With so many amazing places and more than 17,500 islands to visit, you may be wondering where to go and where to stay in Indonesia. Depending on how far you want to travel, you can still get away from the crowds while staying fairly close to the main hubs, or you can make the journey to some of Indonesia’s less-visited enclaves if you truly want to fall off the grid for a while.
One way to do it is to sail away on an Indonesia cruise. Another – to journey the archipelago on your own. See below for a guide to some of the best hotels in Indonesia:
Tugu Lombok is located on the pristine white-sand beach of Sire, on the northwest coast of Lombok, a 15-minute boat ride from the Gili Islands and framed by the majestic sunrise over Mount Rinjani. Inspired by ancient legends of Hindu gods and goddesses, this funky-fantastic, antique-chic retreat is surrounded by romantic stories from the epic Mahabharata, seen through hundreds of artifacts, carvings, and eccentric objets d’art, complemented by breathtaking views.
All guest accommodations are within footsteps from the beach, housed in traditional buildings. The Ampenan bungalows represent the homes of Chinese settlers who arrived in Lombok in the late 19th century. The theatrical times-gone-by décor and open-air bathrooms never let you forget that you’re in the tropics. From the Mahabharata-themed oceanfront suites to the Aloon Aloon colonial villas, all bedrooms are air-conditioned with big TVs and living areas.
Some of the accommodation options have private gardens and pools. The clear blue water in front of the hotel is most ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Eating and drinking in exotic surroundings is assured, and candlelit tables on the beach or private pavilions beside a lotus pond are romantic as can be.
Bali is a must for all who travel to Indonesia. Capella Ubud’s sumptuous, tented camp presents 22 one-bedroom tents, as well as one two-bedroom lodge, in the wilderness outside Ubud. Each tree-house-like suite features a private saltwater plunge pool, locally made textiles and teak doors, and views of winding rivers and rice terraces. The effect is that of a serene rainforest getaway within minutes of Bali’s cultural hub of Ubud.
Two restaurants add an unexpected twist to traditional flavors, as well as Asian barbecue food, influenced by the jungle setting and local heritage. You can also enjoy comforting camp snacks around the Camp Fire, as you listen to live storytelling or a nostalgic film. The Auriga Spa experiences are drawn from Bali’s rich wellness tradition, with treatments using signature techniques and organic products.
With one of the most incredible infinity pools imaginable and some of the best cuisine available on Bali, this paradisiacal boutique resort is a great option for those seeking privacy and immaculate service. Spectacularly perched on the edge of a steep, jungle-clad ravine overlooking the Petanu River, its 40 romantic thatched-roof villas each have a private pool, relaxation pavilion and spacious open-plan designs.
The lush landscape around the luxury lodge echoes with relaxing jungle sounds, a perfect setting for its indulgent Lembeh Spa. But despite its secluded location surrounded by tropical nature, the Viceroy Bali is conveniently close to the thriving artist’s village of Ubud and offers abundant Bali tour options, from volcano trekking to temple visits, as well as a mesmerizing menu of in-house activities and holistic treatments.
Hoshino Resorts’ first property outside Japan blends influences of its homeland with a Balinese edge, creating an elegant, tranquil retreat that sprawls across a hillside flanking the Pakerisan river in forested surroundings. The design is exquisite. The Japanese-style tiered rooftops of the villas sit alongside thatch-topped gazebos punctuating the tropical flora that runs through.
The size means plenty of secluded spots to read a book or enjoy the pervading views in peace. In particular, the seven Café Gazebos – couch-lined cages that jut out into the valley, give the feeling of hanging among the treetops. There are three types of villa: Bulan, Sokha and Jalak. Chic interiors feature futon beds and Balinese art, including intricate wooden carvings and hand printed lamps. All have their own pool-side lounge area. The á la carte menu serves beautifully presented Balinese classics, while the pick of the dining options is the 10-course set menu, which artfully combines Japanese and Indonesian cuisine.
Secluded in a quiet cove on Waecicu Beach on the island of Flores, Plataran Komodo is a tropical beachfront paradise for those with an adventurous spirit, located at the gateway to Indonesia’s amazing Komodo National Park – on your own or on a luxury Komodo cruise. Here, you can delight in the privacy of intimate yet spacious villa abodes offering a charming blend of luxurious comfort and Javanese style.
Dine beside the ocean waves, on the beach, or on the jetty, on an enticing array of Indonesian and Asian cuisine. Savor dishes that celebrate the diversity of flavors across the Indonesian archipelago, as well as superb seafood prepared from the freshest catch – all under the Flores sun or beneath a romantic canopy of stars.
Explore the amazing marine life in the surrounding waters or hop aboard a private cruise for unforgettable island-hopping excursions and the chance to see the fabled Komodo dragons up close. Relinquish all tension in the Padma Spa while enjoying signature treatments, from relaxing massages and rejuvenating facials to intensive detox programs that harness the benefits of local herbs and natural ingredients.
This remote resort, visited by Princess Diana in 1994, has a castaway feel; it is decidedly quiet here with generally less than 40 guests at any given time. Of the 20 ‘tents’, 11 are set along the beach and nine are tucked back into the jungle. The word ‘tent’ may be a little misleading because while these accommodations have fabric ceilings, there is nothing else tent-like about the elegant spaces, with their teak floors, high thread-count sheets, frothy mosquito netting, and en-suite bathrooms with twin sinks.
Playful monkeys, empty beaches and perfect sunsets add to the desert island vibe, but the modern conveniences – like a spa, bar and restaurant – are welcome additions that would make Robinson Crusoe jealous. Indeed, the remoteness is the allure of Amanwana. From Bali’s International Airport, it’s a 65-minute seaplane ride to Moyo Island, or a 50-minute flight to the island of Sumbawa, followed by a further 50 minutes aboard a private yacht.
The pristine beachfront location takes center stage, who needs a pool when you have the bath-like aquamarine ocean on your doorstep? Settle on a beachfront lounger, arrange a diving lesson with the water sports crew, or pop to the spa tent for an indulgent treatment using Aman’s natural skincare line, with extravagant ingredients including amethyst, jade and pearls.
The Restaurant highlights the local abundance of seafood, such as grilled fish wrapped in banana leaf, or Indonesian curry with giant prawns and baby squid. There are also Western-style dishes such as wagyu rib-eye, and lemon & basil chicken, plus vegetarian selections. Twinkling lanterns, candlelight and beachfront tables transform the restaurant after dark. There’s not much on the island other than a handful of villages and guesthouses, but a highlight is a trip to the Mata Jitu waterfall, which is reached by a combination of a speedboat to Labuhan Aji village, followed by a four-wheel drive jeep and a hike into the island’s jungle interior.
Located on the island of Bintan just 50 minutes by ferry from the coast of Singapore, this elegant seaside resort is set on a sweep of silver sands with a cluster of sun loungers and hammocks. Manicured lawns and tropical foliage surround the main part of the hotel, an elegant colonial-style mansion complete with wooden decks, swirling fans, and 30 villas and suites.
There are several different room types, ranging from entry-level Thai villas tucked away in the gardens, to sophisticated sea view suites in the main building, to the grand four-bedroom Vanda Villa, with its rambling gardens and swimming pool. All are tastefully decorated with black and white panel work, parquet floors, crisp linens and vases of snowy orchids.
Bathrooms have claw tubs and herbal salts, while the technical offerings include iPads and Apple TVs. The Dining Room serves an à la carte breakfast, lunch and dinner, while in the evenings you can also tuck into Thai food at the poolside Tasanee Grill. Local attractions include mangroves lit by fireflies, sleepy fishing villages, and nature walks into the island’s jungle interior – more than enough to keep you occupied for a few days.
Alternatively, you can lounge by the 50-metre infinity pool, play tennis or pétanque, cycle, paddleboard, shoot bows and arrows on the archery lawns, or visit the lovely garden spa, which offers traditional massage alongside innovative Japanese facials.
Cempedak is a 42-acre private island, four km off the east coast of Bintan. Ringed with white sandy beaches and studded with magnificent white granite boulders, it is home to a rainforest that provides sanctuary to a diverse population of local birds including hornbills, eagles and kingfishers. Other residents on the island include the critically endangered pangolin and a family of otters.
With private plunge pools in each grass-roofed bamboo villa, and huge decks, the simple barefoot luxury accommodation is very private and very spacious. The kitchen serves a fusion of Indonesian and international flavors. Barbequed seafood, local dishes and tropical fruits feature prominently on the menu as well as a variety of fresh vegetables. A wide range of activities is available.
Water sports include swimming, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding and sailing. The Rock Spa is a unique haven of tranquility nestled on top of impressive granite boulders in an eastern mangrove bay. Holistic, authentic treatments are inspired by traditional techniques, with a focus on providing tailored experiences to suit your needs. The island has a strict policy of no children under the age of 16.
Located just south of the equator in remote Raja Ampat – the divers’ paradise, the Misool Private Island Resort is a true tropical hideaway fringed with powder-white beaches and pristine coral reefs. With a maximum capacity of just 40 guests and a staff-to-guest ratio of four to one, it offers exclusive adventure holidays and transformative experiences in pristine nature. The accommodations have been meticulously designed for comfort, privacy, and sustainability.
All rooms feature Balinese-style open air bathrooms, wall fans, independent air-conditioning units, fresh hot and cold showers, mini-bars stocked with treats from around the archipelago, and handcrafted furniture and fittings. The eight Water Cottages are built on stilts over the North Lagoon. In the same area are four slightly larger North Lagoon Villas. The seven South Beach Villas overlook a blue water swimming hole, tucked under the trees of an untouched jungle.
The beachfront restaurant’s spacious terrace is the ideal place to enjoy a sunset cocktail or a bottle of wine while watching the baby sharks and the long-toms hunt schools of circling sardines. The menu offers a broad range of Asian and Western cuisine, with a focus on fresh, local, and organic fare. The Resort offers a number of different experiences designed to bring you closer to Raja Ampat’s flora, fauna, and communities. This includes snorkeling and diving adventures, land adventures and wellness experiences. Massage and beauty treatments can be enjoyed in the privacy of your own room or at The Lookout.
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