A retreat offering complete tranquility, The Balé boasts just 29 thatched villas – each set within its own walled garden with a private swimming pool and sheltered king-size daybed, indoor and outdoor shower, plus round-the-clock butler service.
With architecture by Jakarta-based Anthony Liu and landscaping by Bali-based Karl W. Princic, this Small Luxury Hotel of the World member boasts a zen-like, minimalist style – think white-washed courtyards, water pools and clean, serene lines. Aptly, it’s located on a hillside in sleepy, manicured Nusa Dua.
Its spa offers everything from a traditional Balinese massage to a Coffee Ritual for Men (if it isn’t on the menu just ask your butler) and runs sessions such as yoga, Pilates and meditation.
Light European and Asian dishes, using mainly organic produce, are served at Faces restaurant, an open-sided pavilion next to the large main pool. Its also the breakfast location (if you decide to escape the cocoon of your own pavilion) – where I enjoyed a beautifully presented huevos rancheros washed down with fresh watermelon juice.
We dined at the retreat’s latest opening, TAPA, a raised bistro overlooking the ocean, while a guitarist performed. Our selection of global tapas included spicy Thai larb gai (IDR40,000); smoky babaganoush (IDR40,000); nasi goreng (IDR30,000); and wagyu beef rending (IDR45,000). The cocktail menu was particularly imaginative; a frangipani bellini (IDR100,000); and TAPA sling (IDR100,000); went down rather too easily.
For healthier options, head to The Spa which has its own restaurant, Bliss, with extra light, nutritious cuisine.
Our one-bedroom villa oozed style. Sliding glass doors opened into the large bedroom and from the spacious bathroom directly into the pool. The bedroom featured merbau wood cabinets, a huge bed (set on a marble plinth) and wardrobes to match, plus all the gadgetry you could possibly want (we connected our laptop to the hi-fi).
The bathroom was a knockout – twin sinks, sunken bathtub and more towels and aromatic goodies than any honeymooner would know what to do with. Turn-down service was spot on and complimentary juices, soft drinks and cookies were replenished regularly. The best bit? You can look out of your sanctuary; no one can peek in.
Who Goes There?
Design savvy couples and honeymooners. (Families should look elsewhere; no children are allowed.)
Out & About:
A team of drivers offer complimentary travel within Nusa Dua. Unfortunately Gegar Beach isn’t what it once was since a mammoth hotel moved in, but The Balé has its own private laid-back beach club, overlooking the Gegar Temple and operated in co-operation with the local community.
Once you’ve de-stressed in the spa, with its gym and whirlpools, take a 30-minute cab ride to buzzy Seminyak for some local colour.
The Worst Thing:
Nusa Dua is known as Bali’s gated compound of resort hotels. This is the place to come to rejuvenate and reconnect and I’d recommend combining it with one of its sister resorts such as The Menjangan [http://modellist-id.com/11113569/the-menjangan-hotel-bali–by-lucy-land], located in an unspoiled national park, to see some local life.
The Best Thing:
Service. From the little extras such as a welcome massage to the advice from the concierge and front desks, our expectations were surpassed.
A Single Pavilion is $750* per night (approx. £447).
The Balé, Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan, Nusa Dua 80363, Bali; www.thebale.com; +62 361 775 111
*Rates are subject to 11% government tax and 10% service charge.