The best luxury hotels in Bali

Beyond Kuta and Seminyak, the ‘island of the gods’ offers palatial resorts you simply won’t want to leave.

By Staff Writers, May 23 2022
The best luxury hotels in Bali

Holidaying on the Indonesian island of Bali is almost a rite of passage for Australians. And how could it not be? It’s an exotic paradise right on our doorstep, an easy flight from just about everywhere, with something that appeals to every age, interest and demographic.

From young revellers and families seeking fun-filled getaways to those venturing in search of rich culture, flourishing jungles teeming with wildlife, and spiritually enlightening temples, Bali offers it all – and so much more.

Hoshinoya Bali is a hidden retreat in beautiful Ubud.
Hoshinoya Bali is a hidden retreat in beautiful Ubud.

Accentuated by its leafy surroundings, Bali is also home to some of Asia’s most awe-inspiring resorts and retreats, perfectly suited for sweeping away life’s stresses. Add in a laid-back lifestyle, and locals who always greet visitors with genuine warmth, and you have something truly remarkable.

In no specific order, and with additional properties no doubt joining them over time, this selection of heavenly retreats will leave you with many new entries on your dream holiday list.

 

Alila Villas Uluwatu

Poised on a plateau atop the limestone cliffs of Bali’s southern coast, Alila Villas Uluwatu stands as one of Bali’s most visually appealing resorts.

The striking infinity pool at Alila Uluwatu.
The striking infinity pool at Alila Uluwatu.

Featuring modern interiors interwoven with traditional Balinese accents, the 65 open-plan villas harmonise with the local ecosystem through elements such as flat lava rock roofs and bamboo ceilings, opening to allow the sea breezes to circulate through the villa.

The Three Bedroom Cliff Edge Villa is stunning inside and out.
The Three Bedroom Cliff Edge Villa is stunning inside and out.

True to Alila’s commitment to preserve local communities and minimise environmental impact, the hotel produces its own drinking water with a state-of-the-art filtration and bottling system that keeps the property plastic-free.

Bulgari Resort

Another piece of southern paradise, Bulgari Resort Bali cascades down a rocky gradient in a way reminiscent of an outdoor theatre.

An ocean view villa at Bulgari Resort.
An ocean view villa at Bulgari Resort.

Each of the 59 villas are preserved by fortress-like volcanic stone walls, with carefully laid wooden interiors adorned with Italian design features and exotic Indonesian antiques.

The spacious villas make for a luxurious retreat for your tropical getaway.
The spacious villas make for a luxurious retreat for your tropical getaway.

Il Ristorante by Luca Fantini is the hotel’s signature restaurant. The open-air venue serves classic Italian cuisine with fresh and local ingredients, with dishes paired with a 200-strong wine list. For special occasions, the hotel also offers a private open-air dining setting where you can enjoy your dinner amidst sweeping ocean views and the resort’s lush flora.

Amankila

Indonesia's fields of tiered rice paddies are a sight to behold when touring the country. Amidst the lush, uneven rows, toiling workers plant and harvest their crops in a perpetual cycle.

Tucked between the paddies of Manggis along Bali's northeast coast lies Amankila, a secluded refuge surrounded by sacred mountains and royal ruins.

Amankila is a culturally rich property where you can truly relax.
Amankila is a culturally rich property where you can truly relax.

While the resort's pool suites offer consummate privacy with their own private sanctuaries, its signature three-tiered guest pool cascades through the heart of the property and overlooks the turquoise Lombok Strait and Nusa Penida Island.

The multi-tiered pool features a terrace perfect for a social get-together.
The multi-tiered pool features a terrace perfect for a social get-together.

Known for its ability to host lavish cultural celebrations, Amankila's main restaurant seats up to 150 guests across both indoor and open-air settings.

Capella Ubud

Conceived by renowned American hotel designer Bill Bensley, this luxurious tented retreat was built without a single tree being felled, in line with its philosophy of minimal environmental intervention.

Capella Ubud is worth the longer drive from the airport.
Capella Ubud is worth the longer drive from the airport.

Capella Ubud is the only luxury hotel in the centric Keliki Valley, built within the tropical rainforest. Whilst the journey from the airport can take up to two hours, the WiFi-enabled car transfer from Ngurah Rai Airport will keep you connected during the journey.

Traditional Balinese design is proudly displayed at Capella Ubud.
Traditional Balinese design is proudly displayed at Capella Ubud.

As you step inside, teak floors and antique furniture blend with ikat textiles and handcrafted batiks to reflect the bygone spice trade era. The resort's communal campfire invites you to spend the evening under the stars, serenaded by the sounds of nature whilst indulging in hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows.

Hoshinoya Bali

Hoshinoya Resorts’ first property outside Japan – the exquisite Hoshinoya Bali – blends the meticulous precision of its homeland with characteristic Balinese hospitality to provide a colourful getaway in the heart of Ubud.

You can literally swim right to your room door at Hoshinoya.
You can literally swim right to your room door at Hoshinoya.

Villas represent luxury minimalism at its best, inspired by Hindu temples and traditional Balinese villages. Interiors feature futon beds and beautiful wood and stone carvings. All rooms have direct access to one of the three river-like swimming pools which cut across the resort, accessible from your own private tributary.

The sumptuous spa menu features massages with herbal medicine and rice flour which revive the skin’s vitality. Each morning, guests can awaken their senses and their body with a revitalising session of sun salutation yoga.

Slip into relaxation mode at the Hoshinoya Bali Spa.
Slip into relaxation mode at the Hoshinoya Bali Spa.

For further cultural immersion, the hotel offers daily canang sari crafts workshops, the traditional Balinese offerings to Hindu gods made from delicately arranged banana leaf and flowers.

Raffles Bali

Boasting 32 private pool villas, the indoor spaces at Raffles Bali are defined by dark hardwood floors and vibrant batik tapestry enhancing the walls. With cathedral ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows opening to their own private garden, the rooms are among the most spacious pool villas on the island.

Picture yourself taking in that sunset.
Picture yourself taking in that sunset.

The resort offers several places to eat, each showcasing a variety of locally sourced produce or cooking styles. For a more romantic setting, The Secret Cave is a unique, intimate dining experience as flickering torches light the way to an untouched natural enclosure overlooking Jimbaran.

The dining area at Loloan Beach Bar and Grill.
The dining area at Loloan Beach Bar and Grill.

Once seated, the culinary team tantalises your palate with a six-course taste journey  highlighted by a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee Champagne.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan and Jimbaran Bay

Rising out of the Ubud forest, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan is a secluded hideaway amidst the Ayung River, with accommodations adopting a richly crafted timber interior.

The transformative retreat is well known among the best wellness destinations in Bali. Think of restoring chakra ceremonies, antigravity yoga and Balinese healing therapies among its menu of spa treatments. The hotel also offers a year-round ‘Guided by Gratitude Wellness Retreat’ curated by a Buddhist nun

Four Seasons Jimbaran makes for a heavenly oasis.
Four Seasons Jimbaran makes for a heavenly oasis.

Fans of Four Seasons who may prefer a laid-back vacation by the sea may instead prefer the brand's Bukit Peninsula property, a stunning beachfront resort perched above the silvery sands of Jimbaran Bay.

The gardens at Four Seasons Sayan are perfectly manicured.
The gardens at Four Seasons Sayan are perfectly manicured.

Nestled within a calm bay in the style of a traditional Balinese village, accommodations resemble the styled courtyard homes of the area and feature private pools overlooking the Indian Ocean. The resort is perfect for groups of friends or large families, with multi-bedroom dwellings catering up to eight people.

If you have a soft spot for health juices and smoothies, you’ll delight in a rainbow-bright feast of tropical fruits and locally sourced greens - perfect for winding down the day and soaking up a Balinese sunset.

Soori Bali

Tucked between landscaped gardens and lush green paddy fields, you'll leave the more energetic corners of Bali and venture along the island’s southern coast towards the captivating volcanic black sand beaches bathing the shores of Soori Bali.

Soori Bali is a stunning, multi-award-winning hideaway.
Soori Bali is a stunning, multi-award-winning hideaway.

The resort prioritises environmental and cultural sustainability with stone, water and natural textures dominating throughout each villa and the private pools which sit among dense gardens.

An enchanting Deluxe Ocean Pool Villa at Soori Bali.
An enchanting Deluxe Ocean Pool Villa at Soori Bali.

Breakfast is served in the resort’s semi-covered beach-facing Cotta restaurant, with daily rotating menus highlighting the local fare. For those who fancy western produce, the signature Ombak restaurant features eclectic European cuisine with local ingredients sourced by the chef from local markets.

Six Senses Uluwatu

In line with the brand’s environmental ethos, the luxurious Six Senses Uluwatu puts forward an impeccable guest service coupled with modern amenities and sustainable practices.

Nothing stands between you and views of the endless ocean.
Nothing stands between you and views of the endless ocean.

Perched along the Bukit Peninsula and neighbouring the iconic Uluwatu Temple, the resort enjoys one of the best locations in Bali.

A spectacular location deserves a hotel to match.
A spectacular location deserves a hotel to match.

The hotel’s focus on sustainability extends to the restaurant, with ingredients picked from its own garden. Influenced by Japanese and Latin cultures, the innovative Crudo restaurant combines  the Latin-American Nikkei cooking style with exotic spices to enhance its meticulously prepared sushi.

Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Another property hugging the tranquil Ayung River, Mandapa is styled against a luxurious indigenous Balinese village and set among working paddy fields.

Even by Ritz-Carlton standards, Mandapa is one of its absolute best.
Even by Ritz-Carlton standards, Mandapa is one of its absolute best.

Named after the Sanskrit word for temple, the property is one of only a few Ritz-Carlton Reserves in the world, with no expense spared in creating a defining example of lavish indulgence. As you check-in, expect to be appointed your own patih (a king’s right-hand man in Balinese culture) or personal butler, who will take care of any queries you might have.

Accommodations range from one to three bedrooms, each villa set among laboriously manicured gardens.

Maximise your private pool experience by taking breakfast in the water, with the resort able to prepare a personal floating buffet to help you start the day. Settle down for the evening with a Balinese barbecue for dinner, where you can sample local ingredients and unwind with a specially crafted cocktail.


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