There’s a reason that Bali was the “love” in Eat, Pray, Love — who wouldn’t fall for its lush, volcanic mountains, otherworldly temples and postcard-perfect beaches? The island is magic, and these beach resorts — the best we’ve found — will have you bewitched in the best possible way.
Think of the Amankila as a sort-of treehouse in paradise — the 34 stilted suites graze the treetops and look out over the Lombok Strait. But these hilltop villas are anything but rugged: Princess Diana and Elizabeth Taylor have stayed here, so you’re not exactly roughing it. When you pry yourself from the killer views in your room, a three-tiered infinity pool leads the way to the coconut grove-covered beach.
Samabe Bali Suites & Villas
Bali may not be the first island to come to mind when you think of all-inclusive resorts, but the Samabe Bali Suites & Villas on a private beach in Nusa Dua will please even the most discerning lovers of unlimited pampering and indulgence. Its all-inclusive rate covers practically everything, from daily spa treatments to beachside yoga to cave dining on the beach. There could certainly be worse things than being treated like a VIP in paradise.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
Set upon Jimbaran Bay, the Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay is a beach-lover’s dream come true. It’s sprawled across 35 oceanfront acres, which means you’ll never have to fight for a spot in the sand. If you can pull yourself away from the crystal-clear water, villas are quintessential Bali, with tropical gardens, thatched roofs and the island requisite open-air showers.
The Mulia Bali
The Mulia Bali, nestled along the Nusa Dua coastline, has some of the calmest, clearest water on the island. Situated at the end of the quiet beach — where a picturesque cliffside temple keeps watch — you actually get three properties in one: The Mulia Resort (the beachfront hotel), The Mulia (also beachfront, but with 111 ultra-luxurious suites) and The Mulia Villas (one- to six-bedroom villas high above the Indian ocean). Oh, and did we mention the food? The authentic Indonesian and Asian offerings are top-notch.
The Royal Purnama Art Suites & Villas
Blue skies and black sands are what you’ll see at The Royal Purnama Art Suites & Villas in southeast Bali. With lush rice paddies to one side and the volcanic black-sand beach on the other, there’s no shortage of natural beauty here. But this boutique hotel on the serene Full Moon Beach is known for more than just its stunning setting. Don’t leave without trying the resort’s excellent Standing Stones Restaurant.
Alila Villas Uluwatu
For those that love white-sand beaches, unbeatable sunsets and total luxury (so… everyone?), the Alila Villas Uluwatu just might be the ultimate Bali destination. Perched 330 feet above the Bukit Peninsula, each vista is more breathtaking than the last. All villas have private pools, outdoor showers and personal butler service, so you’d be forgiven if you never made it down to the beach below.
As if Bali’s legendary natural beauty wasn’t enough, The Menjangan takes it to a whole other level. This resort is set in the heart of a pristine national park on the west coast of Bali, meaning you’ve got all-access to a wild, nearly-untouched beach and some of the rarest birds on earth who call Bali Barat National Park home. The lodges may be simpler than some of the mega luxury resorts, but the unspoiled setting more than makes up for the lack of amenities. Bonus: the best snorkeling in Bali is about 6 miles off the coast at Pulau Menjangan (Deer Island).
The Oberoi Bali
Seminyak is Bali’s most fashionable beach, and The Oberoi Bali might be its swankiest hotel. Sheltered within 15 acres of tropical gardens peppered with ancient Balinese temples, the resort’s indulgent lanais and villas are truly an oasis-within-an-oasis. Who could blame you if you never wandered off the resort’s blissful grounds, but if you do, some of Bali’s best nightlife and restaurants are nearby.