Bali is romantic, enchanting, and exotic. There’s no other place on Earth with the same level of scenery, culture, and food. Honeymooners travel far to immerse themselves in this tropical getaway and, naturally, they start at the beaches.
Bali is notoriously cheap (yes, even the hotels), so this trip won’t burn a hole in your wallet. There’s several beaches and dozens of great resorts, but these are the only ones that you need to know if you want a true, five-star Bali honeymoon experience.
Anantara Seminyak Beach ResortSeminyak Anantara Seminyak Beach Resort, Seminyak, Bali
Seminyak is Bali’s infamous party beach, teeming with college students, young jetsetters, and 24-hour party people. It’s the closest beach to the airport (about 20 minutes), a magnet for surfers, and backpackers, mainly Australians seeking out the bars and cheap accommodations in the area. Most of the resorts are “meh” (the exception is the W Bali, which is party central, but not honeymoon central). Anantara Seminyak Beach Resort stands out. It’s the only five-star property right on the sprawling strip of golden sand, and it’s worth splurging here. There are only 60 suites, so it’s extremely intimate, and all suites are a minimum 870 square feet (and only $250 a night… remember, Bali is cheap by global room rate standards). Ocean suites ($320 a night) have outdoor hot tubs. The views are stunning, the bathrooms are huge, every room has a balcony so you can pop some champagne in an ocean breeze. The Penthouse has its own outdoor pool and a huge lounge with hot tub—you get it all for $1,600 a night.
AYANA Resort & Spa BaliJimbaran Bay AYANA Resort & Spa Bali, Jimbaran Bay, Bali
Though just a 20 minute drive from Seminyak, the beach town of Jimbaran Bay feels worlds away. The beaches are significantly nicer (“beds on the beach” is a trademark here), so the resorts are more expensive. But don’t hesitate to book at AYANA Resort, though. The 200-acre, 368-room property is so luxurious, we guarantee you won’t leave the premises (most guests don’t). There are 18 restaurants and lounges, 12 outdoor pools, a private beach, and an award-winning 236,000 sq. ft. spa that includes a 12-course aqua-therapy circuit (it takes an hour to finish but you’ll want to stay longer). There are 368 rooms, which is not a lot for 200 acres, so you never feel like you’re crammed in.
Do not book one of the standard rooms, where you share a building with other guests. One of the free-standing, cliff-top villas would be a better option. These start at 3,000 square feet and include a 24-hour butler, a private infinity-edge plunge pool, and your own waterfall garden. There’s even a separate room—the same size as the living area—that’s entirely set aside for a soaking bathtub. Rates are only $630 a night. Be sure to check out the awesome Rock Bar to have a drink and catch the sunset: it’s on a cliff outcrop directly over the crashing ocean waves. You can’t make this stuff up.
Amankila ResortKarangasem Amankila Resort, Karangasem, Bali
Aman Resorts is the cream of the crop, a hotel chain that is so over the top, you won’t believe you’re actually staying in one. Not only is it the preferred resort for celebrities, Aman has a cult following, jetsetters known as “Aman junkies,” who fly around the world just to stay at one of their properties. One of their most exclusive resorts is in the middle of small town called Karangasem on the east coast of Bali. This oceanside resort has 35 thatched roof, free-standing suites (many with their own private pools), bridged by raised walkways and elevated on stilts to give you the best views of the sea. Rooms start at only $700 a night. Amankila is famous for its three-tiered infinity pool set into the cliff, and its gourmet restaurant and intimate spa. The resort blends into the environment–think stone walls covered with fern and moss, angular structures, commanding views from anywhere you stand. Every guest here is treated like a VIP, so slick back your hair and buy some expensive flip-flops: This honeymoon is going to be one for the books.
The MuliaNusa Dua The Mulia, Nusa Dua, Bali
Nusa Dua is a highbrow resort community on one of Bali’s best beaches. The sand is clean and white, the sea is like bathwater, and you’re just steps from beach paradise at any of the resorts here. All the big hotel chains are here (Westin, Melia, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton), but we’re sending you straight to the Mulia Resort. The Mulia comes in three flavors: mid-range, luxury and over-the-top villa. The breezy, modern designed luxury rooms are set against the cliffside for the ultimate ocean views. They’re also massive, with vaulted ceilings, and come equipped with their own infinity pools, butlers, and daybeds. The Mulia has become famous for its two-tiered infinity pool, which is right on the beach, with only the pool bar separating it from the sand. Foodies are in heaven here: the kitchen is staffed with Chinese, Thai, French, Korean, Indian, and Japanese chefs, so you can eat your way through several authentic regional cuisines. The villas (which include breakfast) start at $750, and if you want to stay in the luxury hotel right on the beach, that will set you back $350.