Fine Food And A Fantastic Spa At Raffles Bali – Review

By Emma Love

8 months ago

A recent addition to Bali’s Jimbaran Bay, for privacy, peace and a feeling of zen 


From the frangipani flower tucked behind your ear on arrival that symbolises beauty to the rain stopper specialist on speed dial for special events and the tennis court that was blessed after being built, the natural and supernatural are seemingly intertwined at Raffles Bali, says Emma Love. At the southern end of Jimbaran Bay – a former fishing village with a sweeping arc of beach that’s renowned for its casual, feet-in-the-sand seafood restaurants – the hotel is set on 23 hectares, with water features and pretty winding paths framed by purple bougainvillea and white jasmine. It was a labour of love for the owners who spent a decade drawing up the plans before any spades even broke ground; the hotel finally opened, post-covid, at the end of 2021. 

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Raffles Bali – Hotel Review

STAY

Bedroom at Raffles Bali overlooking the water

All 32 villas face the ocean and come with their own pool. Cascading down a terraced grass slope, the main difference between them (other than size; the presidential suite for six guests is the largest) is their position: oceanfront pool villas are close to the beach, hillside pool villas have the best view. Expect timeless Balinese design: vaulted rattan ceilings, teak furniture, a batik tapestry behind the bed, and handmade custom tea sets by Ubud-based Gaya Ceramic. Outside is a dining table on the terrace for alfresco room service breakfasts and a thatched poolside cabana for shady, post dip naps. 

EAT

Bar at Raffles Bali with views of the hills

Start the evening with a sundowner Bali Sling (made with arak instead of gin, it’s the hotels take on a classic Singapore Sling) at The Writers Bar before settling down for supper at fine-dining Rumari restaurant. Here, the menu is inspired by West and Central Indonesian cuisine and the 80/20 rule: 80 percent of ingredients are supplied by farmers and producers in the archipelago; the other 20 percent is imported out of necessity. If you’re feeling hungry, try the ‘7 Steps Journey’ where each course takes influence from a different island – mud crab with pomelo and Padang sauce from West Sumatra say, or seabream served with pumpkin from Lombok. Private dining options include Purnama, a romantic gazebo for two overlooking the water, and The Farm Terrace, where family-style feasts are cooked over the fire for groups of six or more.

Lunch is served at the Loloan beach bar and grill (it means estuary, which are typically believed to be sacred, soul cleansing places, full of positive energy). Dishes include the freshest salads, woodfire-oven pizzas, tacos and grilled fish. Breakfast is also at Rumari, although a picnic breakfast on the lawn overlooking the beach can be pre-arranged.

DO

Pool cabanas at Raffles Bali, with grey towels and orange cushions

No stay at Raffles Bali is complete without spending time at the spa. As you’d expect, Balinese and Southeast Asian practices and a holistic approach to wellness is at the core here, and all therapists are certified in reiki so they have an understanding of energy healing. Morning meditation in the ‘Secret Cave’ encompasses gentle stretching and Tibetan singing bowls; ‘7 Chakras Balancing’ begins with a numerology reading and the use of dowsing rods to check the energy level of each chakra before an acupressure massage. Towards the end, singing bowls are placed on any blocked energy centres to help them open. Couples should ask for the signature massage (excellent for de-knotting shoulders after a long journey) at The Sanctuary, an open-air treatment pavilion with a steam room surrounded by greenery. For those wanting to be more active, there are hiking and jogging paths, a gym, bicycles to borrow, a 25-metre infinity pool and sunrise yoga sessions on the beach to kickstart the day. 

THE FINAL WORD

Infinity pool at Raffles Bali

A 20-minute drive from the airport, this is the perfect place to break a long journey before hopping onto other destinations in Indonesia. Cosseting quiet luxury at its best. 

BOOK IT

Scott Dunn offers four nights at Raffles, Bali from £3,741 per person based on a couple sharing on a B&B basis, and includes return flights from the UK and private transfers.

For more information, visit scottdunn.com or call 020 3393 0884.