Are you still thinking of Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love when you hear Bali? Do images of vivid green terraced rice paddies, thatched roof villas with billowing white curtains, stone temples filled with carvings of deities, relaxation spas, infinity pools scattered with pink hibiscus and multicolored sunsets fill your head? There are many hotels in Bali that can make your dreams a reality.
But a very commercialized side of Bali exists as well. Unsightly rows of shacks selling you name it, the smell of petrol from scooters and endless trash and plastic bottles polluting the roadside and ruining the shoreline are common sights. If you’re taking what is probably a long haul flight and a couple of short ones to come to Bali, make sure you choose a resort in Bali that can shield you from all of this. Not all hotels in Bali are the same. After all, we go to Bali to escape.
Romantic Hotels in Bali
I had the privilege of staying in three stunning hotels in Bali, all equally beautiful but distinctive from one another. These are the epitome of romance. Each establishment offers something unique and appeals to a different type of traveler. It just depends on what you’re looking for. Skip the Nusa Dua hotels in Bali as the beaches are underwhelming for the reasons listed above. Another alternative is to rent a privately owned villa in a more secluded area (very cost effective) or go for the boutique hotel villas.
First on the review list is the Bulgari. Perfect for honeymooners or just a romantic getaway to Bali. You’ll be taken aback by the stunning grounds which are richly landscaped with no detail or space left undone. True to the brands’ identity, the public areas and villas are elegant and luxurious with dark wood floors and camel/beige furnishings, superior finishing and every amenity and technology provided. However, its so luxurious that the hotel doesn’t necessarily blend in with the natural surroundings or use indigenous materials or designs. You’ll know its Bali from outside scenery but not from inside your villa.
Situated on the cliffs of Uluwatu, the beach is beautiful but not very usable. Though you’ll have plenty of soaking time in your private plunge pool and the main infinity pool. The hotel is quiet, no children running around here.
The Grounds at the Bulgari Hotel in Bali
The Ayana Resort
Next on the list is Ayana Resort & Spa , formerly the Ritz Carlton. Located in Jimbaran Bay, this is a glorious hotel for all: Couples, Singles and Families. There’s something for everyone including the famous Rock Bar with unparalleled views of the Indian Ocean. You’ll see the Rock Bar featured in many travel magazines and rated one of the best bars in the world in large part due to its scenic location at the bottom of a cliff which requires an external elevator down steep rocks or long flight of stairs to get to.
As you enter the lobby of the Ayana, you’re senses become immediately relaxed with the fragrance of frangipani and soft tones of melodious live gamelan music. The hotel offers beautiful rooms, suites and private villas with plunge pools and massive “backyards”. The spa is amazing with Aquatonic® Seawater Therapy Pools and everything else you can imagine… one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of going to.
This hotel in Bali is also equipped with endless swimming pools, catering to children and to adults. The villas even have their own exclusive rest area and main pool with controlled access and nestled in thick foliage for maximum privacy. Overall, there’s much more structure in the layout to this hotel given the larger key count.
The Grounds of The Ayana Resort & Spa
Four Seasons Hotel in Bali
Last but not least is the Four Seasons Resorts Bali. Also situated in upscale Jimbaran Bay, this hotel in Bali does a phenomenal job of blending into the natural environment. You’ll see it everywhere in the details and in the construction material used in the villas to the stone in the plunge pools to the not so overly pruned landscaping. It’s serene and romantic and you’ll be left to completely unwind in true Balinese spirit. Out of all three hotels, I enjoyed the plunge pool here the most and the unlimited breakfast to the villa was delicious. I made good use of the menu and my hips showed it when I got home.
The Grounds at Four Seasons Bali
The Villa at the Four Seasons
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