Bali offers visitors an alternative vision of life that centers around well-being, the rhythms of the natural world and spiritual connections. The island’s terrain, an astounding amalgamation of lush, terraced hills dotted with temples and endless shores, holds something for seekers of all stripes. Surfers, yogis and honeymooners alike flock to the “Island of Gods.” The properties listed below share the island’s spirit and provide a welcome escape to travelers who are open to the enchanted.
You can trust our list. Forbes Travel Guide has been rating hotels since 1958 using an objective, independent and data-driven process. To find the best hotels in Bali, FTG’s incognito inspectors posed as ordinary guests and checked in for a three-day, two-night stay at each property. The inspectors test hundreds of exacting standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, which accounts for 70 percent of a property’s rating. The remaining 30 percent comes from the quality and condition of the facilities.
FIVE-STAR HOTELS IN BALI
Situated within an integrated 222-acre compound of AYANA Resort and Spa, BALI, this resort-within-a-resort provides top-of-the-line luxury surrounded by the lush garden of its clifftop property in Jimbaran Bay.
The 78 villas are beautifully secluded within the massive estate. Each comes with a sprawling bedroom and bathroom, a separate living room, a private plunge pool and a gorgeous bathtub overlooking the ocean.
Beyond lavish architecture, AYANA’s signature is its personalized service, which is delivered seamlessly. From a flower-studded bath upon arrival to a prioritized entry to the resort’s iconic Rock Bar, villa guests enjoy many special perks. See more.
The Indian Ocean beckons from Bulgari Resort Bali’s clifftop perch nearly 500 feet above sea level on the Indonesian island’s southern tip. Spectacular views spread out before you.
The resort seamlessly blends two worlds — its 59 villas and five mansions feature custom Italian furnishings and traditional Balinese design elements throughout.
As you take the buggy ride down the Italian cobblestone path to your frangipani-scented accommodations, you’ll notice features from the local volcanic landscape amid the lush tropical gardens. See more.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay’s magic formula works to make the hotel as romantic for couples as it is fun for families.
The resort is just across the bay from the airport, so you won’t sacrifice beach time stuck in gridlock. Each villa has a pool, so you can swim in seclusion or take a dip in the infinity pool overlooking Jimbaran Bay.
Add in beachside dining, complimentary water sports and a roster of activities, and you may never want to leave the resort grounds. See more.
With just 60 guest rooms, this breathtaking Bali village resort is small by Four Seasons standards, which is exactly what makes Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan so appealing.
The public spaces are designed to feel intimate — restaurants that seat 30; a long, bi-level pool that follows the curve of the Ayung River; and two smaller spas rather than one large space. The resort’s grounds cover 18 verdant acres across hills that slope down to the active waters. See more.
The Mulia is the epitome of elegance and sophistication. Located in a tropical 74-acre haven shared with Mulia Resort and Mulia Villas, all-suite The Mulia gives you access to four exquisite restaurants, five bars and six pools across the three resorts.
Ultra-luxurious accommodations (think Jacuzzi-clad balconies in every suite) and 24-hour butler service will tempt you to spend the majority of your stay within the confines of this beachfront escape, but the iconic oceanfront Oasis Pool and the Lounge (an exclusive dining room where you can indulge in gratis afternoon tea and cocktails) might lure you away from your room. See more.
Approaching the entrance of The St. Regis Bali Resort feels a bit like entering a rainforest in a dream — dramatic mist and lush green foliage surround your vehicle. A nighttime arrival, in particular, is spectacular as blue lights illuminate the path to the beachside resort.
True to the St. Regis brand, this luxury resort exudes understated elegance, with elements of the local culture incorporated seamlessly into the design. Javanese shadow puppets, intricate woodcarvings and geometric patterns representing the Balinese Hindu offering are found everywhere, from the carpets to the centerpiece of the grand staircase. See more.
FOUR-STAR HOTELS IN BALI
Alila Villas Uluwatu is considered a Bali landmark for its architecture and location — an elevated plateau on the southern coast by the cliffside of Uluwatu that’s renowned for its magical sunsets.
Upon entering the resort, the lobby leads to an open space with all the public amenities. You’ll find the Four-Star spa, a boutique, three restaurants overlooking the Indian Ocean, the resort’s famous sunset cabana, as well as its signature 164-foot infinity pool by the cliff’s edge.
The serene villas feature a flowing, indoor-outdoor design, a pool, an outdoor pavilion, an indoor and outdoor rain shower and a bathtub. See more.
In Bali’s southwestern peninsula amid 222 acres of private tropical forest, you’ll find the expansive AYANA. A winding road leads from the entrance through the forest, and depending on the season, it’s possible to encounter the path and jogging trails dusted in a layer of white from blooming cotton trees.
AYANA is ideal for travelers who want to enjoy leisurely walks or runs, gardens of colorful tropical flowers, stunning views of the sea, top-notch service and priority access to Spa on the Rocks and Rock Bar, two world-famous venues perched on natural sea rocks that offer experiences like no other. See more.
Minimalism might be in, but superstar interior designer Bill Bensley has no qualms about turning up the décor at Capella Ubud, Bali. Bensley is the mastermind behind this contemporary early settlers’ camp, which features 22 Dutch-colonial-inspired tents thematically decorated.
There’s a real sense of playfulness about this property, from the above-ground rainforest pool to the branded sidecar at the entrance. But it also feels exceptionally private. Each tent has a large terrace with a daybed, a saltwater plunge pool and indoor and outdoor showers. And with a rotation of jungle-inspired guided group yoga and fitness classes on offer, there’s plenty to do outside of your tent as well. See more.
Close to the Ubud cultural center, the 23-acre COMO Shambhala Estate invites you to embrace both luxury and wellness. This health-focused getaway bills itself as a “retreat for change,” a place where you can leave with healthful lifestyle habits firmly intact.
It takes a personalized approach to health with resident experts, including a yoga and Pilates instructor, an Ayurvedic doctor and masters in tai chi, qigong and other martial arts. The purposeful healing programs are complemented by state-of-the-art facilities, including a vitality pool with underwater soaking jet beds and beautiful outdoor treatment areas overlooking the Ayung River. See more.
At COMO Uma Canggu, a stylish beachside resort and wellness refuge, surfer-style luxury comes into its own. Snuggled into the shoreline of Echo Beach, one of the island’s most coveted left-hand surf breaks, this laidback hideaway puts a polished spin on Bali boho.
Alongside 52 rooms and 55 residences spread out around a sprawling 115-meter lagoon pool, the resort has 12 contemporary, three-bedroom penthouses, each with either a rooftop pool, a sun-drenched deck for cocktails or yoga or both. You will easily slip into a rhythm of surf, sunset, sleep and repeat. See more.
Bali’s golden beaches, scenic rice paddies and wondrous caves beg for exploration, but tranquil Jimbaran Puri, A Belmond Hotel, Bali makes a strong argument for staying put. Set just 15 minutes from the airport on a sweeping crescent shoreline, this low-rise, 64-room luxury resort emerges like a secret garden under swaying palms, flowering frangipani and manicured lawns.
Fronted by a calm beach and generous grounds, this family-friendly sanctuary comes with a healthy dose of holiday bliss. Inspired by Indonesia’s distinct cultural landscape, the hotel’s aesthetic is rooted in tradition, marrying Balinese and Indonesian styles of design and architecture. See more.
Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve is located in central Bali, among the dense jungles and rice fields. The magical, secluded location is surprisingly only a 10-minute drive from the center of Ubud. “Mandapa” means “temple” and, indeed, when you enter these grounds, you can sense a calming, almost spiritual air about the place.
At Mandapa, you have the opportunity to follow a path through nature to wellness. The resort provides tailored spiritual, health and wellness options, such as a cleansing detox program, yoga, Balinese healing sessions, organic plant-based diet options and a variety of body treatments at the must-visit spa. See more.
Mulia Villas – Nusa Dua, Bali is a tropical oasis made up of stylish private villas on nearly 75 acres that are tucked into the hills of Nusa Dua. Offering seclusion and relaxation, each villa has an assigned butler who is on call to take care of every detail of your stay.
The property itself was designed to reflect the iconic terraced rice fields of Bali, making way for each villa’s lovely views of the Indian Ocean below. Mulia Villas is part of the large Mulia resort complex but retains a sense of privacy and exclusion. See more.
Perched on a concealed spot on the southern tip of the island, The Ritz-Carlton, Bali sprawls across a dramatic cliff and drops all the way down to a private white-sand beach maintained by an attentive staff who’s deeply immersed in warm Balinese hospitality.
The romantic setting combined with amenities such as a seaside chapel, beachfront infinity pool and lavish spa make the Ritz-Carlton a haven for couples. But it’s an eminently family-friendly hotel, boasting a kids club filled with toys (from educational games to the latest PlayStation picks) and daily classes and workshops that explore Balinese culture. See more.
French elegance and Balinese tradition blend seamlessly throughout Sofitel Bali on the island’s southern peninsula. The lobby greets you not with the customary welcome desk, but with sweeping ocean views and a circular panel of exquisite woodcarvings depicting Balinese culture and rituals. Balmy breezes wrap around the curved staircase spiraling down to the garden level, and a beautifully sculptured wooden tree of life emerges from the center up to the domed ceiling. Comfortable couches and a cozy bar tempt you even more to take a moment and breathe in the essence of the beautiful beach resort. See more.
While W Bali resides in the heart of Bali’s party scene, it has become as much a destination for couples and families as it is for the revelers. Woobar, one of Bali’s liveliest spots, hosts some of the island’s most-anticipated musical events, such as the Silent Disco and its annual summer party SPF (Sip, Play, Flirt). International and resident DJs perform regularly at sunset or for late-night sessions.
W Bali has an edgy, funky and futuristic design without forgetting Indonesian touches. Amid the gray shade dominating the interior, three-tiered lampshades recalling a Balinese temple adorn the hip hotel. See more.
RECOMMENDED HOTELS IN BALI
Traffic in Ubud is notoriously chaotic, but the minute you turn into Amandari’s long, shaded driveway, the buzz of motorbikes is replaced by birdsong.
Aman resorts master the art of blending boutique hotels seamlessly with their surroundings, and Amandari, modeled after a Balinese village, captures the area’s traditional style. The resort’s buildings, like the neighboring homes, use local teak and mahogany while bamboo poles support the vaulted thatched roofs.
Amandari is a luxury hotel for those who value intimacy and privacy. The lush grounds are remarkably quiet, and the accommodating yet unobtrusive staff caters to your every need. See more.
Anantara’s Bali outpost is a stunner. Upon entering the building, the sounds of the busy street are a distant memory. Water elements play a major part in the design, which brings the outdoors in and the soothing melody of flowing water triggers relaxation. Almost everything has an open-air feel here, starting with the chic alfresco lobby leading to a deck with striking Indian Ocean views.
This resort melds ancient aspects of Balinese culture with modern indulgences. Bose sound systems and outdoor Jacuzzis work in unison with carved woods and smooth marbles throughout the spaces of this staggering retreat. See more.
Conrad Bali has a picture-perfect sandy beachfront as pure as the island. And while it also has all the trimmings of a luxury resort, this hotel defines itself with a warm, intimate feel.
Guests return for more than just its stunning aesthetics — the friendly, personal attention staff members give is a major draw. Of course, the gorgeous grounds have a lot to say about the repeat patronage as well. Conrad Bali encompasses nearly 17 acres of tropical gardens, lavish pools and plenty of activities. One of the more memorable ways to fill the itinerary is with a resort-organized tour connecting you with the local culture, whether it be a purification ceremony with a Hindu priest or a personalized art gallery tour linking you to the rich history of the island. See more.
Viceroy rests on a high ridge above Bali’s Valley of the Kings, where shrines and ancient water temples date back to the 8th century. These artifacts lend an atmosphere of mystery and spiritual grace to this stunning place.
The property is just outside of Ubud, a little more than an hour from the airport. Choose to arrive by helicopter if you wish to follow the breathtaking Petanu River Gorge to land at Viceroy’s private helipad. While the 40-villa resort may be smaller than other luxury spots, you can expect to be well taken care of. See more.
Stay tuned for our 2024 Star Awards announcement on February 7, 2024.