Bali is a magical island in Asia. It has the most beautiful people, amazing food, stunning views and luxury hotels – everything one might need for an amazing beachside holiday. First thing to think about is where in Bali you’d like to stay. The most popular area is Seminyak, a very busy central area with a multitude of excellent high-end bars, restaurants and boutiques. This area is perfect for those who like a bit of action and want ‘to see and be seen’.
The best hotel here is The Legian Bali. It is an all suite hotel with a very intimate and luxurious feel. All suites have been recently renovated and feel modern yet The Legian has managed to preserve an authentic Balinese feel. Theotel’s tiered pools face onto the long white sand beach; they are a perfect place to watch the sunset with a loved one, with a cocktail in hand. The hotel’s spa is a sanctuary of wellness. Divine local specialties like hot oil scalp massage are blissful.
The Legian restaurant is another reason we recommend this hotel. We had one of the most romantic dinners in Bali here. Candle light, sparkling pools, crushing waives are the background for an exquisite meal prepared by a German chef who used to work for Adlon Kempinski (one of Europe’s most famous hotels).
For those travellers who prefer a little less action yet a lot of glamour, South of Bali is perfect! It is our favourite area. Uluwatu boasts some of the most spectacular views on the island and is home to many of the top end hotels.
Our favourite hotel in the area is Alila Villas Uluwatu. This resort has been designed to seamlessly combine Bali’s natural elements with very modern cutting edge design. The resort is faultless – large ultra comfortable villas (all with private pools), wet edge pool overlooking the ocean, designer pavilion (perfect place for evening drinks). Even the deck chairs are the most comfortable we have ever seen – attention to detail in this resort is unsurpassed.
The atmosphere in the resort in very peaceful and romantic. It is a very ‘couply’ resort. Alila also has a strong focus on wellness. The resort’s spa offers multi-day detox and wellness programs, while daily yoga lessons are blissful. The Warung, Alila’s Indonesian restaurant, is one of the best in Bali for gourmet authentic Balinese dinner. It is a must try for all visitors!
Our third suggestion is nestled in an even more exclusive and quiet part of Bali – Eastern side, Manggis. Manggis is home to an iconic resort, a pioneer in Balinese luxury travel – Amankila. This resort is 21 years old, yet it is still featured as one of the most prestigious resorts in Asia. It is on the Conde Nast Gold list for 2013.
Amankila’s famous 3 tiered pools have made it in many publications about Bali. When you see them for the first time, it takes your breath away – the view from hotel’s lobby towards the pools and the sea is stunning. The Amankila service is on par with the other Aman resorts in the world – superb! Everything is a ‘yes’!
The resort feaures only 34 suites, and during a few days we spent here we saw a maximum of 2-3 other couples at the resort. If you are looking for an ultra quiet location with maximum privacy and want to get away from it all – Amankila is perfect. The only thing to mention, is that Amankila suites are quite small by Balinese luxury standards. If you want to really spoil yourself, request Suite Number 1 – it is by far the largest and the most luxurious at the resort.
Amankila is also famous for the activities it offers to its guests. You can choose from going on a snorkeling trip on Amankila’s boat, diving in one of the best diving locations in Bali (nearby), surfing on a private beach and many others. So after a few days of romantic bliss you could entertain yourself with a few exciting activities.
No matter which option you choose, a blissful and romantic holiday is guaranteed. All three hotels are superb and will make sure you have a holiday of a lifetime!
Marina Noble is Founder of The Lux Traveller.