Three years ago, Uday Rao landed as the general manager of the Four Seasons Sayan (rooms, from $450; Sayan, Ubud; 62-361/977-577; fourseasons.com), near Ubud. He has since worked to uncover all of the island’s secrets, and, in doing so, his know-how has become a key reason to stay at the resort. On property, choose a suite or a villa (number 21 is particularly lovely); off-site, use Rao’s checklist below to do the island right.
HEALER TO BOOK: In Puri Negari, Cokorda Rai is not a miracle worker who cures you. He will only tell you how he sees you by feeling your energy. What you do with that information is up to you. Book through the hotel.
WATER-PURIFICATION PRIESTESS TO VISIT: Ida Resi Alit (idaresialit.com). I’ve visited four times, so you can imagine how much purification I needed.
ART DEALER TO MEET: Tony Hartawan at Tonyraka Art Gallery (86 Jalan Raya Mas, Mas, Ubud; tonyrakaartgallery.com). He shows up-and-coming Indonesian contemporary artists.
WHERE TO HIKE: Climb to the top of Mount Batur. It’s also a great place to watch the sunrise. You have to leave the hotel at 2:30 a.m. to see it, but it’s worth it.
CULTURAL EVENT TO EXPERIENCE : Nyepi Day, or Bali’s Day of Silence, in March—the lunar calendar dictates the date—when we give earth a break. Businesses close, and there’s no driving.
TEMPLE TO SEE: The holy water temple, Tirta Empul, near Kintamani. I love its healing powers.
WHAT NOT TO LEAVE BALI WITHOUT: An ikat wall hanging or a batik sarong. Get them at Threads of Life (24 Jalan Kajeng, Ubud; threadsoflife.com), which sells items made by locals.