Oh, Bali, where art thou? Claiming our hearts one açai bowl at a time, what’s not to love in the fruitful Land of the Gods? Beyond the whiff of coconut oil and Instagram porn you’ll discover a deeper layer of blissful retreats and lesser-known haunts with our all-in-one guide to Bali. Scroll through five eats n’ treats below, as chosen by you.
5. Aman Villas at Nusa Dua
Entering in at number 5, in all their palm-fringed, secluded grandeur Aman’s exclusive villas come with a huge pool, on-the-spot golf and sceney beach club – nab yourself an oversized cabana and enjoy the impeccable service. Carrying emotional baggage? Book yourself into one of Amanusa’s mindful retreats. The aim is to clarify and rejuvenate with fresh intentions… if only they decluttered closets too.
Nusa Dua, www.aman.com/villas/nusa-dua
4. Nihi Sumba Island
It’s but a short plane ride from Bali to the astonishing, exclusive eco playground that is Nihi Sumba Island, set on 2.5km of pristine white sands, with a smorgasbord of wholesome pursuits. Have your man Baru teach you to surf, fish, dive, horse ride downward dog or relaaax. Close to Occy’s Left, one of the world’s most famous surf breaks. Just wow.
Hoba Wawi, Wanokaka, West Sumba Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, nihi.com
3. Dining Within Tent
If your romantic fantasy is a date with Lord Byron, prepare to swoon. You can live it out with top pick number three, at an exquisitely over-the-top theatrical dinner where guests take on the mantle of famous figures from yesteryear. Owner Anneke also runs Escape Nomade safari-style picnics. Marvellous.
2. Katamama Hotel
Achingly hip, Katamama is a tropical-retro beachside bunker showcasing Balinese artisanry via bold artworks, contemporary batik, Mid-Century furniture and collectables hand-picked by owner Ronald Akili. It being a Potato Head joint, you’re treated to a generous in room bar with every gadget and infused mixer imaginable. Once you do manage to stagger outside, there’s Dre Masso’s Akademi bar for yet more tipples, and Melbourne import MoVida. Just lush. Bag a splendid Rooftop Suite complete with private garden, BBQ, Jacuzzi and outdoor shower.
Jl Petitenget No.51B, Kerobokan, www.katamama.com
1. The Rock Bar
Rock your world at Ayana’s ultra glam ace in pole position. Perched on the edge of a cliff complete with crashing surf and jaw-dropping ocean and sunset views, this open-top stunner combines Yasuhiro designs, tasty tapas, cocktails with bite, and a stellar DJ line-up. Go early, or don’t go at all as the queues are dreadful. Aim to arrive min 1.5 hours before sunset.
Ayana Resort, Jl Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, www.ayana.com
Hero image: The Rock Bar
Sounds like heaven? You’ve only scratched the surface dear…