The St. Regis Bali sits in a landscaped garden surrounded by water from lagoons, pools and fountains and opens out on to a white beach. The hotel, in Nusa Dua, is an amalgam of suites, villas and residences, some of which have direct access to a swimmable lagoon while others open out on to the beach; all of them, of course, have the St. Regis Signature Butler Service. The exteriors are simple, in a colonial style, while the interiors glory in traditional Balinese designs and indigenous materials.
This is a resort that allows you to do very little or indeed nothing at all, except move from pool to sea to lagoon to library to villa to spa to cabana to restaurant. Should you desire any activity, it is provided at a water sports centre that offers windsurfing, deepsea fishing or snorkeling, while the fitness centre, which is open 24/7, is equipped with all the latest cardio and weight training devices and has a programme of daily classes. There are also bicycles for hire in case you ever wish to leave the property and explore its environs.
This is very much a couples’ resort and is particularly popular with honeymooners — yet families love the villas and the Children’s Learning Centre, as well the child-size robes and slippers. They come from as far afield as the USA, UK, Singapore, China, Japan and Russia, with Australians and those from Hong Kong — indeed, it’s a popular long-weekend destination for the last two.
Bali is always hot, often humid (but a sea breeze keeps it cooler) and sometimes wet. June, July and August are the most popular months as they are the driest — but the tropical rain it enjoys never lasts for a whole day anyway. And although the dry season extends until October it can get very windy, especially on the western side, which is surfers’ paradise with some of the best waves in the world.
A Remède Spa, the first in Indonesia using Laboratoire Remède products and customised treatments. Therapists know that no two faces or bodies are the same or have the same needs and problems, hence each treatment is adapted specially to the guest, whether it’s a facial, wrap, scrub or ritual, and each person is trained using traditional Balinese traditions and therapies, in conjunction with modern research and knowledge. In a wildly glamorous setting the spa has eight treatment rooms, an aromatherapy steam room, a sauna, an Aqua Vitale pool that uses sea salt water, and its own juice bar. Massages on offer include everything from a fourhand synchronised one through to Balinese. Guests love the Golden Sea Creation facial, in which a serum using active ingredients from the sea is applied with a tiger conch shell. The whole process finishes with a bliss-inducing head massage. But do try the Bloody Mary ritual, which involves a tomato, wasabi and pineapple body reviver after a vodka and tomato clay wrap.
Take time to visit other parts of the island — it’s not very big and an hour or two will bring you to the rainforest glistening with waterfalls and streams, while a visit to a Buddhist monastery or the Big Buddha, the island’s most famous landmark, is always worthwhile. Otherwise hire a boat for the day and head off to explore some of the smaller islands dotted around the coastline. If you’re looking for a party, Chaweng provides the liveliest cafes and clubs and is just a short drive away.
The Golden Bubble Champagne treatment — fizz from head to toe for two and a half hours. It begins with a champagne foot ritual and then the bubbles are poured over and massaged on to the body. This is followed by a Remède customised massage that uses grape seeds and grape seed oil, which is a powerful anti-oxidant, and then a body mask of white clay and champagne, finishing with a flower bath and a glass of bubbly.