Welcome to our guide on the best hotels in Bali. We are Cynthia and Steve – born respectively in Lyon and Paris but our story began in Saint-Tropez (South of France). Our parents both have a secondary residence in the same housing complex and so we used to be neighbours growing up.
We used to see each other every summer, year after year. Our time was spent partying together, having fun flirting and we ended up falling in love! Last July, we celebrated ten years of being together in a relationship.
Travel was always a big part of both of our family’s lives when we were children and we feel so blessed to be able to share this passion. We love to explore new places and review luxury hotels. But what we like the most is taking beautiful photos and producing videos that tell a unique story.
The luxury sector is something that we love and we became specialists of a kind when it comes to planning the perfect exclusive and romantic getaway. And there is no place more beautiful and luxurious than Bali. We now live on this Indonesian island paradise and call it home.
Inspiration to Move to Bali
In September 2012, just when I (Cynthia) moved to Paris for my last year of study, Steve was invited by a friend to visit him in Bali. His friend was doing an internship and told Steve he should come to surf and explore the island. He booked a ticket for two weeks and ended up staying for two months.
Steve fell in love with Bali. He saw a big opportunity to invest there. At the time he had just finished his Masters in Property Development and he came back to Paris saying to me: “it’s now or never”. He was saying that he didn’t want to start his career in France and be stuck there at 35 with a job and kids and not be able to move easily. I was in the exact same mood.
I was ready to start my life abroad like I had always dreamed of. Steve went back to Bali three times in four months and rented a villa in February, 2013. He asked me to come for two months to see if I would like it. I immediately fell in love with the island and in July, 2013 I moved to Bali.
Eight Amazing Years Living in Bali
We have been living in Bali for eight years now. At the beginning we were planning to stay for a year or two but we just never left. Our life is here now. We are constantly amazed by the diversity of the landscapes. From the white sand beaches and rice fields, to the jungle and waterfalls, to the volcanoes, mountains and black-sand beaches – we never get tired of Bali!
The food, the people, the beautiful culture – we love living in this island life atmosphere. It’s about the quality of life that we have in Bali. The freedom to end each day watching the sunset and ride our bikes around beautiful lush rice fields. We feel so connected and close to the earth and nature.
How we Spend our Time in Bali
Steve came to Bali because he fell in love with the island but also because he saw an opportunity in business. He opened a property development company and built some villas to sell and rent out. I created a little brand of beach accessories called “Sea & Sun”. Apart from some busy peak times in our respective activities, we have a lot of free time in Bali which is fantastic.
Most of our free time is spent exploring the island shooting content for our Instagram and blog: The Honey Dreamers. We also bought a piece of land to build our own little resort in Bingin. All plans and quotations are done and we will start the construction soon. That’s a very exciting project and we will need to work a lot but that won’t stop us from exploring!
Favourite Place: Bukit Peninsula
One of our favourite places is the Bukit Peninsula which represents the southern part of Bali. Before moving there eight months ago, we used to live in Seminyak but were spending a lot of time in the area. Bukit is where Steve built his first villa project and we love the white sand beaches and dramatic cliffs. We will be opening our little boutique hotel here too.
10 Best Hotels in Bali
Bali is home to some of the most incredible hotels in the world. We have been lucky to have stayed in arguably the best hotels in Bali – all iconic five-star resorts located in prime locations. They are all unique with a touch of Balinese culture and decoration, warm hospitality and luxury facilities. Below is our selection of the finest addresses and properties in Bali:
1. The St. Regis Bali Resort
A luxury beach resort with gorgeous views overlooking a beautiful beach – considered one of the best beaches in Nusa Dua. Enjoy five star luxury and private villas within a stone’s throw away from the beach. Not only are the rooms and beach stunning, but the restaurant is world-class as well.
2. Padma Resort Ubud
Nestled in a lush river valley and overlooking the untouched forests of Payangan, Padma Resort in Ubud is easily one of the best hotels in Bali. Choose from 147 different rooms which include all the five star amenities you would expect. Not to mention the jaw-dropping 89-metre infinity swimming pool with panoramic views. Just phenomenal!
3. The Seminyak Beach Resort
Located in the heart of Bali’s party hub, the Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa is the ultimate hotel to enjoy the area’s restaurants, beach clubs, cocktail lounges, local markets, designer boutiques and overall atmosphere while having a luxurious place to rest your head at night and relax when need be.
4. Mulia Resort – Nusa Dua, Bali
This stunning resort is situated next to the beach alongside a secluded shoreline. Without a doubt one of the best (and most popular) resorts in Bali, Mulia stands out with its superbly designed rooms and suites, balconies overlooking the sea and unrivalled Balinese hotel service.
5. Chapung Se Bali Resort and Spa
An eclectic resort that combines traditional Indonesian architecture with a contemporary Scandinavian style. The location – perched in the hills just ten minutes from Ubud – makes it an enticing prospect for visitors to Bali. One of the best places to escape in pure luxury and seclusion. Enjoy a couple of soothing spa experiences at this stunning address.
6. Samabe Bali Suites & Villas
7. Four Seasons Bali At Sayan
Discover a property which takes you floating above treetops on an incredible suspension bridge. The Four Seasons in Ubud has rice bowl-shaped architecture set against the beautiful Ayung River Valley. Activities at this resort include private rafting on Bali’s longest river, exploring the nearby rice fields, attending a cooking school, spa treatments and more!
8. Raffles Bali
Described as an “oasis of emotional well-being”, Raffles offers guests ocean views and sunsets from every villa. Relax in an oasis of tropical gardens and intimate privacy. Swim daily at the resort’s private beach, dive into the infinity pool and enjoy a seafood dinner at the restaurant.
9. Komaneka at Keramas Beach
Komaneka at Keramas Beach is one of the best hotels in Bali. This new boutique resort is located right on the edge of a beautiful black sand beach with sweeping views of the Indian Ocean and nearby Nusa Penida. You can also see rice fields and the immense Mount Agung volcano.
10. Hotel Indigo Seminyak Beach
Hotel Indigo is located right on Seminyak Beach which is a fantastic place to explore island life. A large hotel offering 289 different rooms, suites and pool villas – each one as luxurious and beautiful as the next. You don’t have to leave the hotel to have a drink as the property is equipped with six distinct cafes and bars, including a beachside lounge and bar – SugarSand.
Best Things To See & Do in Bali
Nature, culture, history and watersports – Bali has something for everyone to enjoy. When someone asks us what are the best things to see and do in Bali, it’s never easy to answer because it really depends on what the person likes. But we recommend staying on the island for two weeks and doing a mix of activities. Nobody should leave Bali without doing the following:
- See the Tegalalang Rice Terrace that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Chase waterfalls: Suwat Waterfall, Sekumpul Waterfall and Leke Leke Waterfall. There are a lot of waterfalls in Bali but these are our favourites.
- Visit a temple or two: like the waterfalls, there are tons of temples in Bali but we love – Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Tanah Lot and Tirta Empul.
- Surf the world class waves at Uluwatu, Padang Padang and Keramas.
- Hike a volcano such as Mount Batur or Mount Agung.
- Watch the sunset at the black sand beaches of Pantai Pasut and Amed.
- Eat at one of the coolest cafes in Bali at Canggu.
- Go shopping and fine-dining in Seminyak.
Immersing in the Culture of Bali
Another fantastic thing about Bali is the local people. We would describe the Balinese people as extremely nice and friendly. They are always smiling and looking at the good side of life, and would do anything to help you. Balinese are proud of their religion and attached to their traditions.
It’s easy to immerse into the culture because the people are always ready to open their doors to foreigners. Just talk to a local, visit traditional markets and villages, and you will end up eating Nasi Goreng with your hands in the middle of the street while learning about the next ceremony.
Need to Know Before you Go
We recommend learning basic local words like “Selamat Pagi” (good morning) and “Terima Kasih” (thank you) and always respecting the religious customs. Also, don’t forget to bring sunscreen as the UV rays are high and mosquito repellent especially if you are exploring the jungle.
Lastly, bring light clothes, try the food, assist in a ceremony and Balinese dance show, don’t forget your camera and have fun! Bali is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Thanks for reading our guide on the best hotels in Bali! Feel free to get in touch if you would like more info.