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Nusa Dua: The other side of Bali

A union of resort extravagance and a barefoot beach ambience has come to define the Bukit Peninsula’s Nusa Dua.

Natarsha Brown discovers the secrets of Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali.

Stepping through the batik-patterned doors of the Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali I am greeted with a chorus of ‘Bonjour Miss Natarsha’, a frangipani lei and a Sofitel Caipiroska before being dramatically whisked away on a golf buggy.

My villa offers indulgence and opulence in equal measure and, as I luxuriate in my private pool, sipping at sparkling wine and spoiling myself with chocolate macarons, I wonder how I am to pull myself away to explore the rest of the island. The 88-square-metre room mirrors the exquisitely detailed design of the resort, an earthy fusion of delicate French minimalism and local Balinese flourishes. Marble bathrooms are furnished with Hermès amenities, palm-filtered sunlight dances across the private terrace, and a plumeria tree drops floating frangipanis into the plunge pool. Altogether the resort hosts 415 rooms and 22 pool villas, ranging from the Luxury Rooms, Junior Suites and honeymoon-styled Opera Suites to the beachfront Presidential Suite.

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A sybaritic stay

The peninsula of Nusa Dua is a destination for travellers seeking a tranquil enclave amid the chaos of Bali; in a word, ‘community’ best encapsulates the beaches, boardwalks and seaside bars and resorts. I lose hours alternating between a beach cabana overlooking the Badung Strait and a poolside sun lounge at the fashionable L’Oh Bar. Couples and families alike delight in the resort’s wraparound pool, stepping directly off balconies and into the water.

The blend of Balinese therapies and French cosmetology at So SPA allows for a pampering of the mind, body and soul. Attending to all of the senses, the allure is in the detail: a Tibetan singing bell greets you in the foyer, fragrant Clarins oils permeate the air, the sounds of the sea play soothingly in the background, and the high ceilings, ornamental pool and mood lighting create an effortlessly elegant décor. An aromatic flower bath, followed by the one-hour Balinese Healing Massage, is the best-selling treatment on offer. Guests could craft a full itinerary around Sofitel’s wellness treatments with the Vietura aesthetic lifestyle clinic.

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A taste of Bali hedonism

Adorned in plush all-white sun loungers and centred around a free-form pool equipped with a swim-up bar stocked with Cristal Rosé at 50,000,000 rupiah, Sofitel’s ultramodern Nikki Beach Bali is an invitation to “celebrate life and make it contagious”. The destination beach club opened in late 2014 with one of the brand’s signature White Parties and has since become renowned for its vibrant Sunday brunches. The creative cuisine is inspired by current Nikki Beach locations and includes makimono roll sushi boats, king prawn cocktails, sea bass ceviche, Koh Samui Thai beef salad and a dessert spread worthy of Marie Antoinette. Alternatively, browse the seafood market at Cut Catch Cucina or get lost in the expansive buffet at Kwee Zeen.

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