Bali is by far my favourite destination in Asia thanks to the serene sunsets and the best beach bars ever. The vibes are different to anywhere I’ve ever been and everyone is genuinely friendly and welcoming, regardless of whether they’re Bali born and bred or are just stopping by for a weekend break. Vacationing in this hip destination is all about rest and relaxation so unplug your laptop, disconnect your digital devices and leave your worries behind when you take off! The best times to visit are between June and September (when the weather is beautiful), the local currency is the Indonesian Rupiah and the local language is Balinese. I always learn the word ‘thank you’ before jetting off to a new destination and in Bali it’s pronounced – terima kasi!
Eco luxury in Bali doesn’t get any better than Alila Villas Uluwatu, one of four luxury villa resorts created by the Singapore-based Alila brand (check out some eco-friendly travel tips here!). Located on the dramatic limestone cliffs of the south coast, once you arrive you’ll never want to leave. The five-hour flight and 30-minute taxi ride are quickly justified by the pink sunset that meets you on arrival. This destination is the first hotel in Bali to receive the highest level of certification for environmentally sustainable design. It’s designed with symmetry in mind and makes you feel very much at the heart of nature; volcanic stones coupled with hyper-green foliage and water features decorate the estate. The first thing you notice at Alila Uluwatu is the incredible image of the infinity pool meeting the ocean, and a cliff-top balcony from which you can watch the beautiful sunsets.
There are numerous buggies to get you from point A to point B around the resort and the drivers are always helpful and friendly. They courier you to and from your villa where the cool marble floors with wooden panelling offer a perfect backdrop to the timber works of art that appear to float intermittently around the pool. There are 64 private pool villas with doors and walls that can be slid to make the most of the beautiful light, fresh sea breeze and breathtaking views of the ocean. If there’s more than two in your crew you can also check into one of the three-bedroom villas.
With two restaurants, Cire and Warung, and a blissful spa, as well as a number of detox programmes, this is chill out time at its best. A tasty breakfast is on offer every morning that includes everything from fresh juices and continental options to Balinese specialties, and if what you want isn’t on the menu they will do their best to whip it up. The food at Alila Uluwatu is phenomenal and they were very receptive to our individual dietary needs during our stay. Warung restaurant serves up sensational Indonesian food and we dined there the first evening on sublime barbequed seafood. The following night was spent at Cire where we enjoyed the most divinely prepared tenderloin as well as an assortment of market fresh vegetables carefully cooked to perfection. The chef at Cire is exceptional at creating fusion food at its finest.
My favourite detail during my stay was definitely the snack box that met me on arrival that was full of popcorn, vegetable crudités and nuts. I know it might not sound exciting, but as I was on a bit of a detox it was a relief to arrive at a hotel where healthy options were readily available. There were also plenty of indulgent options, much to my other half’s relief! In the spirit of rest and relaxation I booked a 90-minute Decleor facial treatment at the heavenly spa that included a 15-minute back massage plus a selection of oils and face masks that left my skin revived and refreshed. Many of the masseuses have been with the resort since it opened which is a wonderful reflection on how the brand treats their staff. All of the signature Alila Living products are readily available for sale and the Red Rose Clay Mask is lovely and offers dramatic effects.
My boyfriend and I had a blast at the Alila Uluwatu and it’s a perfect place to go if you need a bit of quiet time together. The personal touches at the resort and the attention to detail make it a very special place to stay in Bali. All of our requests were met with a friendly smile and the service was impeccable in the restaurant and spa. This is my favourite luxury resort as it goes above and beyond to ensure guests leave feeling rested and relaxed… I would highly recommend it. Definitely one to book for a special occasion!
Alila Villas Uluwatu, Jl Belimbing Sari Banjar Tambiyak Desa Pecatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia. Doubles from US$829 (00 62 361 848 2166; www.alilahotels.com)