Blessed with a warm climate and a beautifully green volcanic landscape of terraced, emerald rice fields, Bali is a holiday island that is also deeply spiritual. Serene hotels, delicious food and the graceful charm of the Balinese people make it easy to relax. It is a perfect destination for a combination of exotic scenery with ancient culture and history.
Bulgari Hotels & Resorts: Glamorous, volcanic stone cliff-top sanctum of the traditional side of Bali meets modern Italian villas. Don’t miss the slick bar and restaurant plus a totally private beach with a unique elevator access. A must-see hotel (if you can afford it as it goes up to 700€/room. Bali, Jalan Goa Lempeh Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu. From 543 euro
Alila Villas: a cool contemporary cliff-hanger of a resort which delivers dramatic eco-friendly design in a jaw-dropping setting. Panoramic views over the Indian Ocean complement architecturally striking pool villas, each with serene, minimalistic interiors, seductive outdoor living spaces and personal butlers on tap. Try the yummy a la carte Balinese breakfast. Do try their spa and fine dining. Uluwatu, Jl. Belimbing Sari, Br, Tambiyak Desa Pecatu , Uluwatu. From 392€
Como Shambala Estate: Dharma-seekers are lining up for Como Shambhala Estate, the latest and hottest Bali resort-to align their chakras, drain their bad chi, and say om in a ravishing rainforest setting. The massages with traditional oils are some of the most sublime in the world. In the bedrooms a notable décor aspect is the the Balinese teakwood and Chinese antiques. Banjar Begawan, Desa Melinggih, Ubud. From 265€
Four Seasons Resort: Tucked away in the central highlands of Bali, Four Seasons Resort wraps you in a tropical paradise. Bali at Sayan, Ubud, 80571 Gianyar. From 352€
Cire: contemporary Western cuisine prepared with regional produce. Guests will be impressed with a discreet fine-dining experience. Alila Villas Uluwatu
The Warung: It presents excellent a wholesome traditional Indonesian and Balinese fare. Indoor and outdoor dining is provided in this welcoming yet sophisticated space. The very friendly service is worth noting. Alila Villas Uluwatu
Bumbu Bali: Located in the heart of Ubud this restaurant offers excellent authentic Balinese food. Nusa Dua Tanjung, JI Pratama, Tel 361774502
Sangkar Restaurant: elegant yet informal atmosphere offers a menu of international specialties, creatively combining typical Indonesian dishes with contemporary culinary techniques. Bulgari Hotel
Lamak: French cuisine with casual atmosphere. Jl. Monkey Forest, Ubud, Tel 974668
Café Batan Waru: All day restaurant/café with excellent Indonesian cuisine. Try the divine rice pudding. Jl.Dewi Sita, Ubud, 977528
The profusion of high quality arts, crafts and furniture shops
The galleries of Ubud
Ask your hotel about hiring a car and driver to tour the island – two sights not to be missed are the Tirtagangga Water Palace and Pura Meduwe Karang, a peaceful and intricately carved stone temple in Kubutambalan.
Make sure you take time to marvel at the island’s fairytale temples, such as Pura Ulun Danu Bratan in Badegul
Try wide-water rafting, it is quite fun
Avoid the main resort of Kuta, as the real charm of Bali lies inland when visiting extraordinary Hindu temples, walking through emerald paddy fields, chilling out in exquisite designer hotels
You can fly with Emirates through Dubai and then with Singapore Airlines or Jetstar Airways to Bali
When should you go?
The best months are between May to September