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  • Writer's pictureFaye Bradley

HOSHINOYA Bali – Hotel Review

BALI


A hotel review of HOSHINOYA Bali. All images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times.


As dawn breaks, the jungle awakens with a chorus of chirping birds perched high in the treetops. The atmosphere floats in a gentle mist, a delicate veil left by the rain that fell during the night. I've just completed my second night's stay at the serene HOSHINOYA Bali, a luxurious boutique hotel ensconced within the lush jungles of Ubud.



I’ve never stayed at a HOSHINOYA resort before, and this one has been on my bucket list since it opened in 2017 as the Japanese hotel group’s first venture outside of the region. 



After a five-hour flight from Hong Kong to Bali, our journey from Ngurah Rai International Airport to HOSHINOYA Bali took approximately one and a half hours by car. Despite the potential for traffic along the scenic route, the beauty of the surroundings quickly erases any concerns as soon as you step onto the property.



HOSHINOYA Bali extends its warm welcome through a magnificent Balinese-style gate adorned with intricate carvings, sheltered beneath a towering roof. As we crossed the threshold, we instantly felt the tranquility of the resort – being so profound that one might easily believe they are the sole guests on the premises.



We only saw guests occasionally, including at breakfast. During our stay, we noticed that the majority of guests had a Japanese background, indicating a strong base of loyal patrons who frequently returning to the hotel.



There are just 30 villas at HOSHINOYA Bali, but each is spacious and beautifully decorated, incorporating Japanese minimalist elements with traditional Balinese influences.



Elements such as Shoji doors, thatched roofs, wooden panels, and futon beds contribute to the harmonious fusion of cultures within the resort. The meticulous design, overseen by Rie Azuma, reflects a deep understanding of Hindu temples and Balinese culture, evident in every detail throughout the property.


There are three villa types, and they range from 2012 square feet to 2238 square feet in size, all directly connecting to the communal pool which runs between the villas. This design was to encourage socialising between the guests, but for those who prefer to keep to their own, there is a private part of the pool for each villa they can retreat to.



 In Villa Jalak, we had a wide balcony that wrapped around the villa with views of the jungle and sunrise from one end, and access to the pool from the other. There is a spacious living room, bedroom and bathroom with a soak-in tub inside, and an outdoor sofa on the terrace.



During our stay, we try various dining experiences at the hotel, all of which, we must say, were excellent. In the morning, guests can enjoy their morning Jamu or Wedang (traditional herbal medicine drinks) from the floating air gazebos above the jungle, and either stay for breakfast, or have their meal in the restaurant, which offers the option of an American, Japanese or Balinese set menu, or a la carte options for something lighter or more specific, like eggs benedict or an acai bowl.



We try the Nusantara set lunch, an eight-course feast that comprises different parts of Indonesian cuisine, from the Laksa Bogor from West Java to the Bebek Sambal (crispy duck) from west Sumatara and Gulai Tahu Tempe Telur (tofu and soy bean cake simmered in turmeric coconut milk) from Madiun. Come dinner time, we indulge in the Bali Harmony set course, a culinary journey that beautifully showcases the concept of Balinese harmony with people, nature, and the divine. With each dish, we were treated to insightful explanations of the symbolism behind the ingredients and the significance of the offerings, drawing from the wisdom of the local philosophy, Tri Hita Karana.



Highlights from this menu include the beautifully served risotto with duck confit, and seasonal local white fish. For those seeking to maximise their room experience, they can opt for room service. Alternatively, a complimentary shuttle to Ubud town provides access to an even wider array of culinary delights.


The resort offers numerous complimentary activities designed to immerse guests in the local culture and enhance their experience. During our three-day stay at the property, we had the opportunity to explore a picturesque Ubud rice field, participate in morning and evening stretching sessions, learn the traditional art of batik making — a technique of wax-resist dyeing applied to white cloth — and engage in the art of Canangsari, which involves crafting Balinese offerings.


At HOSHINOYA Bali, the itinerary is refreshed regularly, ensuring that returning guests can anticipate something novel on each stay. The service is characterised by professionalism and a non-intrusive approach, allowing guests to relax and enjoy their experience to the fullest.



The spa is reached via the resort's funicular. I was pampered with a scrub and massage, followed by a luxurious rose petal bath overlooking the jungle. That night, I enjoyed incredible sleep, with my masseuse skillfully addressing the muscle tensions accumulated from my desk job.



As you wander the grounds of HOSHINOYA Bali, the gentle sounds of water are a constant companion, sourced from the neighbouring village's UNESCO-recognized "Subak" irrigation channel. This ingenious incorporation of the local water system into the hotel's design offers guests a direct encounter with the traditional irrigation methods that sustain Ubud's iconic rice terraces.



HOSHINOYA Bali isn't just a resort; it's a sanctuary where guests can rediscover themselves, revitalise their spirits, and fully embrace the soul of Bali. With its blend of Japanese influences and authentic Balinese traditions, the property offers a truly unique experience that allows guests to deeply immerse themselves in the essence of this enchanting destination – it's no wonder so many media outlets and customers consistently ranked it among the best hotels in Bali.


Location: Jl. Pengembungan, Pejeng Kangin, Kec. Tampaksiring, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80552, Indonesia | Phone: +62 361 8493080 | Email: info_bali@hoshinoya.com | Instagram: @hoshinoyabali| Facebook: Hoshinoya Bali | Website: hoshinoresorts.com/en/hotels/hoshinoyabali


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