Bali's Luxury Resorts
Published: April 2009
By Richard Alleman
Part of Bali's mystique comes from its luxury resorts, where you can go native in your own walled villa with a private garden, a pool, and pavilions for sleeping, bathing, and dining. After your biking trip, check in to one of these seven versions of paradise.
The Oberoi put Bali on the map for upscale travelers when it opened in 1978 on 15 acres at Legian Beach, north of Denpasar. With its formal gardens and enormous fountain-fed pool, it resembles one of the island's royal water palaces.
The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, may be 10 minutes from the international airport, but once you're in one of its villas, which are lavish versions of traditional Balinese houses, you'll feel miles away from modern civilization. Watch for this year's opening of the Four Seasons' 28-villa retreat at Sayan, in the central highlands near Ubud.
Bali is blessed with three legendary hideaways conceived by Asian hotelier Adrian Zecha. At Amandari, 29 spectacular coral-walled suites furnished with Indonesian artworks form a mini Balinese village on a terraced hillside near Ubud. The stunning, cliff-top Amankila, on Bali's east coast, has 35 glamorous villas with bathrooms as big as bedrooms, four pools, and a white beach at the edge of a coconut grove. The 35-suite Amanusa, minutes from its own private beach, is great for golfers, since it's adjacent to an 18-hole course.
The island's newest resort, the 323-room Ritz-Carlton, Bali, sits on 173 secluded acres above the Indian Ocean, a short ride from Denpasar. It caters to everyone, with five restaurants, three tennis courts, and a well-equipped spa and fitness center.
Ibah, 10 enchanting villas on grounds studded with lotus ponds, statues, and fountains, is a short walk from downtown Ubud. Owned by the Prince of Ubud, it often hosts visiting dignitaries; staying here, you'll feel like one.