Bali. The name is synonymous with a place of utter peace and tranquility, beautiful beaches and the place to literally get away from it all. Bali is large island with many areas offering a variety of different vacation options, from Ubud’s tropical forests to the pulsating beach party scene of Seminyak. For those looking for something a bit different, head the island’s isolated and rugged southernmost point of Uluwatu and a stay at the Bulgari Resort Bali.
Needless to say, Bulgari is a brand synonymous with style, pizazz and utter luxury in their jewelry, watches, fashion and accessories. When that brand creates a lifestyle resort, rest assured, it will be just as special and rare as the jewels that they’ve produced for 130 years. Now combine that with the sultry destination of Bali and you know you’re in for something special.
Uluwatu is along the rocky coast of the southern part of the island. It is one of the least developed in the area with unspoiled nature, dramatic cliffs and breathtaking sunsets over the sea and endless horizon.
The Bulgari Resort Bali resembles an ancient Balinese village with hand-hewn volcanic stones and rich, exotic woods as the dominant materials in the buildings, structures and villas. Inside is a wonderful mix of exotic Balinese décor of fabrics furnishings, artwork and antiques mixed in with contemporary designs, architecture and the latest technology. This combined with the warmth and genuine Indonesian hospitality makes for an exceptional holiday experience.
The grounds are exquisite with beautifully manicured gardens—bougainvillea bushes bursting in color and the fragrance of frangipani wafting through the air—all with the Indian Ocean as the backdrop. As you pass the grounds you’ll come upon the pool which is made for a post card. The multi-level pool is carved into the cliff side and stops at an infinity edge overlooking the ocean. Nattily dressed attendants are there with refreshments or an afternoon snack. Nearby is The Bar, a sophisticated place to take in the dramatic sunsets. This is not your typical tiki hut, this is a grand pavilion with rich décor and design, perfect for evening cocktails or poolside drinks during the day.
The Bulgari Resort Bali is on a steep bluff, 500 feet above the azure blue waters and crashing waves of the Indian Ocean. To descend to the beach, a funicular transports guests to the shore line below. Once at the beach you’ll find powdery white sand among the jutting coral formations along the beach. The waters are a bit rough, but it’s fun for a dip or to splash around. The stretches of white sand are divine and are made for long walks between the rocky cliff on one side and the endless horizon over the ocean on the other.
The resort epitomizes exclusivity with only 59 villas so it never feels crowded. In fact, the villas are so private most guests, especially the honeymooners, will spend most of their time in their villa, only to be seen at meal time.
Each villa is created to fully indulge in the Bulgari lifestyle. The villas are constructed on the side of a slope to allow for unobstructed, awe-inspiring views of the Indian Ocean, yet the high perimeter walls of local volcanic stone provide complete privacy. Each unit has a refreshing pool surrounded by tropical trees, flowers and water features. The outdoor space is really an open-air living room without walls under a traditional thatch and bamboo roof.
Indoors, each detail is meticulously created to spoil guests. The décor of the interiors is exquisite with Javanese mahogany paneling and floors that demand barefoot steps. The exquisite furnishings, Balinese objects d’ art, antique curios and rich Indonesian silk tapestries create a feeling of contentment as soon as you enter the space. And, should you require, the villas have top-of-the-line Bang and Olufsen audio and visual systems.
There is no other way to describe the bathroom other than wow! It is cavernous with black Terrazo floors and a large bath (built for two) fills the center of the room. Just beyond is an outdoor rain shower in a garden-like setting. As the suite is completely private, there are floor-to-ceiling glass doors that surround the space letting in ample natural light. It is really a design masterpiece and perfect place to relax and forget any cares back home.
The villas range in size, design,and layout from the one bedroom villa to the Bulgari Villa. The Bulgari Villa features two bedrooms, a living room with bar, a dining room and a private cinema. There’s also a spa treatment room and a meditation pavilion.
Whereas most hotels offer top class accommodations in the form of a penthouse or presidential suite, at the Bulgari Resort Bali their top category is their Mansions. And this is not any type of boast, the term is apropos for their five posh palaces. This is the major leagues of vacation experiences and perfect for guests wishing to entertain or indulge the family or a group of friends.
The Mansions are three or five bedrooms and range in size from 18,000 to 48,000 square feet. Yes, they are enormous. Each include every extravagance, including a large, private pool surrounded by lush gardens with a sundeck and gazebo. Indoors, guests will find a private elevator, a gourmet kitchen with Miele appliances, a study and a state-of-the-art Bang & Olufsen Audio Visual system. Each of the bedrooms has a private bathroom and walk-in closet and, of course, Bulgari bathroom amenities. On the roof top there is an open terrace overlooking the sea with living room, dining room and bar.
Bulgari is among the top Italian luxury brands in the world be it in their jewelry, fashion or accessories. So, needless to say, the dining experience at the Bulgari Resort Bali has to appease the most demanding palate, and the three dining options do not disappoint. Their all-day dining restaurant, Sangkar, serves contemporary Indonesian, Asian, and International cuisine as well as an exquisite breakfast.
Their signature restaurant is Il Ristorante, an award-winning, gourmet Italian restaurant helmed by Executive Chef Luca Fanitn. This is the second outpost of his Tokyo Il Ristoranti where he was the only Italian chef to be awarded the Michelin star in Japan. Il Ristorani is known for its authentic, yet contemporary dishes, created with visually stunning presentations. The setting is exclusive, seating only 36 guests in a formal and uber romantic setting.
For a more casual dining experience, take the funicular midway down bluff to the La Spiaggia restaurant. Guests dine on exquisite seafood and grilled meat while taking in views overlook the sea and the sound of waves crashing on the rocks below. A must-have while there is the mixed seafood platter with grilled lobster, tiger prawns, reef fish and squid.
The ultimate gift of any vacation is relaxation and that is exactly what you’ll find in the resort’s spa. The Bulgari Resort Bali provides a holistic healing center offering traditional Balinese treatments augmented by modern spa technology. The open-air spa pavilions contain a whirlpool and outdoor living space with open-air shower. There are a number of spa rituals offered from Ayurveda to body wraps and scrubs, massages, hot-stone treatments and facials applied with Espa products or local ingredients.
There are endless options of tropical activities to be had in Uluwatu and beyond. The concierge staff is capable and ready to assist in making arrangements. A few popular activities in the area are the visit the Uluwatu Temple and to Kecak Fire Dance which is a Balinese dance and music show performed by locals at sunset. In addition, guests may want to visit one of the nearby beaches or Finns Beach Club, which is a tourist spot for gathering for sunset cocktails, music and entertainment.
The Bulgari Resort Bali is an ineffable holiday. Those who have been will find it hard to describe without using the cliché’s that we’ve all grown so tired of: tropical oasis, paradise, fantasy island—throw in magical and mystical too. It just so happens that in this case, all of those hackneyed descriptions ring true. This resort sets a new bar for all of those clichés that are the only way to describe what must be the zenith of tropical luxury in a vacation experience.