Indonesia’s tourist-magnet tropical isle has more than enough room for everyone – hotels may cluster in the south and around the spiritual capital, Ubud, but many more secluded spots can be found higher up the coasts. Wherever you are, you’ll be well placed for hippie-wild beaches, destination spas, mountain hikes and temple visits, with emerald rice terraces and black volcanic rocks along the way. Here they are: the best luxury hotels in Bali, bookable with Culture Trip.
Alila’s hotels are an architect’s dream: slatted wood forms a basket effect around this property’s restaurant, jutting out over the sea, clean-edged spa cabanas host massages in the sea breeze and a wow-factor pool is framed by low-cut, tropical foliage. Everything feels balanced and uncluttered. Villa-only accommodation with roll-top love seats, sea-view terraces and private infinity pools suit this rarefied slice of south coast, where many of the designer hotels cluster.
Aman’s palatial hotels combine modern grand designs with microscopic attention to detail, attracting ultra-high-net-worth regulars. Amandari is the brand’s hotel beyond Ubud (there’s another along the east coast), gently fusing with the nature around it, its jade tiling and thatched pagodas imitating Mother Nature’s palette. Rooms and suites feel similarly earthy, but don’t be fooled – a world-class spa, tennis courts and private, exclusive excursions max up the glamour.
You may know this one from Instagram, so photographed is its two-tiered pool, jutting out over the forest canopy like two slices of polished sea-glass. Hanging Gardens has a dizzyingly lofty position over the jungle in central Bali, a 25-minute drive from Ubud – you reach the different levels by taking a quaint funicular up and down. Rooms are traditional with chiffon-veiled four-posters, ornately carved woods and petal-scattered set-ups organised by staff, so it’s popular with proposers and honeymooners.
This global mega-brand lurks in the Balinese rainforest like a sculpted UFO, connected to the entrance by a long, showy bridge and topped with a lily pond. Private villas are the last word in luxury, with sun-flooded terraces and indoor-outdoor design that mean you don’t have to go near the (gorgeous) main pool to catch some rays. Highlights include the spa, where elaborate local rituals are performed overlooking rice terraces and a lily-pond as well as local guided walks and encounters with healers.
Close to beach-club central Seminyak, Padma’s army of cushioned loungers, generous pool and swim-up bar attract a youthful, informal crowd of couples and families, with kids loving the waterslides in the rock-framed second pool. High, pagoda-style ceilings and bohemian local decor greet you at reception, while rooms match glossy dark woods with pebble-smooth freestanding tubs and mother-of-pearl mosaic tiling.
Hidden away in under-the-radar Tabanan, on the east coast, Soori is the perfect base for exploring untrodden bits of Bali. With emerald foliage and manicured lawns backing a black volcanic beach, its looks are dramatic – slatted wood screens, stony hues, an incense-musky spa and a sea-breeze-swept restaurant terrace. While you’re here strike out for Tanah Lot, a dazzling island temple poised on a rocky outcrop.
This upmarket tented camp outside Ubud offers something a little different to the traditional Balinese bungalows. Spaced out among towering, mist-shrouded palms are tented suites, each with the feel of a safari camp. Spacious private terraces help you tune in with nature, while a shared Officer’s Tent lays on afternoon tea. The look is exquisitely bound up in Balinese heritage – think bright tasselled parasols, plunge pools built of local rock and black-and-white photography of historic scenes.
This good-value boutique hotel strives to exist in harmony with nature, with strong eco-policies and a small-scale design. Set in the fertile valley beyond Ubud, presenting its guests with fabulous views, it has super-accommodating staff who’ll organise river rafting, rural treks and yoga onsite. There’s also a L’Occitane spa to soothe jet lag with massages overlooking the treetops, and those much-Instagrammed floating breakfasts can be delivered to you in your plunge pool.
Still searching for your perfect stay? Check out our guide to the best hotels in Bali or the top resorts on the island. Or if you’re watching the wallet, read up on the most budget-friendly hotels. If you need more inspiration, peruse our guide to the best hotels in Bali with pools or check out the best resorts in ultra-chic Seminyak. For stylish and cultural options all over the country, see the best boutique hotels in Indonesia. And don’t forget to book your stay with Culture Trip. If you’re looking for calm, discover our guide to the best meditation retreats and centres in Bali.
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