The Best Hotels in Bali
The hotels of Bali complement the island’s beauty, from boutiques nestled in verdant rice terraces to sprawling beach resorts. They also bring out its unique culture with a host of immersive experiences that highlight the traditional Balinese way of life.
Amankila, Manggis, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali, Indonesia
Nestled between jungle and sea in the remote Karangasem Regency, Amankila evokes the shapes of the nearby Ujung Water Palace yet also captures the spirit of everyday Bali. Modeled after traditional Balinese beach houses, the 34 suites are stilted among bougainvillea and frangipani trees and topped with alang alang thatched roofs; inside, royal doorways, pillared bed canopies, and marble vanities blend with more understated pieces crafted from bamboo, rattan, and coconut wood. Elevated marble walkways turn and intersect until they reach the colonnaded main buildings and three-tiered pool, inspired by the country’s hallmark rice terraces, and steps wind down from the resort to the oceanfront Beach Club, which features a restaurant, a 130-foot lap pool, and eight shady bales (pavilions) tucked into a coconut grove. Windsurfing boards, Hobie Cats, and outrigger boats resembling jukung (traditional fishing crafts) encourage guests to get in the snorkel-friendly water. Though Amankila offers everything a guest could need for a relaxing holiday, visits to nearby temples, ornate water palaces, and artisan villages complete the experience.
JI. Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura), Seminyak, Bali
From its beachfront locale to the sweeping terraces and sliding-glass doors, everything about this hotel is aimed at maximizing views of Bali’s most sought-after shoreline. Local stone and wood put an Indonesian twist on the resort’s Thai design, which incorporates a dark-wood color scheme, a mini waterfall, and lattice screens. The hotel offers one-of-a-kind experiences, including special-occasion dinners on the beach and spice-infused cooking tours that introduce guests to regional flavors (don’t miss Spice Spoons, in which you’ll sample exotic fruit and other local ingredients, or the seaside Indonesian cooking class with a master chef). Bustling Seminyak lures travelers to its restaurants, bars, and nightclubs—often early into the morning—but Anantara’s spacious sundecks, refreshing pools, traditional spa suites, and umbrella-shaded beach chairs are waiting to revive you the next day.
Jl. Banjar Baung Desa, Sayan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Translated as “beautiful bamboo,” Bambu Indah is the passion project of jewelry designers John and Cynthia Hardy. The couple—Canadian and American expats living in Bali for more than 30 years—bought 11 teakwood bridal houses in 2005, then moved them 15 minutes west of Ubud Village before restoring and individually decorating them for visiting guests. Today, the Sayan Ridge residences are surrounded by cutting-edge bamboo dining and lounging structures, an organic permaculture garden, swimming holes inhabited by fish and frogs, and flat green rice paddies. Daughter Elora Hardy is responsible for some of the bamboo architecture and furnishings, while son Orin tends to the edible gardens; spiritual ceremonies, tours, and artisan-led courses involve local friends. Though the decor is heavy on traditional textiles and beautiful objects from around the world, they combine with whimsical surprises, like a boat-shaped treehouse 30 feet in the sky to a rope swing that drops guests into the natural rock pool.
Jl. Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu, Pecatu, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
The second property in the Bulgari Hotels collection is an Italianate stunner perched on the cliffs of Uluwatu, a region at the southern tip of the Bukit peninsula. While the hotel’s vibe stays true to the brand’s roots, hand-hewn volcanic rock, Javanese mahogany, and exclusive fabrics banded and bordered by local artisans reflect the heritage of the archipelago. In fact, Asian-European duality is a prominent theme here: One restaurant focuses on Indonesian fare, while the other is a formal reflection of Italian culture. Watching over the resort at its highest point sits a temple, which employees use to perform daily rituals, as well as a traditional guardian—the Hindu elephant Ganesh. And at Bulgari’s base is a private stretch of sand accessible via an inclined elevator.
Jl. Surapati, Tua, Marga, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 80116, Indonesia
With Indonesian names that translate to earthy concepts like “wind song” or “forest in the mist,” the terracotta and thatched-roof residences at the 22-acre Como Shambhala Estate encourage quiet reflection. They jut from the hillsides and line the Ayung riverbed, offering refuge from the frenetic scene nearby in Ubud. Most people come here as part of a yoga or health retreat, and everything—from the dining experiences to the custom health programs—is designed to guide guests toward reaching their wellness goals with help from a cadre of resident experts, including a dietician, Ayurvedic doctor, reflexologist, and an Oriental medicine specialist, as well as fitness, yoga, Pilates, and qigong instructors. But it’s not all work. After a day of rugged outdoor adventure—the resort can arrange for hiking, biking, and paddleboarding down the Ayung—retire to your private spring-water infinity pool and meditate on the events yet to come.
Jimbaran, South Kuta, Badung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
One of the top properties in southern Bali, the Four Seasons at Jimbaran Bay is laid out like a Balinese village that tumbles down to the sea. Villas are separated into clusters of 20 to 25 thatched-roof units enclosed by a courtyard wall, making the 156-accommodation property feel more intimate. Modeled after regional homes, they’re adorned with local artwork, traditional textiles, and hand-crafted furniture. Daybeds, private plunge pools, and ocean views are among the amenities, as are offerings such as lavish spa treatments, hands-on cooking classes, and twilight yoga. The resort is even home to a historic temple and shrine, which guests can tour with high priest Aji Ngurah. After a day of exploration or relaxation, there’s no better way to unwind than by enjoying a cocktail on the deck at modern Asian restaurant Sundara, where fire pits warm the air and waves provide the background music.
Sayan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia
Set along the sacred Ayung River, Four Seasons Resort at Sayan is a tropical paradise shrouded in giant palms and ferns. Designed by John Heah, the property was built and decorated using regional materials almost exclusively, from shells and coconuts to coveted ikat fabrics, giving guests an authentic Balinese experience just 15 minutes from Ubud. A serene lotus pond sits on the rooftop of the resort’s main building, and teakwood villas offer views of rice terraces and the longest river in Bali. Indonesian cooking classes, ancient wellness rituals, and plantings with local rice farmers are just some of the ways guests can connect with the local culture; the rest can be found in Ubud, where vibrant markets, temples, and museums counterbalance the hotel’s tranquil dining and wellness journeys.
Jl. Bisma, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Nestled in the jungle near the center of Ubud, Komaneka at Bisma is a minimalist boutique hotel that celebrates Balinese artistic expression. Local artisans made most of the wooden objects and furnishings in the suites and villas, which emphasize rich woods, cool marbles, and floor-to-ceiling glass walls that look out at emerald rain forests. Daily deliveries of fruit, flowers, and cookies make guests feel like family, but high-tech conveniences such as in-room Apple TVs help them stay connected with loved ones back home. The Komaneka Gallery at the Monkey Forest property showcases one of the world’s largest collections of art from the archipelago; Bisma guests can arrange a tour, which is included in the price of their stay. You can also stay on site and choose from a lineup of activities, including rice paddy cycling tours and wood-carving lessons.
Jl. Raya Kedewatan No.7, Kedewatan, Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
If Mandapa feels more like a community than a hotel, that’s because it is. The resort occupies 24 lush acres on property previously owned by a group of neighboring families who retain access to the land and its resident temple; as a result, it maintains three acres of rice paddies and a traditional rice barn on stilts, and the villagers bring daily offerings to the temple, giving Mandapa a strong connection to local culture. The hotel’s open-air lobby sits 300 feet above the Ayung River valley, overlooking 35 hillside suites with views of the jungle and rice paddies and 25 villas along the flowing river. The suites are furnished with traditional Balinese pieces and artwork as well as stand-alone soaking tubs, while the high-ceilinged villas, decorated with ornate and vividly colored botanical panels, have large pools and separate master suites. Everywhere, local materials and design elements feature prominently, from the thatched roofs to the fringed umbrellas that shade the lounge chairs by the pools. Golf carts driven by staff members carry guests along the steep paths between the lobby, the villas, and the riverside Mandapa Spa. Yet, as dreamy as the hotel seems, it’s only a 10-minute drive from Ubud, Bali’s cultural center.
Banjar Dukuh, Desa Kelating, Kerambitan, Kelating, Kec. Tabanan, Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82161, Indonesia
Terraced like the surrounding rice paddies, Soori Bali occupies an undeveloped stretch of fertile coastline roughly 25 minutes from Tabanan, a town northwest of Denpasar known for traditional farming and artisan crafts. The resort’s modern design plays on the shapes, colors, and landscapes of the surrounding area and incorporates local stone. (At the recommendation of the surrounding village’s elder, the property also constructed 10 stone temples onsite within the property.) Outdoor spaces feature bright green trees and grasses along with infinity pools, while high ceilings, cool colors, and marble floors inside create a tranquil escape from the heat. The property’s spacious rooms and wood-slat shades give off an art-gallery vibe, and the reading-room lounge displays the works of the hotel’s artists in residence. Food is another big focus here, both at the resort’s three restaurants and in tours that explore rice cultivation, exotic ingredients found at the Kerambitan market, and the spices, cacao, and coffee from nearby Jatiluwih.