Rimba Jimbaran Bali, Bali review: Making a splash

Read our writer's views on this property below

Bali's expansive new Rimba resort is aquatic heaven, writes Louise Goldsbury.

Add a few more waterslides between each pool and it would be possible to swim seamlessly around the one hectare of pools that Bali's new Rimba resort is soaking in. I start with the lagoon lapping at my room's back door and breast-stroke past my row of neighbours until I reach the steps that lead to another pool, fringed with frangipani trees. Lining the edge are the cutest cabanas, each designed to look like a living room with lamps, beanbags and hammocks.

Next is the upper pool, raised several metres above ground level on pylons. The far end has a pentagon cut-out, which proves impossible to resist swimming toward to see what lies below. I peer down to find the kids' pool, with a waterslide, a swim-up bar, and a bubbling spa - three good reasons to linger on my aquatic mission.

At the fifth pool, monkey fountains spit at me as I complete my final lap. This is where a cooking school has been set up, allowing guests to create their own meals at poolside tables. The private jetty has a table for two overlooking the ocean, where a five-course lobster feast is presented while local musicians perform.

But Rimba's most impressive water feature sidetracks guests, almost into a trance, upon arrival in the open-air lobby. An infinity pond spills out towards the horizon, reflecting the sun, with two circular lounges sunk into the water.

In total, there are 11 pools on different levels - the concept is to cascade down the landscape like Balinese rice terraces. Named after the Indonesian word for 'forest', Rimba sprawls across 77 hectares of greenery. For its soft opening, 10,000 trees were planted around the grounds and a further 40,000 were added to the nearby farm to help offset its carbon footprint.

The natural setting is extended to the hotel's many conservation efforts and sustainable design, such as walls made from the recycled wood of old boats.

The farm's produce and wild kopi luwak coffee beans are served in the huge site's 15 restaurants and bars. An onsite orchard and greenhouse supply organic fruit, while a vegetable and herb garden is used by the cooking school. Recently opened is one of Bali's few venues for authentic Chinese cuisine, Ah Yat Abalone Seafood Restaurant, where weekend yum cha offers more than 50 types of dim sum.

Rimba's other drawcard is its connection to the iconic Ayana Resort and Spa on Jimbaran Bay. As part of the same company on adjacent land, Ayana allows Rimba guests to flash their room keycard for massages, beauty treatments and oceanfront meals and drinks. Despite being newer, Rimba's room rates are cheaper than Ayana's, yet you have access to the same services and facilities.

In the evening we take advantage of the VIP access to Rock Bar, positioned on a cliff edge over the Indian Ocean. Waves crash on the rocks while revellers drink opposite a pink sunset. Bare feet in the sand and cocktail in hand, I honestly can't think of a better located bar in the world.

An inclinator takes us back up the limestone cliff to catch the shuttle to Rimba, where I indulge in a bedtime moonlit swim.

The writer was a guest of Rimba Jimbaran Bali and Garuda Indonesia.

TRIP NOTES

GETTING THERE

Garuda Indonesia operates 52 flights a week to Bali from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Passengers travelling from Sydney can use the onboard visa service, which avoids the queues at Denpasar Airport.

STAYING THERE

Rimba Jimbaran Bali is located 12 kilometres from the airport at Karang Mas Estate, Jimbaran, Bali. The hotel has free Wi-Fi, a gym, 11 pools, 15 restaurants, a rooftop bar, a swim-up pool bar, access to all facilities at Ayana Resort and Spa, and a private beach.

HOW MUCH

Rooms start at about $185 a night. Spa treatment and meal packages are available in winter.

MORE INFORMATION

rimbajimbaran.com.