Until recently, visiting Indonesia’s beach-fringed magnet for global clean eaters, wave chasers, and crypto traders meant quarantining in a government-approved hotel for at least three days. No more: After almost two years of coronavirus closure, its government announced that from March 14, vaccinated Bali-bound travelers would no longer need to quarantine upon arrival.
But there are still a few hoops to jump through: Fully vaccinated Americans must present a negative PCR test taken within the 48 hours before their flight to Bali, and will also have to take another PCR test upon landing. While they await results they’ll be transferred to a pre-booked CHSE-certified hotel of the traveler’s choosing, where they’ll be free to move around after receiving a negative PCR result, but also required to stay a minimum of three nights and take another test on day three. Once that day three test comes back negative, they’re free to leave the hotel. (Rules change regularly, so make sure to check the tourism board’s official website for the most up-to-date entry conditions.)
Travelers who overcome these hurdles will be among the first to try out a slew of new hotels, bars, and restaurants that have popped up around the island during its pandemic lull. Here’s the lowdown on the most anticipated new and upcoming spots for Bali’s reopening, both on the island and slightly further afield.
New Bali hotels to book
Cascading down a Jimbaran Bay hilltop onto a private beach, Raffles Bali is the island’s big-buck newcomer. The villas—complete with butlers and infinity pools—meld traditional Balinese touches with the brand’s signature chicness (think lots of polished wood and creamy color palettes) and dining options run the gamut from farm-to-table riffs on Indonesian classics to candlelit dinners in a “secret cave.” (And yes, the Writers Bar does serve a Bali Sling.)
Along laid-back Sanur Beach, Andaz Bali takes its inspiration from traditional Balinese village life. The resort mimics a sprawling community with distinctively different districts: there’s a restaurant-lined ‘village square,’ three Bayan-tree shaded pools, and a sleek beachfront seafood spot, and rooms are decked out in plaited bamboo, wood carvings and batik textiles.
Later this year, the all-villa Kimpton Naranta Bali will open its doors in the hills of Nusa Dua, marking the boutique brand’s Indonesian debut. Food will be the focus here, with an indoor-outdoor speakeasy, an all-day, feel-good diner, and a Japanese-Western barbecue spot that’ll host jazzy supper clubs on weekends.
Over in Ubud, mid-2020 arrival Titik Dua celebrates local crafts within a boxy, tropical modernism–inspired building by renowned Indonesian architect Andra Matin. The snug rooms feature hand-crafted furnishing and textiles by local artisans, and the hotel’s coworking-friendly cafe and art gallery often host talks and exhibitions on Bali’s burgeoning art scene.
And when it opens at the end of May, Buahan, the first property under Banyan Tree’s new Escape brand, will deliver the epitome of Bali bliss: Just 16 wooden villas, each equipped with a copper tub and its own pool, dot a swath of undulating jungle just north of Ubud to bring guests closer to nature than any other Balinese resort has before. So close, in fact, that guests can reach out and brush the palm leaves from their bedroom—the open-air villas are affixed with roll-up canvas curtains instead of walls.