Banyan Tree Bali
In recent years the Island of the Gods has become the site for many of the world’s best boutique hotels and resorts with more to come.
The Amandari, perched on the edge of Ubud’s Sayan Gorge. The concept did not excatly spring up spontaneously if one remembers that many of those that would be later associated with boutique hotels including Australian architect Peter Muller and Adrian Zecher, the genius behing the Aman resorts, had close ties with the Tanjung Sari crowd of expatriates.
The Four Seasons Resort Bali which has been named by numerous magazines as the best resort in the world. Here the Australian architects were clearly influenced by Muller’s vision which they expanded to a resort of nearly 150 individual villas each with its own pool. Despite its relative large size for a boutique hotel, the large grounds and the lay-out of the Four Seasons always gives the impression that you have the entire resort and a private view of the entire island alone.
Ubud also boasts several other world class hotels and resorts including spas such as the Banyan Tree Kamandalu, the Waka di Ume and the Chedy further up the Sayan Gorge with a spectacular view and great restaurant. Its architecture unlike the others mentioned is far more modern and less traditional.
Travel and hour further east and then north along the coast and you will arrive in the well known diving spot Tulamben. Where one once only met bamboo huts now stands the simple but tastefully done Mimpi Resort. While certainly not as luxurious as the other boutique hotels, it’s still worthwhile visiting especially if you are a diver.
Lorin, a new chain of luxury hotels, has also taken over management of the Saba Bai Resort just east of Batubulan on the coast. Here you are in the real Bali totally surrounded by rice fields, coconut trees, Balinese villages and the great waves crashing on the beach. It is rare to find this sort of isolation.
Another tiny beach resort is the Tugu in the surfing beach Canggu north of Kuta and Legian. Here the owner has put on display his own coliection of art thereby creating a special ambience.
In Antap, along the coast in West Bali. We will see more and more of these type of developments in the future. Some like Pacatu Inah on the Bukit will be mega with thousands of buildings planned.