Comprised of over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is considered the largest archipelago in the world. Rich with culture and natural beauty, the islands of Indonesia are a popular travel destination for people all around the world. Read Culture Trip’s guide to the best cultural hotels.
Kemang Icon Hotel, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta
Boutique Hotel, Resort
Kemang Icon by Alila is a stunning boutique hotel located in Jakarta. The hotel was designed by Sardjono Sani, the main architect behind PT Bias Tekno-Art Keasindo, and exudes a modern and elegant aesthetic. While many hotels and resorts look to Indonesia’s cultural past for inspiration, this hotel highlights the sophisticated contemporary style of the growing capital. The hotel utilises its rooftop spaces immaculately, with a swimming pool and outdoor dining area that allow visitors incredible views over the city while enjoying the divine weather of Indonesia.
Viceroy Bali invites its guests to indulge in the serene location of Bali’s Valley of Kings. Gaining its name from the lineage of Balinese Royalty who lived in the area, this hidden tropical treasure provides a gorgeous natural backdrop and a relaxing yet awe-inspiring atmosphere. This resort is family owned and run, and is filled with beautiful design inspired by Bali’s culture and traditions. The hotel is close to Ubud, one of the major culture and arts centres of Bali.
Cutting-edge design inspired by the area’s surrounding magnificence lie at the heart of the Alila Villas Uluwatu in Bali. The hotel stands on the edge of a plateau, allowing visitors unbroken views over the ocean to the horizon from its cliff vantage point. The hotel was designed by the award-winning WOHA, the Singaporean architectural firm that built the School of Arts in Singapore. The resort prides itself on its Weddings at the Edge of The World: wedding ceremonies that are set in an overhanging cliff-side platform that feature the hotel’s famous views of the horizon as the backdrop to vows of eternal love. For those seeking adventures, Alila Villas also organises multiple ‘journey’ tours that take visitors to the best natural and cultural spots around the area.
Amanjiwo Resort is a unique resort that is surrounded by vast nature and incredible culture. The resort faces the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the 9th Century Borobudur Buddhist sanctuary, and is surrounded by other spectacular sights, such as Menoreh Hills and the Kedu Plain. Giving the sensation of leaving the modern world behind, the hotel is set in a stunning circular limestone monolith that blends in perfectly with its surroundings. Amanjiwo prides itself on organising expeditions to many of the culture rich areas of Java, such as temples, villages and mountains.
COMO Shambhala Estate is a health spa retreat in Bali that combines a relaxing atmosphere, incredible food, stunning design and much more. The resort was brought to life through the architectural work of Cheong Yew Kuan and design of Koichiro Ikebuchi. The aesthetics of the hotel are a fusion of tradition and contemporary design, with Asian and European influences, and are built from many local materials. Throughout the estate beautiful handmade furniture can be found, as well as Indonesian artefacts and artworks that encapsulate the aura of the area. Focusing on health, the estate offers a range of services and activities that are good for both visitor’s spiritual and physical well being, as well as offering food that is both nourishing and rich with flavour.
The Satwa Ecolodge is set a mere 500 metres away from the entrance of Way Kambas National Park, and works in conjunction with the park to project this rare national treasure. In Way Kambas there are many endangered and rare species, such as Sumatran elephants, tigers and rhinos, and millions of other exotic creatures, both large and small. The accommodation organises unique tours for its guests that visit the park and are guided by experts and locals. Not only helping the fauna and flora of the area, the Satwa Ecolodge also hires many local residence of the nearby rural villages, further supporting the region.
Providing accommodation in four stunning Balinese rice barns (or Lumbungs), The Bali Purnati Center for the Arts exudes an authentic and comfortable Indonesian aura. The mission of this organisation is to create collaborations between people, traditions and cultures through art residencies, with the desired result of further understanding and artistic growth. Engaging in many art fields, past participating artists have created unique works that fuse Asian traditional practice with contemporary artistic thought. Guests can interact with the artists during their projects, and at the end of their time Purnati puts on a display of their work for the local community. Visitors are also encouraged to take part in yoga and art activities during their stay.
ArtOtel Sarabaya is jam packed with amazing art by young contemporary Indonesian artists. The hotel works in conjunction with several art galleries to showcase the very best work that is being created in the huge archipelago of Indonesia, both selling it and putting it on display in its exhibitions. Through this program, ArtOtel not only creates an inspiring accommodation to stay in, but also supports young artists by exhibiting their work to both local and international audiences. Taking the hotel’s commitment to art into the kitchen, the Restaurant of Contemporary Art serves delicious cuisines with twists on the known formula of ‘East meets West’. ArtOtel in Sarabaya is truly a haven for art loving travellers.
Located on a jetty in the middle of a forest, Rimba Ecolodge can only be reached by boat. The lodge’s location is perfect for travellers who want to explore the surrounding rainforests and Tanjung Puting National Park by foot or by wooden boat (klotok). The lodge also organises many tours that allow visitors to meet the animal inhabitants of this natural territory, as well as conducting night tours that show the glowing mushrooms and fireflies of the area, while the feeding stations give animal enthusiasts a chance to meet orangutans and other primates face to face.
The Temple Lodge leaves behind the rest of the world and allows its visitors to stay in a serene and secluded environment of natural beauty. Located on top of the Bali’s southernmost tip – the white cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula – the thatched roof and tropical rustic design of this accommodation matches perfectly with its surroundings. From its raised perspective, visitors can view the sublime waves that attract surfers from around the world and can even venture down to the beach for a closer look. The hotel offers experiences that are nourishing for both body and soul, such as yoga courses, massages and a menu full of organic ingredients.