The luxury hotels lining the golden sands of Nusa Dua's beachfront sport more stars than the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Nowhere else will you find a collection of luxe hotel brands such as St Regis, Westin, Conrad, Laguna – a Luxury Collection Hotel, Grand Hyatt, Grand Aston, Chedi Sakala, Royal Santrian, Nikko and Melia sitting side- by-side: stunning beachfront property after stunning beachfront property.
Perhaps the only other beachfront location that could give it a run for its money in the luxe accommodation stakes would be Waikiki, Hawaii. But then again, no, not even heavenly Waikiki can stack its stars against this lot, especially now that the French luxury hotel brand, Sofitel, has made its lavish Bali debut with a stunning 415-room, beachfront retreat.
This resort blends a sophisticated European-style of service with a Balinese sense of playfulness, so that as a guest, you always feel welcome and pampered; whether it's a massage by the pool, the discreet in-room butler service or a swim-up drink at the pool bar, the service is personal and friendly.
The resort wraps around a watery arcade of three pools (one with jacuzzis) with pool access rooms opening into a semi-private lagoon which connects to the main pool. There's a variety of room and suite categories, but I think it's worthwhile upgrading to a Club room category. This category gives guests access to Club Millesime, which offers sumptuous breakfasts, all day refreshments, afternoon high tea, evening canapés, an extensive wine and beverage list and a private pool, library and business centre in their two-storey lounge.
Culinary offerings are also outstanding, with three restaurants offering fabulous food variety. Kwee Zeen, a Pan Asian ‘food market’ dining concept with each atelier highlighting a different cuisine from dumplings to hot grills, is the hotel's breakfast, lunch and dinner offering which I doubt would ever get boring. CCC (Cut Catch Cucina) features multi-offerings, with a steakhouse, Italian Osteria and Sea Grill, and Artisan highlights classic Indonesian favourites including satay grills.
One of the best value dining options in Nusa Dua (and what is fast-becoming the ‘in’ dining experience on the island) is the Sofitel's Sunday brunch held at CCC. Starting at around AUD $40++ pp, this is the place to lock away that lazy Sunday you promised yourself – no shopping, no nail painting, no beach massage: just great food and music. Can you think of anything better for a lazy Balinese Sunday!
Pampering for the body and soul is well-taken care of at So Sofitel Spa, a divine space of tranquillity where the highly trained staff deliver an out-of-this-world-experience to jet-lagged bodies. Top tip: indulge in one of the four Rituals Journeys for ultimate pleasure and relaxation.
Adding to the fun, the world-renowned Nikki Beach Club, which has a well-earned reputation for being purveyors of high-end, sophisticated soirees and cool DJ-hosted beach parties, opened its doors beachfront at the Sofitel Resort before Christmas 2014.
Jetstar fly direct to Denpasar from Brisbane, Adelaide, Darwin, Perth and Sydney with fares starting at $159. For all the details and to book visit their website. *Fares are one-way, checked baggage not included. Selected travel dates and conditions apply.