LAST month, TripAdvisor users crowned Bali the title of best destination on Earth ahead of London, Paris, Rome and New York City. To those who haven’t been, the claim may sound somewhat presumptuous, but the visitors who return time and time again may be able to attest to that.
Based on the TripAdvisor list, travelers hailed the Indonesian island as “a favorite destination for both adventurers and those in need of a little relaxation, with its white beaches, great diving and dense jungle treks contributing to its popularity.”
Whether you love it or hate it, there’s no denying that Bali is home to some of the country’s – if not Asia’s – best hotels. Ranging in levels of luxury, hotels on the island make use of the land’s natural landscapes and waterfront setting.
Here are four that are worth your buck.
For couples, the Samaya Seminyak is the ideal place for a romantic getaway with 30 one-bedroom beachfront villas lining the golden coast. Across the road, 22 stylish Royal Courtyard Villas offer a little more space and privacy for families that need an extra bedroom or two.
Meanwhile, at Samaya Ubud, 19 villas nestle in the tranquil Ayung Valley, each surrounded by lush tropical gardens. One-bedroom Hill View Villas higher up in the resort provide extensive views of sprawling rice fields, while a little lower down, Ayung Villas make for a perfect riverside retreat. A number of generously sized two and three bedroom villas are also available at the site.
Villas at both locations benefit from modern interiors that complement the natural aesthetic of their idyllic surroundings. Each also has a private pool, a spacious bathroom with his-and-her sinks, a whirlpool spa bath, plush double beds and high-tech amenities – an LCD television, a DVD player, an iPod docking station, high-speed Internet and WiFi throughout the property.
Reflecting the Samaya Bali’s commitment to traditional Balinese hospitality, villas also benefit from 24-hour butler service. Other complementary provisions include breakfast from the a la carte menu and afternoon tea, daily between 3-5 pm. You can even opt for morning yoga three days a week from the beachfront sun deck at Samaya Seminyak or the river’s edge at Samaya Ubud. Read more…
One of the most attractive resorts on Nusa Dua is INAYA Putri Bali, a five-star resort that makes you feel completely isolated despite being on one of Asia’s most popular islands. While great for couples and honeymooners, the resort is equally suitable for families armed with kids – minus the stress that’s commonly associated with family holidays.
The hotel’s Deluxe Pool Access room on the ground floor is a favorite among families because of its direct access to the communal lagoon pool through a private balcony, perfect for the kids to splash around while you read the papers. A bonus: The rooms overlook lush tropical gardens and a private verandah should the need for a fancy tea strike.
Parents can also opt for the Two-Bedroom Suites consisting of two spacious bedrooms that can fit up to four adults and two children. This category of rooms comes with personalized butler service, Club benefits, a foot bath ritual upon arrival, plush suite toiletries, a choice of pillows, and a marble bathroom with a separate deep-soaking tub and rain shower.
Naturally, the hotel’s three-tiered infinity pool that faces the emerald waters is a highlight for kids, especially with a designated children’s area where parents can keep an eye on their tots. If your kids prefer to swim in the ocean, the pristine, private shores are but steps away. Those sandcastles aren’t going to build themselves. Read more…
Away from the raucous bustle of Bali and close to the Uluwatu Temple is the majestic Banyan Tree Ungasan that’s sprawled across Bali’s southern peninsula. Overlooking the shimmering Indian Ocean and 70 meters above sea level, the property is the perfect antidote to the stresses of city life.
In all its glorious, unbroken views of the open sea and untainted skylines, the Pool Villa Cliff Edge Ocean View is worth splashing on if only for its precarious cliff-edge address. While you soak in the dramatic sight of the ocean wild from your personal daybed or 10-meter infinity pool, remember to use the #blessed hashtag.
The Banyan Tree Spa, inspired by time-honored Indonesian remedies and natural ingredients, will prove to be both relaxing and rejunevating. With the signature Royal Banyan Herbal Pouch Massage, a herbal pouch dipped in sesame oil is caressed against your back to improve blood circulation and ease muscle tension.
Another must-visit at Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali is Ju-Ma-Na Restaurant & Bar, the perfect vantage point for admiring the sun dip lower into the horizon against the Indian Ocean. With a sultry Moroccan-influenced charm, the bar will easily round up what would have already been a surreal stay in Bali.
This hotel in South Kuta is an affordable option for those who want the best of both the city and the beach. And despite the Bali capital’s reputation as a party town, this hotel is family-friendly with many amenities and services dedicated to parents with young children and teens.
The Kupu-Kupu Kiddies’ Club, for example, has an “Enchanted Garden”-themed air-conditioned room and Kids Water Fun Zone where the little ones can splash around with a giant tipping bucket and mini waterslides. The Den Teens Club – a free service – features Internet, Wii, PlayStation, X-Box, a pool table, table tennis, table soccer.
The pool area is also quite something; the main pool has a swim-up bar where guests can order snacks and cocktails, the adult-pool provides privacy to couples and adults, and the dedicated kids pool with the 56-meter “Caterpillar Splash” waterslide will keep the kids entertained.
The in-house Ashoka Spa too provides curated massages for kids while parents submit to traditional Balinese and aromatherapy treatments. Whether you want to brighten your complexion, combat jet lag, or get your toenails painted, the spa will have you (and your little one) sorted.
*Some of the properties featured in this article are commercial partners of Travel Wire Asia