It’s a split decision at Anantara’s new Bali resort in Seminyak: boutiques or beach? Set along a talcum-powder shore, the intimate retreat opens Friday within walking distance of the island’s haute-fashion district. But you don’t have to go shopping to find style: Anantara’s 59 suites have deep terrazzo tubs, silk-lined daybeds and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the sea. And, as the sun settles over the water, you can head to rooftop lounge S.O.S. (that’s “Sunset at Six”), or slip into a private Jacuzzi in the Balinese-inspired spa.
For dramatic sunrises, Anantara’s new southern neighbor Karma Kandara (pictured) has your ticket: they’ll take guests up to Mount Batur for an early breakfast beside a volcanic lake. But convincing yourself to leave the recently-opened 40-villa retreat might be a challenge. Perched atop seaside cliffs on the southern Bukit Peninsula, guest houses boast private walled gardens, infinity pools and sundecks. Kandara is the second Bali property for Karma Resorts (Jimbaran opened in 2005) but not the last: Agung will come on line in 2009. That’s the same year Raffles hits Bali with its own villa-resort rooted in a “water palace” theme, featuring an oceanview golf course and a signature Amrita Spa.