Hotel Decider

5 Bali Resorts for Every Kind of Traveler

By: Arushi Mehra

Have you seen that photograph of former President Obama, wearing shades, sipping a coconut and looking cool as a cucumber? That shot was taken during O’s summer vacation in Bali, and if he can go to the Island of Gods to chillax, so can you. With a year-round tropical climate, scenic beaches, emerald rice paddies and holistic spa treatments, Bali kind of makes it impossible not to relax—no matter what kind of traveler you are. We’ve broken down some of the top resort options by their overall vibe. All you have to do is choose your spot and crack open a coconut.

COMO Uma Ubud

The setting of Eat, Pray, Love and Bali’s beating cultural heart, Ubud has a serenity that’s hard to deny (once you escape the overly commercial town center, that is). If you’re following the path of self-restoration and rejuvenation, a stay at COMO Uma Ubud is just what you need. The therapeutic sanctuary is nestled between rainforest and hills and suffused with an aura of wellness, from the eucalyptus-scented towels to the bright, minimally furnished spaces. (We recommend booking the Como Villa, which comes with a private sundeck, plunge pool, jacuzzi, and views of the Tjampuhan Valley). Begin your journey with a combination of nurturing massages, farm-to-table cuisine and daily asanas in the resort’s open-air yoga pavilion.

Who It’s Best For: Those looking to radiate change and positivity while channeling their inner Julia Roberts. 

The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah

Sitting just outside of Ubud’s artists’ village is the benchmark of exclusivity in Bali—The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, where couples can revel in romantic bliss. A former art collector’s residence has been transformed into 20 luxury villas whose traditional artworks and rustic hand-carved interiors simply radiate Bali-ness. Achieve maximum privacy in the pool villas, which are concealed by abundant foliage and framed by placid rice fields. Whether you spend your time sipping butler-served cocktails by your private pool; indulging in jade massages and Indonesian cream baths at the spa; or feasting on a five-course dinner under the stars (or all three!), the romance factor will fly higher than the coconut palms.

Who It’s Best For: Honeymooners and couples looking for a secluded paradise in the heart of Bali.  

Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

The narrow, stone-lined alleyway that leads to the entrance of Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, is something of a red herring. Rather than a nondescript hotel, you’ll enter a tranquil paradise enclosed by Bali’s intoxicating beauty: the Ayung River, dense rainforests, opulent temples. Nature is the unifying factor at the resort, located among the rice paddies on the outskirts of Ubud. A typical day of eco-discovery starts with a relaxing yoga session, followed by a jungle hike where you’ll collect native plants to stir later into an herbal concoction. The best rooms are the spacious pool villas, which have gardens, plunge pools and separate living and sleeping areas looking over the lush surroundings.

Who It’s Best For: Couples looking to be immersed in Bali’s unspoiled environment.

Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort

Located on the remote southern coast, Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort is perfect for travelers who want to be both entertained and deeply immersed in Bali’s sublime beauty. The extensive list of activities guarantees unique perspectives on the island. Start your day surfing the heavy waves at Padang-Padang or Uluwatu beach, located just five minutes away, or get acclimated with a practice surf over the low tides of Dreamland beach. Afterwards, take your pick: They offer cooking classes, private yoga sessions in the garden, traditional dance classes, batik painting and biking through the immaculate landscape. After all the action, head back to your villa to collapse in front of the mesmerizing views of the Indian Ocean.

Who It’s Best For: Couples, families and groups looking to stay active while having an authentically Balinese experience.

St. Regis Bali Resort

Paradise: It’s not just for grownups anymore. For proof, take a peek at the schedule at the children’s learning center at the St. Regis Bali Resort: traditional Balinese music and dance classes, design workshops, temple tours, bowling, even a polo game. Nestled on the beachfront of Nusa Dua area, the resort is ideal for families seeking indulgence for all members. (Tempting parents: the Astor Diamond Champagne Brunch overlooking the Indian Ocean, and a host of relaxing spa treatments). The two-story, three-bedroom Strand Residence is perfect for large broods, its wide spaces adorned by traditional art, mahogany furnishings and hand-woven linens.

Who It’s Best For: Families who want to play together—but sometimes apart.