One of my travel highlights this year is traveling to Uluwatu in Bali - the flight from Singapore to Bali is easy and I highly recommend Singapore Airlines' Business Class product on the 787-10 Dreamliner. I have flown it multiple times and I really think that it is the best regional Business Class product out there. The American Express Platinum Concierge somehow managed to negotiate with the InterContinental Bali Resort on my behalf to convert the airport transfer (which was included in my room rate there) into a private transfer to Uluwatu for a fee. As such, it was not long before I arrived in Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort for one of the most luxurious weekends that I have ever spent in Bali.
As soon I walked up the stairs that led up to the hotel lobby, I was greeted with sweeping views of the ocean and a breeze that basically validated the fact that you are right next to an ocean with uninterrupted views. My status as a DISCOVERY Loyalty Black member was acknowledged at check-in and my booking for an Ocean View Suite (lead-in room category) was given a three category upgrade into an Ocean Front Suite. Honestly, I was not expecting much in terms of upgrade since these upgrades are subject to availability and the hotel was running full (something I always check prior to arriving) so I was pleasantly surprised that they did not only give me a double upgrade but a triple upgrade for this stay!
Since I got there slightly ahead of the official check-in time, my suite was not yet ready and one of the staff told me to head up to the lounge to wait for my room - I knew it was not part of the Anantara's brand standard to provide a club lounge of sorts but decided to check anyway. Perhaps they use the term 'lounge' very loosely but I did not find this said lounge so I decided to have my lunch at 360 Rooftop instead. The restaurant is open from 12PM to 5PM for lunch and the menu offers a decent selection of Indonesian specialties as well as familiar Western dishes. Consistent to my experience at previous Anantara properties like the Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas and the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, food (and especially drinks) can get quite expensive depending on what you order - two mains and two drinks can set you back S$70-S$90 depending on what you order. Having said that, that is the price you pay for seclusion and privacy - you should already know this by now.
Halfway through my lunch, one of the friendly staff from reception actually came up the restaurant to inform me that my suite was ready and that she would be waiting for me at the entrance whenever I was done with my meal. I tried to wolf down my lunch as quickly as I could since I did not want her to wait too long for me. Getting from the main hotel lobby to my suite required me to walk down several flights of stairs. I am not entirely sure if this property is a good idea if you are traveling with older family members but from what I can see, most of the hotel guests are honeymooners and babymooners.
The first thing that you will probably notice as you step into your suite is the jaw-dropping view of the ocean which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own bedroom (and balcony!) - more on this later! The Ocean Front Suite measures 84 sqm in size and it comes with a private balcony with Jacuzzi as well as unobstructed ocean views. In terms of the layout and size, the Ocean Front Suite is exactly the same as the lead-in room suite category which is the Ocean View Suite - the only difference is the view and location of these suites. The Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort was built back in 2013 and it is an all-suite property. Having stayed at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort previously, this property feels a lot more modern and the facilities are definitely newer in comparison to the property in Seminyak.
There are 72 suites (inclusive of penthouses and villas) here in the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort and each one of them comes with plenty of living space. The living area here in my Ocean Front Suite was large enough to accommodate up to six adults very comfortably. The sofa is also quite comfortable so I actually spent most of my afternoons here relaxing (and enjoying the air-conditioning) with a book and my laptop.
As part of my welcome amenity, I received a plate of tropical fruits which consisted of a few interesting items like the guava and the salak (a fruit native to Indonesia). I did find the quantity of fruits to be a little lacking (especially after factoring in the cost of these rooms) for a dual-occupancy room but they did bring something else up later (which I presume is a local amenity for DISCOVERY Loyalty Black members). From my understanding, these fruits were supposed to be replenished on a daily basis but the plate was left empty during my short stay there.
One thing that I find absolutely essential (especially in this day and age) in hotel rooms is a Nespresso (or illy) coffee machine. While it may be once a luxury to have these machines placed in guest rooms, the price on these items have gone down quite significantly over the years and it is amazing that luxury hotels still it acceptable to provide freeze-dried coffee in guest rooms when they are charging more than USD 400 a night for a lead-in room. Thankfully, the suites here in the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort all come with a Nespresso coffee machine and the coffee from the compatible capsules tasted pretty decent. A personal coffee machine makes all the difference in a resort that does not have an Executive Lounge - the last thing you want to do is to order coffee and have it sent to your room since it might not be of the right temperature when it arrives.
If I am not mistaken, all of the suites here on property come with a king-size bed and honestly, it is more of a romantic place that you come with a loved one rather than a property that you on getting smashed with your friends (there is always Kuta for that sort of thing). I really like the wall behind the bed and it reminds me slightly of Katamama in Bali. There is a large work desk by the side of the room that looks out to that amazing view but I did have some issues with the WiFi during my stay - it was unstable and sometimes my videos would stop streaming when I am halfway through a show.
International travellers would be delighted to find a universal power outlet by the side of the bed - there are also other ones located in the room so you are not limited to just one thankfully. Since the hotel has only been around for approximately five years, most of the furnishing and fittings are still relatively well-maintained. I must have mentioned this already but the air-conditioning and heater (for the water) both works great - the only reason why I am sharing this is because I have had a rather lacklustre experience at the Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort where these things do not work.
The suite here comes with a flat-screen TV that is stocked with a healthy selection of channels. There is also a Bose sound system in the room which you can connect to via Bluetooth. With all that being said, I did find myself watching Netflix on my laptop instead of what is available on TV during the stay. I really like the ceramic diffuser for essential oils that is placed under the TV - unfortunately, these were never replenished during the stay and it would have made a world of difference if hotel guests are able to come back to that familiar scent after a long day out.
One thing that is unrivalled here at the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort is the view that comes the stay - the hotel spreads over 1.7 hectares of coastal land it the Ocean Front Suites have incredible views of the ‘Impossible Beach’ (which you can access via a private elevator) while still being a short drive away from the famous Uluwatu Temple. Honestly, I have woken up to various ocean views before in my life (many of these hotels are located in Bali) but this was by far the most impressive one. In fact, the design of this property is anchored around enabling hotel guests to enjoy the ocean views from almost every single activity that they partake in - dining, showering, lounging and even from the bed.
The entire bathroom is also quite large (which is a great idea in a resort) and it spans across the length of the bedroom - it comes with a double vanity sink, large mirrors, a shower area (that looks out to the ocean) as well as a outdoor Jacuzzi on your very own balcony.
The outdoor tub is no doubt the best feature of the Ocean Front Suite - it is large enough for two adults to be inside it at any given moment and there are even jets that you activate for that ultimate indulgence. The shower area (which is not located in the balcony) comes with a rainshower as well as two more adjustable shower heads for that complete experience - I really like the fact that you can still enjoy the ocean view even as you are showering (it is also private enough so you do not have to worry about someone else looking in).
Consistent to brand standards, bath amenities here at the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort are provided in these refillable containers. While little disposable bottles make great gifts and souvenirs (for yourself), these bottles are definitely more sustainable since it contributes to less wastage over time. Even though these amenities are in-house branded, they do feel quite premium and if you wish to bring some of it home, I believe that they can be purchased at spa/shop located near the hotel lobby.
The Ocean Front Suites are located next to each other and the expansive balconies are not exactly private since your neighbours can easily look in from the side. If you wish to smoke or enjoy the sun from the comfort of your own balcony, keep in mind that your neighbour(s) can quite easily look over so make sure you do not do anything stupid. Even though the outdoor bathtub is located on the balcony, I did find it to be quite private at most times. In any case, you will probably be fully-covered in a bubble bath but do exercise caution when you are entering and exiting the tub - no one will probably look at you (since everyone here has paid plenty to look at the view) but hey, it does not hurt to play it safe.
Bath salts as well as bubble bath liquids are provided by the tub - these are replenished religiously throughout the stay (during evening turndown and in the morning when your room is made up). If you like taking a bubble bath, I can only tell you how great a jacuzzi is for making that happen - once your water reaches a certain level, push the button down on the side to activate the jets and watch as your tub turn into a bubble-lover’s dream.
While waiting for the sun to set, someone knocked on the door to deliver this three-tier stand of goodies. As I have mentioned earlier before, I am not certain whether this is something that the hotel provides to all guests or was it only delivered to DISCOVERY Loyalty guests holding top-tier status but in any case, I was quite happy to receive it since I was starting to feel a little hungry. If you enjoy a drink or two in the evening, you should definitely pick up some alcohol from the airport before traveling down to the property since drinks here can get quite expensive (I also found them to be quite weak).
Honestly, I felt a little lost at a property without a club lounge - I have spent way too much time (drinking) in a club lounge while waiting for the sun to set. Thankfully, my patience was rewarded with one of the most glorious sunsets that I have witnessed in Bali. It is also interesting to see how many surfers are actually out there in the ocean during this time (even though that is probably not a good thing if you are in Australia if you know what I mean).
If you wish to get out of the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort, it is highly recommended for you to get a taxi (the hotel staff can book one for you but be prepared to pay fixed-prices on these rides) since it is relatively impossible to walk out. I decided to head back up to 360 Rooftop for dinner since I was craving for some Indonesian and Balinese food - the quality of food is pretty good but as I have mentioned, food and drinks do get quite expensive here (even more so than 5-star luxury properties in Nusa Dua).
There are plenty of things to do here in Uluwatu but if you do have an afternoon free, I really recommend checking out Ulu Cliffhouse for its delicious food and drinks. Since I got up pretty early, I decided that spending some time in the pool before everyone else wakes up would be a good idea - there is something calming about having all that space to yourself. Complimentary drinks (not just cold bottled water) are also served to hotel guests from time to time but I was somehow slighted as they were handing out drinks.
If your room rate comes inclusive with breakfast (and you should really get one that does), it is served at 360 Rooftop. While the selection is nowhere near as impressive as the one that I have had in Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort, it was quite decent and the hot food station is actually my favourite.
Even though I was slightly disappointed that the breakfast buffet did not come with an a la carte menu selection, I was quite impressed by the selection of fruits available. In fact, there were even fresh mangoes on the first day that I was there!
As far a views are concerned, the Anantara Uluwatu Bali Resort is quite possibly the most impressive one that I experienced up to date. The suites here offer plenty of space to lounge around and modern conveniences like a Nespresso coffee machine are provided in the comfort of your own room. While I do believe that the average service level here can be improved (especially for Asian guests), it is still a great property to check out if you are looking for hotels in Uluwatu.