Text by: Azizul Arkaan
Uluwatu is the most southerly part of Bali. Its landscape is defined by a promontory of majestic limestone cliff, offering visitors a different scene from the other parts of the island. This stunning landscape also serves as the backdrop of Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa. The resort is rather secluded from the other neighbouring hotels – its slightly remote location must be due to the resort’s massive beach-fronting land bank.
Massive, stone, stadium-like steps leading to the main lobby might appear daunting to visitors at first. But worry not, the staff is ever ready to assist with your luggage. A gentle hit on the gong marks the arrival of guests to the resort, alerting the staff at the lobby, with their warm smiles and welcoming countenance. The climb up the stairs to the lobby is not in futile – guests will be rewarded with the spectacular view of the breath-taking, blue, glistening sea, almost surreal and looks like from a beautiful painting. We paused, stood still for a moment, trying to deal with the pleasant shock from the view and the resort’s marvellous landscape.
Cascading down from the main lobby to the cliffside are the luxurious suites, pool villas and duplex penthouses that are tactfully designed to offer unobstructed priceless view of the Indian Ocean. The ocean view suites are spacious, with full sofa set, interconnected movie theatre BOSE sound-system, LCD TV, iPOD docking station and its own espresso machine. The balcony is wide to fit an outdoor Jacuzzi facing the sea. It is a perfect setting for honeymooners. For families and friends, the two or three bedroom villas are more suitable, complete with private pool and sun deck, greenery and fountains.
The resort’s blend of innovative design extends beyond its interior decor. The architectural features of the entire resort is leverages on the view of the Indian Ocean. Hence, each of the private villas incorporate terrace and open patio with indoor and outdoor space that flows seamlessly through large sliding floor-to-ceiling doors. The finishing is elegant with natural marble floors and bathrooms, including the sun terrace. Colour schemes are muted with a consistent theme throughout the villa. For those residing in suites, two large infinity pools offer an equally satisfying experience. The botanical features surrounding the resort are minimal, consistent with the uncluttered open concept that the resort embraces. Moving about the resort is surprisingly easy. The gradient is relatively flat, with wide walkways and straightforward passages.
Anantara strives to offer fulfilling culinary experience. The resorts boasts three restaurants with different panoramic settings and cuisines. 360 Restaurant on the rooftop serves as an all-day dining outlet that serves Indonesian, Balinese and Western food. Skip the indoors and head straight to the open terrace, where guests can dine while facing the ocean. For a slight twist to your taste bud, head down to SONO Teppanyaki, which offers contemporary Japanese cuisine. Expect to stay a little longer here as the trained chefs offer live cooking show. If you decide to go 100% alfresco, make your way to Sea Fire Salt, a cliffside restaurant serving excellent barbequed seafood and meat as main course. This outlet could easily be guests’ favourite spot where they can ease out the doldrums, sip their cocktails, be with their desired company and savour the sunset.
Sunset and romance are the two elements that Anantara seeks to blend together. The resort is a destination for many couples to exchange wedding vows and tying the knot. Perched high on the edge of the cliff is a chapel called “Dewa Dewi”, which means “Gods and Goddess”, fitted with glass walls, facing the open sea. The stoned gateway and passage is flanked by two ponds leading to the chapel entrance. It can fit a crowd of fifty people, perfect for an intimate and private wedding affair. The chapel is indeed a splendid avenue for a spectacular sunset wedding.
Other Onsite Attraction
Being in isolation from the surrounding neighbourhood, the resorts has been relentless in making sure that all visitors remain occupied and entertained. The resort continuously organise activities centred on traditional Balinese culture such as classes for authentic Balinese dance, yoga, coconut leaf weaving, batik painting and ceramic making. Learn to cook Indonesian cuisine by joining the interactive cooking class that begins with the local market visit until the final food preparation. If guests have little interest in these activities, they could always grab some chips and watch selections of latest movies at the resort’s mini theatre.
Guests need not worry if they fear that they might slack off on their routine work out when staying at the resort – the gym is open 24-hours, complete fitness machines and equipment. Thereafter, guests could then adjourn to the Anantara Spa for a rejuvenating massage and spa treatment.
For thrill seekers, head out to the aptly named “Impossible Beach”, due to the difficult access in getting there and the shore is covered with jagged rocks and coral reefs making it unsuitable for recreational swimmers. But the barrelling waves of the Indian Ocean is just too difficult to resist. Apparently, there are plenty number of visitors who are avid surfers, scurrying with their surf boards to the beach to get into action. Ask any surfer and they will say that Uluwatu in general is where the wind, swell, direction, tide, and seafloor meet. Wind creates the quality of the surfing waves, while its force and ideal interaction with the direction of the swell and tide makes this part of Bali a surfer’s paradise.
The Impossible Beach is accessible from the resort by elevator that carries three passengers at most, down the thirty-metre cliff. From the top, the shore looks carpeted with rocks and coral reef, spanning endlessly in both directions. Surfers are also seen riding and criss-crossing the rolling waves across the blue and green shades of the sea. When taking a stroll by the beach, sink your feet into the wet grainy sand and see little sea creatures scamper into hiding at your presence. If you fancy a bit of tan, simply plonk against the bean bags on the Surfari Sundeck with cold refreshments served.
Around the resort
There are other surfing spots surrounding the resort such as Padang-padang, Dreamland, Bingin and Uluwatu Beach. Free shuttle service is provided to these destinations including Uluwatu Temple – one of the oldest temples in Bali – where visitors gets to revel in cultural performances such as Kecak dance, against the backdrop of the sunset and ocean view. About 15 minutes’ drive from the resort is Jimbaran Beach, where guests can taste fresh grilled seafood.
We have seen how many resorts tend to compromise privacy with the urge to build bigger so as to take in more guests to increase the bottom line. We find that Anantara resisted such temptation and remain steadfast in offering unique experience to every guest that set foot on this heaven-on-earth by assuring that they receive top-notch luxury, service and privacy that they deserve.
For further information, visit bali-uluwatu.anantara.com