Strung like a pearl necklace across the Java Sea, Indonesia's islands are an idyllic paradise. Dotted with deep jungles, high volcanic peaks, verdant spice plantations and glorious white-sand beaches splashed now and then by the rolling surf, it all adds up to an enchanted and exotic mix. This is a place for the most special of holidays, more so on account of the fabulously luxurious hotels that make this slice of sunny seas and fine sand the perfect spot for indulgent holidays and honeymoons. Indeed, this two-week trip takes post-nuptual celebrations to a new level, pairing stunning retreats in Bali's Ubud and Seminyak with the ultimate in barefoot luxury – a five-night stay at Nihiwatu on Sumba Island, voted Best Hotel in the World by readers of Travel + Leisure.
Start in style with a chauffeur drive to the airport and a premium lounge to relax in before your flight to Indonesia.
A private transfer will whisk you in air-conditioned comfort to the chic villas of the Samaya Ubud. Here, a private pool awaits, surrounded by the tropical trees and flowers in your walled garden. It's all so peacefully placed beside the River Ayung and calming rice terraces, that nearby Ubud's bustle is hard to imagine. If you do feel like exploring, the town – Bali's cultural hub – is reached by complimentary private transfers, on call, or by cycling along verdant, tree-lined routes. Back at the hotel, the main restaurant sits riverside and serves delectable Indonesian and International dishes, though your personal butler will organise dining wherever and whenever desired.
The mighty Ayung rushes by the Samaya Ubud, and it is hard to resist its pull. Give in to the flow with a session of exhilarating white water rafting through wild rainforest, past towering gorges. Your guide will steer you through this seductive wilderness with expertise and enthusiasm before you break for a hot shower and buffet lunch served against a backdrop of mountains and magnificent sculptured rice paddies. Spend the afternoon poolside in your villa, and perhaps stroll down to the river again, this time for an optional romantic dinner, lit with a hundred candles and strewn with thousands of rose petals. This is a private dining experience that will linger in the memory, with a six-course tasting menu and specially selected fine wines.
Breakfast & Lunch included
Today enjoy an experience on the edge of extraordinary, a blessing by a Balinese priest bestowed with much gentleness during a traditional ceremony that guests at the Samaya are lucky enough to take part in. This purifying rite takes place at a meeting of rivers, waterfalls and fountains, amidst prayers that echo the sanctity of the scenic surroundings. Afterwards, ascend higher still amongst the soft afternoon sun to stroll along the spur of the Campuhan Ridge, where grasses grow high and the view of the river is at its best. A glass of champagne sets it all off perfectly as the sun fades out.
After breakfast and your private transfer to the airport, it’s only a short flight to paradise by way of Nihiwatu on Sumba Island. Voted the best hotel in the world by Travel + Leisure readers worldwide, this is a resort that merits every accolade. A gilded sandy beach stretches below the villas, which sit hill, cliff and tree top, private pools alongside each one. Sumba has long been a surfer’s secret, with some of the best waves in the East, and some of the most unspoilt landscapes in the world. The resort is every sort of spoiling, with personal butlers who will organise any excursion desired, and with Nihiwatu’s organic gardens and the sea supplying the freshest of ingredients for breakfast, lunch and supper, meals are bespoke too.
Breakfast & Dinner included
Breakfast is available private poolside, served by your personal butler at your villa, or in the sea-view restaurant, before or after a yoga class if desired. These take place in a pavilion with sweeping views over the bay, the view for the rest of the day, which can be spent riding, sleeping, visiting a village, helping with a community project or simply sunning and swimming. Even a walk along the shore turns up treasures, with tidal pools and rock formations to explore. A spa safari is an essential highlight, a sojourn through wild forest to a secluded spot overlooking sandy beaches, with treatments taking place above a view of great natural beauty, a bay blue and the air salt.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
After a last breakfast in a wild and isolated landscape, take a transfer to the airport and a flight back to Bali. Enjoy the journey to Seminyak, half Bali half Ibiza, all upmarket boutiques and bars. Your hotel however, situated on the quiet far end of Legian Beach, a swathe of fine sand and the best place on the island to watch the sun set, is as peaceful as possible, with private pools in walled gardens. A dedicated butler will organise everything from breakfast to beyond, and on your first day, a street food cooking class to take you through gorgeous scenery en route and then an authentic Balinese menu. Spend happy hours in market places, picking ingredients and taking in local crafts before joining the restaurant’s renown chef for a culinary class in gorgeous surroundings.
Have a last breakfast at the seaside restaurant and make the most of the sunshine before a private transfer to the airport for your return flight. On arrival back at the UK, you'll be met by a private chauffeur for the final leg home.
"A honeymoon is all about escaping to the solitude of an island idyll with your newlywed to celebrate the start of married life in peace, and what better destination to head to for such desires than Indonesia? I recommend journeying there soon as it is becoming an increasingly popular part of the world to holiday in, see it now while there is still untouched natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. "