From the myriad of temples, cheerful locals, roaming monkeys and stunning tropical setting, the mere thought of Bali evokes a sense of serenity and paradise.
Bali may be small in size – but the famed Indonesian island packs a larger-than-life punch. This is a destination of many faces. Surfers ride the tropical tides that fringe the coastline, while the lush jungle interior is filled with temples and yoga retreats. Close to the capital, travelers will find beautiful beachfront resorts.
The island is a complete indulgence of the senses – the warm sounds of the traditional gamelan, idyllic scenery, lush nature, mouthwatering cuisine and refreshing spa treatments. Bali is the place that allows you to have that dream-like vacation you have always been seeking – with all the first-class experiences typical of the South Pacific to boot. Bali simply offers that fleeting “lost in paradise” kind of feeling that stays with you forever.
Bali may have plenty of backpackers, but when it comes to high-class resorts, the island doesn’t skip a beat. Some located on high cliff edges on the shores of the Indian Ocean, while others are nestled between lush vegetation in green Ubud. Villas offering views of rice terraces and unforgettable sunsets, most have some of the world’s best infinity pools overlooking treetops.
Ayana Resort and Spa is located on the exclusive sunset coast of Jimbaran Bay. This oasis-like resort is also the only place in Bali, where you can enjoy Thermes Marins thalassotherapy spa. The spacious suites are all decorated with regal interiors drawing on Bali’s ancient history. One or two-bedroom villas with secluded gardens are also available. Within the resort, you can take a dip in one of the several pools or take advantage of the private beach. In addition to the remarkable, a beautifully kept golf course awaits guests looking for the experience of a lifetime.
Balinese hospitality is celebrated and it doesn’t go unnoticed in any of our Top 5 Luxury Hotels in Bali.
It would be a shame not to take advantage of the fact that Bali is a beautiful island located in the blue waters of the Indian Ocean. With plenty to explore both on and off the land, there’s nothing quite like arriving on a yacht that is as magnificent as the Indonesian gem that is Bali. The 121ft (37m) long superyacht Bliss is our pick.
She has a distinctive burnt orange pinstripe against a black hull and white heat reflective painted decks. The sleek interior sees the perfect balance between light and dark elements. Take a closer look at the perfect charter yacht for a Bali vacation.
Bliss offers guests unparalleled leisure with its freshwater spa pool on the foredeck, while the large sun pads on the aft deck is the perfect spot to catch some rays. Furthermore, the aft swim platform provides quick access to the sea – allowing you to really soak in your destination. Throw in a paddle on the kayaks and a session on the water skis – and you have fun options for your entire group.
Check out our Bliss Yacht Charter Guide for a complete breakdown of the legendary sailing yacht.
Where to Dine
Bali is a place that seamlessly embraces the art of fusion. On one side there are traditional dishes that have been perfected for centuries, yet the island is also renowned for creating healthy comfort food. From smoothie bowls in the morning to remarkably fresh seafood for lunch, and French lounges where dishes come paired with palate quenching wines – Bali does food well.
Merah Putih is renowned for offering the best flavors of Indonesia. By dividing the menu into two parts, Merah Putih offers both traditional and modern dishes. In the first part of the menu, you will find unpretentious dishes highlighting regional tastes. The second is filled with modern culinary imaginations which still use traditional ingredients and locally sourced produce.
The restaurant excels in visual design both on and off the plate. The large main floor comfortably sits over a 100 guests. Eco-sustainability plays a big part in Bali and Merah Putih also takes pride in it. By purifying and recycling rainwater the restaurant unnecessarily doesn’t use groundwater reserves. Also, the local ingredients are locally and consciously sourced with little to no negative impact on the local community and ecosystem.
Don’t forget to take a look at our Bali Restaurant Guide with all our top culinary picks across the island.
What to Do
Scattered throughout the island are various ancient temples and shrines that are some of Bali’s most iconic landmarks. Often set to exotic backdrops and often featuring magnificent architecture, the peaceful and tranquil places of worship that transform into cultural centers during festivals or temple anniversaries. Perched on top of a huge rock and surrounded by crashing waves, the postcard-ready Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s most popular sites, while the Goa Gajah and Besakih Temple are some of the spiritual places for meditation.
Bali truly is a rich assortment of beaches, each with a case to be made of its own for why it’s the best on the island. While you’ll find crystal clear waters and plentiful sunshine wherever you find yourself on the island, the diversity in the features of the beach also makes it great. On the southern coast, you’ll find your classic white-sand beaches lined with palm trees such as Kuta Beach and Seminyak Beach, whereas Padang Padang Beach and Uluwatu offer some of the most breathtaking rocky cliffs you’ll ever lay your eyes on.
From the centrally-located majestic palace that houses one of Bali’s royal families to the scattered art museums and rolling rice fields, Ubud is known as the cultural heartbeat of Bali and a flourishing urban environment. Charming cafés and local craft stalls line the streets, while there you can partake in everything from exploring sacred forest sanctuaries to outdoor yoga for a serene experience that many describe as a spiritual awakening of sorts.
Creative cocktails, shimmering infinity pools, and superstar DJs – beach clubs in Bali are a hedonistic experience like no other. You haven’t truly experienced Bali until you find yourself with your feet nestled into the white sand beaches with a designer beverage in hand as you overlook the azure Indian Ocean. Located on its own magical strip of beach, Sundays Beach Club offers a heavenly combo of sun, sand and fabulously-fresh dining, whereas Potato Head Beach Club is known as a modern oasis with a menu full of luxe cocktails, three restaurants, and an infinity pool. With dozens of options across the island, it’s more a matter of when not if.
What to Pack
Bali’s celebrated beauty can be seen wherever you go. The century-long traditions and vibrancy that comes from the temples scattered throughout the island still breathe life into every inch of scenery. The bluest waters and the most colorful forests are as if someone had painted all of this on a large canvas. Whether you are lounging by one of the superfine infinity pools or on the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean or dining on the freshest ingredients at one of the celebrated restaurants, Bali is the place to embrace resort wear.
We’re currently loving this Hunza G Gloria Textured Bandeau Bikini. Crafted from textured seersucker with a classic bandeau top and full-coverage briefs, the piece comes in a dreamy brown hue that will look great – whether by the pool or on the beach. This Sensei Studio Oversized Straw and Macramé Tote is another addition that embodies the Balinese lifestyle. The spacious tote can carry all your essentials through the day, while the artisan craftsmanship lends a unique day trip look.
The island of the gods is also one of the most popular diving spots in the entire world. Those who enjoy scuba diving need not look any further as Bali has everything you could ever ask for, including colorful coral reefs, magnificent exotic fish, and hollow caves. We always stress the importance of having the diver’s best friend at hand – the trusty watch. The Oris Aquis Big Day-Date is the diving-optimized model in stainless steel that embodies the reliability and functionality you want for your next underwater trek, while the Oris Diver’s Heritage Sixty-Five is a vintage-inspired model that’s been a dependable partner of professional divers for decades.