Terraced like the surrounding rice paddies, Alila Villas Soori occupies an undeveloped stretch of fertile coastline roughly 20 minutes from Tabanan, a town northwest of Denpasar known for traditional farming and artisan crafts. The resort’s modern design plays on the shapes, colors, and landscapes of the surrounding area and incorporates local stone as well as ornate design touches inspired by nearby temples and palaces. Outdoor spaces feature bright green trees and grasses along with infinity pools, while high ceilings, cool colors, and marble floors inside create a tranquil escape from the heat.
The property’s spacious rooms and wood-slat shades give off an art-gallery vibe, and the reading-room lounge displays the works of the hotel’s artist in residence. Food is another big focus here, both at the resort’s three restaurants and in tours that explore rice cultivation; exotic ingredients found at the Kerambitan market; and the spices, cacao, and coffee from Jatiluwih.
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The Tabanan Regency in southwest Bali is a picturesque labyrinth of rice fields, temples, and 17th-century palaces. The higher-elevation region of Jatiluwih, at the base of Mount Batukaru, is known for traditional rice farming techniques and UNESCO Heritage irrigation systems, earning the nickname “Bali’s Rice Bowl.” Tabanan is also famous for artistic villages; Pejaten specializes in terra-cotta tile work, while Tunjuk is lauded for gamelan music. Many important temples such as Tanah Lot dot the region, and outdoor areas from the Bedugul Botanic Gardens to the Bali Butterfly Park help guests further appreciate Bali’s natural beauty.
Need to Know
Rooms: 37 pool villas, one three-bedroom residence, four four-bedroom residences, the five-bedroom Soori Residence, and the 10-bedroom Soori Estate. From $625. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Alila Villas Soori has three restaurants. The sunny reading room serves light fare and afternoon tea. Cotta is a lofty space with sandstone walls and black marble floors that specializes in traditional Indonesian cuisines as well as the famous kopi luwak coffee. Also known as civet coffee, it’s made from beans that have passed through the digestive track of an Asian palm civet (a type of wild cat). Indoor-outdoor Ombak features sunset snacks and cocktails; a seasonal tasting menu which might include beet carpaccio and seared snapper; and a signature menu with larger portions of the tasting dishes as well as one-off French-inspired favorites like saffron crab risotto. Ombak also hosts regular cooking and mixology classes. Spa and gym details: The gym, infinity pool, and complimentary yoga classes are great ways to start the day, and Spa Alila is an indulgent treat after excursions to nearby farms and temples. The spa offers a range of packages, or “journeys,” from detox regiments to the new Bed Time Stories reflexology treatment that gets energy flowing through the hands and feet before guests hit the sack at night.
Who's it best for: Food and craft lovers looking for a sophisticated stay off the main tourist track. Our favorite rooms: The 15 Ocean Pool Villas, set atop the Beach Pool Villas, have the best vantage point over the sea plus an outdoor rain shower that invites guests to rinse off before curling up on the daybed with a book. Inside, dark woods, marble floors, and microsuede loungers exude a luxurious air, and the bed and work desk have head-on Indian Ocean views. Larger groups can’t beat the sleek 10-bedroom Soori Estate, a showpiece of sandstone, polished wood, black leather, tropical gardens, and private pools. Some of the furniture is from the resort’s own Soori Collection. Oh, and there’s a library, a giant oceanfront infinity pool, and a helipad. Field trips: Join one of the hotel’s signature outings such as the new Journey of the Gods, a field trip to several western Balinese temples that includes sunset cocktails at a hilltop sanctuary.