Raffles Bali: Elegant Serenity in the South of the Island

Raffles Bali: Elegant Serenity in the South of the Island

By vira

Perched on the Bukit Peninsula, Raffles Bali stands as a secluded haven in Jimbaran Hijau development area in the southern part of the island, offering a serene oasis that embraces countless elements of Balinese culture, from its architecture to the philosophy of Tri Hita Karana. This haven is wrapped in laid-back Balinese beach and contemporary luxury. Firmly grounded in sustainability principles, the resort boasts the magnificence of Jimbaran, featuring greenery landscape and beautiful sunsets with the Indian Ocean as the backdrop. Hence, it enriches your stay with a unique and unparalleled experience.

Story by Vira Tanka | Photos by Raffles Bali & Rusdi Sanad

Welcomed by Jimbaran sunset at the Lobby

A thirty-minute private limousine transfer from I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport takes you to Raffles Bali, an oceanside all-villa resort. Upon arrival, you are taken to a world of tranquillity with a vast manicured garden. The entry into the lobby welcomes you with live Balinese music and themetirta ritual—a symbolic cleansing where resort staff sprinkle water, and a few grains of rice are gently placed on your forehead in gratitude to the gods.

The lobby, connected to The Writers Bar through a corridor, offers a breathtaking panorama: a lushly vegetated valley in the setting of the Indian Ocean and the stunning sunsets of Jimbaran. As a nod to the century old Singapore Sling from The Writers Bar at Raffles Singapore, it presents its own signature cocktail, the Bali Sling. It is concocted from gin, Balinese arak, blue pea tea, tangy jackfruit and grenadine. The adjoining library also functions as a lounge, an art gallery, as well as a private dining or meeting room.

The Writers Bar at Raffles Bali
Tangerine Sour, one of the cocktails served at The Writers Bar
Sunset overlooking Jimbaran Bay

Modern Interpretation of Balinese Style

Following its soft opening in July 2020, Raffles Bali had its grand opening in December 2021, marking the completion of Phase 1. Shuichi Oishi, CEO of Kajima Development, explained “We are currently in Phase 2, constructing 25 residences for those seeking to own a piece of this unparalleled experience.” PT Jimbaran Greenhill—a joint venture between Kajima Development Pte Ltd (KD) and its local partner, PT Jimbaran East One, is the one undertaking the development of Raffles Bali.

Occupying 13 hectares of land, Dr. Agung Prianta, Director of Jimbaran East One, further detailed, “We chose to build only 32 villas to ensure an optimal experience for our guests. Each villa, exquisitely appointed, offers stunning ocean views. The harmonious architectural design and extensive gardens, adorned with colourful native plants, promise guests a relaxed and unique stay.”

Raffles Bali landscape that includes the beach, the valley and estuary
The Main Pool, facing Indian Ocean

Approximately seventy per cent of the property is dedicated to greenery, an untouched river, valley, and cliff. No motor vehicles are permitted beyond the lobby drop-off. Each villa is assigned a personal butler who chauffeurs guests around on a buggy, ensuring their preferences are met.

Regarding the design concept, Oishi asserted, “We’ve embraced a modern interpretation of Balinese style. For instance, we incorporated traditional Balinese gates at the entrance of each villa, despite scaled to proportion.”

Collaborating with the U.S.-based James Hyatt Studio for the master plan, the resort emphasised the site’s natural contours within Balinese character. Grounds Kent Architects Indonesia (GKAI) and Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) Bali contributed to the architectural and interior design works, whilst landscape design was curated by Made Wijaya, and Lighting Planners Associates (LPA) Singapore managed the lighting. This collaborative effort ensured the seamless integration of their expertise.

The dining room of Raffles Presidential Villa
The bedroom of Raffles Presidential Villa

Spread across cascading land amidst beautiful gardens, the villas feature a river running through the main path, adorned with waterfall features and bridges, adding a Zen-like ambiance. “The villa’s design pays homage to Balinese traditional compounds, despite maintaining simplicity in style,” explained Martin Grounds, a co-founder of GKAI. Influences from Japanese design, owing to the ownership by Kajima, also manifest in architectural and interior elements, such as the style of the flat roofs on the villa gates.

Beyond the gate or angkul-angkul is a single- building with a private pool and a plush- cushioned gazebo looking over the verdant cliff, valley, and the ocean. From afar, you can view airplanes landing on I Gusti Ngurah Rai runway on the other end of peninsula, whilst enjoying al fresco meal at the terrace. Raffles Bali is the only resort with such complete natural views.

The bathroom of Raffles Presidential Villa

The 32 expansive villas are in various sizes with either one or two bedrooms. They all offer the same harmonious balance between elegance and comfort and there is a story to be told in every corner. Entering the villa, you are welcomed with
a mahakala statue, that’s believed to clean negative energy brought from outside, as well as a mandala and a dulang in the foyer, two of many articles used in meditation and religious ceremonies.

Sustainability in the Design

The interiors predominantly feature earth-tone colours and utilise natural materials such as wood for floors, ceilings, and walls. All furniture is crafted in Indonesia, primarily in Bali, using locally sourced materials like rattan, wood and tapestry. A standout feature is the stamped batik wall cover behind the bed frame, displaying patterns representing local flora and fauna. Smart technology is incorporated, such as automatically turning off the villa’s air conditioning when terrace sliding doors are open, contributing to sustainability efforts.

The Sanctuary, part of the Spa & Wellness experience

Another sustainability initiative involves transitioning the energy source from fossil fuel to solar energy. “Our goal is to reduce energy consumption to the highest level possible and shift to reusable energy sources,” Katya explained. This commitment reflects Raffles Bali’s respect for the environment whilst offering guests peace of mind knowing they’re staying at an eco-friendly establishment.

Appreciation for nature extends to The Sanctuary, an integral part of the Spa & Wellness experience. This elevated gazebo, surrounded by lush landscapes with tropical bird sounds and the scent of the sea, offers spa treatments and rituals inspired by traditional Balinese and Southeast Asian healing practices, providing a spiritually enriching experience.

Exquisite Culinary Fare at Raffles Bali

Behind the main building lies Rumari, the resort’s main restaurant. A portmanteau of Rumah, Purnama, and Matahari (house, full moon, and the sun), Rumari embodies the harmony between humans and nature, echoing Tri Hita Karana, a Balinese philosophy fostering well-being. Helmed by Chef Gaetan Biesuz as the director of culinary, who has been in the region for fifteen years, Rumari serves South East Asian progressive cuisine. Breakfast delights include the oyster omelette, Indonesian heritage nasi uduk, and independently farmed stingless bee honey. For dinner, guests can choose from the 7 Steps Journey, 9 Steps Journey, or opt for cocktail and wine pairing menus.

Outdoor table at Rumari
Indoor part of Rumari

“Chef Gaetan has a passion for discovering what’s around us and he crafts them into a good array of menu for the guests to try,” said Katya Herting, the general manager of Raffles Bali. The resort is committed to using as much as local resources they can, including in the F&B department. “Importation of items is very minimum. We thrive with 80 per cent locally sourced ingredients and the maximum of 20 per cent imported items simply because they’re not available in Bali or Indonesia yet,” she added.

Four distinct dining experiences offer their own unique charm. Loloan Beach Bar & Grill, nestled by the sea, delights patrons with fresh seafood specials, prime beef cuts sourced globally, wood-fired pizzas, and delightful tropical cocktails. The allure extends beyond the palate, with an infinity pool and sun beds complementing the panoramic vista. Purnama Honeymoon Bale, a romantic gazebo perched atop rocks above the water, presents an exclusive dining experience accessed solely via a torch-lit path. Similarly enchanting is The Secret Cave, nestled into the hillside—a naturally formed cave that sets the stage for yet another extraordinary and romantic dinner.

The romantic gazebo of Purnama Honeymoon Bale
The Secret Cave is the perfect location for a secluded rendezvous at night and a peaceful yoga or meditation in the morning

No less inviting is The Farm Terrace, where a table of minimum of four is set in the midst of Raffles’ verdant garden under the star-studded sky. Fragranced by night- blooming flowers, it presents sumptuous dishes created from freshly picked ingredients. These dining experiences might evoke your curiosity about the plants in the resort. Raffles’ knowledgeable Botanical Guru will take you for an-hour of Botanical Tour, where you’ll be introduced to the many beautiful and healthy herbs, including the flavoursome kaffir lime and the traveller’s palm, which has become Raffles’ logo.

Overall, Raffles Bali epitomises luxury, refinement, and meticulous attention to detail. It serves as an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, offering tranquillity and an unparalleled hospitality experience.

One of the signature dishes: Jimbaran Bay Bouillabaisse

Project Data

Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera 1A Jimbaran
Bali 80361
+62 361 201 5800 | www.raffles.com/bali

Company name
PT Jimbaran Greenhill
(a joint venture between Kajima Development Pte. Ltd. and
PT Jimbaran East One)
Site Area
23 Hectares
Gross Floor Area
8,300 sqm
Number of Rooms
32 villas
Villa sizes
One Bedroom Villa 470 sqm
Two Bedroom Villa 900 sqm Raffles Presidential Villa 900 sqm Master plan
James Hyatt Studio

Architecture Consultant
Grounds Kent Architects Indonesia (GKAI) and Kajima Design
Interior Design Consultant Grounds Kent Architects Indonesia (GKAI), Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) Bali and Kajima Design Lighting Consultant
Lighting Planners Associates (LPA) Singapore
Landscape Consultant
Made Wijaya (PT Ramawijaya Indonesia International Design)

M&E Consultant
Civil & Structural Consultant Meinhardt
Main Contractor
PT Tunas Jaya Sanur

Started Construction
July 2016
December 2021

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