It may not seem like the best time to launch a brand new hotel, however that hasn’t stopped Accor-owned Raffles Hotels & Resorts from opening the doors to its latest all-villa property in Indonesia – Raffles Bali in the popular Jimbaran Bay, a 30-minute drive from the airport.
The beachfront resort celebrated its soft opening on 4th July 2020 and is now accepting reservations from 15th July 2020 onwards, though do note that Indonesia currently remains closed to tourist arrivals.
“We are delighted to introduce our most iconic hotel brand to the beautiful island of Bali.
“The highly-anticipated Raffles Bali will be the brand’s second hotel in Indonesia, joining the stunning Raffles Jakarta, and is set to become a special retreat for guests to feel pampered, through meaningful experiences and service that is both gracious and intuitive.”Michael Issenberg, Chairman & CEO Accor Asia Pacific
The resort itself benefits from a hillside setting with ocean views and is set amongst lush tropical gardens.
The team at Raffles Bali is led by Katya Herting, formerly Manager of Swissôtel The Stamford in Singapore.
When can we visit Bali?
Before we take a closer look at the hotel itself, let’s examine the approximate timeline for Bali reopening to tourist visitors, given the current travel restrictions in force.
Luckily, once Bali recovers from the COVID-19 outbreak there is a tourism strategy, which should mean that alongside Manado and Batam, Bali will be one of the first three destinations that the Indonesian government is planning to ease travel restrictions.
Beaches and tourist attractions on the island will reopen to local residents later this week, on 9th July 2020, with provisional permission for domestic tourism intended from 31st July 2020 and international tourism from 11th September 2020, as recently announced by Bali Governor Wayan Koster.
There’s no 90-minute drive to Ubud to worry about with Raffles Bali. The property is located in Jimbaran Bay, meaning your private limo transfer will whisk you to the resort in 15 to 30-minutes, depending on traffic.
“The private limousine transfer from Ngurah Rai International Airport to the luxurious Balinese resort takes less than half an hour; yet despite its brevity, the journey has the power to transport you from one world to another.”Raffles Bali
Raffles Bali is an all-villa property, with just 32 private pool villas, ranging from one- and two-bedroom Ocean Villas right through to the ‘on request’ Presidential Villa.
|Ocean Pool Villa||470 sq m
(5,059 sq ft)
|Panoramic Pool Villa|
|Hill Top Pool Villa||375 sq m
(4,036 sq ft)
|Two Bedroom Ocean Front Villa||900 sq m
(9,688 sq ft)
All villas include indoor and outdoor showers, yoga mats and bespoke beach accessories, in addition to “an indulgent soaking tub”.
“Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or an intimate oasis of emotional wellbeing, Raffles Bali offers unparalleled panoramic ocean views and captivating sunsets from every villa.
“Our beachfront resort is surrounded by lush tropical gardens, providing utmost relaxation due to its generosity of space.”Katya Herting, General Manager, Raffles Bali
Villa amenities include:
- Online newspaper by Press Read
- Daily morning yoga
- Daily replenished non-alcoholic drinks in-villa minibar
- Personalised gift upon departure
- Sleep ritual amenities
- Local landline calls
- Wi-Fi throughout the resort
- Raffles signature pool and beach amenities
Ocean Pool Villa
The hotel’s entry-level suite comes in at a spacious 470 sq m. The king bed sits in front of a batik tapestry wall, facing out to sea for the perfect morning view.
Outside, your private pool terrace also includes a pair of sun loungers and a shaded gazebo with daybed.
Panoramic Pool Villa
Panoramic Pool Villas are equally spacious and provide uninterrupted sea views for perfect sunsets.
You’ll still benefit from a pair of sun loungers, gazebo with daybed and dining furniture on your private pool terrace.
Hill Top Pool Villa
Set at the resort’s highest point, these villas benefit from the best views while being slightly smaller at 375 sq m.
The almost 180-degree view is the key selling point for this category.
Two Bedroom Ocean Front Villa
Bookable on request, the large 900 sq m two-bedroom villas are deigned for families or groups of friends.
The centrepiece is a stone-floored lounge and dining area overlooking the pool terrace.
Finally the Presidential Villa, again only available on request, is a huge 900 sq m space, advertised as “one of the largest and most secluded villas in Jimbaran”.
Two bedrooms provide accommodation for up to four adults in this exclusive space, set high above all the other villas.
Throughout your stay at the resort, your Raffles Wellbeing Butler is at your disposal, anticipating your needs and helping you to organise your stay.
“With an extensive and genuine knowledge of the island, our Raffles Wellbeing Butlers will enrich your time with an insider’s perspective on local customs. They can also arrange unique cultural experiences, from temple dance ceremonies to traditional cooking classes. Any wish is only a request away.”Raffles Bali
Raffles Spa offers two treatment suites, with their own soaking tub and sliding doors that lead to a hill-view terrace. Opening hours are from 9am to 9pm.
Alternatively you can book the property’s remote hillside treatment suite, The Sanctuary, between 9am and 6pm, or have a treatment in the privacy of your own villa if you prefer.
Swimming pool and beach
Even though each villa has its own private pool, Raffles Bali also presents the option of lounging by its 25-metre infinity pool, perched just above the resort’s private beach.
Here you’re bound to be well looked after, with drinks served from the poolside Loloan Beach Bar.
The swimming pool is open daily from 6am, for the early risers, through to a post-sunset dip at 8pm.
Other facilities include a fitness centre and tennis courts, both open 24 hours.
There are two restaurants at Raffles Bali; the Loloan Beach Bar and Grill and Rumari.
The dining experience is overseen by French-born Executive Chef Gaetan Biesuz, formerly of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Krabi and more recently the St. Regis Langkawi.
The Loloan Beach Bar and Grill serves drinks from 11am to midnight, including a signature ‘Bali Sling’. It also serves lunch from 12pm to 5pm, then a dinner menu from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.
Cuisine at this restaurant centres around artisan wood-fired pizza and fresh locally caught seafood.
Rumari is located at the opposite side of the resort, at the highest point to benefit not only from the view but also the natural breeze.
This is where an à la carte breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10.30am, followed by dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm.
Cuisine here is “a contemporary take on traditional Balinese and Indonesian”.
“Chef Gaetan and Chef Eka brings his own unique twist to some of Bali’s most beloved classics, including succulent Beef Rendang curry and the delicately balanced sweet and sour flavours of Rujak Scallop. For breakfast, international favourites appear alongside Indonesian specialties. Every dish, no matter its provenance, is crafted using the finest seasonal ingredients from the surrounding area with many exotic herbs, fruits and vegetables grown in the resort’s own Farm Terrace garden.”
If you’re staying at a different hotel, the two restaurants at Raffles Bali also take outside bookings, with the exception of breakfast at Rumari, which is for residents only.
Raffles Bali also offers three other dining experiences, which can be pre-arranged or booked in-resort:
- The Farm Terrace: Open-air cooking classes and mixology lessons or a catered private dinner at a farm-style table set beneath a vine-covered pergola.
- The Purnama: A candlelit dinner in a private gazebo, built on rocks above the ocean.
- The Secret Cave: A private dining experience in a natural cave at the heart of the resort.
No Raffles property is complete without a nod to the iconic original Writers Bar, located in the lobby of Raffles Singapore.
This open-air interpretation at the pinnacle of the resort takes advantage of the sunset view at 6.15pm to 6.30pm each evening, depending on the time of year.
Alongside the Writers Bar is The Library, which the hotel describes as “a relaxing haven to savour classic or whimsically spiced cocktails, a glass of Champagne, or an after-dinner digestif”.
A traditional British afternoon tea is also served in The Library.
Raffles in Singapore
Where it all began in 1887, Raffles Singapore is world famous for its private butlers, the Singapore Sling and legendary service standards.
The hotel recently underwent a two-and-a-half-year renovation, reopening in mid-2019. We spent two nights there in August 2019 to see whether the modernisation had retained the property’s renowned heritage and charm.
You can read our comprehensive review below to find out.
Raffles Hotels & Resorts is also planning a second hotel in Singapore, with the all-villa Raffles Sentosa Resort & Spa slated to open in 2022.
The property will feature 61 private pool villas across a 1,000,000 sq ft plot adjacent to the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa.
In addition to the Sentosa Resort & Spa, Raffles is also set to open new hotels at Udaipur in India later this year, followed by properties in Bahrain, Jeddah, Boston and London by 2022.
This will give Accor’s top brand a global range of 20 hotels in the coming years.
It will be a gradual ramp-up for the latest Raffles property in Bali due to global travel restrictions, with the hotel opening its doors to guest stays in mid-July 2020, then taking advantage of domestic tourism through August and hopefully a return for international guests from September 2020 onwards.
The villas are large and well appointed, with private pools, al fresco dining areas and gazebos, plus a large ocean-facing bath tub in most cases.
Location wise the hillside overlooking Jimbaran Bay is a beautiful setting, as those who’ve visited the adjacent Four Seasons Bali will attest to, also benefiting from a short journey to Bali’s International Airport.
The dining and bar options also look enticing, with a strong focus on quality ingredients and local influences.
This is certainly one addition to Bali’s extensive hotel scene we’re looking forward to experiencing for ourselves once travel picks up in the months ahead.
Example refundable rates including breakfast and taxes for a weekend stay in November 2020:
- Ocean Pool Villas from US$1,080/nt
- Panoramic Pool Villas from US$1,520/nt
- Hill Top Pool Villas from US$1,670/nt
(Cover Photo: Dewandra Djelantik / Accor)