Alila Villas Uluwatu is one of those dream hotels…a perfect location on a cliff top, totally stunning design and service with the finest attention to detail. It was a hotel that had been on my bucket list for a long time and I was excited that we would be finishing our holiday in Bali with a luxurious stay there.
As soon as we entered the hotel we were greeted by this infinite lagoon of blue…a beautiful water feature blends into the pool and continues on to the sea. It felt like we were floating on a ledge high up above the water.
We were greeted with the customary cool refreshment and a cold towel and checked in quickly. There are 65 villas at the hotel and each resident is allocated a personal butler to look after them during stay; bringing food, making coffee, tidying the villa and organising any restaurant bookings and excursions that you require. We were introduced to our butler who led us to a buggy and whisked us away to our room which was up the hill on one of the higher levels.
The room was huge with a beautiful open plan design, calming whites and neutral colours and lots of comfy places to lounge. Unlike the Four Seasons Jimbaran or the Viceroy Bali, the Alila Uluwatu was very modern but still with Balinese accents seen in the wood and rattan. As I mentioned one of the things that really set the Alila Uluwatu apart was the very fine attention to detail and before we arrived I filled out a form stating our preferences. Amenities such as reading material were catered perfectly for us and we had plenty of food and travel magazines for me to read. I chose the ‘healthy’ option for our mini bar and our fridge was stacked with crudites, nuts, popcorn and juices.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t eat much of this though the fresh cookies that were left in our room everyday got polished off pretty quickly. You’ll be pleased to hear there’s also a pillow menu, to give you the ultimate comfort.
The room came with it’s own iPad mini and anything that we needed could be ordered quickly at the touch of a button!
The bathroom was open plan too, on one side leading out to the outdoor shower and on the other to our private terrace. There were all sorts of cute little extras such as sun hats, a beach bag, fans… everything we needed….
There were his and hers sinks and even his and hers custom Alila toiletries! The levels of detail really was incredible.
Outside the room is a sun terrace with your own private pool, comfy sun loungers, a dining table and a balé to take shade in whilst gazing out to the Indian Ocean. In regards to preferences you can choose your level of service from private (the staff won’t come to your room at all), discreet and indulgent. I chose indulgent cos I am a princess ;). Indulgent service meant your butler was there whenever you needed her and she truly was fantastic! As are all the staff, remembering your name, food and drink preferences and other personal details.
The hotel is also perfectly eco-friendly and all the materials used to build Alila Uluwatu are locally sourced, recycled and sustainable. They also practice green initiatives and have a strong commitment to the local community.
After thoroughly photographing the room we went to check out the public areas, the pool is simply beautiful, rolling of the cliff top and into the sea beyond. The hotel was designed by Singaporean architects WOHA and has won many awards for it’s design since opening in 2009.
What characterises Alila Uluwatu are these stunning balés; the slated wooden structures give the hotel that iconic modern design. They were lined with lovely comfy seating and tables and I settled down in my own private ‘office’ with my laptop and a glass of champagne to blog.
The larger balé at the end of the pool is the hotel’s sunset cabana; a sort of outdoor living room that hangs of the cliff top.
You can get some of the best views of the cliff side and the ocean from inside the cabana. It’s the perfect place to relax with a glass wine in total calm, enjoying the breeze and the beauty of the ocean. Do note that if you’re looking for a beach hotel, Alila Uluwatu isn’t the best choice as the beach is a long walk down; the Four Seasons Jimbaran is a much better choice if you want to be right by the sand.
There are two restaurants, The Warung serves traditional Balinese food with the option of sitting indoors or outdoors. The name ‘Warung’ is actually the local word for small family-owned business such as a shop or restaurant.
Ahhh…chips and dip! We ate in this restaurant several times but highlights were:
Sambel be tongkel or tuna salad with shallot and lemongrass dressing.
Lawar undang or Balinese green papaya salad with prawns.
And the grilled seafood platter. The chef at The Warung is Balinese and he keeps the recipes as authentic as possible. When I first went to Bali years ago, I took a Balinese cookery lesson and I was astounded at how complex the food is with a vast array of spices and flavours. The Warung doesn’t just serve Balinese food but there are dishes from all over Indonesia including Java, Padang and Manado. Javanese food is sweet and less spicy, food from Padang is famous for it’s rich coconut milk whereas Manado cuisine incorporates extra hot spices.
On the other side of the water feature is CIRE, Alila Villa’s other restaurant. I wasn’t as keen on this restaurant, I thought the design of the restaurant was a bit clunky and too heavy on the concrete.We ate here for dinner one night and chef uses Western cooking techniques with Asian flavours and touches.
As we found in other hotels the Western food wasn’t as good as the Indonesian food but a few highlights included:
Soft shell crab with candlenut butter and duck egg which you could choose as a tasting portion or a large starter size.
Roasted butterfish in miso paste, pickles and carrot puree.
Lychee souffle with white chocolate ice cream.
Breakfasts were a real highlight and were also served at CIRE or in the room. There was a daily-changing a la carte menu and you could order as many small dishes as you wanted.
It was basically a breakfast tasting menu!
In terms of other amenities, there’s a library, boutique, gym and of course… a beautiful spa. One characteristic of Alila is putting a modern spin on tradition and ancient Asian healing techniques are used as a basis for the treatments.
Mr S and I had couples massage booked and we headed to the spa where we were given ginger tea and left to fill out a form so that the spa treatment could be customised to our needs.
The spa had the same relaxing white environment and zen-like aura of calm that was prevalent throughout the hotel. We had chosen a traditional Balinese massage and we were asked to choose our favourite essential oil that the therapist would use throughout. I loved the lemongrass scent and I asked for light pressure…
All the products at the spa are Alila’s own and are handmade using natural ingredients and are also available to buy in the spa shop. We lay on the therapy beds and totally relaxed as the spa therapists used light and gentle strokes to sooth away any tension and muscle pain and improve blood flow. Though after four nights at Alila, tension and stress was most certainly non-existent! The spa also offers facials, manciures, pedicures, treatment packages, yoga and pilates so that you will leave the hotel feeling completely renewed and intune with your spirit self.
Alila Villa Uluwatu is truly one of Bali’s most spectacular hotels it has won a slew of awards such as the Conde Naste World’s Top 100 Readers’ Travel Awards, The Robb Report’s World’s Top 100 Resorts and Mr & Mrs Smith Best Dressed Hotel. It’s easy to see why; this modern design resort with top notch service and delicious food is total Balinese bliss.
Alila Villas Uluwatu
Jl Belimbing Sari
+62 361 848 2166
Our spa treatments were complimentary