The Roman jeweller’s luxury resort in the Island of the Gods continues to impress after more than 10 years i
Uluwatu is quite unlike the rest of Bali. Not as rowdy as Kuta; not quite as frisky as Seminyak; less idyllic than Ubud; and most certainly not as hip as Canggu. A hilly region with towering limestone cliffs, phenomenal surf breaks, and stunning sheltered coves, it is home to the some of the island’s most exclusive villas and resorts, each one an architectural marvel to behold.
Arguably the most luxurious property in the area belongs to Bvlgari. Architects from Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and Partners, the firm behind all of Bvlgari’s properties, were brought in to impart an Italian flair to the rugged south coast of Bali. The result is a dramatic East-meets-West design aesthetic that stays true to the location. The rooms, which sit atop a 150-m high cliff, are constructed of local natural materials and feature traditional bamboo roofs. Interiors, on the other hand, are seductively sleek with sombre hues, rich mahogany woods, Indonesian antiques and luxurious contemporary European furnishings.
Each of the 58 villas offers a plunge pool, a private garden and an open-air living room that overlooks the Indian Ocean. The view, a postcard worthy picture of the sky grazing the sea, is incredibly beautiful. The bathrooms are magnificent pamper palaces with gorgeous black Terrazzo flooring, two showers (one indoors and the other in the garden), and a tub standing right in the middle like a glorious monument.
If you find the 300-sqm Ocean View Villas a tad small, the property also houses five mansions with three to five bedrooms, as well as the ultimate 1,300-sqm Bvlgari Villa with a 17-m long swimming pool surrounded by an extensive terrace. These exquisite home-from-home accommodations feature a spacious outdoor area, a living room, a dining room, a powder room, a fully equipped kitchen perfect for entertaining, a bar, a patio, a terrace and a separate structure for service staff. Every villa also has its own garden and two-tiered swimming pool surrounded by sun decks and a gazebo with open living areas opening into the garden.
Il Ristorante — Luca Fantin is the main place to eat. Open for dinner only, the menu features classical Italian specialties with a contemporary spin. The resort’s East-meets-West approach is also presented here, with dishes such as squid ink gnocchi and tuna tartare blending Italian ingredients with the island’s organic produce. Sitting just across the resort’s signature Italian restaurant is Sangkar, where modern Indonesian cuisine is served in a more casual and relaxed setting (but no less seductive). Cliff-side lies the lounge bar, which offers wines, cocktails and appetisers. Of course, the highlight of these dining and drinking spots is the sunset show, which, amplified by the stillness of the property, will take your breath away.
Tying the knot? The Bvlgari chapel is a magnificent location for the Big Day. There’s a Games of Thrones vibe to the space with its somber hues, stone walls and flooring as well as industrial metal finishing — which is quite unlike sleekly modern wedding venues on the island. The view from the chapel, is undoubtedly killer, and is made better with the retractable glass wall behind the altar table for a semi-outdoor experience.
Yet, there’s more at Bvlgari waiting to blow your mind. Nestled between the cliff and the ocean is a 1.5-km beach, accessible only through the resort’s inclined elevator. Have a slow lunch at The Beach Club, then wander down to the beach via the steps for a closer view. Back on the cliffs, The Spa at Bvlgari is another spectacular spot with views to die for. The starlet of the space is the hand-carved teak wood Joglo House, transported from the Northeastern Central Javanese city of Kudus, where you can relax while waiting for your treatment — choose from a range of Balinese, Asian and European therapies, including the Bvlgari Signature Experiences, Balinese and Ayurvedic rituals, intensive facials, body wraps and holistic massages.
Never mind that the resort is out of the way (you’ll need to call a car to get to ‘civilisation’; nothing outside of the property is walkable). With all the luxuries offered, there’s really no need to leave until it’s time to.
Bvlgari Resort Bali
Jl. Goa Lempeh
Banjar Dinas Kangin
Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung
Tel: +62 361 8471000