Unlike all the other islands of the Indonesian archipelago, Bali has stayed true to its Hindu origins. Once upon a time all of Indonesia – Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi and all the other three thousand-odd islands – were Hindu but today, most of Indonesia is firmly Islamic and has been for several centuries. In the people’s mild disposition, their lifestyle, the way they dress, their relationship with their ancestors and their architecture and design, Bali is unique. A rich artistic and cultural tradition has survived here, but the architectural tradition is in danger of dying out. Few people realise that Bali is divided into north and south by a massive mountain range that rises to the not insubstantial height of seven thousand feet. It’s a spectacular and often overlooked part of Bali’s geography.
4 Hip Hotels in Bali
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The new ethos of Asian design is less dependent on tradition and more concerned with quality and modernity.
Located on the Bukit Peninsula, just down the road is Seminyak, the epicentre of Balinese tourism and home to some of the island’s trendiest restaurants and nightclubs. In short, this is the most cosmopolitan part of Bali and the Balé is its most cosmopolitan overnight address.
There are twenty-eight
swimming pools, not bad for a hotel that only has twenty-nine rooms. Then again, the word ‘room’ is hardly an adequate description, as they are individual bungalows – sleek streamlined pavilions – complete with private swimming pool, outdoor entertainment area and a sweeping view of the crescent-shaped beaches of Nusa Dua below.
“The Balé is the most booked-out hotel on the entire island. That’s because consumers recognise a good deal when they see one. Privacy, luxury and modernity – the Balé has it all”.
Photos of The Balé
£1,899 per person
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It has the advantage of being right on the beach with a horizon pool on the very edge of the sand and the service and the food is exceptional, even by Balinese standards. Over the past decade, Seminyak has changed beyond recognition. It has accumulated countless cutting-edge boutiques and lots of interesting fusion restaurants, all adding to the benefit of the visitor who has chosen Seminyak as their destination.
The villas at The Legian have re-established the style pecking order. Each villa, set in its own landscaped garden, has a swimming pool and outdoor living area, an indoor living room and a bathroom the size of a normal hotel room, as well as a separate kitchen for entertaining in your own poolside pavilion. The style is a cross between an Indonesian long room, a Thai timber house and a Japanese tea room. The villas have their own restaurant, built overlooking an enormous pool reserved just for villa guests.
There are a few institutions in Bali, and The Legian in Seminyak is certainly one of them.
Photos of The Legian
£1,699 per person
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Bali's spirituality is a big part of its attraction. In Ubud, the people still feel a strong sense of community and have thus retained the emotively colourful spectacle of the Balinese faith. Uma is so perfect for Ubud because not only is it in tune with its location; it's also in tune with its spirit.
A charming thatched roof enclave set amidst the verdant jungle landscape, on the edge of a steep ravine that tumbles down to the river Ayung below. Arranged along the slopes that lead down to the river, the guest accommodation is in houses that are traditional on the exterior and white and contemporary on the interior.
At the property’s highest point, kick back on the pool terrace or in the open-air bar. Overlooking the waterfall-fed pond, Kemiri restaurant offers up modern Asian fusion or the Como Shambhala healthy living menu designed to complement your treatments from a spa that is one of Asia’s finest.
Contemporary style and timeless tradition are combined in exactly the right measure.
Photos of Uma Ubud
£999 per person
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Hidden amongst the sacred temples and tropical splendour of Bali’s southwest coast, is an uber chic W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak.
Photos of W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak
£1,599 per person
Hip List Member Extra Special gift upon arrival, 10% discount in the spa (excluding manicure and pedicure)
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