By Hannah Walhout
July 08, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Capella Ubud, Bali

This year’s World’s Best Awards survey closed on March 2, just before widespread stay-at-home orders were implemented as a result of COVID-19. The results reflect our readers’ experiences before the pandemic, but we hope that this year’s honorees will inspire your trips to come — whenever they may be.

A vast archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is one of the most culturally and geographically diverse nations in Asia, which has made it a major draw for travelers for decades. Many visitors also seek out the country’s lush mountains and white-sand beaches with another thing in mind: rest and relaxation.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.

Four properties on this year’s list of the best resorts in Indonesia are found in the country’s undisputed tourism capital: Bali. This island between Java and Lombok is known for its stunning landscapes, ancient temples, and world-class resorts. One of these is the Belmond Jimbaran Puri, making the list for the first time this year at No. 3. It comprises 64 suites and villas on the beach outside Jimbaran, a fishing village on the north side of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula; one voter called it “the perfect place” for a honeymoon.

One of the top resorts, though, is a bit more off the beaten path. Nihi Sumba, No. 5 on this year’s list, is located on the southeastern island of Sumba, and a 90-minute drive from anything in particular. The isolation is part of why readers love it, having ranked the property among the world’s best every year since its opening in 2015: one called it “the best spot on earth,” while another, reflecting on an extended round-the-world trip, named it “the most luxuriously wild experience of my travel-filled year!”

The resort occupying the top spot was also voted by T+L readers as No. 1 in all of Asia — and the No. 1 hotel in the world. In fact, all of the top five resorts in Indonesia also place well on both those lists. Read on to plan your next Indonesian getaway.

1. Capella Ubud, Bali

Credit: Courtesy of Capella Ubud, Bali

Score: 99.85

More information: capellahotels.com

With a coveted place on T+L’s It List and a nearly perfect score from our readers, the Capella Ubud topped the charts this year. And not just the list of best resorts in Indonesia. It’s also the best escape in Asia — and in the entire world, readers said. It’s just that special. A few words came up again and again in voters’ comments: unique, magical, best. The Bill Bensley–designed tented camp, which opened in 2018 as the fifth property from Singapore-based hotel brand Capella, offers 22 villas in the wilderness outside Ubud. Each tree-house-like suite features locally made textiles and teak doors, private saltwater plunge pools, and views of winding rivers and rice terraces. The effect is that of a serene rain-forest getaway — within minutes of the island’s cultural capital, the city of Ubud. One reader summed it up in Indonesian: “Sangat memuaskan,” or very satisfying.

2. The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

Credit: Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Bali

Score: 98.85

More information: ritzcarlton.com

3. Belmond Jimbaran Puri, Bali

Credit: Courtesy of Belmond

Score: 97.50

More information: belmond.com

4. The Mulia Bali

Credit: Courtesy of The Mulia, Bali

Score: 96.73

More information: themulia.com 

5. Nihi Sumba

Credit: Courtesy of Nihi Sumba

Score: 95.29

More information: nihi.com