When one thinks of Bali, one often thinks of the boisterous nightlife of Kuta, the various beach areas or the culture and arts of Ubud. In my recent trip, I had the opportunity to visit Alila Villas Uluwatu, a superb resort at the southern tip of Bali, Uluwatu.
Before this trip, I have only heard of the famous namesake temple in this place, Uluwatu temple, where they perform a fascinating traditional local dance, Kecak Fire Dance. However, I was completely blown away by my experience at Alila Villas Uluwatu.
From the moment I stepped out of the car, I was immediately attended to and escorted to the lobby, which offers a sneak preview of the beautiful pool and the ocean. I was then led to a lounge area next to the lobby, where I was served a welcome drink and given a spray of their refreshing mist. After confirming my reservations and checking in, I was then brought to my one bedroom pool villa in a hotel buggy. I must also note that the check in was the only time I was ever made to sign anything, right until the checkout.
There are 65 villas in the resort, comprising of 56 one bedroom villas, 3 two bedroom villas and 6 cliffside 3 bedroom villas. I had the entry one bedroom villa, which stood at spacious 3,030 sqft! The villas’ layout was well thought out, with a proper resting, lounging and working area, as well as a separation for the bath area. There was also a coffee machine and tea bags available, as well as a mini fridge and snacks for purchase. On the work desk, there was also a Samsung Tablet which was synced with the entertainment system of the room. On top of having a large library of music and movies, the tablet also acted as a guest directory for the services of the hotel. You could also order food or other requests through the tablet. Interestingly, you can also call the General Manager directly if there are any problems!
The bath area of the villa was located on the right side, and spanned the entire interior length. There were various shower options – an indoor rain and jet shower, an indoor bathtub as well as an outdoor shower. To make things even better, the bathroom was also overloaded with high-quality amenities – from separate For Him and For Her shower supplies, to a bathtub box containing – sun tanning oil, after sun cooling gel, insect repellent, signature sunscreen, purifying mask, and a bottle of aromatic bubble bath liquid. There was also a pillow mist spray which acts as a sleeping aid by the bedside!
All villas are beautifully designed, featuring contemporary designs with various Balinese elements, such as wood, water, stone and rattan. The open plan design also allows natural light and the sea breeze to come into the room. All villas have their own private pool which occupies the back half of the unit, along with an outdoor cabana and table. The one bedroom and two bedroom villas are arranged in 4 rows on a sloping hill, while the larger three bedroom villas are located near the lobby area, at the edge of the cliff. Guests can call for an electronic buggy to get around the hotel’s 14.4-acre grounds, or opt to walk around and admire the meticulously manicured landscape and paths.
In my short two night stay at the resort, I also had the chance to eat a daily breakfast and one dinner at Cire, their western restaurant. Breakfast was an a la carte buffet, where guests could order anything off a daily rotating menu of western and Indonesian food. As such, most of the food was freshly prepared. While the selection was more compact, the quality of the food was very high.
The dinner options were more comprehensive. I had a nice three-course dinner for two, with a starter of nice lobster bisque and mushroom salad, a main course of king prawns, a steak with sides of fries and gnocchi, and ice cream for dessert. I also ordered their signature dessert – the Last Mushroom of Uluwatu, which was a combination of meringue, ice cream and cookie crumbs in the shape of a cute mushroom. The dish was also enhanced with a flowing rosemary scented mist gushing out of the bottom of the plate to heighten our culinary experience.
In the back of Cire, there was another space, Quila, reserved for a special ten course multisensory gastronomic journey. This restaurant was reserved for those who want to have a special tasting menu, with each dish tailored to appeal to your five senses. Across from Cire, there was another restaurant, The Warung, which serves local Indonesian fare.
In the grounds between the restaurants, there was a long 50-metre infinity pool with many chairs and cabanas to lounge or tan. One of the two picturesque overhanging cliff side platforms were in front of The Warung and served as an extended lounge space for guests to chill and sip cool drinks while admiring the turquoise Indian Ocean which stretched to the horizon. There was also a pathway next to the platform which lead to a descending journey of almost 700 steps down the cliff to a stretch of pristine private beach. Hotel guests could also request for staff to accompany them for this adventure if necessary.
At the edge of the hotel was another overhanging platform, used specifically for weddings and functions. Needless to say, with the dramatic platform and gorgeous views of the Ocean, Alila Uluwatu is an extremely popular and superb choice for weddings. In the time I was there, there were weddings happening every day!
Other amenities located on the hotel ground include a gift shop, a library with public computers, a clinic, as well as a separate 24-hour gym building. For those who want to stay active during their vacations, there is also a complimentary morning Yoga session. Guests can also schedule further activities with trainers if necessary.
While I did not wake up early enough to join in the yoga sessions, I did manage to enjoy a session at the hotel spa. The spa was located next to the gift shop, with a welcoming reception where guests choose their treatments from an extensive menu, ranging from facials to massages to mani and pedi treatments. I opted for a Balinese massage with their signature oil. I was led to one of five spa treatment rooms, where I prepared for the treatment. Each treatment room has two beds, a lounging sofa, as well as a bathroom, shower and changing area in the back. The rooms were very peaceful and soothing, and my superb 90-minute treatment went by in a flash. The treatment was one of the best spa treatments I have had! I left treatment feeling relaxed and peaceful.
I suppose peaceful is one of the words that I would forever remember in my time at Alila Uluwatu. All the guests I passed by there seemed happy and peaceful, breathing in the magic of the resort. It is no wonder that the hotel has consistently won many accolades and acclaims from all over the world. My only regret is not having more time in this paradise.
Rates at Alila Uluwatu start from $760 (£581) for a one-bedroom villa with private swimming pool on a room-only basis, excluding tax. For more information please visit alilahotels.com.