There is a certain charm about Bali that keeps me coming back. Be it the scenic beaches and paddy fields for a breath of fresh air, the mystic vibes of the temples for spiritual rejuvenation, or the dynamic dining scene that has delectable street food to world-class fine dining, Bali always has something new to explore. Hence it’s often my ‘escape island’ every so often, especially since it’s just a 3-hour flight from Singapore!
For this Balinese adventure, we decided to live the high life and indulge in a luxurious resort stay at Hoshinoya Bali.
Located in Bali’s cultural centre of Ubud, Hoshinoya Bali is the first overseas project by Japanese hotel group Hoshinoya. Hence, the resort features elements of Japanese spatial design with traditional Balinese art and architecture.
The one thing that really touched us was the impeccable service of the hotel. Unfortunately for us, there were some delays for our arrival flight. Nevertheless, our driver still waited 3 hours at the airport to pick us up! We were treated like VIP guests and checked in smoothly.
The resort is perched atop a hill valley, surrounded by lush greenery of Balinese jungles, giving a bird’s eye view of the sacred Pakerisan river. The villas are lined along 3 canal-like swimming pools which makes the establishment feel like a step back in time of a traditional Balinese village.
Room & Facilities
I absolutely love how much thought and design goes into the design process for the architecture, landscaping and even the lighting of Hoshinoya Bali. The balancing of Japanese design and Balinese elements takes the idea of ‘zen’ to a whole new level. Here, the emphasis is on an immersive spiritual experience that aligns the human body with nature to bring about about idyllic peace and rejuvenation.
There are 3 different types of villas available, the Jalak (Garden Pool Villa with Terrace), Soka (Garden Pool Villa, Maisonette), and Bulan (Garden Pool Villa). We were lucky to stay in the Bulan which comes with a bright garden terrace with a staircase that leads to the pool. which has a gazebo overlooking the tropical greenery. It was such a joy to wake up to the smell of fresh air, the chirping of birds and the gentle babble of the river stream. Every day we’d have our breakfast in the resort gazebos and lounge the morning away. This would be followed by a dip in the emerald pool, a cool oasis in the sunny weather.
To add to the spiritual experience, the resort also offers relaxing spa treatments, yoga classes (regular and aquatic), and a 24-hr library that’s perfect for bookworms to enrich the mind. On the cultural aspect, tours are available for various Balinese dance, cooking and craft workshops conducted by local craftsmen. If you manage to overcome the inertia to leave the resort, transport is also available to Ubud centre and several nearby beaches such as Sanur and Candidasa if you’d like to explore the area.
We were lucky to dine at the main restaurant of the resort, Cafe Gazebo. Executive Chef Junichi Sakamaki redefines traditional Balinese cuisines, serving a 9-course degustation menu instead of the usual large communal portions. Each dish features local produce prepared with traditional Balinese spices, plated with a Japanese Kaiseki-esque presentation. No detail is spared as Chef Sakamiki himself picked out the tableware to feature Batik by local artisans and customized dishes that complement the colours and flavours of Balinese cuisine.
The flavours of the food are clean on the palate, unlike the usual heavy spices of traditional Indonesian food. This allows one to better appreciate and savour the delicate notes of Balinese cuisine. It’s a perfect harmony of spices that is gratifying on the palate. Some of my favourites include the Steamed Egg Custard with Coconut, Soto Ayam, and lastly Cheese Mousse and Fresh Fruits, Cocktail Style!
The restaurant also offer prix fixe fine dining menus as well as regular breakfast and in-room dining services. Nonetheless, I’d definitely recommend trying the Dinner Menu as it’s a more than just a dining experience but a feast for the senses.
To tell you the truth, Hoshinoya Bali catered to our all our needs, and inner wants we never knew we had. It was a lovely weekend getaway with luxurious amenities and architecture that instantly made us feel rejuvenated. We didn’t even want to leave the resort because it was so comfortable and relaxing. If you’re on a quest for spiritual recharging a la ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, Hoshinoya Bali is the perfect place to start.
Address: Br. Pengembungan, Pejeng Kangin, Tampaksiring, Pejeng Kangin, Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia