The best hotels in Bali show you what “The Island of the Gods” is all about. They're situated in the most breathtaking settings for travelers to stay, whether it’s atop a soaring cliff, steps away from a white sand beach or nestled in a tranquil rice field. They incorporate local art and design into even the finest details of the rooms. And they show you a deeper side of this postcard-perfect paradise, offering cultural events, feasts infused with local flavors and once-in-a-lifetime excursions.
COMO Uma Ubud will easily become your home away from home in Ubud. The luxurious hotel has 46 serene, sunny rooms with hand-carved beds, private outdoor spaces and oversize bathtubs. Travelers who love the water will find it worthwhile to splurge on one of COMO Uma Ubud’s four pool suites, which come with a second bedroom and a sundeck. While the hotel is just a 30-minute walk from town, you don’t have to leave the property when hunger strikes—COMO Uma Ubud has two distinct restaurants (one Italian, the other Southeast Asian) plus a poolside bar with light meals that will take care of you.
Looking for the party on your Balinese vacation? You’re sure to find it at the W Bali. Located in the heart of Bali’s nightlife capital, Seminyak, the trendy property features a variety of splashy restaurants and bars that always seem to be bustling. Watch the sunset from the roof deck at WooBar with a cocktail in hand, let the meat sommelier at Fire help you choose the perfect cut or tuck into sizzling seafood within one of Starfish Bloo’s dramatic booths, corralled in larger-than-life lobster cages. When you need a break from the scene, the W Bali’s contemporary rooms await you with every creature comfort you could ask for.
Take a walk around Mandapa, a Ritz Carlton Reserve and you’ll feel as though you’ve found your own spiritual village in the middle of Bali. The enchanting property features rice paddies tended by local farmers and an authentic Hindu temple. With just 35 suites and 25 private pool villas (each of which displays an original painting by a Balinese artist), Mandapa creates a truly intimate experience for every guest. Find even more peace at the riverside spa, where a traditional Balinese healer will take you to bliss.
Beachfront luxury finds its dramatic side at the Apurva Kempinski Bali, a recently opened hotel in Nusa Dua that feels like an open-air theater on a cliff. Cascading waterfalls flank the hotel’s grand staircase. A 250-foot, temple-inspired walkway down the center of the Apurva sets the stage for nightly events. And rooms and suites are built into terraced ledges on the hillside, a nod to Bali’s famous rice paddies. The visually stunning Apurva spa draws inspiration for its treatments from Bali’s neighboring island, Java, giving guests a broader introduction to Indonesian culture.
You’re never far from a dazzling view at the Four Seasons Resort at Sayan. Travelers enter the property by crossing a teak bridge over a lush valley, before settling into one of 42 private pool villas or 18 suites, each of which overlooks gardens, rice paddies and the sacred Ayung River. Living up to its reputation as one of the best hotels in Bali, the Four Seasons Resort at Sayan offers a diverse range of ways for you to make life-long memories on your trip. It will help you arrange tours to secret temples, receive energy cleansing by traditional healers and cycle through rice fields.
Perched on a ridge overlooking the Valley of the Kings, Viceroy Bali is an elegant 30-villa retreat for sophisticated travelers looking for privacy and romance. Each villa features its own private pool and outdoor living spaces. A range of packages at the hotel make it easy for guests to transform their experience into something personal. Try a Balinese cooking class or blessing ceremony on the culinary and adventure package, or escape from the stress of everyday life on a wellness retreat. The graceful staff at this hotel will take care of all the details, leaving you free to take in the magic of Bali.
My journalistic pursuits and adventurous spirit have taken me around the globe—rafting down the Ganges, hiking the jungle of Borneo and hot air ballooning over Cappadoci...
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