Perched more than 300 feet over the famous surf beaches of Uluwatu, on the west side of Bali’s Bukit peninsula, Alila Villas Uluwatu looks like a collection of oversized modern bird cages teetering on limestone cliffs. Palm trees and open-air pavilions recall Palm Springs, while frangipani flowers remind guests they’re in the tropics. The resort was designed by Singapore architectural firm Woha and received EarthCheck Gold certification for its use of recycled wood from railway cars; local lava rock and bamboo for the roofs and ceilings; and limestone from the surrounding cliffs for garden walls. The resort also employs a number of water conservation measures, including a rainwater irrigation program and a wastewater scheme that utilizes plants native to the Balinese savannah. A reverse osmosis filtration system provides clean water to fill reusable glass bottles rather than those made of plastic. The resort’s focus on environmental and social responsibility shows up throughout the guest experience, from the organic produce served at the restaurants to the efforts to raise the standard of living for underprivileged members of the community.
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Located at the western tip of Bali’s Bukit peninsula, Uluwatu is a popular resort destination for skilled surfers, beach lovers, golfers, and soul searchers. The 10th-century Uluwatu Temple is arguably Bali’s most dramatic Hindu site, perched 250 feet over hollow Indian Ocean waves. This is where the pilgrimage of High Priest Dang Hyang Nirartha came to an end, and it’s believed to keep evil spirits away from the island. The Kecak dance show here draws many visitors come sunset. Uluwatu is world famous for its beaches, reef breaks, and surf retreats. Padang Padang is a gorgeous beach and popular surf spot. Ungasan is a less touristy option for beachcombing and snorkeling.
Need to Know
Rooms: 65 pool villas. From $760. Check-in: 2 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options:Cire blends Asian traditions with Western techniques, and a special section of the menu highlights local and organic produce. In the afternoon and early evening, the sun silhouettes the batik wall panels. Warung is the place to try such authentic Indonesian and Balinese dishes as green papaya and prawn salad or beef braised in coconut milk at a romantic two-top or a lively communal table. Guests who can’t decide what to order should ask the chef to compose a rijsttafel (a traditional feast that originated during Dutch rule) from their favorite flavors. Once a week, Balinese street food stalls, or kaki limas, take over the Pavilion garden. Spa and gym details:Daily yoga classes with resident teacher Nyoman Warta as well as services at Spa Alila cater to guest needs and goals. A new Tibetan sound therapy uses vibrations to help reduce stress, alter consciousness, and leave the mind in peace.
Who's it best for: Eco-conscious ocean lovers fond of modernist architecture. Our favorite rooms: Pool Villas come in one- and three-bedroom configurations. Each features contemporary furnishings made of wood, stone, and rattan. Breezy marble walkways connect the pavilions and pools with the indoor-outdoor living areas, and woven bamboo lines the ceiling, while lava rock insulates the roof while also supporting ferns and succulents. The three-bedroom pool villas cover more than 6,500 square feet and include a 65-foot swimming pool beneath a clifftop cabana. Charitable efforts:Guests who want to give back to nature or the local community can join sustainability efforts or visit the Bali Life Foundation, which provides housing, education, and health care to local orphans.