We all know how Bali is famous for its picturesque beaches. But, if what you are looking for is tranquil peace amidst Bali’s untouched tropical forests, then rest and recharge at HOSHINOYA Bali. As the first-ever Hoshinoya hotel located outside of Japan, it is designed in such a way that blends with the land, history, and culture of Indonesia. Combined with a high level of Japanese-style hospitality, Omotenashi, and the Japanese luxurious minimalism – the award-winning HOSHINOYA Bali offers a unique experience for every guest. In this article, we will share more reasons why you should choose HOSHINOYA Bali for a unique stay experience in a tropical paradise.
9 Reasons to Stay at the Stunning, Luxurious HOSHINOYA Bali
1. A magical encounter with Balinese culture
Enveloped by the lush green hills of Ubud, the centre of Bali’s culture and art, HOSHINOYA Bali overlooks the mystical Pakerisan River that appears in Balinese mythology. The overall design of this one-of-a-kind resort is unified by water, with three canal-like pools connecting all the villas of this resort village. So basically, wherever you are in HOSHINOYA Bali, you feel, see, and hear the river all around you.
More than just a place to refresh, the pools feature a subak channel (Bali’s UNESCO designed irrigation system) as part of the island’s age-old water temple network, which runs down to a neighbouring rice paddy field. We absolutely love the sustainability done here! And by sharing this water with the other guests, you, too, become a part of the community, partaking in Ubud’s philosophy and culture.
Although a Japanese brand, HOSHINOYA values Bali’s spiritual philosophy that combines Hinduism with Animism. So, don’t be surprised if you see flowers offered to the gods every morning! Then, in the evening (sometimes even during meal times), the sacred sounds of the gamelan ring through the premises, attuning you to the presence of the gods as you soak up the natural energy all around.
2. Relaxing, pool-side villas with a breathtaking 70m pool
As mentioned, HOSHINOYA Bali is a resort village, consisting of many villas surrounding a unique, breathtaking set of pools in the middle. This is somehow similar to the traditional Balinese villas that are located near precious bodies of water. The pools were incredibly beautiful and filled with emerald green water – they looked like they were straight out of a magazine!
Every villa has direct access to the pool, each with a private section that juts over the water wherein you can stay and enjoy the gentle waterside winds that pass through. You can even dip your foot into the cool pool if you easily get hot!
We stayed in a Soka, a garden pool villa/maisonette that offered the utmost privacy for our entire family. Baby Ally slept with our helper on the 1st level, so we could watch shows in the evening on the 2nd level. The view up there was amazing, with large windows that can be opened to bring in Bali’s soothing breezes. But if you prefer to admire the majestic river valleys much closer, we highly recommend staying in the Jalak, a garden pool villa with a wide, winding balcony.
What’s also great about HOSHINOYA Bali is that they have Japanese automated toilet bowls with heated seats, so when you enter the toilet, it automatically lifts up! You can press the buttons on the side for the automated bidet. The resort may look really traditional and minimalistic at first, but it actually offers plenty of modern comforts that we really love. My experience with our villa’s high-pressure rain shower was also great, I felt like I was really getting drenched during showers. Perfect for hot summers!
3. Flair for Bali’s traditional art
Ubud has always been the epicentre of Bali’s art and culture, which you can clearly see in HOSHINOYA Bali. From the moment you arrive, you will be welcomed with an intricately sculpted front gate, influenced by Bali’s many Hindu temples.
Meanwhile, the villa interiors consist of beautiful Balinese furniture and wall hangings with traditional wood carvings. Each carving is intricately done by master artisans on the island, telling a story related either to Ubud’s nature or its folklore. At night, the flicker of soft lights placed inside wood carvings creates a soothing ambience. Really, really beautiful!
The stone walls of the poolside living areas also feature complex engravings with plant and animal motifs, creating an aesthetic connection between the villa interior and the majestic jungles that extend beyond the villa.
4. High level of omotenashi
One of the main highlights of staying at any Hoshino Resort is the level of omotenashi or Japanese hospitality they offer. Everyone’s really nice here, showing the warmth and friendliness you can expect from every Balinese. Also, there is a no-tipping policy here. Service charges are already included in your stay, so don’t feel bad if a staff refuses anything you give them. If you really want to leave a tip for the staff, you may do so at the front desk so that the tips get shared amongst all the staff.
5. Escape to nature for true relaxation
HOSHINOYA Bali is situated atop the lush forests of Ubud, perfectly hidden from the hustle and bustle of the city – a true place for Bali relaxation. From the resort, you can see the jungles stretch in almost every direction, and the trees are so close that you can actually feel their leaves and branches, or perhaps reach out to get a coconut. Even Baby Ally loved the ambience there!
To make sure that we don’t miss out on all the beautiful sights at the resort, we had a family photoshoot with Gusmank, and he absolutely loved it there. We had the shoot from 6:30 am and it was very cooling until 8:30 am, almost like we were in an air-conditioned room, so it was so easy to stay fresh all throughout. Gusmank took really gorgeous photos of us, capturing the resort from all angles and with the wonders of nature in the background. Sharing more of our photos below!
6. Romantic breakfast at an Air Gazebo
You should never miss out on dining at the resort’s unique Air Gazebos. These private cafe spaces have been designed to blend in with the surrounding jungle, letting guests enjoy their meals while gazing out at the vivid green forest that extends beyond. With comfortable sofas, a peaceful ambience, and a refreshing breeze, it is the perfect date spot for you and your loved one. You can definitely get lots of beautiful photos here to post on IG!
The special Indonesian breakfast set we had at the Air Gazebo was also very lovely. Designed in picnic style, we really enjoyed the resort’s take on the traditional Balinese dish Bubur injin (black rice pudding).
7. Gastronomic adventure
As for lunch and dinner, they are best enjoyed in HOSHINOYA Bali’s spacious open-air restaurant. Not only were the dishes amazing, but also the décor, furniture, and wall carvings – all crafted by local artisans – make the experience truly enjoyable. The view was just a bonus!
The restaurant offers a gastronomic fare of French, Balinese and Japanese delicacies. For a taste of everything, we highly recommend the 10-course menu consisting of French and Balinese fusion dishes with a touch of Japanese essence. Our favourites were the Gently Sauteed Bigfin Reel Squid, Slowly Cooked Salmon with Cucumber Sauce, and the Sushi Mittsu; definitely a gastronomic adventure for our tastebuds.
For ala carte dining, I would recommend the Sukiyaki and the HOSHINOYA Jewel Box which consists of top-quality fresh sashimi. You can really see that the resort’s Japanese chefs carefully prepare their dishes with delicate and authentic Japanese cooking techniques.
HOSHINOYA Bali also offers the best that Indonesian cuisine has to offer. In fact, the Indonesian helper that we brought on the trip with us said that the Nasi goreng she had at HOSHINOYA was one of the best ones she has ever eaten. If they impress a local, then the dishes must be really good! However, please do note that their Ayam betutu requires a prior reservation, so be sure to do that if you are looking to try their Balinese special. Make sure to try some cocktails as well – I highly recommend the Arak Caipirinha and Arak Mojito, really love them!
You may also opt to try their Indonesian set menu for breakfast, which is made even better by the soft and relaxing sunlight that pours into the restaurant early in the morning. HOSHINOYA’s version of Bubur (rice porridge) served with 9 colourful condiments was quite a delight. Their yellow and white chicken soup (choose the yellow one if you prefer spicy food) and Pepes ayam (steamed chicken) were also delicious.
8. Wide array of enjoyable activities
Aside from dining and relaxing, there are so many things to do in HOSHINOYA Bali. There is a Balinese dance performance (plus dance lessons!), welcome matcha, canang (Balinese offering), crafts workshop amongst many others. Our favourite, though, is the Batik workshop – it’s super fun and enjoyable! Mandi, one of their staff who was there since the opening of the hotel in 2017, introduced us to the entirety of Batik making process. It was pretty fun learning how to use the wax to outline the patterns, and then colour it with paints of different colours. Overall, this workshop is probably one of the most fun activities we have experienced on our whole Bali trip – you can even take your Batik masterpiece home as a souvenir!
For those in Bali looking to have an “Eat, pray, love” kind of experience, make sure to sign up for the resort’s sun salutation yoga activity to awaken your body while overlooking the misty jungle of Ubud and basking in the warm morning sunshine. This type of yoga does not incorporate any complicated movements, so anyone can participate in this activity.
9. Relaxing treatments from a downhill spa
Of course, do not forget to try the famous Balinese massage during your stay. You are in Bali to relax after all! At HOSHINOYA Bali, veteran massage practitioners apply herbal medicine, rice flour, and other natural ingredients to revive the skin’s vitality, while easing muscular and spiritual tension and realigning the ki without applying too much pressure on the body.
Moreover, spa rooms are located halfway down the hill from the resort, so guests become more attuned to the sounds and energies of the forests and Pakerisan River below. You actually have to ride a unique elevator that goes down the resort for an environment that’s more conducive to deep relaxation.
After a massage, head back to your villa to relax. You may also try a nice traditional Japanese tea service in one of the resort’s suspended gazebos over the jungle in the afternoons.
A hilltop resort where Balinese culture and Japanese architecture perfectly collides, HOSHINOYA Bali is definitely one of the best places to stay on the whole island. Our experience there was unlike any other; from the ambience to the food to the villas – everything was just perfect!
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