Ayana – one of Bali’s most iconic luxury hotels – has banned phones at its idyllic swimming pool

River Pool at Ayana Bali.
Ayana Bali Resort & Spa

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at a five-star island resort, and find yourself greeted by streams of cool blue waters partially hidden from the sun by a layer of luscious greenery?

If your answer doesn’t involve taking a photo, you’re a rare breed.

Many of the world’s most popular hotels today have found fame and fans via social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. So it can be surprising if that lux hotel – which you found out about through your favourite travel influencer – tells you you can’t use your mobile phone on its premises.

After becoming one of Instagram’s most recognisable travel destinations, Ayana Resort and Spa in Bali is doing just that, Lonely Planet has reported.

According to the travel website, Ayana has banned the use of cameras, mobile devices and all electronic equipment at one of its most popular facilities, the River Pool, for a good eight hours every day.

If you’re an Instagram user with wanderlust, you’ve probably seen the pool in these photos by @pilotmadeleine and @michutravel.

 

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On its website, Ayana explains that the 9am to 5pm ban was implemented to ensure its very-Instagram-worthy pool remains a place of “tranquility, where our guests can truly relax and be ‘in the moment’‘”.

“So during your time at River Pool (from 09:00-17:00) we promise there will be no calls, no text, no pictures, and no social media – just you, River Pool and this moment!” it says.

Not to worry. For now, phone and camera addicts can still snap photos at the resort’s other 11 stunning pools, including the Ocean Beach Pool and the Ayana main pool.

The Ocean Beach Pool
Ayana Bali Resort & Spa

The Ayana main pool
Ayana Bali Resort & Spa

A basic room at the cliff-top resort in Bali’s Jimbaran Bay costs around US$230 to US$330 in the month of December. The most expensive suite with views of the Indian Ocean costs around US$470.

Guests who wish to go big can also book a villa at Ayana The Villas, located on the same property. But it doesn’t come cheap – one night in the resort’s cliff pool villa, or a two-bedroom ocean front pool villa costs around US$1,100. And if that’s not luxurious enough, there is also a 32,292 sqft Ayana villa with a price tag of US$8,800.

The Villas made waves on social media about two years ago, when photos and videos of its “floating champagne breakfast” became widely shared online.

Ayana has so far not mentioned if it will carry out the same restrictions on these other picture-perfect facilities.

But if you’re truly looking for a resort that will allow you to detox (digitally) and unwind, perhaps restrictions like this are a good thing after all.