It is very difficult to pick a place without any personal recommendations and just the glossy website photos that can oftentimes be very misleading.
You can always turn to tripadvisor, where you read 50 excellent reviews, but then stumble across that one review that complains of cockroaches and grimy bathrooms or unwelcome surprises when you lift the bedsheets, or the cynic that can just never be pleased (but there it is, that nagging question mark that maybe he or she is just being honest), and that brings you back to square one.
I have actually stayed at a fair share of places that might match the above description, but those were hostels, and not what you would expect of a Resort where you are paying for and expecting luxury.
After an exhaustive search filled with indecision, I found the Kamandalu Resort, and went for it partly because I was sick of looking and partly because it was heavily discounted off the internet site Agoda (a search engine that is owned by Priceline).
The Kamandalu Resort felt like quintessential Bali. We stayed in a small villa replete with intricately carved doors, a canopied bed, outdoor shower, and second floor balinese bale (daybed under a thatched roof) overlooking the tropical landscape.
|Villa with Second Floor Balinese Bale|
|Above images via Kamandalu Resort|
|View from the Villa|
|Rice Paddies on the Property|
|Pool with Loungers Partially Submerged in Water|
|Dining Room with Full Breakfast Buffet|
But it was the touches like flower petals in a drawn bath, turn down service with chocolates, fresh flowers artfully strewn throughout the property every day, a personal guided tour of spiritual healers, and this:
that turned a luxury stay in to a memorable treat.