Chocolates and flowers – pah! The ultimate Valentine’s Day surprise has to be a trip away, preferably to sun-kissed, sandy and secluded shores (diamonds, champagne on ice and roses optional, but highly recommended). Having dropped some heavy hints, Team Smith are hoping to be whisked away to the boutique Balé, in beautiful Bali (greedy, us?). Cautious Casanovas should consult our collection of honeymoon hotels, where romance and relaxation are guaranteed…
Style Zen and sensibility
Setting Beautiful Bukit beachside
Why now? This investment in your love life comes without a hefty price tag, since the Balé is currently offering four nights for the price of three.
Our favourite bits An abundance of white stone, Japanese-style buildings of pale brick and glass, and a no-children policy make this the ultimate romantic retreat. At 240sq m the Single Pavilions offer more than enough space, but our favourite is the enormous Deluxe Single Number 38, which comes with an L-shaped private pool. On the subject of water, the main pool has a sexy setting, with white tiles, sun loungers shaded by parasols and sinuous tree branches. Cool down with a cocktail at the poolside bar, Fluid, and choose from two restaurants: Faces specialises in modern Mediterranean and Indonesian cuisine, and Bliss is great for light dishes.
Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘Almost all resorts in Bali slather on the luxury with a particularly wide trowel, but, while it’s easy to provide gold taps and the biggest swimming pool east of Java, money can’t buy you character. It’s indisputable that the Balé is beautiful – clean, modern buildings have an almost spa-like serenity to them, and the resort’s grounds are a Utopian vision in white stone and dark-green foliage – but, thanks to laid-back communal areas, a design ethic that steers clear of the region’s usual thatch-and-teak style and wonderful, nothing-too-much service, this is a resort with personality.
‘This extends to the Beach Club, located a few minutes’ walk away from the main resort. Guests kick back, and feel sun on their neck and sand on their soles, while butlers ensure that everyone’s OK for cold towels, water and sun cream. An independent restaurant serves up delicious Balinese cuisine to hungry swimmers – an arrangement that benefits the local economy as much as it does your rumbling stomach.’