The 5 Best Resorts in Indonesia – Travel + Leisure
With more than 1,300 ethnicities represented, more than 700 languages spoken, and dozens of religions practiced, Indonesia is one of the most culturally rich places to travel in Asia. But it is also an archipelago of 17,500-plus islands — with tropical Indian Ocean beaches, lush mountains, and some of the most biodiverse rain forests in the world. The best resorts in Indonesia, as voted by the readers of Travel + Leisure, capitalize on all of those natural wonders.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city hotel, resort, or safari lodge based on their locations and amenities.
The majority of the resorts on this year’s list can be found on an island that, while much smaller than Indonesia’s major landmasses, plays a starring role for most travelers. Tourism makes up 80 percent of Bali’s economy, and it claims four of this year’s top five properties, including the Alila Villas Uluwatu (No. 4), an ultramodern complex on the island’s southern tip. T+L readers praised the Alila’s immaculate service and expansive cliff-top views.
One property, though, is a little farther off the tourist trail. Sumba is significantly larger than Bali in terms of area but has less than a quarter of its population (and dramatically less development). Many visitors make the trek to experience the pristine nature at Nihi Sumba, this year’s No. 3 resort: a collection of 28 indoor-outdoor villas, each with a private pool and views of the Indian Ocean. “What can I say about Nihi?” wrote one survey respondent. “I went there for the third time this year and fell in love all over again.”
Getting to know readers’ top choice among the best resorts in Indonesia, though, brings us back to Bali — specifically Ubud, a cultural center in the rice terraces of the central highlands. Read on to learn more.
1. Capella Ubud, Bali
Readers had effusive praise for this resort in the center of Bali. “Truly transcendental,” wrote one survey respondent. “Off-the-charts amazing,” said another. Twenty-two Bill Bensley-designed “tents” (plus the two-bedroom Lodge) are surrounded by lushly forested hills, with fine dining and ranger-led excursions all within easy reach. Custom treatments that draw on Balinese wellness traditions and ingredients are also a highlight of time on the property. As one T+L reader summarized, “there’s nothing quite like this in the world.”
More information: capellaubud.com
2. Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Ubud, Bali
More information: ritzcarlton.com
3. Nihi Sumba
More information: nihi.com
4. Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bali
More information: alilahotels.com/uluwatu
5. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
More information: fourseasons.com/sayan