You are spoilt for choice when choosing accommodation in Bali. It is that “wow” factor that goes into choosing a place to holiday, especially if this isn’t your first trip to the popular Indonesian island. Enter Raffles Bali.
As soon as you’re driven through the gates, you’re wondering ‘where is the resort?’, as you meander through lush lawns and a well-manicured garden. Raffles Bali is in Jimabaran Bay, perched on a hill and the lobby, which houses the spa and main restaurant, offers unparalleled views of the ocean on one side and a dense forest on the other. It is immediately breathtaking. On the buggy ride to your villa, you’ll notice that each one is separate from the other, though not all are 100% private.
With just 32 well-appointed pool villas, the generosity of space is evident indoors and outdoors with a sala, terrace and private pool. The decor of each villa pays homage to the artistry of Bali’s local craftsmen with the batik tapestry and rustic rattan furniture. Waking up each morning to an uninterrupted view of the terrace, pool, garden, sun and sea beyond is the best way to greet the day — especially on a Monday. Take it a step further and embrace nature by using the private outdoor shower.
Let’s get to the “wow” factor and there are a few. Instead of heading to lunch in the main restaurant, head to lunch by the main 25m infinity pool, which also leads to the private beach should you want to feel the sand between your toes. The beach is also good for early morning yoga or tai chi. But it is at Loloan Beach Bar and Grill where lunch magic happens and it is not in the food. From beneath the shade of the Balinese-style ceilings, you can watch the “world go by” every five minutes, give or take. The main attraction at Raffles Bali is that you have an uninterrupted view of the landing strip at Denpasar airport, and believe me when you read this: There is some strange sense of calmness watch planes land. I could do it all day.
You can also see the planes from your sala, pool and the main restaurant, where breakfast is also served. Though to make the most of your outdoor villa space, I highly suggest breakfast on the terrace, so you can do the bed to breakfast table walk without even getting dressed. Isn’t this what luxury is about?
Breakfast at Rumari, the main restaurant is a la carte with a healthy spread of jams, fruits, cereals, housemate breads and yoghurts. The menu has traditional Balinese and Western breakfast fare. The Bubuh melgguh buleleng or Sunria Farm organic volcanic rice porridge, Balinese spicy veggie salad and crispy red beans is a good start. Go all the way and order in-room lunch as well…. going from pool to the lunch table is also lux. I would know! The lunch menu has delights such as beef rendang, which is a must order.
You don’t even have to leave for dinner as twilight falls and the atmosphere at Rumari shifts from laid-back fun to casual elegance. The restaurant is on the highest point of the resort and has recently being appointed as the newest Krug Ambassade, the first-ever in Indonesia and one amongst the selected few, unveiling a culinary journey on a sunset terrace overlooking the ocean. The fine dining meal is candlelit and it sets the tone for the evening. The restaurant serves a progressive South East Asian cuisine presented in contemporary style and if the night gets too humid, you can always sip after dinner drinks in the air-conditioned library, within the Writers’ Bar.
This going out doesn’t require you to leave the resort and its lush tropical gardens. Request a botanical tour of the groups with the resort’s botanical guru. Raffles Bali’s botanical garden includes a sustainable herb garden. Inspired by the lands of Jimbaran, chillies, kaffir limes leaves, curry leaves, passion fruit (even the world’s smallest) and stingless bee honey are grown here. The herb garden is also home to The Farm Terrace, which overlooks the dense forest… a perfect setting for an al fresco dinner under the passion fruit pergola. The entire tour of the grounds takes around an hour and it’s an hour well spent.
Raffles Bali is the flagship resort for the “Raffles Emotional Wellbeing programme” and it’s easy to see why. When booking a relaxing massage, ask for The Sanctuary, where it won’t be just the massage that will relax you.
Instead of the beach, ask for the morning yoga and meditation session to be held in The Secret Cave, which illuminated with flickering torches and candlelight. It also makes a good setting for a romantic meal, like the Purnama Honeymoon Bale, while is built on the rocks at the edge of the resort’s ocean front.
Frangipani scent the air and tropical palms dot the pathway of sun-trapped Raffles Bali, which opened in 2020. If this isn’t your first time in Bali, the resort is a great weekend getaway from the concrete jungles of Asia. Visit raffles.com/bali.