Purists and grouches will say it peaked 20 years ago, but that hasn’t stopped hippies, hopefuls and everyone in between from descending on Ubud, the rice-paddy-and-Hindu-temple-punctuated town in southern Bali. Now the storied Japanese hotel group Hoshinoya has joined the wave, opening its doors in a quiet village about 10 minutes’ drive outside of town. The just opened Hoshinoya Bali has 30 thatch-roofed, multi-floor villas, all of which flank the three long, interconnected pools that run through the property like a river; guests are able to step directly from their villas’ living rooms into the water. After a swim, they can go skyward and drink a cup of lemongrass tea in one of the elevated open-air gazebo lounges that seem to float above the treetops. What really distinguishes Hoshinoya, though, isn’t Balinese at all, but its exquisite Japanese-inflected menu (try the chawan mushi, a savory custard topped with uni from Hokkaido) — as good as anything you might find in Kyoto, and a lovely, if unexpected, complement to the lush surroundings.
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