Plan for an Unforgettable Luxurious Getaway to Soori, Bali

Bali is one of a tiny island among the more than 17,000 that make up the island-nation of Indonesia. It has 5 million of the 250 million Indonesian citizens, and hosts almost half that number of tourists every year.  It would appear practically impossible to have a calm, tranquil vacation there.

However, after traveling for a month to every corner of the island, I found a place that was not only secluded, but one that offers the most magnificent, luxurious, and well thought out resorts that I have yet to see. Soori Bali is a luxury hotel located on the western side of the island, just north of the bustling city of Denpasar, the airport, and the famous white beaches of Uluwatu and Seminyak, where most of the hotels and restaurants are located. 

Instead of the bustling crystal white sand beaches, Soori Bali has a silky black sanded private beach with the calming sound of the Indian Ocean’s rumbling waves. The black sands are remnants from the volcano eruptions of the domineering Mount Agung and its smaller nearby relative Mount Batukaru. The volcanic nature of this island helped form the mountain range that you can admire from every side of the island. It’s also helped produce incredibly fertile land that contributes to its important coffee, clove, and rice production. 

Designed, operated, and run by the renowned Singaporean architect, Soo K. Chan, this intimate hotel of 87 villas is intricately planned to meet high expectations, no matter who you are. From vacationing with a partner or family, to hosting a bachelorette trip, reunion, or full destination wedding, you will undoubtedly find the accommodations you are looking for.

Comprised of exquisitely designed villas, each one featuring a private pool, interior and exterior lounges, full bathrooms with bathtubs, and an outdoor shower as well as private access to the pool from the bedroom. Small details have been thought out including a choice of 12 Balinese Nespresso coffees, his and her sun hats and flip flops, Bose speakers, and a well-stocked mini bar for guests to enjoy.  

The main hotel has a beautiful garden that runs along the beach where you find the main pool, bar, restaurants, reading room, gym, and highly-ranked spa (It was voted best resort spa in 2022 by World Spa Awards).

Recently arrived executive chef, Matias Stuber, and his team runs the restaurants, private dining, and catering at the property. The breakfast was beyond delicious, starting with a variety of fresh juices (strawberry!), a basket of home baked breads, and home-made jams (mango, pineapple, and strawberry!). While I skipped lunch (the bountiful breakfast was so filling!), most guests will have their lunch and sometimes their dinner in their villa. I ventured to one of the outdoor restaurants for dinner. Your choice of Italian or Indonesian cuisine with inspired cocktails and a wonderful wine list. 

In addition, the property has a 10-room villa – “a hotel within the hotel” was the way Ika Dunn, Director of Sales and Marketing, told me as she showed me the jaw-dropping property that has its own full kitchen, dining, living room and library as well as an enormous pool, gym, and spa.  This private facility can work independently from the hotel if the guests prefer and can host weddings of up to 50 guests. There is also a 6-room villa with a similar set up and two-, three- and four-bedroom villas for families or smaller groups.  

After speaking with Ika, Chef Matias, and the General Manager Astrid Killian, I learned that guests come to Soori Bali for longer stays and the hotel is always coming up with new ideas to entertain the guests.  They arrange private tours to the nearby Tanah Lot temple, rice fields, the nearby town of Ubud, and other natural parks. Also, the hotel works to create special dinners (like a honeymoon dinner on the beach) where they carve out a seat and table out of sand, cover it with material and throw pillows, and serve a special menu. They also host weddings for up to 250 guests in an area at one end of the property where the helipad is located. The ceremony generally takes place at dusk with the sun dipping behind the ocean then followed by the reception under the starlit skies.   

With almost all the hotel staff (80%) coming from the nearby villages, Soori Bali is very committed to the preservation of the region.  Employment is only a small fraction of what they do. During Covid when the island was closed, the owner continued to purchase the rice from the local farmers and, realizing the accumulation, decided to create a barter system where they asked the locals to pick up garbage from the beaches and streets in exchange for rice. Also, they host children from the village to learn the traditional dances and musical instruments and have recently started offering English classes as well. One senses the mutual respect that exists when you speak to any of the employees, they are all very aware and grateful for this relationship which allows them to stay close to home and work toward improving their land.

Bali is the only part of Indonesia that is primarily Hindi. You will find temples lining all the streets and at the entrance to every home. For all celebrations, men, women, and children will dress up in traditional costume and prepare elaborate offerings and meals to celebrate. According to the traditional philosophy of “Tri Hita Karana”, the three causes of wellbeing are harmony with God, harmony among people, and harmony with the environment; Soori Bali appears to understand that and allows their guests to bask in the result.

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