Dubbed the island of the Gods, Bali has long been an undisputed vacation paradise, with white sand beaches and turquoise waters along the Indian Ocean in a remote location that may take a while to reach but is well worth the trek.
Last week a new 203-room hotel opened on Kuta Beach, on a popular surfing spot in Pantai Kuta. Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort—the fifth Starwood property to open on the island, two others are The St. Regis Bali Resort and W Retreat & Spa Bali-Seminyak—is on a 13-acre slice of real estate in the heart of this gorgeous region.
And, in addition to the pristine shoreline there are shops. Lots of them. Two hundred retail shops are adjacent to Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, in an open-air environment called Beachwalk with an architectural design inspired by Bali's rice-paddy field.
Back at the hotel, though, there are plenty of reasons to never leave, like the outdoor rooftop pool with panoramic ocean views and three restaurants—Feast, all-day dining along the beachwalk overlooking Kuta Beach; Bene, an Italian trattoria with views of the Bali Strait from the rooftop; and The Lounge, with a locavore cocktail menu. Shine Spa offers spa treatments inspired by the local surroundings, and there is also a fitness center. In each room are furnishings that feature a mother-of-pearl shell motif, a flat-screen television and wireless Internet access (in case you refuse to unplug), and freestanding bathtubs along with rainforest shower- heads.
To coincide with its opening, rates at Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort are very affordable. Through June 30, 2013, a rate of USD$225 per night includes accommodations in a deluxe guestroom, breakfast for two at Feast, one-way airport transfer to or from Bali International Ngurah Rai Airport, a daily resort credit of USD$25 to use in the restaurants or at the spa.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with new-hotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living and American Way. In 2006 she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photos courtesy of Starwood Hotels & Resorts