In December and January, Qantas will operate four services a week between Sydney and Bali. Where to stay? Alison Bone nominates five max-relax retreats and hotels.
W is the coolest kid on the Seminyak block. Its playful spin on luxury means lollies in the minibar, cupcakes at turndown and top international DJs at sunset. Ocean-facing suites have Bose speakers, dazzling views and skylights for stargazing in the bath. Down by the lagoon-style swimming pool, you can enjoy canopied day beds and speakers that pump out tunes from the WooBar. At W, you don’t need to go looking for a party – it comes to you.
Perched on majestic limestone cliffs, the Nikko is the grande dame of Balinese resorts. Sleek villas set back from the cliff tops are the newest addition – ideal for a secluded escape – but real atmosphere can be found in the deluxe beachfront rooms of the Cliff Tower, each with ocean views. Families flock to spacious suites overlooking the beach and gardens, and kids will love the Jungle Camp’s treehouse and trampolines, as well as the sunset camel rides.
Straddling two rivers and surrounded by rainforest, this luxury resort offers a back-to-nature experience. There are just 23 villas but 150 staff and here you’ll find the hospitality Bali is so famous for. Decadent spa treatments take place in pavilions overlooking the river, while a private starlit dinner on a deck jutting out over the gorge is highly romantic.
Situated high on the cliffs of southern Bali, Alila offers jaw-dropping views of the sparkling ocean stretching to the endless blue sky. A popular honeymoon hideaway, you probably won’t find anything that resembles a party scene but you’ll be able to swing back the French doors and enjoy the vista while indulging in a “chocolate breakfast in bed”. Bliss.
This is where the rich and famous come to rejuvenate. Hole up in a villa and soak up the tranquillity or tap into the extensive retreat programs, with experts on hand to tailor your experience. Glow restaurant serves delicious organic food and there are daily activities such as yoga and rock climbing.