Bali hotels: A dozen excellent choices in paradise

CNN  — 

Bali has been long-established on the travel scene. And why wouldn’t it be?

With majestic beaches, verdant hills and valleys and a fascinating culture, it’s a natural tourist destination, not only for Indonesia and its Asia neighbors but also the world.

The island’s hotels are also part of the allure. You have a wide variety of places to stay – from high-end luxury retreats you may not want to leave to more affordable options that serve mostly as a launching pad to explore Bali’s various wonders.

Here are 12 Bali hotels in a range of prices and offerings you might want to consider:

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

Away from the coast, amid dense bamboo jungle over-looking the sacred Ayung River is this wonderful, peaceful retreat.

Wildlife and the occasional screams of rafters thrusting along the river are the only sounds to intrude upon the privacy of each villa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan.

All 42 thatched maxi-huts/villas come with an outdoor shower that overlooks the river valley and a plunge pool that releases itself endlessly into the jungle’s steamy abyss. There are also 18 suites.

And if you need more convincing: Travel + Leisure named it the No. 1 resort in the world for 2018.

Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan: Sayan, Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia; +62 (361) 977577

W Bali – Seminyak

W Retreat offers contemporary rooms.

There’s no denying the high-octane glamor that comes with this beachfront property. It’s large by Bali standards but exudes its own sense of cool and calm.

A room in the main building gets you close to the action.

Back from the beach are the hotel’s brilliant, and affordable, private villas and pools. Very useful is the best of Bali AWAY spa, which remains open 24/7. That’s great news for late-night revelers in need of a foot massage after stumbling in from a night at WooBar.

Equally useful is the hidden sliding door that conceals and reveals bathroom and bedroom areas, and the three-tier main swimming pool for ample lounging and photo opportunities.

W Bali - Seminyak: Jl. Petitenget, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Seminyak, Bali 80361 Indonesia; +62 361 4738106

From $396 per night
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AYANA Resort and Spa Bali

Despite the size of the place, there is still a sense of privacy and space. There are over 350 rooms, suites and villas – some on the cliff with staggering sunset views. The rooms and hotel design are very well done – well-appointed without the over-the-top luxury flourishes.

The hotel sits high above the Indian Ocean near Jimbaran Bay, so it is a bit of a schlep from the busier Seminyak, Kuta and Legian stretch. Not a bad thing, but it is harder to pop away should, for some reason, you want to escape.

You’ll also have access to its Rock Bar, where the sunsets put on a hard-to-beat show. The hotel is a popular wedding and honeymoon destination.

AYANA Resort and Spa: Jl. Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali 80364 Indonesia; +62-361 702222

From $354 per night
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The Colony Hotel

The Colony Hotel: For adults only.

The Colony Hotel is in the heart of Seminyak, giving you easy access to the upscale restaurants and boutiques that define this segment of southern Bali.

A big plus point about staying at The Colony Hotel if you’re not into resorts with gleeful kids splashing around in pools: no children 15 and younger allowed. Another bonus is the on-site Jari Menari massage facility.

Not to be overlooked are the 20 rooms done up with pretty but minimalist decor. The junior suite comes with a spacious balcony that overlooks the 16-meter pool.

The Colony Hotel Bali: Jalan Laksmana 22, Seminyak, Bali 80361 Indonesia; +62 361 736160

From $240 per night
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Hoshinoya Bali

Hoshinoya is a Japan-based resort group that’s branched out of the country only twice so far: Tahiti and Bali.

And it’s fully embraced its Bali location with a deep respect for the Balinese Hinduism and environmental reverence found here. For example, it gets its pristine water from subaks – shared irrigation systems on Bali that go back more than 1,000 years.

Its villas are decorated with wood-engraved pictures that relate to nearby Ubud’s trees, flowers and birds. Three pools reminiscent of canals cut across the verdant property, accessed from any villa.

Hungry? You can dine here on seafood such as tuna and black tiger prawn prepared with local, seasonal produce and spices such as turmeric and ginger.

Hoshinoya Bali: Jl.Pejeng Kangin, Tampaksiring, Gianyar, Pejeng Kangin, Tampaksiring, Bali, 80552, Indonesia; +62 361 8493080

From $713 per night
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Alila Villas Uluwatu

Alila Villas Uluwatu has a sunset cabana that can't be missed.

Talk about a view. The cliff-top Alila Villas at Uluwatu are set about 100 meters (roughly 330 feet) above the Indian Ocean.

You can choose villas with one to three bedrooms, and even the one bedrooms come with a private pool. Room design is contemporary with traditional Balinese touches in the wood, water, stone and rattan materials. Bathrooms are an indoor/outdoor affair.

Other amenities include a sunset cabana, yoga and 24-hour gym.

Uluwatu is on the southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula and is known for its surfing and the cliff-perched Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple.

Alila Villas Uluwatu: Jl. Belimbing Sari, Tambiyak, Pecatu, Kuta Selatan Pecatu Kuta Selatan, Badung, Bali 80364, Indonesia: +62 361 8482166

From $1095 per night
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Located on a headland in Candidasa in eastern Bali, high heels are not recommended while staying at the Amankila, as there are plenty of stairs to navigate.

Luckily, golf carts are available to shuttle you down to the beach club set on a generous strip of black-sand beach.

If you’re tired of the sand and wanting to know what to do in Bali come sunset, try watching the changing color of the sky from the hotel’s signature triple-stepped swimming pool.

Early bookers, try to get upgraded to villa 37 – reportedly the resort’s most requested villa – which enjoys the best view of the ocean.

Amankila: Manggis PO Box 33, Manggis, Bali 80871 Indonesia; +62 361 341333

Anantara Resort Seminyak

This five-story property, sitting front and center on Seminyak Beach, has 59 suites that come with either pool or ocean access.

The sole penthouse suite comes with attached outdoor lounge space and a terrazzo bath, so you can fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves.

Anatara will also help you get involved with Bali’s amazing recreation: surfing, river rating and even kite flying.

Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort: Jl Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura), Seminyak, Bali 80361 Indonesia; +62 361 737773

Michi Retreat

60 second vacations bali rice fields travel _00001313.jpg
See Bali's stunning rice fields from above
01:05 - Source: CNN

Ubud is where artists flock, so if you’re staying here, it makes sense to put up at a property with artistic inclinations. The resort is an eclectic collection of rooms that reflect the styles of various countries where Michi’s founder traveled over the years.

Adding another dimension to the experience, mosaic grottoes overlook a particularly spectacular stretch of the River Wos.

Michi Retreat: Jukut Paku Street, Ubud, Bali Indonesia; +62 361 8987021

Gajah Mina Beach Resort

A pool view at the Gajah Mina Beach Resort..

This is a small, family-run, budget friendly resort on the west coast. Its 12 villas – within walking distances of three beaches – are spread out in a tropical garden, making them feel more like private homes.

The decor has the usual Balinese touches with materials such as volcanic stone, teak, coconut wood and unpolished marble. Villas range in size from one-bedroom to three-bedroom with a private pool. The resort’s shared pool mirrors are the shape of the surrounding rice terraces.

If all of this hasn’t relaxed you enough, the resort offers a massage service in a thatched pavilion overlooking the private beach.

Gajah Mina Beach Resort: Jl. Pantai Balian, Surabrata, Lalanglinggah, Selemadeg Barat, Lalanglinggah, Selemadeg Bar., Kabupaten Tabanan, Bali 82162, Indonesia; +62 811-386-052

From $38 per night
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The Open House Bali

Here’s a good option for people on a budget who want to fulfill their Balinese dreams without taking out a second mortgage.

Open House is just steps away from the beach at Jimbaran in the southern part of the island. You’ll also find a nearby traditional fish market. One of the stated goals at Open House is to help guests get to know the local culture.

Its 17 rooms are streamlined with an airy style, using recycled wood and colonial cement tiles.

Open House has a pool, which every room faces, if you’re not in the beach mood. The vibe here in two words: friendly, chill.

The Open House Bali: Jl. Pemelisan Agung No.25, Jimbaran, Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia; +62 361 709160

From $85 per night
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Harmony Hotel

Cheap and cheerful, and located just minutes from the beach, this is one of the best value properties in Seminyak. The rooms are decent sized and come with Wi-Fi and a TV.

All rooms are located around a common mosaic pool. Breakfast is included.

This hotel is a good choice for tight-budget travelers who seek the basics and plan to spend most of their time out and about.

The Harmony Seminyak: Jl. Drupadi 234, Seminyak, Bali Indonesia; +62 361 737711

Charlene Fang contributed to this article from previously published material, and CNN’s Forrest Brown contributed new material.