Bali Hai

Discover the unique allure of this tropical paradise's romantic retreats

For honeymooners seeking an exotic, multilayered and romantic experience, the siren call of Bali is nearly irresistible. This lush, volcanic island is a unique pearl in the strand of islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago. Much like the colorful, intricate Hindu offerings laid out every day as symbols of thanks and appeasement to the gods, Bali is a gift for lovestruck visitors, bestowing lifelong memories.

My first port of call is the Bulgari Resort on the southern tip of the Bukit Peninsula. Situated near the sacred temple of Uluwatu, the property exudes an almost mystical aura of its own. The freestanding villas, designed by Italian architect Antonio Citterio, are terraced down a steep hillside in such a way that each has complete privacy—from mine I can see only rooftops, lush greenery and a vast sweep of Indian Ocean. The resort's aesthetic blends elegant European modernism and rich Balinese traditionalism: Handcarved volcanic stone, tropical woods and thatched-ceiling bales (open-sided rectangular pavilions) complement the lavishly appointed marble bathrooms and fine linens.

While my luxurious villa has everything reclusive castaways could desire, the inducements outside are manifold. The spa is a draw, with its antique Javanese carved-wood entrance hall. The excellent restaurant Sangkar (named for its beautiful lanterns, modeled after the cages villagers use to display their prized chickens) showcases authentic Indonesian dishes and is the perfect spot to watch the ever-changing oceanscape. The pièce de résistance, though, is the resort's private beach, reached via a glass inclinator (an elevator that moves diagonally). It's so rare to find such a deserted, pristine stretch of sand and deep green water that it seems only fitting to stay a while and give thanks.

Bulgari Resort, villas from $1,450, bulgarihotels.com.

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