Luxury Bali Holidays
Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert headed to Bali for the 'love' part of her spiritual journey, but holiday here and we think it's the island itself that'll be most likely to steal your heart.
The first big draw is the beaches. The north and west coasts are home to dramatic black-sand spots, the east is a surfer's paradise, and in the south you'll find stretches of golden grains. Then there's the scenery. The island is volcanic, so you can expect soaring hills and striking dark cliffs, plus the interior is blanketed in lush jungle and bottle-green rice paddies.
Culture is another plus point. Thousands of temples (known as pura) are scattered all over Bali, often with flower petal offerings decorating the paths outside. Traditional art forms are still practised across the island, including batik painting, wood carving and dancing.
Bali's location also means it's great for multi-centre holidays. Twin a week or two relaxing on the beaches with a few days exploring the vibrant cities of Hong Kong, Singapore or Dubai.
Flight time from the UK to Bali is around 16 hours. Flights will include a stop along the way, often in the Middle East or Singapore.
When to go
Bali's tropical climate is ruled by two distinct seasons. The rainy season lasts from around November to February, while the dry season is May to September. The summer months are seen as the best time to visit Bali, with temperatures hanging in the late 20s (aim for early summer if you're after less humidity and quieter beaches).
Things to do in Bali
Spend a day in Ubud
The hill town of Ubud in the centre of Bali is a world away from the beach resorts and well worth a day or two of your holiday. It's surrounded by lush greenery and has an arty, bohemian feel. Shop for carved wood souvenirs and colourful paintings at one of the craft shops (there are also a handful of galleries selling reasonably priced fine art), then grab lunch to go from a street food stall. If you're after clothes, the Art Market is a good place to try.
Visit a temple
You'll find beautiful Hindu temples dotted all over the island. Some of the most popular are Pura Besahik (the 'mother temple'), a huge complex that sits on a mountainside; Uluwatu Temple, set on the edge of a cliff; Tanah Lot, a unique temple perched on a rocky outcrop that's lapped by waves; and Ulun Banu Beratan Temple, which stands next to Beratan Lake (a favoured spot with photographers).
Explore the underwater world
There are plenty of dive sites around the island where you can spot manta rays, turtles and ocean sunfish, as well as explore coral walls and shipwrecks. There are some great locations for snorkellers, too (the island of Nusa Lembongan is a popular pick). If you'd rather stay dry, head out on a dolphin-spotting trip - pods are often seen playing out in the waters close to the north coast town of Lovina.
The Sovereign Standard
To help you choose your perfect holiday we have rated all of our hotels using our own system.
Classical Sovereign hotels are more modest hotels offering charm and character, or an exceptional location. Many of these hotels have been firm favourites with Sovereign customers for countless years and offer great value for money.
Luxury Collection hotels offer everything you would expect to go hand in hand with a luxury holiday. They offer high standards of service and attention to all those important little details.
Exclusive Collection hotels provide the ultimate luxury; they are the finest, most opulent hotels offering superlative service and excellent facilities, which will satisfy the needs of even the most discerning traveller.
Family Collection hotels are some of the finest family-friendly resorts and offer a wide range of facilities for both children and parents. Families can enjoy a whole host of amenities including fun kid's clubs, a dedicated children's pool and spacious accommodation.