When I first visited Bali seven years ago I stayed at the beautiful Bulgari Resort; though I’d stayed in beautiful hotels before I’d never experienced anything like this. A huge villa with our own pool, staff that knew our names everywhere we went, and two incredible restaurants with views out to the Indian Ocean. I think my experience at the Bulgari Resort kicked off my addiction to luxury travel and I was keen to revisit it both for nostalgia purposes and for Mr S to see what I’d been banging on about for all these years…
Fortunately the Bulgari was located very close to Alila Villas Uluwatu and it was a quick ten minute drive for us to visit this hotel that held so many memories for me.
Seeing those stylish pool side cabanas and that beautiful infinity pool really took me back to my first time there…
There have been several times when I’ve revisited places, hotels and restaurants that I’ve been to before with high expectations from my previous visits but sometime the anticipation has fallen flat. But not here, it was just as gorgeous as I remembered…
I took a quick peek at Sangkar, the hotel’s more casual restaurant serving Indonesia food, as I remembered the most wonderful breakfasts sitting up on the cliff top watching monkeys play.
Fast forward to now and Mr S and I were starting our night at the hotel’s bar.
The exotic cocktails hit the spot as they had years before.
From across the bar we could see our dining destination for the night, Il Ristorante, The Bulgari Hotel’s signature restaurant.
With twinkling candles, beautiful water features and seating for only 36 guests, Il Ristorante was easily the most romantic restaurant that we visited in Bali. Like the rest of the hotel, traditional, Balinese style is combined with modern, chic Italian design to create a space fitting for a brand that is synonymous with luxury.
With a great bread selection and an amuse of tuna tartare and watermelon, things had already started off well.
I chose a light starter of Tuscan summer salad with blue swimmer crab, cucumber and red onion marmelade. The portion was delicate and I loved the geometric design on the plate.
Mr Silver made a heartier choice and opted for a beautifully prepared fresh spaghetti with clams, sea bass, asparagus and lime. Chef Nicola Russo skillfully combines ingredients imported from Italy with local produce so that the dishes taste both fresh and authentic.
We both chose fish options, Mr S’s choice was skate wing with salsify, potato gnocchi and clam foam; mine was barramundi fillet infused in garlic olive oil, artichoke fondant and arugula dressing. Both dishes were cooked, prepared and presented perfectly.
And a side of sauteéd seasonal mushrooms was the perfect accompaniment.
If you’ve visited the Bulgari Hotel in London, you’ll know their signature style, there’s a lot of black and everything is beautifully sleek. We visited the Bulgari Hotel in Milan for brunch and the style is similar but in Bali it’s softer with the thatched roofs and gentle floating fabrics. It’s fine dining but not all stuffy, other guests were in shorts and it was all very relaxed.
We cleansed our palates on a perfect sphere of sorbet.
A dessert to share topped off our romantic night and we chose tiramisu with crisp chocolate crumble which came beautifully presented with a flower in the bowl.
It really was incredible to return to a hotel and restaurant that I’d fell in love with so many years ago and I’m so glad that it didn’t disappoint. I’d also certainly put Il Ristorante on your list as number one for romance in Bali.
Il Ristorante at The Bulgari Resort, Bali
Jalan Goa Lempeh
Banjar Dinas Kangin