Residing in the tony Nusa Dua enclave, The St. Regis Bali Resort looks like a tropical fantasy with verdant gardens, towering palms, shady gazebos and an expansive lagoon pool.
Indonesia-based photographer and luxury travel influencer Christina Tan, known as @SassyChris1 on Instagram, says there’s much more that makes the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel special. According to Tan, it’s the only resort in Bali with beachfront villas and the service is superb. “The butler service is one of the best on the island,” she says. “You can literally ask for anything from your butler. There’s nothing they cannot fulfill.”
Tan experienced the magic of the 24-hour butler service — a hallmark at all St. Regis hotels, it’s offered to every guest — firsthand during a November 2020 visit. “I was a little sad I couldn’t travel overseas for Christmas,” she says. “So I mentioned casually it would be lovely to have a Christmas tree. The next morning a Christmas tree was set up in [my villa] living room when I returned from the spa.”
Another reason to visit: it is a destination for epicureans. “St. Regis’ food and beverage are very well-known throughout the island as well as Indonesia,” Tan says.
The culinary reputation comes from executive chef Agung Gede, who has been crafting dishes for the hotel since its 2008 opening. The Balinese-born chef takes an artistic approach when creating his simple yet elegant dishes. He first skillfully sketches them out with colored pencils and then uses the illustrations as his recipe roadmap.
Whether it’s on the plate or at the pool, The St. Regis offers a feast for the eyes. We asked Tan, a repeat guest at the hotel, to share the property’s most Instagrammable scenes.
The Bali hotel set up a romantic, secluded candlelit beach dinner overlooking the Indian Ocean just outside of Tan’s villa. The six-course menu focused on lobster with dishes like miso gratin bamboo lobster and an open-faced slipper lobster raviolo.
“This was really special because a chef came to my villa and cooked it in my kitchen,” she says. “And there was one butler to serve the food.”
This fluffy omelet swimming in lobster broth is must-order. “The lobster omelet is a signature dish for The St. Regis,” she says. Available for breakfast or brunch, it’s best paired with one of the famed bloody marys.
All of The St. Regis Bali’s sumptuous accommodations are either suites or villas. Tan stayed in the Strand Villa on her last visit and she found the design by Bill Bensley to be striking. “He was very successful in combining the Balinese architecture with St. Regis glamour,” she says.
The Strand Villa’s glass doors open to reveal a lush private garden with a large pool, deck and a bale bengong, a traditional Indonesian gazebo with day beds for relaxing. “I was just sitting there and reading books and enjoying being there,” Tan says.
One of the dishes Tan savored was the marukoban fish. A top seller at the luxury hotel, the fish is fashioned to look like a rose, and there’s wild trigona honey (made from stingless bees) and salt with sweet notes from Kusamba, a coastal village in Bali’s Klungkung region that practices a centuries-old salt-making tradition.
The best way to catch the sunrise is on the beach. The hotel will set up a sunrise breakfast on the sand to help you fully soak it in. “This breakfast was lavish,” Tan says. A selection of gourmet cheeses and charcuterie, oysters, vegetable and chicken wraps, and pastries were served under a large Balinese umbrella. “It’s such an experience,” she says.
You don’t have to leave your villa to snap an Instagram-worthy foodie shot. Room service will deliver a beautiful breakfast spread in your dining area.
“Their Sunday brunch is super famous,” Tans says. You need to reserve your spot at Kayuputi restaurant anywhere from two to four weeks ahead of time for the popular meal. It’s an all-you-can-eat, à la carte brunch with indulgent dishes like the Japanese-inspired miso-cured swordfish belly (above), a fresh delicacy with an umami pop; bamboo lobster with mushroom gratin; and martabak (a type of Indonesian pancake) with pan-seared foie gras.