Opulence, greenery, world-class food and infinity pools are just a few reasons to visit these seven luxury resorts in Bali and Lombok
Words Jessica Burrell
The island paradise of Bali and its quieter neighbour, Lombok, have long attracted holidaymakers lured by the gorgeous scenery and relaxed pace of life. These tropical idylls continue to astound visitors and fill Instagram feeds.
Four Seasons Sayan
If you value service (not to mention faultless design and world-class food), stay at the Four Seasons. From start to finish, Four Seasons Sayan is an absolutely immaculate hotel. Set in lush jungle and paddy fields that sprawl as far as the eye can see, it is an unforgettable introduction to Ubud.
Descend into the valley via the spectacular, spaceship-style lobby building and you’ll reach the charming rows of riverside villas below. Set on the banks of the Ayung, they feature personal pools and give a true sense of location.
The Sacred River Spa is a must for seekers of wellness, offering a treatments inspired by Balinese healing rituals. The Dharma Shanti Yoga Bale has silk hammocks strung from the striking bamboo structure as the setting for anti-gravity yoga. If you prefer unmitigated relaxation, bed down in the airborne cocoons for a sacred nap. The sounds of the river and the dulcet tones and chants of an ex-Buddhist nun will lull you to sleep.
Ubud, Bali; fourseasons.com
There’s only one issue with Villa Sungai – stay there and other hotels might well struggle to compare. This is because Sungai is not strictly a hotel, but an ingenious hybrid combining the personalised privacy of a villa with the effortless charm of a world-class five-star hotel. Set on a blissfully private bank directly above the River Ayung, Sungai boasts 24-hour staff, immaculately chic design, three bedrooms and an infinity edge pool that takes the breath away.
With the option to take neighbouring villa Sungai Gold as well, it’s difficult to imagine a better setting for a family or group getaway. Although it’s a perfect base from which to explore, it may be difficult to leave this bespoke riverside idyll.
Forget hotel breakfast cut off times – at Sungai, dining happens as and when you want it. The superb food makes the very best of local produce and gives you a true taste of the island. To complete the air of guilt-free indulgence, there’s a spa offering traditional Balinese healing and massages, which can be taken poolside. Go – you’ll never forget it.
Cepaka, Bali; bali-villasungai.com
From the moment you arrive at Amandari, it’s clear that the hotel cares deeply about its local community. Blending five-star luxury with authenticity and a strong sense of place, the hotel boasts magnificent features handcrafted by local artisans. The other element Amandari has in abundance is wow-factor. Infinity edge pools are a common sight in Bali, but theirs – set in the lushest, dramatic landscape imaginable – take the prize.
The food, combining classic Indonesian cooking with worldwide influences, is exquisite and the breakfast is a must. The villas and suites are fronted by Balinese-style gateways, which open to reveal gorgeous thatched-roof properties featuring coconut and teak wood accents. Some enjoy views of the valley and rice terraces, while others offer private plunge pools for complete and utter luxury.
Ubud, Bali; aman.com
Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay
It’s very easy to stay at Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay and never leave the resort. Designed as a traditional Balinese village, the all-villa enclave spans 14 hectares of breathtaking luxury. The deluxe villas, each complete with their own private pool, offer unbeatable views of the Indian ocean. They also make a bid for the comfiest beds in Bali – perhaps even the world.
Sundara, the sundowner capital of Jimbaran Bay, is a truly remarkable hotel restaurant. Serving up modern, tapas-style Asian cuisine, it’s one of the best dining spots in the area, regularly topping review sites. Order the signature crab and coconut salad, mixed in front of your eyes for supreme freshness.
Jimbaran Bay, Bali; fourseasons.com
Located in the heart of Bali’s hippest destination, Alila Seminyak is the ultimate place to experience tropical cool. The sleek, modern design makes the resort a vibrant and refreshing landmark. The newly opened Seasalt restaurant is designed so that every table can enjoy a sea view. Even then, it is difficult to draw one’s eyes from the menu, which features traditional delicacies crafted with innovative style and a dash of Japanese infusion. Steps from the sea, the seafood is an obvious highlight, although the health-conscious breakfast options – including quinoa porridge and raw brownies – are a surprising hit.
Countless members of staff are only too eager to assist and the service is world-class, making this the perfect base from which to begin your Balinese adventure. In fact, with unbeatable views of Seminyak’s legendary sunsets, the adventure starts here.
Seminyak, Bali; alilahotels.com
This hotel is so laden with eccentricities, your camera storage will suffer as you snap away at the sprawling scenery. The hotel boasts views of Mount Rinjani and the Gili Islands and is impressively spread out.
The signature frozen smoothie bowls at breakfast are a highlight. Artfully topped with fresh fruit and shaved coconut, they are the perfect start to a day of island life. Tugu also has a hotel in the hip area of Canggu, Bali, so if you’re venturing to Lombok’s neighbouring island, it’s well worth a visit.