We literally lived on the edge during our stay at the new luxury resort
Photos: Marriott International/Weekender
There’s a theatrical composition that a well-seasoned visitor would expect from the smorgasbord of Bali’s sights and sounds.
First, the weather: The warmth of the sun, hovering over the island like melting ball of butter, turning the fairest skin into a delicious chocolate tan, and giving life to living emeralds that grow out of the acridest foundations.
With the stage of a tropical paradise set comes the flurry of every day routines of unlicensed motorists meandering through traffic on spitting scooters, the fiery haggling over handcrafted trinkets and batik sling bags, the crashing waves that throw surfers off their boards, and the gluttony over dirt cheap delicacies of Babi Guling and Nasi Padang.
The elaborate performance is something we can watch all day, if not for the fact that we are being taken somewhere else on a black sedan. The vibrant scene, as we peer through the windshield, slowly drops out of sight as the vehicle headed uphill, entering the untrodden area of Uluwatu where the gleaming Renaissance Bali Uluwatu & Spa lies.
While the Ibiza of the East serves up rave parties for the well-heeled crowds, the quieter Uluwatu offers a solace for travellers looking to escape the swarm of gyrating bodies and drunkard stupors.
Here in Bali’s Bakit peninsula, Uluwatu is known for its cliff-fringed coastline that conceals some hidden beaches, kick-ass surfing waters, and the famous namesake cliff-top temple. The hilly limestone architecture has also ignited the proliferation of luxury villas and resorts, where the thrill of being perched precariously on a rocky edge, alongside encompassing views of the Indian Ocean and majestic sunsets are not something to pass up for.
The new digs of Renaissance Bali Uluwatu & Spa
Drawing the strengths of Uluwatu’s natural bounty is Renaissance Bali Uluwatu & Spa – the first from the Renaissance brand to have debuted in Indonesia.
As a cool breeze of mountain air ushers us into the luxury resort, we zip past the reception area and make a beeline to the R.Bar. The bar holds the best Bali view from its balcony area – a view we drank like a tall glass of gin and tonic.
The opulent abode distinctly does its enviable cliffside location justice, indicated by a compulsory balcony for each of its 207 guestrooms.
We had the pleasure of staying in the Executive Suite (3,900,000 RPH (approx SGD$371)/night) that doesn’t stinge on life’s luxuries. From wide-screen entertainment screens to a sprawling bath area, complete with a freestanding tub, the room pays the Balinese culture tribute with outfits of layer Ikat patterns on tiles and textiles and the use of traditional industrial materials such as stone and bamboo for its structure.
Culinary treasures abound
The cliffside resort proves to be a nest of culinary wonders in its own right.
There’s the Clay Craft Restuarant that has us stuffed from its illustrious buffet line every morning. From live stations dedicated to eggs, crepe and mee soto, to mouth-watering options like bagels, bacon and other breakfast necessities, the restaurant has taken the first and most important meal of the day to a whole new level.
Double Ikat Restuarant
On other nights, we opted for traditional Balinese food at the Double Ikat Restuarant to quell hunger pangs. The restaurant offers the likes of charred satay, ikan bakar (grilled fish), babi guling (suckling pig) and an Indonesian best – bebek betutu (slow cooked duck). Our gastronomic experience is heightened further by having a go at our own meals at the space’s cooking studio.
Where to go from the cliffside abode
Having already swum numerous laps in its gorgeous infinity pool, formed ceramics at the pottery arm of Craft Clay Restuarant, and annihilated body knots at The Spa, we venture out of the hotel to nearby attractions within the vicinity.
We oblige to our dancing spirit at the Rooster Beach Club, a beachside club managed by the hotel. Featuring a large pool, a full-fledged restaurant-bar and a DJ console for head-bobbing tunes, the club is easily accessible for hotel guests with complimentary shuttle services.
Then there are the hidden beaches that Uluwatu keeps a secret. One of which is the Balangan beach, where the stretch of white sand is punctuated by rock formations for reclining. To see some of Bali’s freshest produce, head to Malini Agropark that youthful 52-year-old Wayan Tahan runs. Boasting 90 different types of plants, the farm serves as a beacon to keeping agriculture alive in this tech-driven society, the founder tells us.
Global Day of Discovery
In conjunction with its launch, Renaissance Bali Uluwatu & Spa celebrates the brand’s age-old tradition of the Global Day of Discovery on 5 June, involving some 160 hotels from all around the world. The day is to commemorate the spontaneity and unpredictably of travel experiences that take place in the hotel’s neighbourhood.
Our cliffside abode reels in the festivity by holding a massive party on its poolside deck. Complete with laser light theatrics, the night sees to the Indonesian singer-songwriter Anggun and Belgian DJ duo, Wolfpack gracing the rambunctious affair with their musical performances.
It is now 1 am and the party shows no sign of losing steam; thereupon proving that Renaissance Bali Uluwatu & Spa’s supposed ulu-ness is a non-factor for a memorable stay in beautiful Bali.
Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa is located at Jalan Pantai Balangan 1 No 1, Ungasan, Bali 80361 Indonesia. Rooms start from 2,400,000 RPH (approx SGD$ 228) per night. For reservations, please reach out via +62 361 2003588 or online here.
Weekender would like to thank Marriott International for making this trip possible.