Bali has a long reputation for beachside luxury, but the opulent temple to escapism that is Apurva Kempinski Bali, overlooking the infamous Nusa Dua beach just blew us away.
Anyone familiar with the theory of the hedonic treadmill will recall it’s the psychological process whereby we tend to return to a base level of satisfaction no matter what our circumstances. It happens because, as we make more money or move to a nicer area or otherwise improve our lives, our expectations rise in tandem and the result is no net gain in happiness.
At OutThere, the hedonic treadmill is never far from our minds when we’re writing about luxury hotels because if you stay at them enough, your metrics can become skewed. When lavish is the norm – especially in a place like Bali, Indonesia – you have to remind yourself not to take it for granted.
We say this only because we were totally bowled over by the Apurva Kempinski Bali. We could have trained on that hedonic treadmill all our lives and still have been left breathless.
The hotel rises like a beautiful ancient city from its private beach to the cliff of Nusa Dua. Palatial and grand, it’s as if the mother temple, the Besakih Pura herself has had a modern, luxury makeover (and expansion) where nearly all the staggering 475 rooms have a private pool with sublime views of the ocean. Ours, an Oceanfront Prestige Suite was best in class (not counting the Apurva Kempinski Bali selection of spellbinding and opulent residential villas), with over 200 square metres of vacation space including one of the largest bedroom’s we’ve ever seen, separate living area and as the name gives away, a balcony and private plunge pool overlooking the ocean. It comes with special access to the VIP Cliff Lounge, just one of many special touches provided to suite guests at the resort.
But what stood out most At the Apurva Kempinski Bali were the spa treatments. Our marathon three-hour scrub and massage was like an out-of-body experience. And we were utterly spoiled by the food, from the epic and experiential ‘Brunchcation’ that can last hours (and can be combined with the aforementioned spa ritual and sundowners), to dining at the seafood restaurant – Koral – surrounded on all sides by an aquarium, where a scuba diver swam past and waved at us as he fed the fish.
Bali has a reputation for luxury, but even against those high standards, the Apurva Kempinski Bali blew us away.
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While you’re Out There
We will tell you this, it is hard – very hard – to leave the Apurva Kempinski Bali. And yes, we know the island of Bali is full of mystical and magical wonders, but the furthest we got was Nusa Dua beach; and the hotel’s own beach club. The Reef Beach Club offers a laid-back vibe (do note, it is family-friendly), but if you want to get out of your private plunge pool and feel the sand between your toes, this is the place to do it.