There are no lack of beach clubs in Bali and it is no secret that the Island of the Gods is one of my favourite weekend destinations - I have already clocked five separate visits and counting this year alone! With over 18 flights direct flights from Singapore each day, Bali is only two hours away by plane and if you are taking Singapore Airlines, make sure you choose the 787-10 Dreamliner because the Business Class is something you would definitely like to experience!
I have always stayed within the confines of Nusa Dua and Seminyak but I decided to venture out to Uluwatu on this trip for two reasons: Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort and the newly-opened Ulu Cliffhouse which is located just a short drive away. Ulu Cliffhouse is the brainchild of established personnel in the industry - the design is by Shed London, the food menu is curated by Chef Diego Muñoz, drinks are created by Albie Barratt as well as the Operation Dagger Team but the most important element in my opinion is the thumping music - led by the legendary music producer, Neil McLellan.
Ulu Cliffhouse is referred to as a clifftop playground with a 25-metre infinity pool with an open air restaurant as well as a cliff-side ocean deck that overlooks the endless ocean - it looks like something out of Saint-Tropez! What visitors often miss is The Ocean Deck that is located halfway down the cliff face - this exclusive spot is only accessible via a flight of stairs and it even offers direct beach access when the tide is low. Forgot to bring your swimwear? Fret not - the lifestyle concept store by Kiosk Collective stocks up everything you need for a perfect evening.
While working on my tan, I ordered a couple of drinks and was completely won over by the Cliff Colada (IDR 140K++) which includes a coconut-infused rum, pineapple reduction, fresh coconut water and a flamed coconut meringue on the top. It was not only beautiful to look at but more importantly, it was delicious and refreshing!
If you prefer to sit indoors while waiting for the sun to set, there are plenty of tables to choose from but just make sure you make your preferences known when you make a reservation (which I definitely recommend you do). Otherwise, grab a table out there because the best views are from the daybeds and ocean deck!
If you are planning to get one of the daybeds - make sure you make a reservation for these and I am fairly sure they come with a minimum spend but it should be reasonable. Honestly, these are the crème de la crème where tables are concerned at the Ulu Cliffhouse!
Make sure you leave plenty of time to laze around the pool, enjoy the drinks and more importantly, come with an empty stomach because the food here is amazing (more on this later!). In my opinion, the best time for you to drop by is probably 3:30PM so you have around three hours to take in the ambience and enjoy a few drinks. You will not want to miss the sunset here at the Ulu Cliffhouse so be sure to come in early. If you are not a huge cocktail fan, you will also find a rather extensive selection of beers, ciders, spirits, wines as well as non-alcoholic beverages like cold-pressed juices and kombucha.
Ulu Cliffhouse runs a number of events regularly so I definitely recommend for you to check out their website to make sure that you know exactly when the big ones are. Head down on a Wednesday for 2-for-1 cocktails and beers all day - there is also a poolside barbecue happening every regular Wednesday of the week so make sure you do not miss out on this fantastic experience!
The food served here at Ulu Cliffhouse came as a pleasant surprise - it was not only presented beautifully but there was so much finesse in all the dishes that I have tried during my visit. My personal favourite has got to be the Spicy Tamarind & Tuna Ceviche (IDR 140K++) which comes with pickled cucumber, sesame, ginger, seaweed and red shiso - it packs a little bit of heat too so make sure you have a drink handy if you can’t take anything spicy. The Guacamole with Totopos (IDR 140K++) is also another beautifully-presented dish that comes with plenty of fresh avocado underneath, a variety of toppings as well as tortilla chips on the side. Looking for something a little less healthy but equally indulging? Opt for the Fried Calamari & Snapper (IDR 115K++) which sits above a smooth and flavourful sweet sweet potato purée and it is served alongside red onion as well as coriander salsa.
If I had to pick my favourite dish during my visit, it would certainly be the Roasted Red Snapper (IDR 210K++) which is served with a unique citrus and chili butter, braised fennel as well as croutons. There is something about enjoying fresh seafood done beautifully while overlooking the endless ocean and the Ulu Cliffhouse is quite simply, the perfect place for that. There were a number of other dishes that I have initially wanted to try like the Piggie Back Pizza, Fish and Chips as well as the Clam Risoni but I guess I should always leave myself with some motivation to head back.
I left Ulu Cliffhouse shortly after sunset because honestly, the best part about being in a beach club is people-watching and soaking that atmosphere while you are there. The food and drinks were great and this is definitely one of best places to head down to in Bali if you are looking for a great experience at a reasonably-affordable price. I cannot exactly remember how much my ride was from the beach club back to my hotel I think it was somewhere between IDR 150K to IDR 200K for a 15-minute drive (flat rate).