Sophisticated & Stylish Retreat: The St. Regis Bali – Hotel Review

By Nicola Venning

10 months ago

Seaside fun and laid back pampering

The moment you drive under the rainforest of trailing vines into The St. Regis Bali, you know you are somewhere special. This beachfront retreat at Nusa Dua, about half an hour’s drive from Bali’s international airport, combines Balinese culture and Gilded Age glamour to wonderful cosseting, effect.

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Hotel Review: The St. Regis Bali

The St.Regis Bali Resort


Nineteenth century socialite Caroline Astor would surely approve. From the gold brocade curtains to the gilt mirrors and ornate chandeliers, the 124 suites and villas of St Regis, exude fin de siècle sumptuousness that the mother of the hotel’s founder, John Jacob Astor IV, would enjoy. There are, of course, Balinese touches: in the Strand Villa, where I stayed, traditional Balinese headdresses are used as framed artworks and enamelled teak chests become side-tables. The bedroom (the size of a living room) has a vast canopied bed which overlooks the garden, with a plunge pool, daybeds and stylish Balinese-inspired sculptures. This leads to a long and, rare for this volcanic island, dazzling white beach.

The bathroom’s décor mixes cultures, with Balinese inspired enamelled pearl containers alongside art deco grape-style side lamps. Organic Sodashi Botanical soaps are by the double sinks, shower room and outsized tub, which I could have wallowed in forever.

Salt Water Lagoon

Salt Water Lagoon

The handy kitchenette has a mini bar as well as complimentary tea and coffee. Glass bottles of water (the hotel’s own) are also provided, as the St Regis no longer uses plastic bottled water.

The Lagoon Villas back onto a meandering 210 metre saltwater lagoon, which loops past gardens and around sundecks. There is also a deeper, fresh water main Strand Pool with shallow children’s section – though the excellent kids club, The Children’s Learning Centre, with a focus on art, music and hands-on conservation, will also be a pull. The suites are dotted throughout nine hectares of garden, parts of which have hammocks for resting and lingering. The 24 hour Butler service buggies you around, although strolling along the palm-shaded paths is delightful.

Orchid Suite

Orchid Suite


Enjoy a complimentary morning yoga class at The St. Regis Bali’s beachside pavilion, Bale Pantai, while watching the yachts sail past. The Indian Ocean sparkles and, despite the 7.30 am start, so did I. Circuit training and stand up paddle yoga – which, in my case, was more off board than on it – is also complimentary.

Iridium Spa offers a host of treatments and, from the welcoming Rosella tea to the spa’s signature massage, is blissful. Besides a gym, there are also bikes available – free for the first two hours. I cycled along the beach path for about two kilometres to Peninsula Island where there is a temple and blow hole. En route, I passed hotels, cafes and beach stalls selling activities: kayaking, jet skiing and trips on glass bottom boats to name a few. But it can be hot work; my villa pool and daybed were particularly welcoming by the time I returned.

The concierge can arrange excursions, and visiting Hindu Uluwatu sea temple – about half an hour’s drive away – is worth doing and a great photo opp. The Kecak, a Balinese dance, is held every evening on the clifftop by the temple at sunset – but beware the monkeys. Nearby is Garuda Wisnu Kencana (GWK) culture park, which is set between vast blocks of cut limestone and which hosted the G20 summit in 2022; visit for regular concerts and Balinese traditional events.

St. Regis Beach and Pool


Dining at The St. Regis Bali begins at dusk – the Violet hour – which is celebrated in the Gilded Age-inspired St Regis Bar with a violet-coloured martini and the ritual of champagne sabering (slicing the cork from a bottle of fizz). Guests can then enjoy the tipple while watching a nightly display of Balinese fire dancers. Follow this with a meal at Dulang (meaning ‘royal plate’), a restaurant set in a garden gazebo where you can enjoy a delicious Balinese royal banquet while watching truly beguiling traditional dance.

The hotel is trying to reduce its food waste, and works with Scholars of Sustenance to redistribute excess food to the underprivileged in Bali. For a less formal eatery, head to Boneka, which has an outstanding global menu and is open evenings and mornings; I still dream of my lobster omelette breakfast. The excellent Gourmand Deli bistro is great for lunch, especially the Thai Beef salad, while The Astor Sunday brunch at beachfront Kayuputi restaurant (champagne, caviar, oysters and almost everything else) is an elegant institution that should not be missed – just wear something smart and make sure you are (very) hungry.

St Regis Bali



A sophisticated and stylish retreat that caters for everyone, offering both seaside fun alongside laidback pampering with excellent restaurants and service.


Prices at The St. Regis Bali star from £396 per room, per night.