Bali is the perfect place to plan a trip if you are looking for affordable luxury. The whole island is full of boutique hotels and gorgeous little guest houses so whether you’re on a honeymoon or just looking for a luxury getaway, this is a great destination that won’t break the bank. Based on my recent trip, here are 5 luxury boutique hotels in Bali I would happily recommend.
I started my trip in the popular town of Seminyak which is full of Australian-owned bars, restaurants and shops. Initially I had some reservations about Seminyak as lots of people have told me how tourist-y it is, but I ended up really liking this area.
I stayed at the Trans Hotel and was instantly impressed by the huge lobby and friendly staff at this super luxurious hotel. The pool here is wonderful; it’s half filled with pristine, white sand that’s been shipped in from the Whitsunday Islands in Australia and the other half is a lovely normal pool. I’d say it’s perfect for families too; the sandy pool was full of kids enjoying the shallow water but it’s really good for adults too, thanks to the separated pool section away from the kids area.
The reason the Trans Hotel is so affordable is because it’s around a 30-minute walk from the beach, hence why the pool is so great. You can go out in Seminyak to one of the great restaurants in this area too – we tried Ginger Moon or Café Bali for delicious nasi goreng or spicy squid. The hotel also provides a shuttle service to the Potato Head Beach Club if you want to go and relax for a while by the beach.
If you’re happy with an inland hotel with plenty of opportunity to explore the markets and restaurants of Seminyak before heading to the beaches of Nusa Lembongan, Lombok or the Gili Islands then this hotel is perfect for you.
Leaving Seminyak, we moved north towards Ubud where we stayed for 3 nights. I chose to stay at the Puri Sunia hotel which is a twenty-minute drive from the main town and is nestled deep in the rice terraces. I recommend the Nandini Suite Room, although the Pool Villas also looked lovely if you’re on a honeymoon.
The Puri Sunia was a real highlight of my trip; a beautiful hotel with a delicious three course breakfast of fresh fruit and pancakes, two deep blue swimming pools and several complimentary activities. The best activity we tried was a guided walk through the surrounding paddy fields where we learnt about the rice harvest in Bali. We passed farmers ploughing their rice terraces and huge crimson flowers creeping up tree trunks and. It was a fascinating walk and a wonderful complimentary inclusion at this hotel.
Other activities include a cooking class where you peruse the local market for fresh produce, or you could walk to Petulu where thousands of white herons descend each evening at sunset. Ubud town is only a short drive away so you could easily go in to town to explore for the morning before retreating back to Puri Sunia each afternoon. I highly recommend the Queens of India in Ubud; spicy and delicious Indian food or Warung Ibu Oka where you can eat delicious suckling pig – a Balinese speciality.
Despite our relaxing stay in Ubud I was looking for something even quieter, so we headed into the hills to stay at Villa Sidemen, in the shadow of Mount Agung on the eastern side of the island.
This villa is absolutely heaven on earth, with 2 bedrooms but perfect for a couple. The infinity pool looks onto a spectacular view of Mount Agung, as well as Mount Batur on the far left of the volcano. You can pass your time here swimming in the cool water, reading a book on the outdoor sofas or just soaking up the stunning views. The delicious food is all made at a local restaurant and transported to the villa to be plated up beautifully for you. We spent our evenings watching films on the huge projector screen – they have the top 250 films from IMDB available for your evening’s entertainment which is perfect once the darkness has engulfed the magnificent view.
I’d spent a week exploring Bali so my next stop was Lombok and the Gili Islands. We chose to stay in the quieter Gili Meno as I was keen to see some turtles. I stayed in a one-bedroom villa at the beautiful Avia Villa Resort & Spa and it was such a treat to have a private pool here!
The pools are quite small but being able to have a dip in private was lovely. I really enjoyed the smoothies at the restaurant and my boyfriend discovered the local shandy, ‘Bintang Radler’ which he drank for the rest of the trip. Being right by the beach was wonderful too; we watched the sun set behind Gili Trawangan every night after a day of snorkelling around the Gili Islands. I saw seven turtles and so many fish including my personal highlight; a school of yellow trumpetfish – they are just such cool little fish!
After a few days in the Gili Islands, I wanted to finish my trip with a gorgeous hotel so we could really, totally relax! Luckily for me I was booked to stay at Qunci Villas on the Island of Lombok. I booked this for one of our customers two years ago and it’s been on my dream hotel list since then!
Qunci Villas is just perfect – by far the best hotel I’ve ever stayed at. The room was cool and large with a view over the ocean and a balcony to relax and read a book or do a crossword. The food was just delicious too; I had fluffy pancakes for breakfast, fresh fruit throughout the day and finished each evening by trying each of the hotel’s three restaurants. I had a huge paella at Nooq, duck ragu and ravioli at Quah and the best kung pao chicken and green curry I have ever tasted in Quali!
The staff in all the restaurants and throughout the hotel were exceptional. I got up early each day and had breakfast in the cool morning air before bagging the best sun lounger and relaxing all day with a swim every couple of hours. The other highlight of this hotel was the spa – I’ve never really experienced a spa in a luxury hotel before but I had tried to be thrifty in Gili Meno and Ubud and treated myself to an aloe and cucumber body wrap, a Balinese massage couples massage and a mani-pedi! It was bliss and really not too expensive by western standards. Overall this hotel was everything I wanted and I love recommending it to friends and passengers.
The quality of the hotels I stayed at in Bali made a huge difference to my holiday and staying at such lovely properties was wonderful, especially knowing what good value for money I was getting!
If you’re interested in visiting Bali or Lombok and want to stay in any of these hotels, we can arrange these for you. We can recommend and book excellent luxury and boutique hotels all over the world, not just in Bali and Indonesia, and tailor-make your entire trip including multi-stop flights and transfers, accommodation and tours.
To start planning your next trip, call us on +44 1273320580 or request a quote by email.