There is a strong sense of tradition and culture in Bali—nowhere more than in Ubud, where HOSHINOYA Bali is located. In Japan, only Kyoto matches the cultural devotion of this region. Azuma—who has designed every HOSHINOYA resort to authentically incorporate the charms and cultures of its specific location—was presented with a difficult task. On the one hand, she was to design a resort that was distinctively Japanese—a recognizably HOSHINOYA experience. On the other, this was to be the first overseas HOSHINOYA resort; it needed to make a statement about what the company could offer the wider world.
Initially, Azuma spent her time researching Balinese culture by visiting Hindu temples and traditional Balinese homes and villages, as well as by studying traditional craftsmanship at metal, stone, wood, and batik workshops throughout Indonesia. Inspired by the people she met and discoveries she made, Azuma arrived at a design that was at once authentically Balinese, and also faithful to the HOSHINOYA aesthetic. The completed resort is one that meticulously balances Japanese spatial design with Balinese culture.
The HOSHINOYA Bali villas line three canal-like swimming pools. Each villa features a terrace that provides spaces—such as poolside lounges and gazebos with thatched alang-alang roofs—that are tailor-made for enjoying Bali's temperate climate. As a whole, the villas form a village-like formation that elegantly contours the pools—an design feature that can only be fully appreciated from the water.
Public areas offer contemporary comforts set against a classical Balinese backdrop; at the same time, they allow the adjacent sunken river valley's refreshing breezes to flow through the space.