The temperature in bali stays around 30 degrees Celsius all year round as it is close to the equator, but what makes the middle of the year more pleasant is the lower humidity – around 50 per cent as opposed to upwards of 70 per cent from November to March. Days are hot and sunny and rain is minimal.
Direct flights to Bali’s Denpasar Airport are available from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth. Flight times range from just two and a half hours from Darwin, less than four hours from Perth and just over six hours for east coast departures. Return economy fares start from A$650 and business class fares from A$1,800.
Best for Couples
35 pool villas are tucked away in the leafy hills and rice paddies outside of Ubud, Bali’s cultural and artistic centre. The villas have high ceilings with wooden four poster beds, marble bathrooms, outdoor showers and 24-hour butler service. Don’t miss a treatment in the Lila Ulangun Spa with open-air treatment rooms perched over the Ayung River.
Rates: From US$650 (about A$632) per night.
Best for Variety
This new beachfront resort in Nusa Dua is made up of three adjoining properties on more than 70 acres. The Mulia is an all-suite property with individual butler service, Mulia Resort has 526 rooms across different categories and the Mulia Villas are the largest rooms of their kind on the island. There are eight restaurants across the complex, multiple swimming pools and a large spa.
Rates: Rooms from US$260 (about A$253) per night and villas from US$705 (about A$686) per night.
Nikko Bali Resort & Spa
Best for Families
This 389-room resort sits atop a 40-metre cliff in Nusa Dua, in the south of Bali, with sweeping views over the Indian Ocean. Kids will love the Jungle Camp complete with tree houses and rock climbing wall, or if you’re staying sans famille book a room on one of the club floors – the lounge, sun deck and private pool are for over 12s only. In 2013 Nikko Bali will open a collection of luxury, freestanding, one-, two- and three-bedroom villas. Each villa will be at least 200 square metres and have a private swimming pool, kitchen and separate dining area. The villas will be spread around a 90-acre site 50 metres from the resort’s main entrance, giving privacy while still being close enough to access all facilities.
Rates: Entry level rooms start from IDR1,499,910 (about A$150) per night and suites from IDR5,350,000 (about A$536) per night plus taxes. Villas range from US$650 (about A$632) per night for a one-bedroom villa to US$5,000 (about A$4,684) per night for the three-bedroom oceanfront villa plus taxes.
Best for Groups
Ever wanted to stay at your own private resort? Ketapang is a luxury estate surrounded by lush rice paddies with seven individual villas scattered around the sprawling grounds. It takes bookings for only one group of up to 14 people at a time for exclusive use of the facilities. All villas make use of reclaimed wood in the form of floorboards from Borneo or intricately carved antique joglos (traditional Javanese houses). The estate fronts 300 metres of private, black-sand beach and wooden decks with comfy lounges and sun beds are built above the sand. If you’re feeling active there is an oceanfront Olympic-size swimming pool, a tennis court and private yoga or pilates lessons can be arranged. If not, have a massage in the floating spa pavilion or watch a movie in the private cinema. Chefs prepare a daily-changing menu in the kitchens and guests can dine in the main bale, in the air-conditioned Rock dining room or in the beachfront pergola.Rates: From US$2,800-3,800 (about A$2,724-3,697) per night plus taxes for up to 14 people including breakfast, butler service, airport transfers and Wi-Fi.
Best for Romance
This large resort is set on almost 200 acres in the Jimbaran region, south of Denpasar. Choose between the 290 rooms of the main hotel or one of the 78 villas perched on the surrounding cliffs. The villas all have at least 300 square metres of indoor and outdoor living space, private pools and 24-hour butler service. As you’d expect with a resort of this size there’s a huge range of facilities – four swimming pools (including a children’s pool), private beach, 18-hole putting golf course, tennis courts, kids’ club, 10 bars and restaurants, dinner theatre and a large spa complex with plunge pools, hydrotherapy rooms, private spa villas and two spa villas on rocky outcrops stretching out into the sea. Don’t miss a sunset drink at the Rock Bar, an open air bar sitting on the cliff 14 metres above the ocean, or a romantic meal 30 metres out into the ocean on the private jetty.
Rates: Entry level rooms from US$224 (about A$218) per night, suites from US$386 (about A$376) per night and villas from US$651 (about A$633) per night plus taxes.