Southern Bali’s New Japanese Hotel
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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