we thought this would be an inconvenience, then we realized that it gave us a chance to pick our villa for "next time." We stayed in #1 (which was my favorite, very private, sounds of the water) #50 and #56 which was the Sayan Villa, nice with a full sized pool, but larger than we needed and more remote, as it is located up on a hill behind the main lobby. I've just read the other reviews and must say that I am shocked by some of the negetive comments...of course everyone's experience is different, but after a disappointing stay at the Ritz Carlton in Jimbaran Bay, our last 4 nights at the FS "made our honeymoon. " We can't wait to return.
Come on guys...do it, surprise her, it's worth every penny!

Extremely disappointed after PERFECT stay at the FS Jimbaran Bay

from A TripAdvisor Member
After spending four nights at the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay and loving every minute of it, we thought we would be in for a treat at the Four Seasons at Sayan in Ubud, about an hour's drive away. From all the we've read on the Internet and from some of the photos, it was suppose to be better than Jimbaran. Well I can tell you know that it is far from it.

First of all, all that people say about the setting is true...it's spectacular. From when you first arrive and walk into the hotel, you see the incredible view of being inside the river gorge. Yes it's breathtaking.

However, we soon found out that only the common areas of the hotel are any good. We were VERY disappointed with the furnishings in our Riverfront Villa. We flew all the way from Washington D.C. and did not expect generic "resort-style" furniture that could have been anywhere. Unlike at Jimbaran, there really wasn't any local flavor infused with any of the furnishings. We could have been in Hawaii or the Bahamas or any other Four Seasons resort.

As we began exploring the hotel, a funny thing happened. We realized we liked the architecture less and less. Sure, at first look it's awe-inspiring, but after you live in it for a while, you see what a huge disconnect it is from its surroundings. It's NOT Bali nor is it in anyway a reflection of the rich cultural and artistic legacy of Ubud. You realize that there's no influence at all of any Balinese culture or architectural stylings in this building. It's as if they were trying to mimic the most commercial aspects of what people perceive as Frank Lloyd Wright rather than try to infuse the building into its surroundings. After a while, the whole resort became more of an eyesore than an escape for us.

It may begin to sound like we're very picky travelers which we are to an extent, but believe me that we were more interested in relaxing and enjoying ourselves. We thought we may try to put our initial disappointment behind us by some couples spa treatments. Now we have never complained about a massage, and we have always loved Four Seasons spa treatments. The ones in Jimbaran Bay have been fantastic, as well as on the Big Island and also in the Maldives, which we went to the year before. I don't know if it was just this particular masseuse, but I felt very uncomfortable in the fact that she repeatedly brushed her hand into my private areas when she was working on my thighs. I've had enough massages to know that hands can slip once in a while, but this was really too much. I cannot count how many times my scrotum was scratched but it was innumerable and it was a very, very awkward experience. My wife was also next to me as we were doing a couples massage and she told me later that her masseuse began to massage her chest without asking whether it was okay first, which she found very inappropriate.

The food was another disappointment, particularly dinner at the terrace restaurant. We loved the Balinese food at the Jimbaran Bay and was eager to try more local specialties. I don't know if it was just our luck or if this is just how they prepare the dish, but the kale vegetable we ordered tasted as if they used a pound of salt. No kidding, it was purely inedible. The other dishes were not very good either, including a rather bland and dry fish and some local grain rice. Suffice to say, we only at there the first night. Afterwards, we either ate outside or ordered room service and ONLY western dishes.

Now when I pay top dollar to stay at a Four Seasons, I expect the best hotel service possible. Sadly, this type of service does not exist at the Four Season at Sayan. Several times after returning from a morning activity or breakfast, we came back to the room to find it unmade. Same as when we would come back at night from dinner to see the bed not turned down yet. Sure we eat dinner sometimes earlier than most people but they should know when we're out of the room. We also found the pool service much slower than at Jimbaran Bay, and we didn't see the kind of smiles that we did there either. I don't mind telling someone what room number I'm staying at when I go to the pool or order drinks, but when the same attendant asks me over and over, day after day, it just tells me that no effort is being made to remember the guests.

Overall, we had a much better stay at the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay. It was superior in every way, from the rooms and the furnishings, the architecture and design of the buildings, the food and the service. The only thing that we liked more at Sayan was the fact that it was in Ubud, which we preferred to Jimbaran Bay. We liked the scenery, activities and culture more in Ubud, which we found fascinating. Now for us, the perfect hotel would be if they moved the Jimbaran resort as is into Ubud, with the river gorge substituting the ocean views (and no more airport view!). Now that would be something!

A wonderful honeymoon experience

from offtobali
We had a wonderful 3-night stay at the Four Seasons Sayan in mid-June 2005. It is an architectural wonder.

The trip was the final part of our Bali Honeymoon, where we had a few days to spend in three different areas: Seminyak, Lovina, and Ubud. As the jungle portion of the trip, our villa was perfectly nessled in the jungle, with a view of the rice paddies and complete privacy. We had reserved a suite, but were upgraded to the private villa. They said it was because we were on honeymoon, but upon further inspection it appeared that the vast majority of the suites happened to be undergoing major renovation. Regardless of the reason, it was a great upgrade and made a significant difference in our experience.

Like the previous poster, I also enjoyed the outside sitting area and plunge pool more than the inside of the room. We ordered room service and sat there for a meal and enjoyed the tranquility. The bedroom/bathroom/changing area was very nice, and my only real complaint was the lack of high-speed internet (although it is available in the lounge). Their charges for airport transfer are a bit extreme so we arranged local transport (much cheaper).

We ate a number of meals and enjoyed the view and the service. The restuarant, the spa, the pool, and the staff were all top notch and I would highly recommend the hotel.

Nice, but Some Things You Should Know

from plagioia
Was here recently for a four-night stay. The resort's location in the jungle by the river is indeed spectacular. Ubud (and central Bali in general) is just amazing.

I was in a riverfront villa and I found it to be somewhat of a mixed bag. The location of the villa by the river was visually stunning, but the interior of the villa reminded me of a city hotel, rather than a resort. To me, it just felt out of place given the location. I actually enjoyed the outdoor spaces much more than the interior spaces. There is a very nice outdoor living area and a separate seating area (with lounges) by the plunge pool (which is also very nice). The villa that I was in was, in one sense, very private - neither of my neighbors could see into my outdoor areas or into my villa, nor could I see into theirs. Good design there. But, I must agree with the other reviewer about the issue with people across and in the river being able to see into the room. Don't get me wrong, the people of Bali are MUCH more entitled to be there than I am and I respect that. Not the point. The point is that the Four Seasons promotes the rooms as offering the 'ultimate in privacy' (quote from Four Seasons website) and they do not. When there is someone who can look directly into my room that is NOT privacy.

The restaurant at the Resort was excellent. The food was good and the view was amazing. I had dinner there twice and was impressed with the quality of the food.

The spa/gym facilities were both good and bad. As someone who frequented the gym every day, I appreciated the view, the nice equipment and the hot and cold plunge pools just steps away. But on the other hand, when I had a treatment at the spa, I realized that the 'private waiting area' for the spa was really just a central area with quite a bit of foot traffic from resort guests. Sitting there in my robe (and not much else) waiting for my therapist I felt very uncomfortable given the volume of traffic that was walking around me.

The pool area was lovely, and well designed in that it mirrored the curve of the river. There were rarely more than four or five other guests there. To add my take to the 'rafters' issue, I found that there were quite a bit more than four or five rafts going down the river. For the days that I was there, it was pretty much nonstop from around 9am to 12pm and gradually tapered off after noon. Frankly, it bugged me. I'm glad that the people in the rafts were having fun, but my idea of fun was to lie by the pool and experience 'the peace that is Sayan' (another website quote) and instead experienced 'the screaming that is the rafters'. If I want this kind of thing, I'll go to Cancun (and I occasionally do). And like the situation with the room privacy, it's not so much about the actual people, but about the Four Seasons setting expectations correctly - if I had known about these situations, I would have gone into it expecting something different.

Finally, the service: It was good, but not great and was missing that 'Four Seasons touch'. I felt the employees were going through the motions and not really trying. Pool service was certainly not up to Four Seasons standards (had to ask for towels and refills on water, sometimes there were no staff members in evidence at all). Employees around the resort were not friendly and certainly did not greet me by name (particularly surprising considering the small size of the place) and in some cases did not greet me at all (which was a first for me at a Four Seasons). Service at the restaurant was good, and after both meals, the chef came out to ask how the meal was. When I answered that it was very good, he always requested that I give the restaurant good marks when I filled out my comment card at the end of my stay. Asking that really made me feel like he was being disingenuous and that his number one priority was to get a good review, not to provide good service.

I guess many of my criticisms are pretty minor in the big picture (and I will admit that my expectations were extremely high for this place). On the whole, the resort is lovely and offers a pretty unique experience. But I was just expecting more given the prices that are charged and the reputation of the place. Having said all of that, if I were back in Bali, I would probably revisit the resort (assuming they can address some of the service issues). Now that I know what to expect from the rooms and facilities, I would govern my expectations accordingly – and the positives of the place do outweigh the negatives.

Unbelievable

from robertoandclaire
I could write an essay but this is a truly amazing hotel, the pictures on the website dont do it justice, yes its expensive , but the best three days of our two week holiday, wonderful staff, breathtaking scenery, good food, lovely villa (yes the river makes some noise, but actually i didnt sllep as well as here for many years despite being on the river front) (and the four or five rafts that go by are not noisy but a little light heated ebtertainment while you lounge in the pool and wave) Maybe would reccomend a higher up villa though as the views have to be seen to be believed, but the river front villas are the best. UNFORGETTABLE

great hotel!!!

from Ricksy999
We stayed at the four seasons sayan for four days after spending nine at the ritz-carlton as part of a beach and jungle style honeymoon to Bali.
The Four Seasons is tucked away in the village of Sayan near to Ubud and from the moment you walk along the wooden gangway into the resort you know that it was a good choice. The hotel sits on the edge of the Ayung river and has amazing views over the jungle clad valley. The main building is luxuriously decorated and appointed with all the modern facilities expected from a 5* hotel. The restaurant has cracking views over the river and although we didnt use the spa and gym it all looked good with some very funky hot tubs.
The villa we had was very nice with a private plunge pool and huge four poster bed. The villa was well decorated and well equipped as a whole however the bathroom was showing signs of wear and tear and needed an over haul. Cracking view over the rice paddies and jungle made up for this minor issue but this let down what was suppposed to be one of the best hotels in the world and gave the ritz-carlton villas at Jimbaran the edge.
Saying this I would still recommend this resort. If you have had enough of the beach and hussle of Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur etc then come to sayan for a unique experience. The natural surroundings are spectacular and the Ayung river flowing past the resort makes for some amazing photos. The wildlife is everywhere in the resort which I thought was great but my wife had other opinions. The resort is a great base for doing the local trips. Elephant park, padi fields and Rafting all highly recommended and great fun.
Ubud is a short taxi ride away (about 30,000 rupiah) or otherwise take the hotels free shuttle although this disapointingly stops at 5pm. As the locals earn so little we prefered to hire a local taxi driver for the day and for $10 to $20 dollars he will happily drive you around all day leaving you to plan your own itineraries. This is particularly good for shopping trips to Ubud and the local Village of Mas for Woodcarvings and Stone Carvings. We shipped back a 1 cb m crate full of exsquisitely hand carved items for the house and loved every minute of it.
The food in the resort is top notch and beautifully presented. Especially the pancakes for breakfast. MMMM. However it is VERY VERY expensive so we chose to eat out as much as possible.
Swimming pool is big, clean and attractively located next to the river to allow plenty of sunbathing and luxurious pampering whilst watching the sights and sounds of the jungle. Yes some people moan about the noise of the tourists rafting past but who cares. It lasts a few seconds and they are only having fun!!!!.
All in all the resort is spectacular and well wort a visit. We loved every minute of Bali and couldn't have chosen any better for a romantic honeymoon destination with the right balance of luxury, scenery and activity. Bali rocks and we will be back ASAP!!!!

Here Now- On Honeymoon

from A TripAdvisor Member
This review is soo ogood that some may think FS put me up to it. Let me say that after getting married we went to FS Exuma for a couple of night and it was very very dissappointing! I will shortly post a review of this hotel.


FOUR SEASONS SAYAN
I don't know where to begin. First, let me say that I am a HUGE hotel snob. I have stayed at top properties in NYC, Europe, South Africa and throughout the Carribean. This hotel is pure luxury.

The main building where the concierge, restaurant, bar and spa are housed is an architectural masterpiece. I have never seen a building designed that ellicits oohs and ahhhs everytime you walk by it.

Typical with Four Seasons style, our driver greeted us at the airport with lavender infused cold towels and ice water. By the time we arrived in Ubud, a staff of 10 was waiting to greet us by name.

We were led by buggy to our riverfront villa-#16. The villa has a wonderful in/out flow. The top of the villa has a private lily pond with a bench for star gazing evenings. Outside we have a dining table, a sofa, a coffe table and lawn chairs. Additionally, we have an infinity pool overlooking the river. I highly suggest you splurge for this room (and sacrifice eating if you are on a budget). I cant understand other reviewers that comment on the noise of the river. This puts me into the deepest rem sleep every night.


If you come please request 16 because it stands on its own. Some building shouse 2 villas. We are lucky ,and can play our music loud etc. without bothering anyone.

The interior has a beautiful bed with a mosquito net that wraps around it. Opposite the bed are sliding doors which lead to the outside. The bathroom has a tub mad of limestone. I have not used it yet, dspite it being filled with flowers upon arrival. The outdoor shower is an utter dream come true. So far, I have used it everyday.


Additionally, another poster commented on the rafter. When the rafters come down the river, 2 or 3 times a day, it is a treat they wave to us and we wave back. It is fun, in my opinion. Additionally, as another reviewer posted, the land across from the river is not owned by FS. Yes, I have seen local villagers picking fruit herbs etc. Hey this is Bali, I find it wonderful to watch culture everyday. It lets me know that I am in ANOTHER PERSONS COUNTRY and I respect and appreciate their way of life. This is not Palm Beach! I am not offended by someone picking berries to give as offering to their gods, or to their families.

The staff her is superb, they cater to you EVERY NEED. Everyone knows our name and knows what we like to drink, eat etc. The turn down service at night is an added treat. I love the flowers they leave on your bed---the smell is amazing.

We have not gone to the main pool, which is a bit small because we have our own. When I went down for lunch, I made a note that they should have balinese music playing there. Because the place is soooo peaceful, a location where one could enjoy drinks by the pool with music would be an added treat.

Everyday I do a fast walk up to the entrance (2x's) which takes 40 minutes. I love walking the superbly manicured grounds, looking at the frogs by the pond, and watching the talented gardners tend to the rice patches. Thus, I have not used the exercise facilities. I did have a massage, it was good, the oils smelled wonderful. The massage was more stroking than deep tissue, but I suppose that was my fault for not emphasizing that I wanted it deeper.

The food is wonderful, though limited. However, you can order anything that is not on the menu and the chef wll do his best to make it. We contemplated leaving Sayan for 2 nights in jimbaran, but we are so afraid of the unexpected. We cannot imagine it getting any better than this, so we are staying!

If you had 575 to blow on your last day of earth I would spend it here!

Shockingly, this beautiful resort has some big problems!

from FMUBSU
I just returned from a 17 day trip which included stays at the Four Seasons Langkawi, Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay and Four Seasons Sayan. I was so excited about Sayan because everyone raved how great it was. There are some wonderful things about the FS Sayan, but surprisingly, this resort has some problems which made for a disappointing stay. We went all out and stayed at the riverfront villa. The Ayung River was very disappointing. Another post on Sayan mentioned they could not stand the thundering noise of the river. The river is at the most 15 feet wide and is much more like a gently rushing creek or stream. And unfortunately, it is at the heart of the problem. There is apparently a raft operator upstream which conducts tours of the river. Between the hours of 8Am-2PM, be prepared for hundreds of screaming tourists as they "shoot the rapids." You would think they were on the Colorado or Columbia Rivers and not on a 2 feet deep stream! Sayan prides and markets itself as the ultimate oasis of tranqility and peace. But if you have a riverfront villa or are at the pool on the river, be prepared for this oasis to be shattered by scores of rafts packed with hordes of screaming tourists. I know the FS cannot stop the traffic on the river, but they should advise guests who want to stay at the riverfront villas of this problem (as well as for those who want to relax by the pool.)
The villas are nicely decorated and very modern. They look much more like rooms you would find in a business hotel in Tokyo. Be careful of the hot water because it will scald and cause a terrible burn if you are not careful! The large outdoor area is beautiful with a wonderful eating and seating area and a terrific infinity edge plunge pool. The main area houses the restaurant, lobby, spa and lounge. It is an architectual masterpiece...a stunning work of art.. a visual feast for the eyes. Unfortunately, the staff, though very efficient and competent, is for the most part very cool and not friendly. Most of the staff is robotic and detached. Some of the staff are wonderful, but we never felt truly welcomed as we did at FS Langawki and Jimbaran Bay where we were treated as family. The spa is total joke. It is on the same level as the gym and library. Most resorts have a huge separate spa with changing areas, saunas, whirpools, realaxation rooms, waterfalls, etc... Not Sayan. You are told in the center lobby to go into the bathroom- like changing areas and come out in your robe and slippers and sit in the public lobby area! No kidding! I sat there in my robe and nothing else feeling very exposed and uncomfortable as people walked by. It is a high traffic area and next to the main staircase which takes people all through the main area. so people stared at me while I waited for my treatment. The Sayan Spa is basically broom closet rooms to the side of a hall. It looks like a collection of restrooms along the wall and nothing else.
The gym was wonderful as it had a wall of glass doors which led to three plunge pools... it was amazing! The views of the jungle are breathtaking. The two teired inifinity edge pool is nice but the service there is spotty and as I mentioned earlier, be prepared for screaming tourists on rafts!
The food is decent but not great. Our biggest issue was that there was pounding from construction on a villa next to us. We told the assistant manager and he promised to have the worked stopped. We did not want them to have to stop the work and offered to move, but he insisted we stay in the villa. The work did not stop. So, the peaceful oasis was again shattered. This was unacceptable considering how much you are paying. After we complained a second time about the construction, we got an apology and a free dinner. BTW... the land across the river is not owned by FS... If you have a riverfront villa, there will be locals picking herbs and fruits right across your villa, so don't expect the privacy promised by the FS... These people have a right to be there, but I don't understand why the resort takes great pains to make your villa private from the other villas when people across from you can see everything you do.. It just defeats the purpose. When we checked out, it took the buggy 20 minutes to get to the villa to pick us up and the computers were down so we could not check email.
It seems to me as if the FS Sayan suffers from a great deal of arrogance. Since they are supposed to be one of the best resorts in the world and everyone raves about them, they think everyone should be awed by the resort. We were impressed with the architecture and the beauty, but not much else. The FS Langakwi and Jimbaran Bay are far superior in many ways. The FS Sayan is much more akin to a very nice business hotel with a great view than a world class resort.

outstanding world class resort

from JeffMA
We stayed 3 nights in a villa, not riverfront, during April 2005. We had very high expectations of the FS Sayan having read all the reviews and also having stayed at the FS in Chiang Mai, Thailand (similar feel). The FS Sayan met our expectations. The villa, service, pool area, health club, spa, etc., all were great. The nights we were there they had a managers cocktail party and one night a Balinese dance show. Both were complimentary and nicely done.

The resort is down a narrow access road off a road in Sayan. If you were driving down the road through Sayan you would not expect an architectural splendor to be 50 yards away.

Only "negative" is the cost. Relative to other Bali accommodations the FS Sayan is expensive. Relative to other top resorts in the world, the cost is reasonable (i.e. check out the price of a top hotel in a major European city).

We would definitely stay at the FS Sayan again.

Top Local Tips for Bali

Casa Luna There is a restaurant in Ubud town called Casa Luna. Food there is very good and reasonably priced. They offered both western and asian food.

Go to Mozaic ! Def. dine in Mozaic, the food is fantastic, reasonable price, and get the garden seats!

Eating out There are so many fantastic dining options in Ubud. Make sure you try Indus (their coconut creme caramels are to die for) and a couple of smaller, local restaurants.

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Other names for Four Seasons Sayan Bali Hotel

  • gianyar four seasons
  • four seasons ubud
  • four seasons hotel bali
  • four seasons bali
  • Address: Sayan Ubud - Bali - 80571 - Indonesia
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