This year’s World’s Best Awards survey is open for voting from 11 January to 10 May 2021, as destinations around the world are lifting COVID-19 restrictions. Survey rules always allow readers to reflect on their travel experiences over a three-year period. We hope this year’s winners inspire your travels when you return to the world.
In 2019, Indonesia welcomed more than 16 million tourists, and before the outbreak, that number would only continue to grow. At the time of writing, the country’s borders remain closed to international tourists, but when safe travel becomes possible again, people are sure to flock back to its historic towns, culturally rich cities, famous national parks and UNESCO World heritage site. When they do, they will no doubt look for the best resorts in Indonesia to use as their base.
Every year, in our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to share their thoughts on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines and more. Hotels are rated on amenities, location, service, food and overall value. Properties are classified as cities or resorts based on their location and amenities.
Although Indonesia is made up of more than 17,000 islands, there are still some islands that continue to attract tourists. The tourist hub is of course Bali, known for centuries for its art, music and unique Hindu-inspired architecture. The island of more than 4 million people is home to three top resorts this year, including Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton reserve. Readers praised its excellent Balinese cuisine and its location not far from Ubud temples and shopping streets. One respondent simply wrote, “Wow!”
But such a diverse country, with such a large archipelago, offers a range of experiences – and many travelers seem to be looking for a side of Indonesia that is less scenic and more pure isolation. One property on this year’s list is in a less touristy area: Nihi Sumba, an island nearly twice the size of Bali but with one-sixth the population. 28 villas make up one of the most secluded resorts in the country: 90 minutes drive from the nearest airport. As one reader commented, “It’s truly an amazing place, not easy to get to, but once you get to the resort, you know it’s well worth the journey.” Another reader praised Personalized service and food, delicious and varied, “you could stay for a month without getting bored.”
The number one resort in Indonesia brings us back to Bali, though – and despite only opening in 2018, it promises to be a mainstay on this list. Read on for all the top picks from T+L readers.
1. Capella Ubud Bali
“Bill Bensley at his best!” wrote one survey respondent, and indeed, the property feels like it couldn’t have come from anyone else’s imagination. The sustainable aesthetic of the renowned Bangkok designer is on full display at the three-year-old hotel, which features 22 canvas tents (and a two-bedroom cabin) with sumptuous textiles, handcrafted Balinese Island furniture and a private saltwater plunge pool offer unspoilt rainforest views. (In fact, Bensley’s benchmark was to minimize its environmental impact.) Respondents focused on spotless service; food driven by seasonal ingredients; and a secluded, romantic atmosphere, more than one reader recalled being there Had a blissful honeymoon. Not only is Capella Ubud one of the best hotels in Indonesia, this year T+L readers voted it the fifth best hotel in the world.
More information: capellahotels.com
2. Alila Mangosteen, Bali
More information: alilahotels.com
3. Nishi Sumba, Sumba
More information: www.nihi.com
4. Mandapa, Bali, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
More information: ritzcarlton.com
5. Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali
More information: alilahotels.com
Check out all of our readers’ favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines and more in the 2021 Best of the World Awards.