Sanur, a stretch of beach in southeast Bali, may not be known for its happening nightlife and dining scene. In fact, some circles have taken to nicknaming Sanur “a snore.” What many visitors don’t realize is that the area has long been protected as a conservation zone, thus selectively allowing hotels on its shores. The Regent Bali is the first five-star resort to set up camp in the tranquil beachfront district in four decades. Opened in June of this year, the resort is the only Regent property in Indonesia following the rebranding of the Regent Jakarta as the Four Seasons Jakarta in early 2000. While the Regent Hotels & Resorts group has had a storied history of management, from the Aman’s Adrian Zecha as a founder to the Carlson group, the hotel’s debut in Bali is a stunning fusion of the Regent’s extravagant resort design and luxe Balinese accouterments.
The Look: High ceilings and open-air hallways create an airy vibe from first entrance to the hotel lobby. The resort is made up of free-standing buildings connected by outdoor walkways and verdant gardens. Noticeable throughout the property’s 4 hectares is the kawung pattern, an Indonesian textile design traditionally reserved for the royal family. From latticework in locally sourced mahogany to ceiling reliefs, the pattern incorporates Indonesian details in an understated manner. Indonesian merbau and bingkirai woods in dark finishes add contrast to the resort’s muted color palette of cool grays, blues, and sparks of orange. Views of the Indian Ocean are well utilized in the hotel’s layout, with unobstructed views from the lobby lounge and from dining tables at Nyala Beach Club & Grill.
The Rooms: The Regent offers guests choice views of the ocean or the resort’s gardens from its 94 suites. Although the hotel’s 25 villas won’t be available until early next year, the resort’s singular beachfront villa is ready for booking. It is the suites that claim prime real estate, however, with the villas furthest from the beachfront. Inside the rooms, the hotel’s modern Balinese decor continues with design from the Blink group, which has contributed to big names hotels around the region including the Intercontinental and the Conrad. Beds are dressed in plush linen and cotton sheets. Bath amenities are by L’Occitane and are ideal for soaking in the oversize tub. Marble decks the bathroom’s floors while oversized creamy bathtubs and hand-finished ceramic tiles complete the space.
The Appeal: Perhaps the most stunning facet of the Regent is the temple that graces the center of the property. At ground level the structure appears to be a traditional Balinese Sanggah, or temple for offerings. Stairs below the edifice reveals the hotel’s sunken spa with five treatment rooms and two double rooms for couples. The tranquil spa surrounds the base of the temple, with glass separating the spa from the structure. The resort’s dining is also a treat, with an avoidance of imported products in favor of the island’s homegrown produce.
The Surrounds: Sanur, like the resort-filled coast of Nusa Dua, offers prime beachfront access and luxury accommodations. Sanur has a decidedly more convenient location though, just 30 minutes from the happening haunts of Seminyak compared to Nusa Dua’s hour-long trek. Just 20 minutes from Bali’s international airport, the Regent has convenient access to the attractions but remains firmly planted in a secluded, beachfront locale.
For those in the know… Although you can’t swim in the Regent’s beachfront waters out of respect for Sanur’s fishing community, the hotel will gladly arrange a boat for guests to enjoy the Indian Ocean a bit further afield.
Jl. Kusuma Sari No.8, Sanur, Denpasar; 62-361/301-1888; Regent Bali; doubles from US$350
See a full archive of our Checking In hotel reviews