Following what was possibly the most turbulent flight of my life from Dubai to Bali, I was eager to reach the first stop of my planned 9-day stay on the island. Luckily, the first stop was the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort, which is the 4th Anantara property I visit this year after Salalah, Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, and Kalutara, and the oldest among the four at only 5 years old.
Despite the exhaustion from the long flight and the terrible turbulence, sleep evaded me and the soothing sound of crashing waves lured me out, so I decided to get up and take a tour of the property right after sunrise.
The Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort is magnanimously perched on a high cliff overlooking the ocean in the burgeoning Uluwatu region, which is known for its iconic temple and quieter lifestyle especially when compared to neighboring Kuta and Seminyak. The ocean is accessible by a lift from the hotel, but I decided to overcome my sleep deprivation and take the stairs. Despite it being sunrise, I ran into several surfers hurling their surf boards and heading toward the beach, aptly named the Impossible Beach.
The Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort is a member of the DISCOVERY Loyalty programme, which I highly recommend joining for free as it offers you discounts and other perks at 35 independent luxury hotel brands, including Anantara, in 76 countries.
Having worked up an appetite from the steep climb up and down the stairs to the ocean – I say steep due to my own laziness, but the climb is manageable at worst – I headed off to breakfast, served at the hotel’s 6th floor 360 Restaurant, which, since the hotel is located on a cliff, means that the views are insane. The buffet breakfast features live cooking stations and is focused mainly on serving authentic Balinese food, and a beautiful assortment of tropical fruits. Thinking they were pineapples at first, I tried yellow watermelon for the first time in my life and they actually tasted better than the red ones. The staff at breakfast are kind enough to explain what is what, especially at the noodle station where I had no idea what I was choosing until a waitress told me I put enough spices to wipe out an entire village.
The Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort is home to 74 sea view suites and private pool villas, and a gorgeous cliff’s-edge infinity swimming pool. Oh, and the sea view suites have outdoor Jacuzzis on the porch which I believe makes up for the absence of a private pool 🙂
The Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort is off the main road but offers guests free shuttle services to the iconic Uluwatu Temple (do not miss the sunsets there!) and the famous Padang Padang Beach.
Being part of the free-to-join DISCOVERY Loyalty programme means that the hotel offers some of the most authentic and exciting experiences you could think of – from Javanese Lulur body scrubs and Balinese massages to local cooking classes and volcano tours. The hotel has other activities of its own too, such as the coconut leaf weaving class which was a fun way of learning how the skillful Balinese people create these small baskets and containers as part of their religious worshiping and ceremonies.
The Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort has one of the cutest spas that I have ever seen. Designed to reflect a traditional Balinese rice barn, the treatment menu here pays tribute to Indonesia’s Spice Islands and other parts of Asia.
In addition to the spa, the hotel certainly makes use of its secluded location and the nearby sounds of the ocean to offer what it calls “Holistic Experiences” which come in the form of yoga and Tai Chi classes.
If you are coming to Bali for the first time like I was, I think that Uluwatu and the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort in specific are an excellent place to start your vacation. Not only is it a great place to relax and unwind (especially if you are coming on a long flight), but it also helps you get used to the pace of Bali and prepares you for what is next especially if you are heading to busier areas of Ubud, Seminyak, Kuta, etc…