It is the setting of Anantara Uluwatu that truly sets it apart from others, cascading down the cliffside in a series of terraces that afford stunning views over the ocean below
The Suites, Villas and Penthouse are a masterclass in stylishly elegant design, marrying traditional Balinese elements with a contemporary, sleek appeal
Each of the three restaurants offers panoramic views over the ocean, while the multi-level infinity pool has an equally stupendous setting
A spa offers both traditional treatments and Elemis facials alongside a series of wellness programmes that combine nutrition, exercise and therapies to work holistically on body and mind
Straddling the equator, Indonesia tends to have a fairly even climate year-round. Rather than four seasons, Indonesia has two – dry (between May to September) and wet (between October to April) – and there are no extremes of temperature between winter and summer. In most parts of Indonesia, the wet season falls between October and April and the dry season between May and September. December and January see Bali at its most humid and rain tends to come in sudden tropical downpours, but it can also rain for more prolonged periods.
Tumbling down a cliffside and overlooking the ever-changing waters of the ocean below, Anantara Uluwatu is a sleek, contemporary offering with 72 suites, pool villas and penthouses and three superb dining options, a beautiful infinity pool and serene spa.
Designed in a series of terraces that afford stunning ocean views from almost every angle, Anantara Uluwatu is an architectural delight, with minimalist contemporary lines that allow the more rambling, wild beauty of the landscape to take centre-stage.
From 84sq.m to 577sq.m, the suites, villas and penthouse are spacious, light and airy thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that lead out onto a private balcony, courtyard or private pool. With little to separate the interior and exterior, the crashing waters of the picturesque Impossibles surf break and gentle murmurs of the sea breeze create a restful and contemplative retreat. Inside, the decor is an elegant and contemporary take on traditional Balinese motifs, with teakwood, marble floors, modern art and a calming colour palette. Add in upmarket mod-cons such as espresso machines, Bose sound systems, rain showers and in many cases a private balcony with jacuzzi and the guest accommodation becomes a truly luxurious escape.
Its tranquil location makes the Anantara a spot for relaxation and rejuvenation, and the spa and multi-level pool with panoramic ocean views make this almost guaranteed. Whether you choose a holistic wellness programme of nutrition, yoga and spa therapies or simply submit to the healing hands of one of the therapists who use a combination of traditional spices and ancient Balinese wisdom, you’ll find the tranquil spa is the epitome of calm.
With each of the three restaurants offering panoramic ocean views you’ll never be far from the spectacular vistas that make this such a special setting. Open-air dining adds to the fresh flavours of the dishes, with a teppanyaki restaurant on the rooftop and international and Indonesian dishes at 360 Rooftop. Perched over the ocean, the aptly named Splash serves dishes from across the world, including Waygu beef and lobster cooked over a charcoal grill.
Time at Anantara Uluwatu could be spent moving from infinity pool to beach, spa to restaurant, with the captivatingly neat waves of the ocean never far from view. Yet with one of Bali’s most famous waves on its doorstep and many others within easy reach, surfers are spoilt for choice while beach enthusiasts could take the daily shuttle to the sugar-white sands of Padang Padang beach. A shuttle service also runs to the serenely beautiful Uluwatu Temple for breathtaking sunsets and a daily Kecak dance performance.
While the Modernist architecture of the Anantara may seem at odds with traditional Balinese design, the property seems to fit effortlessly into its cliffside setting, cascading down the hill in a series of well thought-out terraces. The suites, villas and penthouse are equally culturally sympathetic yet forward thinking, with a streamlined design given colour with rich accents and nods to Bali’s artisan heritage. From the Ocean View Suite to the Three-bedroom Ocean View Pool Villa and the luxurious Penthouse, the accommodation is well-appointed and supremely comfortable. With each offering either a private balcony with jacuzzi, a garden courtyard, private pool or dining pavilion, the emphasis here is on outdoor living and making the most of Bali’s balmy days and nights.
Alongside the three restaurants of Anantara, the hotel offers a range of culinary options, including private dining with an ocean view, in-room dining and Indonesian cooking lessons. After the inevitable indulgence of the breakfast buffet, the fitness centre is open 24/7 with personal trainers available on request, while the wellness programmes of the Spa combine nutrition, therapies and yoga, tai chi and exercise into a holistic wellbeing course. Of course, you could simply flop on a daybed by the infinity pool and soak in the spectacular views over the ocean.
If you can be dragged from your sun-lounger, Uluwatu and its surrounds offer a wealth of adventure, from pristine dive sites to world-famous waves and ancient temples. You could sail across the Badung Strait on a luxury catamaran, play a round of golf on one of two courses on the Bukit Peninsula or travel further afield to the rice terraces of Ubud or the volcanoes of the interior.
Enjoy a foodie experience like no other during this street food tour through Denpasar. Meet with a food expert who will guide you through the different culinary delights of Indonesia.
Explore Bali's temples and surrounding landscape in a Volkswagen convertible. Take your classic car to Pura Kehan and Gunung Kawi Sebatu temple complexes near Bangli town and bamboo enshrouded Penglipuran and on to arts and crafts villages near Ubud.
Take a day to explore northern Bali, taking in the central highlands, the famous market at Candi Kuning, Ulun Danu temple, the sacred hot springs at Banjar, Lovina town for lunch and the former Dutch capital, Singaraja before visiting Gitgit waterfall.
In addition to the Ubud Monkey Forest, this trip takes in Hindu temples, volcanic scenes and traditional Balinese arts. Your day will begin with a Barong dance performance and include three craft villages, Gunung Kawi temple and the "elephant cave".
Visit the Mother Temple of Bali and witness some of the region's best views on this full day trip of temple culture and traditional arts and crafts. See examples of batik, wood carving and the work of silver and gold-smiths.
Spend half a day with Rivers, Oceans, Lands and Ecology (R.O.L.E) Foundation, which is based in southern Bali. This environmental organisation educates local people on environmental awareness as well as women's empowerment.
Experience incredible views from the summit of Mount Batur as the sun rises. Have breakfast before your descent and visit three younger craters with evidence of lava flow and finally enjoy a soothing dip in Toya Bungkah hot springs.
Travel to the south of Bali mid afternoon and to the impressive vantage point at Uluwatu Temple. Here you will be entertained by not only the view but also the famous Kecak dance prior to the chance to have a sunset dinner at Jimbaran Bay.
Travel through Bedugal's central highlands and past Lake Beratan on this full day adventure across Bali. Witness awe-inspiring views of Lake Buyan and Lake Tamblingan before arriving at spectacular Tanah Lot in time for an unforgettable sunset.
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