Front Runners May 2015: Lift Off
At the Ritz-Carlton, Bali (ritzcarlton.com), a 230-foot-tall glass-enclosed elevator whisks guests from the shores of the Indian Ocean to the cliff-top property located above. Built as an ode to Kalpataru—the divine tree of life in Hindu mythology—the sparkling shaft is a shining, if rather incongruous, new landmark on the pristine southern coast of Nusa Dua. The 313-room Ritz-Carlton, which opened in February, manages by comparison to blend into its surroundings, with open-air pagodas nestled into bowing palms and light-filled interiors embellished with indigenous fibers and Balinese ikat textiles. The 34 one-bedroom villas are the property’s finest accommodations, tucked into the jungle with private swimming pools and stunning views of the sea. The resort’s spa, which is scheduled to open in June, will include a traditional Balinese garden.