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Bali is one of those destinations that exceeds expectations even for the most seasoned of travelers.
I found this out firsthand when I recently visited the island in Indonesia to celebrate a friend’s milestone birthday. Person after person before my visit said the same thing – you’re going to love Bali. It didn’t take long after arriving at the airport and driving through landscapes of lush rice fields past ancient temples to quickly fall in love.
Bali is an Indonesian island set in the Indian Ocean that’s roughly twice the size of Rhode Island. Within this compact space, the island is home to rugged coastlines, wild jungles, mountain peaks and terraced rice fields galore.
What makes Bali different from any other tropical island is its people and culture. Primarily hindu, the friendly island is full of warm locals and moving traditions that honor connection to family and nature. Balinese culture is sure to enchant!
As a visitor, the island’s plethora of luxury hotels and quaint villas provide options galore for accommodation that matches the culture and beauty of the island. Here’s a look at the best resorts in Bali to have you living out your Eat, Pray, Love fantasies and beyond.
The first thing to know when selecting the best resorts in Bali for your trip is the location you want to be. Though Bali is relatively small, I’d recommend splitting your stay between 2-3 cities so you can get a feel for the diversity offers.
Ubud is at the top of the list and absolutely essential for any trip to Bali. Known as the spiritual heart of Bali, this is the region made famous by Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love. Here Balinese culture is on full display. Ancient and holy architecture enchants at the Saraswati Temple, cheeky monkeys scatter down hanging vines in the Ubud Monkey Forest and a sea of green abounds at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Don’t miss a visit to Goa Gajah Temple and Sayan, a local village where Balinese culture is on full display.
Aksari Resort Ubud
If there’s one Bali resort that’s become “insta-famous” in recent years, it’s without a doubt Aksari Resort Ubud (don’t tell the Alila Ubud, Mandapa Ritz Carlton or Capella Ubud). At this five-star resort, not one but two infinity pools look out at the verdant green jungle that encroaches on the luxury property.
This is a romantic Bali resort that is best for honeymooners, couples or friend groups. Given its location 25-minutes from the center of Ubud and Sayan, it’s also best for travelers who are looking to spend a lot of time at their resort while still being able to take day trips into Ubud to see the variety of attractions like Uluwatu and more. Don’t miss out on Kojin, an incredible Japanese restaurant.
Why Aksari Resort Ubud is a Great Bali Resort
- Intimate property set in the middle of nature
- 30-rooms with private nature views
- Two infinity pools
- Onsite yoga studio
Graha Sandat Villas Ubud
Before I met up with my group of friends in Bali I spent a few days alone in Ubud. I stayed at Graha Sandat Villas for three nights and felt it lived up to every Bali dream I’d conjured while planning my trip. Here I stayed in a private villa, complete with my own patio and private plunge pool. I awoke from the comfortable four-post canopy bed each morning and was greeted by a fresh breakfast of local fruit and eggs. It was a delight to enjoy this healthy meal on the patio, taking in the sounds of the jungle and the intermittent rainstorms that are characteristic of the region in summer months.
As a solo traveler, this intimate property allowed me to feel completely alone – though there are several villas onsite and a front desk staff available 24/7. One of the other great things about staying here is that the luxury villas are just a 20-minute walk to the center of Ubud, making it easy for me to take in all the sights on my bucket list on foot.
Why Graha Sandat Villas is a Great Bali Resort
- All accommodations are private villas
- Each has a private pool
- 20-minute walk from the center of Ubud
- Fresh breakfast included with room rate
Rumah Kayu Resort Ubud
At Rumah Kayu Resort, 11 wooden houses are enveloped by the jungle, offering one-of-a-kind views and traditional Javanese architectural elements. Each feature of this Bali resort seems driven by an Asian respect for nature and harmony. From coconut wood and recycled materials, sustainability is also a large focus for this locally-owned resort, so you can feel good about your stay.
Though set slightly outside of Ubud’s center, the resort is just a 10-minute drive from most attractions including the Ubud Monkey Forest, making all the sightseeing you’ll want to within easy reach via scooter or taxi. Rice paddies abound so be sure to take your camera!
Why Rumah Kayu Resort is a Great Bali Resort
- Intimate property with just 11 rooms
- Location set in the middle of a verdant rainforest
- Focus on sustainability
- 10-minute drive from Ubud’s center
Located on the south coast not far from the airport, Canggu is a perfect first or last stop on a Bali vacation. If Ubud is Bali’s spiritual heart, coastal Canggu is the island’s hub for great surf and lively nightlife. It’s also a great destination to mingle thanks to the number of expats who have made this their new home base in recent years.
Here volcanic black sand beaches stretch for miles and a number of beach clubs, restaurants and bars keep the party going day and night. Luxe Bali resorts offer butler service, tropical gardens, pool villas and private terraces to make your stay as elegant as possible.
COMO Uma Canggu
When it comes to location you can’t get better than COMO Uma Canggu. The five-star property is set on the black sands of Echo Beach, known as one of the best surfing destinations in all of Bali. It’s worth noting that this brand has a sister property – Como Shambhala Estate.
With both rooms and an infinity lagoon pool that offer up-close ocean views, there’s plenty of space here to relax and take in Bali’s famous coastal beauty. Enjoy an authentic slice of Balinese culture and wellness with a spa treatment or wander the many open-air spaces.
Why COMO Uma Canggu is a Great Bali Resort
- 119 rooms and plenty of space
- Ocean front location
- Lagoon infinity pool
- 90-minute drive from international airport
ZIN Canggu Resort and Villas
Just a 2-minute walk to the beach, this stunning resort offers 24 guest rooms under the setting of curved wooden rooftops that stand out amongst the tangle of green jungle. Surfers will delight in the surf rack with shower and ease of access to waves.
In a city full of expats, ZIN Canggu has become a hotspot for digital nomads and visitors alike thanks to its laid-back vibe and on-site co-working pavilion. The rooftop restaurant and fitness studio with dance classes also make for a buzzy vibe.
Why ZIN Canguu Resort and Villas is a Great Bali Resort
- Two-minute walk to the beach
- Lively atmosphere that’s good for meeting people
- Onsite fitness studio with dance classes
Annupuri Villas Bali
This three-star property offers 14 guest-rooms with views of the lush jungle. Set over a mile up from the coast, the secluded location of Annupuri Villas Bali provides a quiet refuge while still being just a short taxi or scooter ride away from the gorgeous black sand beaches and thriving party scene.
Here Bali’s famous hospitality and Asian culture is on full display each morning. Getaway from it all while focusing on wellness. A fresh, made to order breakfast is brought to your room each morning. Be sure to try all the fruit you can!
Why Annupuri Villas Bali is a Great Bali Resort
- Intimate property with just 14-guest rooms
- Quiet location away from city noise
- Jungle views
- Fresh daily breakfast
Seminyak is home to some of the best luxury hotels on the island. Bali’s quintessential resort beach town set on the Southern coast not far from the international airport. Rest and relaxation abounds as does the number of high end restaurants, shops and beach activities. Other world-class beach towns such as Kuta, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran Bay and even the Ayung river are also accessible from here. Or, take a daytrip to Lombok.
In such a popular tourist destination there’s a dizzying choice of large hotels close to the beach here, making it all the more important that you’re in the know about the best places to stay. Insider’s tip: choose a property that’s beachfront.
Katamama Suites at Desa Potato Head, Seminyak
Bali is famous for its plethora of beach clubs that offer day beds, infinity pools and eclectic mingling. Alongside Legian in Kuta, Potato Head Beach Club is consistently ranked the best in all of the island and it’s located right next door to Katamama Suites at Desa Potato Head. Better yet, guests here receive complimentary access.
Beach club access aside, this is one of the best luxury Bali resorts. The beachfront property has a thoroughly modern design that still remains distinctly Indonesian and all suites look out to ocean views. The beach itself is just steps away. Wellness is also top of mind with a program of spa treatments.
Why Katamama Suites at Desa Potato Head is a Great Bali Resort
- All rooms are ocean-view suites
- Complimentary access to Potato Head Beach Club
- Modern aesthetics
The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa
Located directly on the sands of the beach, the beachfront Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa arguable has the best location of any resort in town. Not only is it steps from some of Bali’s best surf, it’s a stone’s throw from the hottest restaurants and nightlife. For those not interested in hitting the waves, the large infinity pool is sand-side, getting you closer to the waves than any other pool.
The luxe resort is a great alternative to the Ritz Carlton in Nusa Dusa or Ayana Resort in Badung. It’s also family-friendly so kids are welcome. Upgrade to a villa for a private swimming pool or enjoy some pampering at the spa.
Why The Seminyak Beach Resort & Spa is a Great Bali Resort
- Steps from a sandy beach
- Infinity pool with views of ocean
- Easy walk to restaurants and nightlife
- Family friendly
Petitenget 501 Seminyak
Petitenget 501 has just seven rooms, making it a quaint luxurious choice for your Bali Seminyak stay. Here rooms are incredibly spacious lofts and quiet, providing a restful haven from the buzzing action of the beach, located just two-minutes away by foot.
The onsite pool is tucked away and offers comfortable lounges to hideaway. Given how small the resort is you never have to fight for poolside space! If you’re looking for a more vibrant poolside location why not head to nearby Legian in Kuta or head to Nusa Dusa where you can rent cabanas?
Why Petitenget 501 is a Great Bali Resort
- Intimate property with 7 rooms
- All rooms are spacious lofts
- Two-minute walk to beach
- Quiet swimming pool
You’ll love Petitenget 501 too!
Which Bali Resort Will You Choose?
With these incredible Bali resorts you have many options for a luxe getaway. Other notable mentions include Bulgari Resort Bali, Hotel Indigo and Six Senses Uluwatu. Each of these 9 best luxury resorts offer opportunities for wellness, different views, locations and architectural details that reflect the stunning Balinese culture of Indonesia. The only problem left is which part of Bali, Indonesia do you want to visit first?