Travel Review: The Best Of Bali
1. One Eleven, Seminyak
Shopping, sun and seriously good food – the three things we love the most! If, like us, these are your callings too, then Seminyak is your one-stop-shop. With an abundance of snazzy beach clubs, fine-dining eateries and 5-star hotels, picking a perfect abode for your travels can sometimes be challenging. If style, shop proximity, sushi and spa tick your boxes, then One Eleven, with its sleek seductive villas is the one for you. An adults-only discreet and private in-villa experience, the small hotel is made up of nine villas, each with a spacious 14-metre long swimming pool, a vast stone tub (essential) and a spacious spa gazebo, perfect for afternoons escaping the sun. There are no sea views - or any real views for that matter - but the high-level of privacy makes it the ideal spot for an urban beach break. A Balinese ambiance is maintained with subtle local touches such as handmade furnishings and exotic flower displays – all the kimonos in the room are handmade by local tradesmen.
Apart from the room service menu and daily breakfast in your villa, there is also a small Japanese restaurant, Shiro. Open only for dinner, this is where you will find Chef Shiro-san passionately preparing the authentic taste of his hometown, using fresh and local seasonal ingredients. Our Seminyak sanctuary, we love it here!
2. Amandari, Ubud
Amandari, one of the longest established and most elegant hotels in Bali, is set amongst the rice paddies of Ubud, overlooking the Ayung River - a haven of lush green and stunning interiors, with beautiful views of the vista from every angle. Picture pebble walkways leading you to elegant villas, hidden behind high, mossy stonewalls and beautifully carved teak Salas where you are served scrumptious afternoon tea accompanied by the sound of crickets and frogs making you truly feel like you are among nature. We love the stunning Pool Suites at Amandari, with tiled floors on the ground floor leading to sliding glass doors that open up to a huge private terrace with a lovely infinity pool offering uninterrupted views of the lush greenery surrounding the Ayung Valley below. With two indoor day beds and small table for two, the downstairs space is the perfect spot to retreat from the midday sun.
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Buttressed by stone gateways, each #Amandari thatched-roof suite opens onto a secluded walled garden – a private sanctuary amid the Balinese greenery. Throughout the day enjoy the chorus of birdsong and the hypnotic sounds of the gamelan drifting through swaying coconut palms @claudtr #AmanResorts #AmanDesign #Bali
Up the spiral staircase, the duplex houses a beautiful hand-carved bed adorned with finely painted murals, surrounded by small bay windows offering amazing morning views. Afternoons can be spent either relaxing beneath swaying palms by the side of the hotel’s main rich-green infinity pool, by visiting the spa or practicing sun salutations in a private yoga class. Dining is also decadent! The sophisticated menu offers a well-rounded selection of Indonesian and Western dishes, appealing to all palates.
3. The Ungasan, Uluwatu
The coast of Bali is dotted with scenic spots and sandy beaches; however, none are as visually stunning as the southern coastline of Uluwatu, home to a changing tide that reveals coral reefs and an abundance of marine life, visible through the crystal blue water. Perched high on the cliff tops of Uluwatu is the serene and secluded Ungasan Clifftop Resort, one of our favourite spots in Bali. Suspended atop the verdant Bukit peninsula cliff, the resort is made up of seven individually designed villas, each with their own beguiling private pool complete with outstanding sea views.
With a recent rebrand that has only enhanced its luxury status, the new name honours the surrounding Ungasan Village, which is home to most of their staff and their families. As a result, from the moment you step through the grand gates, you instantly felt at home with exceptional and friendly service – it's very clear to see how proud they are to be part of such an excellent operation. Even though you’ll be tempted to never leave the comfortable confines of your villa, we urge you to explore what the rest of what the resort has to offer. There’s a playground, tennis court and gym for the active among you, and a Balinese spa for those just looking to relax. The calm waters of the lagoon during low tide are a shallow and a spectacular place to explore by kayak or paddleboard at the infamous Sunday’s Beach Club, and the coral reef provides fantastic snorkelling spots. The main hotel also has a communal infinity pool for you to enjoy if they want a change of scene, plus a lovely lawn, providing a perfect spot to relax with a good read.