If you’re recently engaged or planning a honeymoon trip, you may have been eyeing our Sassy wedding section lately for the best deals and destinations this side of the Pacific. Bali is always a firm favourite for getting out of town, but some of the more popular spots on the island have been getting a bit too touristy as of late to really make for a romantic getaway destination. Enter the Alila Villas Soori – an elegant, secluded hideaway on the west coast of Bali that’s perfect for couples looking for some quiet, intimate time to enjoy sky, sand and surf.
The villas are in a picturesque, remote location on the west coast of Bali, about an hour’s drive from the city centre. It was a long, winding journey from the Denpasar Airport – not great for those like me who get car sick easily – but thankfully my head was cleared as soon as we pulled up to the peaceful, coastal resort and breathed in the fresh ocean air.
As you walk through the open lobby of Alila, you’re immediately greeted by stunning views of the ocean, literally on the resort’s doorstep. The palm trees, crystal clear water and blue skies made for an idyllic setting and I couldn’t wait to hit the beach with sunnies and a book in hand.
Each of Alila’s 15 Beach Pool Villas and 15 Ocean Pool Villas boasts its own secluded private pool, and if you’re with your significant other, you may be tempted not to leave the room at all!
In addition to the spacious dipping pools, the rooms are beautifully appointed, with all the contemporary comforts you could ask for including 24-hour room service, WiFi, a gourmet bar, in-room safe, Nespresso coffee machine, plasma TV, iPod docking station, indoor and outdoor rain showers, luxurious linens, and double vanities with HIS and HER bath amenities.
The resort also places a strong emphasis on personalised service, and we were asked to fill out a survey prior to our arrival choosing from a pillow menu, bar menu, reading options, and even preferred level of butler service (private, discreet, or indulgent round-the-clock). I truly appreciated this extra-special touch, and as we chose a “discreet” level of service we found that all our needs were catered for during our stay without the staff being overbearing.
Restaurants & Lounges
Alila Villas Soori offers two main F&B outlets: the open-air ‘tasting-style’ restaurant Cotta and the exotic dining experience at Ombak. Breakfast is served daily at Cotta, a comfortable beach-side dining room which highlights local fare as well as clsasic breakfast dishes. The menu rotates daily, and guests are encouraged to choose as many items as they’d like from the tasting menu.
I loved the authentic Indonesian dishes served at Ombak, emphasising the spicy, sweet and savoury flavours of Bali cuisine in a range of sampler-sized bites:
I couldn’t miss trying the local dishes like nasi campur and lombok, while my travel companion preferred traditional egg omelettes and fresh-baked bread and croissants, and we were pleased to find that the menu catered to both Eastern and Western tastes.
While the breakfast at Cotta was decent, we preferred the dinner tasting we had on the second night at the resort’s signature restaurant Ombak. This is where the culinary excellence of the Alila chefs really shone through, and our feast of shrimp and squid ink risotto, wagyu beef, scallop tartare and a selection of beautiful cocktails savoured under a starlit sky was one to remember.
The prices at Alila’s dining outlets are definitely a cut above the rest of the island, and if you’re staying for more than a few days, I would plan to have breakfast and 1 or 2 meals at Ombak, while saving the remaining meals to hit some of Bali’s top F&B destinations, such as Bambu in Seminyak and the stunning Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort in Jimbaran.
Leisure + Activities
Alila’s distance from the city centre is a blessing or a curse depending on what type of holiday you’re after, but what I really appreciated about being in such a non-touristy location was the ability to completely immerse ourselves in the colourful local culture and atmosphere, experiencing the true heart of Bali. The resort offers daily Segway tours around the neighbouring villages and rice paddies, and I cannot recommend this highly enough to anyone staying at the villas; in fact, it was probably one of the best resort-organised activities I’ve ever participated in.
First of all, if you’ve never been on a segway, the things are just plain fun (I’m seriously contemplating buying one to ride around my complex in Lai Chi Kok, no joke!). Secondly, our guide was knowledgeable, attentive, and wonderful at guiding us through the local village and sightseeing points – the city blacksmith, the weekend ‘market’, the old king’s palace, city hall, and even the local mini mart for a quick ice cream break! The tour took 2 and a half hours in total, with the last half hour spent meandering our way through the stunning, bright green rice paddies with the sun setting on the horizon… a truly beautiful way to end an eye-opening adventure into local Balinese life:
Following the tour, we wrapped up the day lounging out on the private stretch of beach on the resort’s doorstep, digging our toes into the ultra-fine black volcanic sand and soaking in sand and surf before watching the sun dip below the ocean line.
All in all, our stay at Alila Villas Soori was peaceful and relaxing, and the perfect way to recharge and rejuvenate before heading back to the Hong Kong grind. The beautiful facilities encompassing a lush, green setting, infinity pools, spa sanctuary, and intimate private villas give you all the luxury of a 5-star resort, while the secluded location lets you truly experience the heart and soul of Bali, feel the warmth of its residents and immerse yourself in the local culture.
This is a destination set amongst one of Bali’s most picturesque regions, and I would truly recommend it for all nature lovers, or real-life “lovers” looking for a romantic getaway in a tropical beachfront setting.
Alila Villas Soori, Banjar Dukuh Desa Kelating, Kerambitan, Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia 82161, +62 361 894 6388