From The Straits Times    |
Escape reality at these luxury Bali resorts for a mini-moon inspired vacation

Photo: AYANA Resort & Spa, BALI

Winter time (aka right now) is the perfect season to escape with your loved one, especially seeing as we live so close to pretty much every idyllic island in Asia. Top of our list is Bali – not only is the island home to plenty of luxury resorts, it is a short flight away from Singapore (less than three hours), yet feels like a faraway getaway. Which is, precisely what we’re after.

Mini-moon inspired vacations can vary according to what one’s taste is like, however we’re thinking: luxury surroundings, magical sunsets and ocean views, top notch dining, award winning venues and some much needed peace and tranquility

Base on theese prerequisites, we’ve picked our top Balinese luxury resorts for you to fulfill your own mini-moon escape.


1. AYANA Resort & Spa, BALI

Perched above Jimbaran Bay, just 10 kilometres from Bali airport, AYANA is a multi-award winning resort that delivers three resorts in one. It’s Bali’s only fully integrated resort and offers complimentary resort shuttle, giving you access to a wide variety and choice of 19 restaurants and bars, 12 swimming pools and a private beach.

A standout bar is AYANA’s Rock Bar – situated 14 metres above the Indian Ocean and accessible by a cliff side inclinator, you will get the most incredible sunset views, cocktails and music – the bar even has a DJ set carved out of the cliff.

If cliffside cocktails are not your thing, why not treat yourself to a spa visit – at the award winning Thermes Marins Bali (World’s Best Spa, as voted by Conde Nast Traveller readers). Conveniently situated at Ayana, and seeing as it’s been coined the world’s best spa, it would be a severe shame for you not to go spoil yourself. From a hot shell massage, lava stone reflexology or their signature Ayana Fusion treatment, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

For those who are active, there are ample of activities available too, either on site or within easy reach. Activities include: golf, tennis, yoga classes, cooking school, fish market tours, temple tours and cycling.

As for dining, we did mention there are 19 different restaurants and bars split between the three resorts, so we can’t possibly delve into them all, but we can highlight the special romantic spots you and your beau should definitely dine at.

You can enjoy a stylish poolside cabana ‘Love Shack’ in which each ‘cave-style’ cabana features chic decor ranging from lounge chairs and standing lamps to bean bags and hammocks. Or enjoy the Asmara Romantic Dinner – a candle-lit path covered in frangipani flowers leads the way to a circular sandstone dining platform where a white linen table and chair setting awaits you, adorned with red rose petals. You can even enjoy dining together on the ‘Floataway Romance’ surrounded by water on a private pontoon. All options of course include their 5-star menu.

From rooms to suites to villas, the resort caters for your home-from-home needs and delivers various pricing points too.


2. The Royal Purnama


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If you’re after adult-only luxury, The Royal Purnama Suites and Villas has a strict over 12 years old policy for all guests. A boutique resort for sophisticated travellers, the Purnama (which means full moon in Balinese), boasts a rural oceanfront setting in the southeast of Bali.

Smaller than the above, The Royal Purama has one restaurant and beach lounge at the heart of the resort. ‘Standing Stones’ is an open air beach lounge with a swimming pool plus restaurant, all rolled into one. Food served? It’s an ever-changing list of à la minute creations redrafted as dishes evolve, disappear and return in accordance with seasonal and market availability.

You can also get private dining experiences here for you and you other half – choose from Standing Stones Garden amidst the Standing Stones, a beachside dinner alongside Purnama Beach or a floating pool breakfast at The Royal Purnama in your private pool suite and villa. The floating pool breakfast is an Instagram-worthy experience, that’s for sure.


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Speaking of private pools – accommodation is a pick from suites and villas – all have either a jacuzzi or a private pool to choose from, depending on what takes your fancy.

This venue is for those after (or in need) of just severe relaxation. Chilling with the hubby poolside, eating fine dining and watching sunsets. However there are still activities to do, including a movie night, excursions, horse riding, cooking classes and complementary daily yoga on the rooftop too.



3. Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort

French luxury meets Balinese tranquility at this 5-star elegant resort, nestled on a white sandy beach in the southern region of the island. If you’re after serious elegance, Sofitel Bali has it by the bucket load. They have 22 suites and 17 villas, all of which offer you that mini-moon vibe you and your other half is after.

As for the amenities on site, the resort includes a lagoon pool, wellness spa, beauty clinic, kids club, fitness centre and more. The lagoon pool is positively stunning.

For the foodies out there, there are two main choices for the ultimate in fine dining – the Cucina for European inspired cuisine and Kwee Zeen for pan Asian cuisine that includes a comprehensive buffet.

Or, you have Toya Beach Bar and Grill that offers lights snacks and a BBQ buffet – it’s more informal with a bar-led atmosphere. There are two other bars too: a lobby and a pool bar.

Their stunning So Spa delivers all that one would expect from a luxury resort, including massages, facials and more. However, the resort goes far beyond that. Vietura offers non-invasive aesthetic treatments, nutritional counselling, cosmetic dentistry and life coaching. You could quite literally return to Singapore feeling like a whole new you, with a new outlook on life.

4.Rumah Luwih

Similar to the above resort, Rumah Luwih combines colonial French tastes with traditional Balinese style. Settled on a beachfront in Gianyar, Bali, the waves are so good if you’re into surfing, this is the venue for you. The resort’s pool looks out onto the ocean, so you can merely lap up the waves from your lounger, should surfing not take your fancy.

Choose from a deluxe room and three types of suites – the deluxe rooms can either have a rice field or ocean view, while all the suites offer a ocean view. All come with a private balcony and modern interior decor one expects at a French-meets-Balinese resort.

As for dining, the Andrawina restaurant is the main place to go for fine dining, while the Kirana living room and lounge delivers a relaxed atmosphere along with a tasty afternoon high tea. If you are after that extra special mini-moon touch, then you can book their private dining venue at the romantic beach side chapel and balcony, overlooking the sea.

The resort’s spa, Vandaloka Spa, is set in the rice fields, delivering that much needed ‘holiday’ vibe. Offering traditional Balinese massages, reflexology and body care, the spa treatments are designed to leave you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.


5.  Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach

This resort is a 5-star rated venue set in tropical greenery in the enclave of Tanjung Benoa. Larger than all of the above, Hotel Nikko Bali Benoa Beach boasts 188 rooms and suites that have been crafted to fit into the beautiful Balinese traditional architecture. The rooms and suites all include garden and ocean views with private balcony or terrace.

To cater for the volume of guests, the property has four versatile restaurants and three bars serving Western, Asian, Italian and Balinese cuisine, including a pizzeria, a pool bar, multiple lounge bars and their Bali luna restaurant too. The choice for food and drink is extensive and will suit most if not all taste buds.

With a spa, fitness centre and kids club,  the resort also has multiple daily activities scheduled to ensure everyone can either relax or keep active, depending on your mood (and energy levels!). The experiences and activities include village tour, fruit carving, beach volleyball, golf, darts, ping pong, aqua aerobics – to name but a few.

This resort will suit the more active couples seeking a staycation that they can both relax and have fun – or those with children who want them to also enjoy the delights of a mini-moon.