We arrived at Alila Villas Uluwatu well into the evening, exhausted from our flight and from the chaos that was the traffic. As soon as our feet landed on Alila grounds we instantly felt we were in a different place completely and that all that travel up to that moment was worth it.
Even during nightfall, Alila is a remarkable site. The way that it sits on a clifftop plateau along Bali’s southern coastline with no distractions apart from panoramic Indian ocean views and the powerful crashing of the waves amidst the very streamlined architecture, makes one feel like they’re at the edge of the world here.
At Alila Villas Uluwatu there are a total of 65 villas each implementing an environmentally conscious framework. What we love about this is that they don’t boast about their sustainability practices, rather it lets its guests discover it on their own if they wish to. We discovered that Alila sort of set the benchmark for eco-luxury resort living in Bali with a deeply rooted focus on sustainable practices. For example, their water conservation efforts ensure the reuse throughout the property, the open-plan concept exists not just as a design element but as a way to conserve energy especially in the villa’s where the air can better circulate given the lava rock roofs and bamboo ceilings. Building materials are locally sourced and all the plants that surround Alila are local and raised in a nursery on site to encourage local bird and animal life. Therefore sustainability is a big part of the Alila ethos and as a resort it embodies eco-friendly concepts when it comes to design and conservation. With this in mind, our stay at Alila made us appreciate the experience even further than we had anticipated. It wasn’t just a luxury holiday for us but an educational one.
We took up accommodation in their 1-bedroom pool villa which was perfect for our family of four (two adults and two small children). At 3000 sq ft. this villa category with its very open plan set-up, provided ample space for us and the children. The immense sofa which sits across the infinity pool was turned into an immaculate sofa bed for our toddler, while for our one year old, a cot laden with an adorable pillow and duvet was placed to the side of our bed. The bedding was plush and as one heads to bed within these villas, all you can hear is the tumultuous yet somehow therapeutic sounds of the waves.
When one wakes the next morning here, they must take advantage of breakfast at CIRE, their all-day dining restaurant. The awe-inspiring views set against Alila’s signature cliff-edge pool is something to admire each morning. Even with the kids in tow, it was hard not to take a moment to appreciate something you don't get to see so often. The design here is so pared back that they’ve given the natural surroundings their chance to shine. Breakfast time here is a great time to come and refresh, reflect and gain a new perspective. Paired with a healthy menu choice that apparently changes daily, it was a joy for us to enjoy breakfast with the kids whilst admiring the horizon and the endless ocean views. We took our time with breakfast before heading back to our room and enjoying all that it had to offer. With our own private pool overlooking the Indian ocean it was our private luxury abode that us and the kids enjoyed fully. In terms of in-room amenities, the villa provided everything we needed - from full-sized toiletries in their own Alila glass bottles (they produce their own skincare range which can be found at the spa and I highly recommend you purchase some if you happen to be here, because not only are they concocted of only natural ingredients but they are amazing on the skin), to things like sunscreen and insect repellent, you’re pretty much covered in the toiletry department. They provided children’s toiletries and a small tub for our one year old which we thought was thoughtful. We also noticed a sterilizer for baby bottles which came in handy. A yoga mat, beach bag, sun hat and beach slippers are provided in the room for your leisure.
The highlight of our stay was getting to experience Alila’s Journey’s, their experiential offering which can be tailored and personalized according to the guest’s wishes. They have a wonderful selection of curated Journey’s based on the different lifestyle categories. Knowing that Bali is a place of spirituality, healing and of course massages, I underwent their ‘Journey to You’ experience at their cliff edge spa cabana. This is such a great treatment and treat for any parent who wants two hours dedicated to themselves in an unmatched location. It was incredible to say the least. Located approximately 65 steps downhill, the cliff edge cabana is a somewhat recent addition to Alila. It’s a magical escape with the intense waves crashing, the birds singing their melodies and the breeze sweeping through as you enjoy a two-hour wellness session that includes sound healing, a full body massage and facial before closing in with a final sound healing experience. Being at the cabana was an experience in itself - unlike an ordinary spa room with your washroom and shower area there’s none of that at the cabana because its fully outdoors. It’s just you, your therapist, the natural surroundings amidst the cliff's edge and maybe a monkey or two! Have no fear as Alila has a special monkey guard on standby to ensure no monkey’s interrupt your session. Elevate your stay at Alila with one of these Journey’s - they are as authentic as they can be and they give guests a chance to discover something different, something surprising which is aptly befitting given that ‘Alila’ means ‘Surprising’ in Sanskrit. I highly recommend the Journey to You experience, especially if you’re someone that works hard and deals with daily stresses, this is a story-telling two-hour journey of giving yourself a bit of a break.
Although we didn’t see as many children, we still feel Alila is a great place for the kids to holiday at as they’ll certainly enjoy pool-time and the array of kid’s Journey’s on offer. Our son, for example, underwent the archery experience with a real archery teacher. It was great for us as a family to experience as the bow and arrows were the real deal. Alila organized the session at one of their pavilions and had a picnic area set-up for afterwards with a snack box each as well as refreshments.
What we got to appreciate about Alila Villas Uluwatu is its ‘less is more character of which it emanates throughout the property. No matter how many times we walked through the main area, we constantly felt in awe of the design and architecture. It is a timeless place that is absolutely welcoming and heart-warming. Staff are genuinely loving, you always feel you want to have a conversation with each of them. Alila Villas Uluwatu is a great option if you’re looking to holiday in this area and want something that is modern, luxurious and discrete paired with great service, delicious food, exceptional spa treatments and an array of experiences to undergo. It was a very family-friendly place for us and though our kids were loud at times, no one complained, we weren’t judged or felt conscious. Instead the staff lovingly smiled at us, greeted our children with open arms, which is why our little ones felt like they could be themselves and we felt at ease throughout our entire stay.
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