IT'S DIFFICULT not to fall in love with Bali. The magical mix of exotic tropical location with sumptuous food and luxurious accommodation - it's easy to see why almost 2.6 million tourists head to the Indonesian island each year, with Chinese now the second biggest visitor group after Australians.
The island is calendar rich with cultural events. One of the more popular with tourists is the BaliSpirit Festival in March, catering to yogis and music lovers worldwide. Next year's will feature more than 100 health and wellness workshops, concerts, healing arts and eco-marketplace vendors.
If that's too New Age then the Bali Arts Festival in June is a full month of handicraft exhibitions, dance and music where forgotten village dances come alive.
August hosts the island's most significant holiday: Hari Raya Galungan. This symbolises the victory of Virtue (Dharma) over Evil (Adharma). But if body and mind are in need of restoring in five-star luxury then the Alila Hotels and Resorts group is the place to check in …
Alila Villas Uluwatu, (www.alilahotels.com/uluwatu): When it comes to eco-luxury, Singapore-based Alila has it sorted. Perched 100 metres above the Indian Ocean on the edge of a limestone cliff on Bukit Peninsula, this villa is a design-savvy traveller's dream - minimalist eco-glam at its best.
There are 52 one-bedroom villas, two two-bedroom villas, 25 private villas and five cliff-side villas with pool. The sea views are spectacular and what better place to soak them up than in the huge bath. The 50-metre infinity pool set along the cliff edge makes you feel like you're on top of the world. Fine dining is available at Cire, while The Warung serves Balinese and Indonesian fare.
Alila Villas Soori, (www.alilahotels.com/
soori): Three words best sum up Uluwatu's sister resort: Privacy, privacy, privacy. Located on the less-travelled southwest coast of Bali in the Tabanan Regency, this is beachfront living at its most relaxing - and most luxurious. Each guest is assigned a butler on arrival and staff are eager to cater to your every whim. They know all your needs, even if you don't.
The resort features pool villas with various layouts leading up to a 10-bedroom pool villa. If you fancy a break from lounging by the pool the resort's leisure concierge can organise sightseeing "journeys".