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.
It’s also home to some of Asia’s most awe-inspiring resorts, tailor-made for helping life’s stresses float away on the breeze. Add in a laid-back vibe and locals who always greet visitors with genuine warmth, and you have a getaway that’s truly remarkable.
In no specific order, and with additional properties no doubt joining them over time, this selection of luxury Bali hotels and resorts will leave you with several new entries on your holiday hitlist.
Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape
If it’s jungle vibes you seek, Banyan Tree’s Bali experience ‘Buahan’ – nestled some 40 minutes drive north of Ubud – is for you. With no walls, no doors, each of its 16 enchanting bales (villas) is designed to immerse you in the local environment. In style, of course.
Within, you’ll find the likes of private pools and expansive decks where you can relax and refocus while breathing in palm-filled jungle views, together with plush beds draped in soft linens, cosy seating areas, and a deep bathtub to soak away your stresses.
More than just a beautiful place to rest your head, Buahan is about experiences. Cooking classes and witnessing your meals take shape in the open kitchen, immersing yourself in the Balinese culture, and treating your mind and body to yoga, massage or meditation.
The St. Regis Bali Resort
Before someone even finishes saying the name ‘St. Regis Bali’, an expectation has already started to form in your mind. After all, hotels falling within the brand’s stable aren’t known for doing things by half measures. If anything, they do a triple scoop.
That lustrous reputation is firmly intact in Bali, with the exclusive Nusa Dua hideaway home to 124 suites and villas – all affording pool, garden or ocean views. Some even boast direct access to the beach.
Those looking to dial up the indulgence and privacy should definitely choose one of the 41 villas or two luxury residences. The one-bedroom Gardenia and Lagoon Villas, in particular, are well worth upgrading to. That said, there are plenty of reasons to leave your room.
The resort’s serene Iridium Spa (try the 150-minute Champagne Ritual) and sapphire-blue swimming pools, not to mention six bar and dining options, are just a taste of what awaits.
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.
Perched along the Bukit Peninsula and neighbouring the iconic Uluwatu Temple, the resort enjoys one of the best locations in Bali.
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 set among working rice fields and styled on an indigenous Balinese village. Named after the Sanskrit word for temple, the property is one of only a few Ritz-Carlton Reserves in the world.
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. Each villa is set amid superbly-manicured gardens, with accomodations ranging from one to three bedrooms.
In the morning, maximise your pool time by taking breakfast in the water, with the resort able to prepare a floating buffet to help start your day. And in the evening, settle down with a Balinese barbecue dinner, sampling local ingredients and unwinding with a specially crafted cocktail. When in Bali...
Suite dreams are guaranteed at The Mulia, an award-winning all-suite hotel set alongside the lapping waves of Geger Beach in Nusa Dua. The location is breathtaking. And within? It’s gorgeous, and recent renovations have made many of its suites even better.
Among them is the sprawling Bali Marquess Lagoon suite – a lavish two-bedroom retreat with ocean views, a grand living area and dining room, together with direct access to the Oasis pool. And though you may find it hard to leave the sheets behind and explore, you definitely should.
But leave the sheets behind and explore, you should. Nine tantalising restaurants and bars – Mediterranean flair at Soleil; beachside cocktails at the Sky Bar – are on hand to sate your appetite, while the pools and fitness centre will definitely hold your attention.
It’s worth noting The Mulia is actually one of three distinct accommodation experiences within the one property, alongside Mulia Villas and Mulia Resort. Throughout you’ll find nine tantalising restaurants and bars to sate your appetite, plus multiple pools, a pampering spa and fitness centre.
Need something arranged? 24 hour butler service is available to cater to your every need, and when you want to explore further afield, there’s plenty in Nusa Dua to see and do, too.
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.
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.
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.
Samanvaya is Bali, but not as you know it: an adult’s only oasis of just 17 authentically-styled rooms floating above the rice terraces of Sidemen Valley. If you’re not familiar with the area, that’s not a surprise – it’s an as-yet relatively hidden paradise in East Bali.
Those who do venture to the area are rewarded for their efforts, with the verdant region brimming with traditional villas, hidden waterfalls and lush working farms, all set against the stunning volcanic backdrop of Mount Agung.
As for the rooms at Samanvaya, they’re just as charming. Each has its own distinct character, from the poolside Sundari Villas to the Javanese-inspired Joglo Villa. If you want the peak experience though, it’s the Batari Villa you should choose.
Adding to the serenity, the resort boasts two infinity swimming pools suspended over the rice terraces, a natural temperature jacuzzi and hot tub, plus a restaurant, spa, and yoga studio.
Another piece of southern paradise, Bulgari Resort Bali cascades down a rocky gradient in a way reminiscent of an outdoor theatre. And the main building is just as impressive.
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.
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.
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 alongside the beautiful paddies of Manggis and gazing out to sea on Bali’s northeast coast is Amankila, a secluded refuge surrounded by sacred mountains and royal ruins.
While the resort’s pool suites offer consummate bathing privacy, it’s well worth moseying down to the signature three-tiered pool, which cascades at the heart of the property and overlooks the azure Lombok Strait and Nusa Penida Island.
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.
Hoshino 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Once seated, the culinary team tantalises your palate with a six-course taste journey highlighted by a bottle of Krug Grande Cuvee Champagne.
Though perhaps best known for its premium resort developments in the Middle East, Jumeirah has an extensive global footprint too, with outposts in London, the Maldives and, you guessed it, beautiful Bali.
Said to be inspired by a Javanese-Hindu water palace, Jumeirah Bali is palatial in scale and fit-out, with each of its 123 one-, two- and four-bedroom villas adorned in regal adornments and natural tones of timber and cream. All of them have a private pool too.
More than simply retreating from the world (which is fine, by the way), guests are invited to indulge their taste buds to flame grilled cuisine at Akasa cliffside restaurant and bar, sip on delicious cocktails at the Sunset Lounge, or get social at Segaran Terrace.
It should go without saying, but wellness and relaxation is absolutely part of the experience too, in the form Talise Spa and its opulent Turkish hammam, plus treatments such as acupuncture, aquatic sessions, yoga and tai chi.
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.
Fans of Four Seasons craving a laid-back holiday by the sea will instead be drawn to the brand's Bukit Peninsula property, perched above the silvery sands of Jimbaran Bay. Nestled within a calm bay in the style of a traditional Balinese village, rooms 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. Leaving the more energetic corners of Bali behind, Soori Bali is a hidden sanctuary between the rolling waves and volcanic black sand of the beach and lush, green rice paddies. It’s a captivating location and resort, and little wonder it’s often voted among the island’s best. Environmental and cultural sustainability is highly prized at the resort, as is an emphasis on natural textures. Stone, timber and neutral colours abound in each villa, while private pools and tropical gardens add to the feeling of tropical indulgence. Breakfast is enjoyetd in the resort’s beach-facing Cotta restaurant, with daily rotating menus highlighting the local fare. For those who fancy western options, the signature Ombak restaurant plates up eclectic European cuisine with local ingredients sourced by the chef from local markets. 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 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. 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.
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.
Leaving the more energetic corners of Bali behind, Soori Bali is a hidden sanctuary between the rolling waves and volcanic black sand of the beach and lush, green rice paddies. It’s a captivating location and resort, and little wonder it’s often voted among the island’s best.
Environmental and cultural sustainability is highly prized at the resort, as is an emphasis on natural textures. Stone, timber and neutral colours abound in each villa, while private pools and tropical gardens add to the feeling of tropical indulgence.
Breakfast is enjoyetd in the resort’s beach-facing Cotta restaurant, with daily rotating menus highlighting the local fare. For those who fancy western options, the signature Ombak restaurant plates up eclectic European cuisine with local ingredients sourced by the chef from local markets.
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 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.
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.