Just a half-hour’s drive outside Ubud, the first overseas outpost of Japan’s Hoshino Resorts effortlessly fuses Balinese craftsmanship with Zen-like sensibilities.
Architect Rie Azuma and landscape designer Hiroki Hasegawa have converted a sloping site above the sacred Pakerisan River into a resort village around three canal-style pools, a reference to the island’s communal subak irrigation system. Thatch-roofed pavilions and poolside terraces feature in all 30 villas, whose minimalistic, timber-dominated interiors come with batik-printed box lanterns, sliding glass walls, and, in most cases, exquisite woodwork screens that are backlit above the low platform beds. Hoshinoya Bali is arguably even more alluring after dark, when each structure—particularly the “floating” gazebos stilted above the hillside—resembles a forest-enshrouded jewel box and the sound of gushing water seems to gain renewed intensity. Candles lead guests into the open-air dining room for a 10-course Balinese kaiseki that sees coconut shavings transformed into tempura flakes atop a roe-flecked egg custard, and a subtle blend of Indonesian spices—cardamom, coriander, cumin, ginger, black pepper—added to grilled gindara in sweet miso. It all makes for an inspired combination.
81/50-3786-1144; Hoshinoya Bali; villas from US$452
This article originally appeared in the October/November 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2017: Hoshinoya Bali ”).