The Best Hotels in Bali
Bali has been top of my travel wish-list for as long as I can remember – those rolling emerald hills, the white-sand beaches, the spectacular surfing; not to mention the delicious Indonesian cuisine. So when the opportunity came up to spend 10 days exploring this spellbinding region, I was on that plane quicker than you can say rice paddy field. What’s more, I was lucky enough to stay in some of the most sought-after hotels on the island. Here’s my pick of the best…
Situated on Seminyak’s picturesque coastline surrounded by white sands and glittering waters, this resort is the dream destination for beach lovers. Prepare for luxury as soon as you arrive: Ocean View and Plunge Pool Deluxe Suites are furnished with private balconies, and the Hermes bath products are the perfect touch. The premium suites boast direct access to the 120-metre swimming pool – one of the longest in the world. There’s even a 24-hour butler service for every guest; if you’re feeling really indulgent, you can ask for assistance with unpacking while you relax on the balcony with your welcome cocktail. If you do only one thing here, make it the Rooftop Bar, one of the largest in the world, which stands 15 metres above sea level. There are few better spots for a sundowner.
Ubud is the Bali you see on postcards; those undulating rice terraces, lush rainforest and, of course, that iconic swing high up in the hills. As soon as I stepped out of the car at Alila Ubud, I sensed the shift in pace from Seminyak; a sense of peace washed over me. This hotel also boasts one of Bali’s most photographed swimming pools; stretching over the hills and looking out over secluded valleys and lush rainforest. I spent every afternoon of my stay enjoying tea and cake poolside. If you can drag yourself away, the Plantation Restaurant promises a daily-changing menu, so you’ll never eat the same thing twice.
The Laguna Resort & Spa, Nusa Dua
Nestled among the spectacular southern peninsula on one of the most serene beaches in Bali, rooms and suites at this resort are set in jaw-dropping surroundings. Feeling indulgent? Opt for a Two-Bedroom Pool Villa, situated in intimate gardens, and enjoy a private pool with a gazebo, and a personal buggy ride to your very own dedicated area of the beach. I challenge you not to want to spend every day floating around the glittering lazy river! And you can continue that Zen feeling over a Balinese-infused treatment at the Lagoon Spa.
Phinisi Ambasi – Plataran Komodo Beach Resort
After discovering we’d be visiting Komodo Island, home to the largest lizards on earth, I was thrilled. But when I saw where we’d be staying for this part of our trip, I was on cloud nine. Our home for two nights was the Phinisi Ambasi, which we could spot from the jetty of Plataran Komodo Beach Resort, sails billowing in the gentle breeze. I’d never stayed in a hotel on water before, but with just three double cabins and a twin, you can look forward to a private voyage. I’m not sure if it was the fact that the attentive staff did so much for you – cold towels when you returned from a sunrise hike, ice-cold drinks and snacks for sunset, restaurant-standard cuisine – or that the experiences I had while sailing around Flores were so special, but this is a travel experience I’ll never forget. It’s going to be tough to top waking up to the best sunrise I’ve ever seen, before sailing to one of the only pink-sand beaches in the world.
Alila Villas Uluwatu
I’m possibly guilty of saving my favourite until last here, because not only was Alila Villas Uluwatu one of the best hotels in Bali – it is hands down one of the most impressive hotels I’ve stayed at in the world. With incredible attention to detail, world-class cuisine and a spectacular pool, this resort has so much going for it, but what impressed me most was the impeccable service. As soon as I arrived, I hopped in a buggy and was driven to my suite, where my suitcase was waiting for me – no lengthy check-in process here. I was left to look around my achingly hip villa – complete with an outdoor shower, private pool and iPad pre-loaded with music – before my very own butler gently knocked on the door and offered to show me around. After learning how to use all the hi-tech features of my villa and discovering I could request a buggy whenever I wanted – I could even specify which tea and coffee I would like my cupboards to be stocked with – I was left to enjoy my private pool with a chilled glass of wine and some snacks, the music of my choice playing in the background. Seriously impressive.