The basic idea is to combine the conveniences of a five-star resort with the cultural richness of a Balinese private home. A Bali hotel experience of a different kind.
Over the years this type of accommodation has increased vastly in popularity with travelers looking for something special and exclusive.
The difference between large hotel chains and boutique hotels is that they don’t provide 100’s of rooms but instead secluded luxury in small and intimate resorts.
A “home away from home” is a bit a stressed expression, but it describes quite accurately what you may find. A really private space in a total different location, thousands of miles away from home. You already could find that easily in many Bali hotels that are always different than big city hotels and even more so in boutique hotels.
All amenities are usually provided in these resorts to make you feel comfortable. Individual service with a personal touch makes all the difference, and a villa with an selection of things you don’t want to miss like a sound system and satellite TV, several cozy in- and outdoor areas for relaxation, and refreshingly different styled bathrooms surely add to the ingredients to make you enjoy your stay.
Some icing on the cake may be a private Jacuzzi, plunge or swimming pool. What would be life in the tropics without it.
A resort in Ubud was ahead of its time and has been copied by newly built ones a several times since then. It’s the Pita Maha, build by a member of the Royal family of Ubud in Bali. The concept of a river view resort with spa is taken from the Tjampuhan hotel and greatly refined through adding privacy by establishing a exclusive luxury villa concept. More about this resort later.
On the ocean side it was Four Seasons in Jimbaran who first successfully introduced the private villas concept within a hotel. Of course they also went to Ubud to build The Four Seasons Sayan. Overlooking the Ayung river it became too small for the demand already and new villas have been added.
The leading resorts in this field try to accomplish a secluded setting of each villa, permitting undisturbed outdoor life with outdoor dining areas. So life within nature can be experienced in Bali style. Some of the villas have outdoor bathrooms and private plunge pools as well.
Many known Bali hotels and resorts are renovating and redesigning themselves to follow this trend. Alam Kul Kul in Legian added boutique elements, The Villas in Seminyak are a good example to fully mature this concept, all villas have a private swimming pool and offer the privacy requested by clients.
In Jimbaran the Jimbaran Puri bali is a good beach side concept and must be booked early. The negative side of Boutique resorts is really the limited availability of rooms. It seems that because of the initially understated expectancy a few years back when the success of small high end resorts wasn’t guaranteed, some of them are maybe build a bit too small.
Now the situation is very much different, travelers looking for that special place to spend a vacation, and are willing to pay for the extra luxury. The Ubud area is leading the way with resorts such as Kamandalu Resort, The Alila or the Natura Resort, one of the better and most convincing additions.
In the meanwhile we saw the opening of many new intimate small Bali hotels over the last few years, it seems a trend unbroken despite the slow down and recent recovery in the Bali tourism industry. Bali is once again the tropical dream location on a small island that currently attracts more individual travelers than mass group tours. Personally I am happy with this development and hope it will stay like this, as it supports space and tranquility for a personal experience in a location that ‘is made’ to be experienced this way.