Bulgari Bali sits atop a steep cliff like a grand dame, overlooking the azure ocean. Stately. Almost royal even. Villas, carved into the hills like a string of cultured pearls.
Everything here is reeks of what one might call “old-money”. While it is owned by a luxury fashion house, there is no tackiness about it. No air of pretense. Once you step in it’s intimidating high stone reception, you feel a enveloped in a fog of understated elegance.
Villa interiors hand-hewn from volcanic stone. Wooden beams courtesy of Javanese mahogany. All nestled in greenery as lush as the garden of Eden. (Be warned, that comes with a price. You are advised every time you leave the villa to keep all it’s many doors locked. Apparently, monkeys have figured out how to open the doors and in the blink of an eye, can pretty much steal everything that isn’t nailed down.)
Yes, she is showing signs of wear and tear. But that adds character. As she ages gracefully, classic and timeless.
The two-bedroom villa that my sister had was huge. It feels like what three standard run-of-the-mill villas would be put together. I apologise for the lack of photos as my phone kept dying on me, and, my dad was constantly in the bed looking very unglamorous in each shot of the master bedroom. But basically, each bedroom was like an entire villa to itself. With the living room as big as some hotel rooms come. You enter the doors to either a hallway or study, go to a huge bedroom that overlooks the ocean. And on the other side, a huge bathroom that could probably fit an apartment in Hong Kong inside. Twice! An indoor tub, sunken into a sumptuous marble top that would be excellent background for flat lays. An outdoor shower that we didn’t even bother with. And a big indoor shower directly opposite the WC. Two mirrors. Two sinks. And every kind of personal hygiene product, from the usual shampoos and conditioners – all Bulgari of course – to nail clippers!
For that big of a villa though, I was mildly disappointed at the size of the pool which was probably about 3 x 4 meters. But, if you are keen on getting a few laps in, the main pool is almost always empty. And absolutely picture perfect.
One thing about the Bulgari though. No matter how many times I sat in that buggy ride down to the villa, I still don’t think I’d be able to walk there myself. (It. Was. So. Hot. Plus the compound is so huge it’s a maze!)
The private beach is also a hike down. Similar to the Rock Bar and Finn’s beach club, there is an inclinator that brings you down the steepest parts of the cliff. But thank goodness the staff always take note of who descends (in possibly the poshest looking inclinator I’ve seen in Bali), because really, the hike up, is not one you would want to make unless you desire buns of steel in a few hours.
While extremely beautiful, beaches in Uluwatu are mostly not quite “swimmable” beaches. Ulu – means ‘lands end’ and ‘watu’ – means rock. And the tip of Bali is exactly that, rocky. While there is a considerable expanse of beach to lie and sun yourself, you won’t be able to do much swimming here at all. If you’re the adventurous sort, grab a good pair of water shoes or wellies. There is an incredible living ecosystem on this beach. Tons of starfish. Hermit crabs. Fish. And lots and lots of sea urchin. Really great for exploring and observing. But remember to respect the environment. Don’t break off “souveniers” nor lift creatures out of their rightful homes.
Service was of course, faultless. Bottled water always materialized from nowhere. Fresh fruit was constantly replenished both in the living room and the bedrooms. And a nice touch – the most delicious chocolate birthday cake was there to greet my sister after we returned to the villa after her birthday dinner.
Speaking of which…..
Birthday dinner for my sis. We had a really lovely dinner at Il Ristorante – a lovely, minimalist, al fresco Italian restaurant.
Every dish – even the bread – was delicious. The only unfortunate thing was the week we were these, happened to be the hottest week in Bali, an equinox where the equator is the closest to the sun. So it got a little uncharacteristically balmy. Usually, in previous visits, the restaurant gets breezy enough to wear a cardi!
Other than that, dinner was pretty much perfection, reaching a crescendo with the most succulent piece of wagyu beef that literally melted in my mouth. It was definitely was in line with everything we expected with the Bulgari, though we all regretted loading up with the yummy bread before.
Would I return to the resort again?
I just may have to wait for my wallet to recover first, but hell yeah!
It’s a solid 4/5.
Other than at dinner, and sunset drinks at the bar, you hardly ever see guests at all, it almost always feels like you have the whole place to yourself. And, how often can you find pet-friendly luxury resorts? (Honestly, I have never. And I could use that in the game.)