By Jenny Hewett
Jan 24, 2022
BALI, BABY, IT’S BEEN WAY TOO LONG.
Having endured the blow to its tourism industry as COVID ravaged Indonesia, the country’s most famous vibrant jungle isle is getting ready to bounce back. It’s been nearly two years since Bali shut its borders, but during that time, developments on a squad of new hotels have been brewing, with a handful already open.
As it stands, the Island of the Gods is welcoming tourists, albeit with frequently changing rules. Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Bali permitting they provide a negative PCR test and quarantine for five days at their own expense in a nominated hotel of their choosing. Many are now offering quarantine packages that include transfers, PCR tests, room service and complimentary laundry. (Viceroy Bali’s US$3,500 quarantine package is peak iso-rockstar, with guests ‘quarantining’ in their own pool villa and able to request Pilates reformer machines and energy healing sessions).
Currently, Bali’s new daily cases are low and their vaccination rates are high. If this trajectory continues, we can likely expect to see quarantine-free travel begin sometime by mid-2022. Here are the 10 coolest new hotels to book once Bali lets you in.
Kimpton Naranta Bali
This soul-nourishing new addition to Bali’s Nusa Dua invites you to BYO pet (a photo should suffice, though, as we don’t recommend smuggling them in your suitcase unless you’re flying private). The brand’s first resort in Indonesia will be unveiled early this year, with 50 private villas, a mix of dining options and open-air speakeasy Gong Bar offering views across the Maj valley. Its spa, Samskara Wellness, will melt away a couple of years’ of travel FOMO with modern therapies that are rooted in ancient Balinese rituals.
kimptonnarantabali.com; doubles from US$589. Opening February 2022.
For affordable luxury
This new resort in the Hyatt Hotels family opened in April 2021 in the village of Sanur in south Bali. Built into the existing landscape, its flourishing gardens and pools make it a beachfront oasis that’s a fraction of the price of those in Nusa Dua. Balinese details, such as rattan and traditional textiles, punctuate the rooms, suites and villas, and each has tranquil views. With five restaurants on-site, including a steakhouse and the Indonesian Wok Wok, you’ll leave with both full hearts and bellies.
hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/indonesia/andaz-bali/dpsaz/dining; doubles from US$305.
Love is a vibe at this intimate new all-villa stay on the beachfront in Jimbaran, one of Bali’s most authentic areas. Ascending up the hillside, each of the spacious villas here has its own private pool and million-dollar views of the Indian Ocean and Bali’s fiery sunsets. Dine by candlelight in a secret natural cave discovered during construction of the property, connect over a cooking class at The Farm, or surrender with reiki or sound healing at the spa.
raffles.com/bali; doubles from US$1,000.
A Banyan Tree Escape, Buahan
Woven into the tangled jungle in an untouched part of the spiritual heart of Bali, this is the first of a new luxury-hotels concept from Banyan Tree. Up in Ubud, it is the closest you’ll get to glamping without a tent. Offering guests a unique “naked experience,” the resort’s 16 private-pool villas have no walls and no doors, so you can drink up the rainforest views and watch fireflies dance at night. Built using locally sourced wood from old boatyards, the villas are generous in size, with opulent bathtubs and sheer drapes.
escape.banyantree.com/villas; doubles from US$699.
This creative Frankfurt-based brand of hotels is opening a new stay near the chilled Medewi surf break in west Bali, some way past Canggu and Balian. Set on a secluded plot of land in Pekutatan with only eight rooms, the hotel is surrounded by palm trees and temples, and will have access to one of the best and longest left-handers on the island not to mention moody black-sand beaches. Say goodbye to the thumping nightclubs, rowdy beach bars and Insta-catchy pools of pre-pandemic Bali and say hello to inspiring serenity.
thelindenberg.com/en/hotels/lost/coming-soon; prices not available.
The luxe Dubai brand is continuing its ambitious expansion plans with a lavish new resort in Uluwatu. Inspired by a Javanese-Hindu water palace, the hotel features 119 pool villas with personal butler service and the Peafowl Pavilion Kids Club, which focuses on culturally connected activities, such as sensory classes and Balinese dress-up. That means more time for you in the spa’s traditional hammam or at the pool and beach bar.
jumeirah.com/en/stay/bali/jumeirah-bali; prices not available.
Courtesy of Adiwana Suweta (2)
Designed by Popo Danes, one of Bali’s most respected architects, this new stay in Ubud marries modernity and heritage in an inspiring way. Culture forms the backbone of its philosophy, but there’s plenty of ways to unwind, too. Bliss out in Tejas Spa, recline on a sun-lounger with a book overlooking the infinity pool and jungle beyond, learn the ancient art of Balinese dance, take a cultural tour of Ubud, awaken your limbs with sunrise yoga or make a Balinese offering.
adiwanahotels.com/suweta-resort-ubud-bali; doubles from $102.
Jumana Bali Ungasan Resort
Holding court on the clifftop high above Melasti Beach, this new all-villa Uluwatu resort sits 70 meters above the shoreline and boasts hypnotic views of the Indian Ocean. Mornings here are made of rolling out of bed and straight into your 12-meter private infinity pool, before hailing the buggy to the private beach below. For something with a little more awe factor, the presidential villa’s pool is double the size, with its own gym, entertainment room and spacious deck with sun-loungers.
jumanabali.com; doubles from US$337.
Desa Potato Head
Opening in the middle of a pandemic is a feat in itself, but Seminyak’s coolest new stay has more on offer than endurance. An artful ode to Indonesia’s creative industries, this eclectic hotel, part of the Potato Head group and right next to the iconic beach club, has a strong commitment to sustainability and features 168 rooms, a beachfront pool and refillable amenities, including sunscreen and insect repellent. Designed with artists and other right-brainers in mind, they even have studios to rent for long-term stayers or those who simply must create.
potatohead.co/seminyak; doubles from US$251.
Angsana Saranam Wellbeing Resort
This Bedugul resort is surrounded by a Zen landscape of terraced rice paddies and green jungle. Ground yourself with daily yoga and meditation programs, float in the lagoon-style pools or discover the central highlands while trekking around Bali’s three crater lakes. Café Toya specializes in healthy eats, while Balinese fare can be found in Samiya.
angsana.com/en/indonesia/saranam; prices not available. Opening end of 2022.