Travel + Leisure Luxury Awards Asia Pacific 2023 reveals our readers’ picks of the best hotels, pools, spas and even general managers in Indonesia. We know you love Bali, but there’s a lot of beautiful hospitality across this archipelago.
WHEN INDONESIA REOPENED its borders to the world in early 2022, tourists first trickled in and then full-on streamed. By high season the busiest holiday island, Bali, felt especially back in action and it was clear our readers had sorely missed their time away from paradise.
Even during the pandemic, development didn’t slow and the country celebrated some major hotel and resort openings, quite a few of which were ranked high by readers in this year’s Luxury Awards. What’s more, in Bali, local talent such as chef Made Dhanu (Fed by Made) and chef Wayan Kresna Yasa (Home by Chef Wayan) opened their own restaurants to much acclaim. Neighbourhoods such as Uluwatu and Pererenan got even buzzier while places such as Canggu cemented their status as permanent hot spots.
To help others navigate their next trip to Indonesia, our readers chose favorites in a slew of categories. Unsurprisingly, Bali came out on top in all except city hotels, which was solidly favored by Jakarta properties, and many of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands appear as both winners and runners-up.
First for a sweeping archipelago full of sand-fringed islands is the Best Beach Resort category, a list topped by the longtime favorite Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, a family-friendly property with easy access to surf and sand that beautifully marries all elements of Bali thanks to robust programming, diverse dining and those plush pool villas. Newcomers did very well in this category: See the sustainably designed Potato Head Studios, which alongside the newly renamed and reopened Potato Head Suites (formerly Katamama) at Desa Potato Head won No. 2, and intimate Raffles Bali, which opened during the pandemic and was crowned No. 8. Amid all the Bali love, NIHI Sumba (No. 3) stands out as the single finalist elsewhere.
For Best Upcountry Hotels, the outrageously intricate world designer Bill Bensley created for the tented Capella Ubud “camp” in Keliki won top billing. Voters further showed their adventurous spirits by selecting the walls- and doors-free mid-2022 opening Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape, at No. 3.
Jakarta has seen a flurry of striking luxury hotel openings of late and it’s fitting the best City Hotels in Indonesia are all in the bustling metropolis, with lush The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Mega Kuningan, winning the most reader affection. Also appearing on the cosmopolitan list: top luxury brands including Raffles (No. 2), Four Seasons (No. 3), Langham (No. 5) and Mandarin Oriental (No. 6).
For the most striking Hotel Pools, our readers chose The Apurva Kempinski’s 60-meter wonder worthy of the palatial resort. Other perennial picks include The Mulia in Nusa Dua (No. 2) and AYANA Resort Bali (No. 6), each of which has a healthy collection of Instagrammable pools.
When it comes to pampering Hotel Spas, AYANA Resort Bali with its famous Spa on the Rocks treatment villas and extensive Thalassotherapy pool came in No 1. Readers recognized NIHI Sumba’s Spa Safari™ in the No. 3 slot for its indulgent natural take on wellness while The Asa Maia, an intimate new retreat in Uluwatu, scored the No. 9 spot.
Finally, readers honored the Marriott veteran Marcel Kloet of The St. Regis Bali with the No. 1 Hotel General Manager win after he rose to the occasion of pandemic challenges after being appointed in 2021, with Alila Villas Uluwatu’s Hemal Jain as the admired runner up.
Best Beach Resorts in Indonesia
3. NIHI Sumba
5. Soori Bali
8. Raffles Bali
Best Upcountry Hotels in Indonesia
1. Capella Ubud
10. Stone House Bali
Best City Hotels in Indonesia
Best Hotel Pools in Indonesia
7. Capella Ubud
Best Hotel Spas in Indonesia
3. Nihi Sumba
6. Raffles Bali
9. The Asa Maia
Best Hotel General Managers in Indonesia
1. Marcel Kloet, The St. Regis Bali Resort
2. Hemal Jain, Alila Villas Uluwatu
3. Alamsyah Jo , The Westin Surabaya
4. Lucia Liu, The Laguna Luxury Collection, Nusa Dua Bali
5. Axel Jehangir, The Asa Maia
Lede image courtesy of Uluwatu Surf Villas.