For an unforgettable romantic retreat, you’d be hard pressed to find a more idyllic spot than Bali. Locals greet you with melodic rindik — an Indonesian bamboo xylophone — upon arrival at The Mulia, easing you into vacation mode. The all-suite, all-inclusive Mulia is a resort within a resort, with access to the amenities at the larger Mulia Resort, but the setting is more intimate here, with only 111 suites as opposed to 526 rooms. There are high-tech Toto toilets, 24-hour butler service, and, in every suite, an expansive terrace complete with private hot tubs.
Obviously a Balinese massage while in Bali is in order and the Mulia Spa does not disappoint. Refresh yourself with chilled ginger tea before changing into a light linen robe and tatami sandals. Prepare to be kneaded into bliss. The local therapists have strong hands and sweet demeanors.
The Oasis Pool is the longest oceanfront infinity swimming pool in all of Bali. There are spacious cabanas and the iconic pool is lined with six-meter sculptures of ladies holding rice, a symbol of prosperity in Balinese culture. Bali is just the kind of far-flung destination where honeymooning couples can cozy up and stare into one another’s eyes while watching spectacular sunsets. And sunset yoga overlooking Nusa Dua Bay is the perfect prelude to a hearty dinner.
The Cafe offers the most mind-blowing buffet, miles better than anything you’ll find in Vegas, with live-action cooking stations for Indonesian, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and European food — plus a separate room full of dessert. The buffet itself is already overwhelming, but then there are dishes cooked to order at each station — including some of the best tandoori chicken I’ve had in my life. You’ll be going back not just for seconds, but sixths, sevenths, and eighths.
If you can pry yourself away from the gluttony of The Cafe, Table8 focuses on Chinese food, with dim sum and delicacies like abalone and bird’s nest soup. Japanese restaurant Edogin specializes in teppanyaki, sushi, and shabu shabu, with menus changing nightly. For the most romantic dining option, book a beachfront dinner under the full moon with a bespoke menu from the passionate kitchen team. The newest dining experience at The Mulia is Apericena beside Oasis Pool, where Michelin-starred chef Nicola Russo serves six- or eight-course degustation dinners each Friday.
If you happen to get engaged on the beach (The Mulia tends to elicit professions of love), a floating glass chapel is ready to host weddings of all denominations. It’s a glittering jewel encircled by reflecting pools to symbolize eternal love.
Amber Gibson spends 340 nights a year in hotels searching for the latest and greatest in the travel industry. Her writing and photographs have appeared in print, online, and on the radio for outlets including Four Seasons Magazine, NPR, Saveur, Departures, Rhapsody, Hemispheres, American Way, Private Air, Wine Folly, Plate, Chicago Magazine, Tasting Table, and Serious Eats. She graduated as valedictorian from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and received a fellowship to attend the 2017 Wine Writers Symposium at Meadowood Napa Valley. Champagne, dark chocolate, and gelato are her biggest weaknesses. She also admires and supports CAASE in Chicago. Follow her adventures on Instagram and Twitter.