A lot of resorts and hotels in Bali promote romantic getaways and honeymoon packages, but often these don’t amount to much more than two glasses of champagne and some heart-shaped mints on your pillow. Which is a shame, because there are places to stay in Bali that aren’t just commercial; where honeymooners and lovers can experience genuine Balinese warmth and care. We’ve looked at fifteen great places based on personal recommendations, and we give our top nine below.
But it’s not just the hotel, resort or villa that’s important: the town you choose can have a great effect on the overall tone of your vacation. Some towns are popular with sunseekers, who flock to the world-famous iconic beaches, whilst other areas are perfect for experiencing the varied nightlife in Bali. So, to help you get a feel for the island, we’ve included an essential need-to-know guide to each main area of Bali, which you’ll find towards the end of our article.
We’ve found, particularly in Bali, that many couples choose to split their time between two different accommodations: perhaps three nights at a resort near the beach then three more in the jungles of Ubud. So for each of our choices, we’ve included guide prices for a three-night stay in both the peak season and the off season. Bear in mind that we were given these guide prices during the Covid pandemic, so we’ve also included a link for you to check the rates for your preferred dates, which may be a little different.
With that said, we’d like to present our choice of the top 9 romantic resorts, villas and hotels in Bali, for couples who want to experience something really special. Our reviews of the places to stay are honest and genuine, and we hope they help you plan an amazing romantic getaway.
The Kayon Jungle Resort by Pramana
We’re starting with the adult-only retreat that won ‘Best Asian Honeymoon Resort’ at the World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2019. And we’re setting the bar high, because this is quite a place!
The Kayon Jungle Resort is set right in the heart of the Balinese forest, in the small village of Bresela at the foot of the Tegallalang Rice Terrace, and yet downtown Ubud is only 25 minutes away. The resort’s unique design, borrowing liberally from traditional Balinese architecture, blends perfectly with the surrounding greenery, and each accommodation has an almost endless view over the jungle and rice paddies, and out to the valley and the hills beyond.
But with the Kayon, it’s the villas that are the real prize. Offering the utmost in privacy, the secluded villas each have their own private infinity plunge pool and a slightly cramped but intimate gazebo set at the edge of a small forest garden. The view from the infinity pool is simply superb: our picture above really doesn’t do it justice.
Moving inside, we have a large air-conditioned bedroom with an oversized four-poster bed, complete with billowing white canopies. It sounds very ‘Hollywood’, but the decor of the room itself is very simple, with the wooden flooring and plain walls adding a bohemian charm that offsets any excessive opulence. There’s a small comfy seating area with a wall-mounted satellite TV and wifi access, and opposite that is an en suite bathroom with a separate shower and bathtub.
Although the villas come with a full butler service that looks after meals and drinks, you have the option of joining the rest of the guests and taking a meal at the resort’s KePitu restaurant. And you really should, because the food is sourced locally and so it’s incredibly fresh — and there are always themed specialties such as a local-style BBQ and a Balinese culture night. And for a romantic occasion or a special treat, the exclusive Canyon Jetty restaurant set beside the river Oos is perfect. There are only six tables, each inside private huts, and the meals are only ever prepared by the executive chef: so it’s well worth booking this in advance.
The resort is of course much more than just restaurants, and there are plenty of ways to while away the time. The most popular place on the resort is the Serayu Spa, which features a collection of luxury treatment rooms, a dedicated beauty salon, and a top-rated sauna. This being Bali, you can be sure that the treatments on offer are some of the most therapeutic in the world, and at a fraction of what you’d pay back home. Rounding up the facilities, we have a wellness center that runs instructor-led yoga sessions, and an air-conditioned fitness center with free weights and cardio equipment.
And don’t forget to spend at least one afternoon at the Ubud Monkey Forest, starring the world’s most photogenic macaques, or perhaps visit one of the stunning waterfalls near Ubud. There’s also the Instafamous Bali swings to check out, and as most of the good ones are set over the rice terraces, you won’t need to go too far! When you’ve had your fill of adventure, hop in a shuttle (or take a stroll) back to the resort, and cool down with a few lengths of the resort’s unique triple-level infinity pool in time for dinner.
Built to be a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life, The Kayon Jungle Resort is perfect for couples looking for a private, intimate Bali escape.
Address: Banjar Bresela, Desa Bresela, Ubud
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $1,200 (peak), $972 (off)
Adults Only: Yes
Rating: 9.6 / 10
St Regis Bali Resort
The theme of the St. Regis Bali Resort is faultless, unapologetic luxury. Less than 500 yards from the golden sands of the exclusive Geger Beach, the five-star St Regis (operated by Marriot Hotels) offers some of the most gorgeous ocean sunset views in the whole of Nusa Dua, from the privacy of your opulent luxurious.
Make no mistake, this is an expensive resort. To keep the costs sensible we’ve chosen the cheapest accommodation, which is the King Suite, but if you really want to go to town you can opt for one of the private villas, which start from $3,500. One of them even has direct access to the beach: just take ten steps through your private garden, open the gate and you’re there!
But before we come to the suites and villas, let’s look at the resort itself. The best way to describe the ethos is traditional, opulent luxury. There are chandeliers everywhere, and marble floors with rich, heavy rugs are framed by walls decorated with statement artworks. The interior design echoes the rich culture of Bali, and the use of indigenous materials and cultural artifacts runs through the whole resort.
For private use only, there’s a massive salt-water lagoon at the heart of the complex. It’s a unique feature, and perfect for a relaxing soak. The gardens and greenery were landscaped by designer Bill Bensley, who wittily put a submerged sitting room in the middle of the lagoon. He also included oversized sculptures and quirky installations such as beach beds in the shape of human silhouettes.
Strolling through the grounds you’ll come across small thatched pavilions and secret pockets of greenery, which are perfect places to get lost in for a few hours. You’ll also discover the Iridium Spa in is its own little world of wellness, with steam rooms, a sauna, and an outdoor thalassotherapy circuit.
Moving inside, the interior of the King Suite is classic dark-stained wooden flooring with white spacious walls, peppered throughout with native Balinese designs and motifs. The king-sized bed, in the center of the room, is covered with plush embroidered brocade and to our mind looks quite ‘regal’. A nice touch is that the whole bedroom area can be curtained off from the rest of the room, which adds a definite air of elegance.
The sumptuous bathroom comes with a white porcelain free-standing bath and fittings, with generous use of marble creating an almost Roman feel. Finally, set off to the side of the bedroom, is a small living area with a TV, table, and chairs.
Many resorts are let down by their restaurants, but the food at St Regis is a triumph. The award-winning Kayuputi restaurant offers a first-class fine dining menu, accompanied by a choice of wines from the 8-times award-winning cellar. Other notable eateries include Boneka, with extravagant and sumptuous buffets, and the more casual King Cole Bar, with a live jazz every evening.
Lastly, we must mention the level of service, which is impeccable. You’ll have full, 24-hour access to St Regis’ signature butler service, which is included with every reservation. What’s surprising is how much the front desk staff and concierge team go out of their way to fulfill your every need: it’s this genuine care and attention that you’ll remember as the real charm of Bali.
Address: Kawasan Pariwisata, Nusa Dua
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $1,896 (peak), $1,696 (off)
Adults Only: No
Rating: 9.5 / 10
Own Villa Bali
The designers of Own Villa Bali built the entire complex by hand, from 100% recycled wood and local-sourced materials. You won’t find one screw or nail throughout the whole construction; instead, ancient wood joining techniques are used. From our experience of Bali, this is as ‘back to nature’ as you can get whilst still sleeping in total and luxurious comfort. And although the location is undisturbed by city life, Canggu and Seminyak are mere minutes away by car.
Own Villa was conceived to be as eco-conscious as possible, and the six separate villas use ancient north-Sumatran architectural designs to blend perfectly into the forests of Umulas. Although only completed in 2012, the villas appear as a tiny village that’s always been there, half-hidden amongst the greenery. It instills a sense of natural balance and harmony that’s hard to get across just by looking at the pictures.
The six villas are set within a working ricefield, and surround a naturally-contoured swimming pool and a communal dining area. Villas are distinguished by which way they face, with the pool-facing option costing more. However, over a three-night stay the difference is minimal, so we suggest you book one of the Front Pool villas.
In fact, a guaranteed pool villa is included with the honeymoon package, which adds a rose-petal bedroom setup, a couples traditional Balinese massage, and a 4-course candlelit dinner by the pool.
The interiors of each villa use an open-concept design, and it’s sometimes hard to tell where construction stops and nature begins. The available space is well used, with a large canopy-strewn wooden bed frame as the centerpiece, fashioned completely by hand. The bathroom area features a semi-open rainfall shower, and seeing a rainbow on the water droplets as you shower is a unique experience!
Apart from the expected wellness and spa center (well, you’re in Bali, after all!), the central meeting place is the restaurant and diner, known simply as ‘Our Table’. The locally sourced menu, which can be delivered to your villa if you prefer, is a blend of Indonesian and home-cooked Italian, which reflects the double origin of the owners. The chef cooks every meal from scratch, and can therefore satisfy any dietary preferences or requirements.
The world-famous Balinese hospitality is very much on show here, with possibly the most attentive staff we’ve known. They quickly stop being staff and instead treat you like a valued guest at their home. Nothing is too much trouble, no matter what time of day – you even get a resort phone so you can call for your butler from whatever hidden nook you’ve discovered.
Usually we don’t quote from a resort’s own media, but this message from the designer Giacomo Novello really sums up the ethos perfectly:
“We hope our guests feel the energy and passion behind the project, and enjoy Own Villa with every sense, experiencing a balancing and inspiring Bali escape.”
Address: Umulas, Canguu, Bali
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $1,234 (peak), $878 (off)
Adults Only: Yes
Rating: 9.2 / 10
The Chand’s Boutique Villa Batu Belig
Set at the edge of Batu Belig Beach, The Chand’s Boutique Villa Batu Belig offers just eight villas, maintaining its reputation for exclusivity. As the villas sit on an inclining hill, each has an uninterrupted view overlooking the ocean and the gorgeous stretches of white sand. (BTW: If you fancy checking out the opposite of white sand, read our guide to the black sand beaches of Bali!)
The villas are large by Bali standards (over 1,600 square feet) and the interiors follow a modern luxury theme: all the spaces are bright with clean lines and plenty of open plan access. As well as the bedroom with its oversized four-poster bed, there’s a separate living room, dining area, and a well-equipped kitchenette. The en suite bathroom is quite an opulent marble affair, with separate his-and-her sinks and a deep pedestal bath easily big enough for two.
But in our opinion, the features that make this special aren’t in your villa: they’re just outside. Every villa comes with its own private infinity pool, and we’re not talking a small plunge-sized jacuzzi, although there’s one of those anyway — no, this is a proper pool which you could easily use for swimming. The infinity edge looks out to the ocean, and there’s a small thatched-roofed pagoda in one corner which shares the same endless view.
As far as food goes, the prime location means you’re just 150 feet away from the beach, so you can easily explore the area’s restaurants and cafes, or take the short drive into Seminyak. If you decide the beach is too far (and who could blame you?) then a light lunch, or even a candlelit dinner, can be arranged by your always-on-call butler.
Although there are some accommodations with more luxurious rooms, or finer dining options, the Chand’s Boutique is a favorite with sunseeker couples who want easy access to the beach and a short walk to the stylish and upscale nightlife of Seminyak.
Address: Badung, Seminyak, Bali
Guide Price (2 people): $2,135 (peak, 5 nights), $1,128 (off, 3 nights)
Adults Only: No
Adiwana Dara Ayu Villas
Located in the small village of Majangan on the outskirts of Ubud, Adiwana Dara Ayu Villas is a small cluster of eco-friendly boutique suites and villas, with a panoramic view that takes in the majestic mountains, cascading rice paddies, and endless hills. We love the fact that it’s surrounded by a sacred creek, said to have been formed from the tears of ancient gods — all of this adds to the mystic serenity that’s central to Balinese culture, and very much present at this villa retreat.
Each suite and villa is unique, with a slightly different front-facing view. Our favorite is the Deri Drupadi, a lower level suite with a view of the gorgeous rice fields, but as ever it’s a matter of personal preference. There are some more expensive stand-alone villas at the complex, but these were undergoing refurbishment at the time of writing so they’re temporarily unavailable to book. However, with prices starting at only $400 per night for a duplex stand-alone villa, it’s worth checking to see if they’re now available.
Whichever suite (or villa) you decide on, you’ll benefit from a generously-sized private infinity pool, a secluded balcony or terrace, and a massive oversized bed. At the foot of the bed are some Indonesian figurines which we think are a bit creepy, but if they don’t bother you then that’s fine!
However, in our opinion, the best feature of both the suites and villas is the bathroom, which is a really clever semi-open design. It starts as part of your suite, but more and more of nature gets in the further you go, culminating in a solid stone bathtub that’s totally surrounded by lush greenery. Taking a bath in the open air, but still in private, is a liberating experience and one you shouldn’t miss out on.
The food at the villas is served in a small and intimate outdoor restaurant called Teras, which, as the name suggests, overlooks the rice terraces. So whilst you’re taking in the sumptuous view you’ll be enjoying a delicious meal, prepared to your personal requirements by the gourmet chef. Heaven! A nice addition from the restaurant staff is a Balinese cookery course, where you can learn some of the secrets of Indonesia’s herbs and spices.
Whether you use the villas as a base or choose to spend all your time secreted in your forest hideaway, the amazing staff at Adiwana Dara Ayu Villas know just how to make sure each guest gets the perfect romantic experience for which Bali is so famous. And at such a reasonable rate for such a great location, it’s worth checking to confirm your dates are available.
Address: Raya Buahan, Majangan, Payangan, Bali
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $923 (peak), $826 (off)
Adults Only: Yes
Rating: 8.9 / 10
Menjangan Dynasty Resort (Luxury Tents)
We like to bring you something a bit different in every article, and so this time we’ve gone for the Menjangan Dynasty Resort, which is a beach glamping and dive center. It’s a unique concept to Bali, and the resort offers the five-star luxury of glamping in a world-class diving location, within the beautiful surroundings of Northwest Bali.
Set in 40 acres of unspoiled land on the north-western tip of Bali, this eco-friendly retreat is solidly aimed at outdoor enthusiasts with an urge to discover the wildlife and nature of Bali, as well as spend some time being pampered by experts at a 5-star resort.
The safari-style tented rooms and villas are the epitome of glamping. Created from high-grade double skin canvas sourced from tribal South Africa, the tents and villas are very much styled along the lines of a classic safari club. There are twenty-four Beach Camp Tents available, but the two Cliff Tent Villas should definitely be your first choice, as they include a private infinity pool that the camp tents have to do without.
The Cliff Tent Villas have an air-conditioned bedroom, fitted with a Merbau hardwood floor and furnished with a queen-size bed and an old-style rattan-paneled wardrobe. The joy of being in a tent means that you can literally roll back the walls, instantly giving you a panoramic view of nature that hotel rooms can never match. And there’s just something about sleeping under canvas that makes the whole thing infinitely more romantic.
Separated from the bedroom by full-length curtains, the well-appointed bathroom has a hand-painted tiled floor, a terrazzo soaking tub, and a monsoon rainfall shower. Strewn throughout the villa are some quirky accessories, such as goatskin rugs, lamps made from driftwood and seagrass, rattan storage baskets, and a mini-bar that looks like an old packing trunk. The staff at Menjangan Dynasty might be serious about your comfort, but they also have a playful side!
As well as the temptations of the pristine white sandy beach, Menjangan offers a wide range of instructor-led activities. Most are handled by Bali Hai Diving Adventures, a 5-star PADI dive resort center that’s been operating in Bali for 20 years with an unblemished safety record. Experienced snorkelers and certified scuba divers will appreciate the reefs around the tiny Menjangan Island, which has some of Bali’s best wall-diving sites.
If you’re not certified you can sign up for a one-off ‘Discover Scuba’ dive, so you’ll still get to see the amazing underwater life. Alternatively, there are instructor-led activities including trekking, mountain biking, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. If you prefer a slower pace, there are some incredibly scenic horse-riding trips managed by a local stable, and you can even choose to spend a few hours bird-watching, where a local guide will be happy to point out Bali’s bird of paradise and many more exotic breeds.
Every Bali accommodation has a spa, and Menjangan is no exception. But this one’s a little different. Apart from the semi-open design of the African safari-style Spa Tent — the only one of its kind in Bali — the Pasir Putih Spa offers two unique spa pods. These are small self-contained units made from sustainable bamboo and topped with a grass roof, suspended from the cliff edge so they overhang the water. Designed specifically for couples, each is equipped with two massage beds. It’s a unique experience, and it’s the ideal way to smooth away the exertions of the day.
Dining is at the resort’s signature Pasir Putih Beach Club & Bar, a striking framework of bamboo columns and beams which features a tempting à la carte menu of Western and Asian cuisine, all served from an open kitchen. The whole structure is open at the sides, giving you views of magical sunsets as you dine.
Whilst the menu might be first-class, the dress code is as laid back and shoeless as you like, and this casual elegance spills out on to the beach, with snug bean bags and cozy bamboo cabanas to hide away in. It’s the perfect way to wind down with a cocktail at the end of the night, before heading back to your private villa with that amazing view.
Address: Banyuwedang, Bali
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $1,130 (peak), $1,001 (off)
Adults Only: No
Rating: 9.1 / 10
Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay
Located at the edge of the sleepy beachside town of Jimbaran Bay, the Four Seasons Resort Bali is a luxury all-villa beach retreat that combines Balinese tradition with modern innovation, yet retains the superb service ethos for which Four Seasons is famous. Unlike most of the chain’s hotels, the entire Jimbaran Bay Resort has been built directly into the cliffside, cleverly designed to echo the layout of a traditional Balinese village. The architecture uses local volcanic stone, which blends beautifully with the tropical gardens dotted around the resort.
The resort houses sixteen different types of villa, with the ultra-exclusive two-bedroom Premier Ocean Villa costing upwards of $7,500 per night! But don’t worry, we’ve set our sights a little lower and looked at the Garden Twin Villa, which is just about perfect for a romantic getaway. And don’t worry that you’re getting an ‘inferior’ villa for your money: thanks to the clever design of the resort each one of the 152 villas enjoys an uninterrupted and stunning panoramic view.
One thing that stands out is the size of the villa, which at over 2,500 square feet is simply massive! Outside is a private infinity pool, adjoined by a large bale, which is a thatched-roof pavilion built to an ancient Indonesian design that predates even Hinduism. All of this is set in a walled tropical garden draped in hibiscus, jasmine, and frangipani — instantly recognizable as the fragrances of Bali.
Inside the villa, the decor is bright whites and rich creams, offset by natural wood floors and hand-crafted wooden furniture. The spaces are peppered with Balinese antiques and carvings, and furnishings are draped in richly-colored fabrics, mostly woven by hand. The king-size bed is elegant simplicity, with pristine white sheets and pillows, and a sheer curtain that can be drawn around the bed, adding to the romance.
If you want a touch of opulence look no further than the bathroom, which is decorated throughout with marble tiling and heavy wooden fixtures. The gorgeous antique oversized bathtub dominates the room, but there’s still space for a separate shower cubicle. If that wasn’t enough, there’s also an outdoor rainfall-type shower, just in case you feel the urge to take a shower, then a bath, and then another shower. (And if that’s what you want to do, then go right ahead!)
Four Seasons has a reputation for first-class food, and the Jimbaran Bay resort doesn’t disappoint. First is the new Taman Wantilan specialty restaurant, where Asian and Western cuisine is prepared to order in open show kitchens, and there’s a really cool salad shaker bar which is great fun (and healthy!). The other main restaurant is the Jala, which serves a seafood-inspired menu sourced from Jimbaran’s famous fish markets and prepared by Bali’s award-winning chef Dayu and her team.
A third option is the Sundara, Four Seasons’ all-day beachfront restaurant. During the day it’s a chic beach club featuring tapas-style lunches, but at night it transforms into a romantic candlelit venue for Asian-inspired fine-dining. And you simply must try the Kalamansi Meringue pie, made with a citrus fruit that tastes like a cross between lemon, tangerine, and passion fruit. It’s sublime!
Lastly, we must talk about the spa. Reopened in October 2020 after an extensive 18-month renovation, the Four Seasons Healing Village is probably the most cutting-edge spa and wellness center in the whole of Indonesia. As well as traditional Balinese massages and body scrubs, Healing Village also offers revolutionary light and sound therapies and incorporates local plants and gemstones into a range of ground-breaking treatments.
The spa also offers the Longevity Garden, a ‘secret’ space where couples can take their time to enjoy self-directed healing, using local organic products such as coconut soap and volcanic mud wraps. Couples on their honeymoon, or taking a romantic break, can arrange some specialist couples-only massage treatments with just a quick call to the spa reception.
These may be expensive villas, but if you’re looking for impeccable service, delicious food, and luxurious rooms, set in one of the most beautiful parts of Balo, then the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay is worth every penny.
Address: Jimbaran Bay, Jimbaran, Bali
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $3,165 (peak), $3,104 (off)
Adults Only: No
Rating: 9.3 / 10
Morabito Art Cliff
We promise you: this is like nothing else you’ve ever seen. Morabito Art Cliff isn’t really a hotel: it’s more of an art installation that people can stay in. Created by the award-winning Parisian interior designer Pascal Morabito, the Art Cliff is six loft spaces inspired by Morito’s favorite cities. Those cities are Santorini, Miami, Capri, Cartagena, Manhattan and Venice; and each loft uses bold design, carefully chosen colorscapes and one-off furniture pieces to make you feel as if you were in the heart of each destination. But one thing that remains constant is the view, which looks out across the black-sanded Berawa Beach towards the picturesque Indian Ocean.
Built into the side of the limestone Karang Boma cliffs, the Morabito estate sits right above Bingin Beach and within walking distance of places with names like ‘Dreamland’, ‘Racetrack’, and ‘Impossible’. That’s because you’re in Uluwatu, at the southernmost tip of Bali on a peninsula known as ‘The Bukit’, and it’s Bali’s most famous surf spot. ‘Racetrack’, ‘Impossible’ and others are names of surfing breaks, and surfers from across the world congregate here to try their luck with the awesome waves. For some, surfing Uluwatu is a way of life, and it’s interesting to talk with these people to get their take on Balinese culture.
We should point out that, because the accommodations are set below a clifftop, there are approximately 80 steps to negotiate before you get to your room, and a further 80 or so to get down to the beach. A bigger problem is that those steps are still there when you want to go back up. Some older couples have complained about the effort, but if you’re reasonably fit then you shouldn’t have a problem!
Back to the lofts themselves, and it’s hard to recommend any of the six over the others because they’re so incredibly different from each other. However, two of the lofts — Santorini and Cartagena — feature private outdoor jacuzzis, so we’ve chosen to look closer at the Cartagena option (known as the ‘Ocean Front Villa’ on booking.com).
When you book a loft, you book the entire space. The Cartagena loft is designed for up to 4 people, so it has two master bedrooms, each equal in size. Whichever one you choose you won’t ever forget the decor, which uses large swathes of mint green and red paint against crudely whitewashed walls and a smooth stone floor. For no apparent reason, there’s an old victrola-style phonograph sat on a sewing machine against the wall, and behind two swing doors you’ll find a shabby-chic handbasin. Compared to some of the other lofts, Cartagena’s just a little bit crazy.
The living space is totally open plan and ends with a 40-foot terrace that looks out to sea, with a generous L-shaped jacuzzi taking up one corner. The quirky but totally appropriate color scheme continues, with some green wicker rocking chairs (actually very comfortable!) set around a hand-carved wooden table. You’ll also find a few examples of Pascal Morabito’s personal art collection scattered almost haphazardly throughout the loft, which definitely adds to the charm.
One important feature is that each villa comes with its own butler and a dedicated housekeeper. Between the two of them, they’ll fulfill your every whim, with a welcoming smile and a Balinese level of service that’s renowned the world over. Breakfast, lunch or an evening meal can be delivered from Morabito’s French-Asian fusion restaurant, but a better suggestion would be to take a stroll along the beach where you’ll find a wider range of restaurants, beach clubs and diners.
Some hotels go out of their way to be discreet, but that’s not the modus operandi here. Each of Marabito’s lofts is designed to be an integral part of your vacation, and it’s a completely unique way to experience Bali. As Pascal Morabito put it: “I live in Bali since 10 years, I fell in love with Berawa beach and this amazing cliff Bingin where I choose to create something unique, exclusive, breathtaking and share it with people who love design, beautiful environment and space.” We think he’s more than achieved his ambition.
Address: Pecatu, Uluwatu, Bali
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $1,272 (peak), $1,143 (off)
Adults Only: No
Rating: 8.2 / 10
Bidadari Private Villas and Retreat
Our last choice is another romantic hideaway in Ubud, but this time we’ve gone for a luxury duplex villa designed specifically for honeymoon couples. The management of Bidadari Private Villas and Retreat are so used to couples who never leave their villa that they’ve shut down their restaurant — instead, every meal is brought directly to you, wherever you are. Your butler will arrange everything, from a light snack to Bidadari’s signature ‘Private Angel’ candlelit meal — you won’t have to lift a finger.
When you first arrive at Bidadari it seems quite small and unassuming: there’s just a small Balinese-style reception desk there and nothing else. But when they take you to your villa, your whole perception changes. The retreat consists of just six villas, built in 2006 and designed by renowned Balinese architects Nyoman Miyoga and Mande Sudarta. Their clever design assures that every villa gets an unrestricted view of the heavily- wooded valley. It’s also a great place to spot the usually shy Java Kingfishers, as there are a few nests close to the edge of the forest and breeding pairs keep the same nest for life.
The villa we’ve chosen is the Romantic Honeymoon Villa (also known as the ‘Jepun Villa’), which you enter via an ornate bridge and a set of stunning hand-carved doors. This takes you to an expansive but comfy open living area that looks out over the valley below. We guarantee the breathtaking view will be one of your first Instagram posts! Head down the stairs and the rest of the villa unfolds, starting with the impressive air-conditioned bedroom featuring a hardwood frame oversized four-poster bed.
The decor in the bedroom mixes burnt sierra-colored walls with dark wood flooring, which is a color scheme very common in Bali and blends in perfectly with the surrounding greenery. In contrast, the indoor/outdoor bathroom uses an intricate mosaic design, coupled with a marbled finish on the columns and arches that lead you out to a heavily gardened area. Here you’ll find a large stone bath, with privacy assured by a curtain of frangipani trees and lush tropical foliage. Of course, no private villa would be complete without a private pool, and for the Romantic Honeymoon Villa Bidadari have included a large infinity edge pool that looks out from your verandah across the endless expanse of forest.
The setting for the villas is the small town of Tegalalang, which has a few other hotels but not much else within walking distance. To ensure that you can get around with the minimum of fuss, the resort has laid on a free shuttle bus to Ubud. Before you leave, the resort reception will issue you with a cellphone and you simply need to call the shuttle bus to arrange a pick-up time. It’s a good system, and once in Ubud you can arrange excursions to see Bali’s iconic landmarks, including the ever-popular Sacred Monkey Forest which is about 20 minutes’ drive from the city center. The villa also provides a guided bicycle tour of Ubud’s famous rice terraces, which is a definite must-see.
For us, the differentiator here is the size of the villa, which is over 3,200 square feet (!), and the fact that it’s split over two levels. You don’t need all that space, but it just confirms that Bidadari are ready to treat you as an honored guest in their home and that they’ll bend over backward to make your stay special. And if there’s one thing the Balinese know how to do, it’s look after their guests!
Address: Tegalalang, Taman, Ubud, Bali
Guide Price (2 people, 3 nights): $1,843 (peak), $1,246 (off)
Adults Only: No
Rating: 9.5 / 10
Where to Stay for a Romantic Getaway: The Different Areas of Bali
Bali is a popular destination for a massively diverse group of people, and different areas of the island cater to different tastes and expectations. Here’s a quick overview of the main areas of Bali, and what to expect when you visit.
Nusa Dua is very much an upmarket area, with many 5 star hotels and resorts that offer access to beautiful white sand beaches and a wide selection of gourmet restaurants, cafes and bars. It’s a gated area and so considerably quieter than a lot of destinations in Bali, and it’s becoming increasingly popular with honeymooners and couples looking for a taste of luxury and uncrowded beaches.
Please note: some of the newer resorts are not actually in Nusa Dua, and while they do face a gorgeous beach, they’re not really in walking distance of anything. So please check the location very carefully before making a booking.
Jimbaran is very close to the airport, which makes it a great choice either at the start of the end of your Bali trip. Originally a small fishing village, it’s still the best place for fresh seafood on the island, and Jimbaran Bay, which used to be the fish market, is now a central hub for specialist restaurants and eateries.
Every afternoon, the beaches around Jimbaran become packed with tables and chairs as the seaside cafés set up to offer their evening meals. A candlelit dinner on the beach at sunset might sound like a cliche, but if you’re going to do it anywhere then Bali’s the place, and the beach restaurants at Jimbaran do it better than just about anywhere. If you like your meals accompanied by strolling musicians and the occasional firework display (yes, really!) then a trip to Jimbaran should definitely be on your list.
Canggu has grown wildly in popularity in recent years. Once a little-known surfer area, it’s now Bali’s up-and-coming place to be, and new surf breaks are being found seemingly every day. It’s become known for attracting the hipster crowd, and a lot of the cafes have switched from local produce to health food, although the juice shakes are still made with locally-sourced fruits and vegetables.
Canguu can seem a bit remote and — dare we say it — pretentious, but it’s still a great place to take a stroll. Just bear in mind that prices are now almost the same as in the US or Europe, so perhaps you should plan to do your souvenir shopping elsewhere!
Situated in West Bali, Menjangan is a small island known as a great dive spot. It’s quite a drive from anywhere, and so only the most dedicated of travelers make it this far. Those who do are rewarded with crystal clear waters, a stunning view of Java, and almost no traffic!
It’s also part of the West Bali National Park, famous for its free-roaming deer and as one of the few areas offering sanctuary for the exotic white Bali Starling, a protected species. The park itself features diverse areas of rainforest, dry savanna, acacia scrub, and dense mangrove, and a guided day trip always makes for a memorable day out.
Kuta and Legian
Kuta gets a bad (fair?) rep as being party central for Bali. It’s full of multi-storey nightclubs and sports bars offering 5-hour-ling happy hours, and it’s especially popular with Aussies who’ve come to the island for a cheap break in the tropics. Some parts of Kuta can be dangerous, and we suggest you avoid any dimly-lit roads. That includes Kuta’s main street, which is lined with dark, dingy bars and dubious massage parlors offering ‘extras’ to unwary tourists.
Legian is about 10 minutes further along the coast road and is very similar to Kuta, offering the same ‘beers, beaches and bars’ experience to a mainly twenty-something crowd. If you’re looking for the real downtown Bali, then Kuta or Legian should be your destination. Bear in mind that it starts off busy and gets busier, so make sure you’ve sorted out a taxi home before you start the serious drinking!
Located at the edge of the Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu is Bali’s surf mecca. Many professional surfers travel from all over the world to Bali, keen to try their hand at the dream waves thrown up by deep channels that run around the peninsula. Unlike Canggu’s neo-surf crowd, Uluwatu attracts ‘real’ surfers and, as such, the vibe is very laid back and unpretentious. There’s definitely a thriving nightlife, mainly in the form of beach parties, but it’s more ‘acoustic guitars at dawn’ than ‘vodka shots at sunrise’.
Apart from the surf, Uluwatu is home to some amazing and iconic landmarks, including the famous Uluwatu Temple which sits at the edge of a cliff looking out towards the sea, watching over the surfers and sunseekers. It’s also known for some of the best beaches in Bali, so it’s a great place to hang loose and relax. And if you’ve ever wanted to try surfing, there are some easy waves to get you started, and no end of surf shacks offering lessons to beginners.
Further north than Kuta and Legian, Seminyak is a trendy and upmarket area that’s very popular with digital nomads (just like me! – author). It’s a great location for nightlife, but replaces the ‘booze and beats’ of Kuta with wine bars and jazz bands. It was once described to us as “the place to go in Bali when you’ve grown too old for Kuta”. Seminyak is currently Bali’s top tourist hotspot, and a lot of people choose Seminyak as one of the top places to stay for a honeymoon in Bali.
Seminyak has become popular for mystery dining tours, where you and your party get to eat at four of the area’s best restaurants, all in one evening. So if you’ve “grown too old for Kuta” but you still want a memorable trip to Bali, then Seminyak is the place for you.
Most Indonesians will tell you that Ubud is the true essence of Bali. Waking to a view of the majestic rice terraces is a unique experience, and sharing that moment with a special someone is nothing short of spiritual. You’re closer to nature in Ubud than in any other part of Bali, and the hectic pace of Kuta and Legian seems a thousand miles away. It’s also a place of stunning natural beauty, and the waterfalls in Ubud are some of the most picturesque in the whole of Indonesia.
Famous for its secluded villas set in the heart of the forest, Ubud is popular with honeymooners and couples who want a place to stay that’s away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Ubud is also the spa center of Bali, with practically every therapeutic treatment known to man available. If you’re staying at a hotel or villa in Ubud, then inevitably there’ll be a package deal on offer for in-house treatments. Some are genuinely first class, but it’s wise to do some research rather than rely on recommendations from hotel staff. We’ve prepared a guide with our choice of the best spas in Ubud, so that should be a good place to start.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where do couples stay in Bali?
In our opinion, the best place for couples to stay in Bali is Ubud. It’s the spiritual and cultural center of Bali, and there’s no place where you’ll feel closer to nature. Surrounded by rice terraces and palm trees, and dotted with centuries-old temples, Ubud has become the go-to destination for couples who want to escape the rat race, if only for a few glorious days.
Where should I stay in Bali for honeymoon?
Nusa Dua is probably the best area to stay in Bali for a honeymoon. It’s a gated community for hotel and resort guests only, so the beaches are a lot less crowded than other places in Bali, meaning you can find a little romantic corner of the beach just for yourselves. The resorts, and occasional private villas, are all 4-star or better, and the super-welcoming Balinese staff will see to it that you want for nothing during your stay.
If your idea of a perfect honeymoon is a luxurious resort, idyllic beaches, crystal clear waters, and no screaming kids, then Nusa Dua should be top of your Bali list.
Bali is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and choosing the right place to stay for a honeymoon or a romantic getaway is vitally important. We’ve had a lot of personal experiences of Bali, and we hope we’ve managed to give you some great accommodation ideas.
If you’re planning a trip to Bali for a honeymoon, or for any other reason, then please get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to answer as many questions as you want to ask. Or, if you’ve already visited Bali, we’d love to hear about your favorite hotel so we can add it to our list.