Everything about this resort is just top-notch. The property, the villa, the facilities, the landscape, the food, the service and even the amenities are totally out of this world. I can’t find anything to criticize except for the price (booze is exceptionally expensive, even for HK standards). But hey, you get what you pay.
My girlfriend and I came to Alila Uluwatu to celebrate her 30th birthday. We chose this resort for its immaculate décor, secluded location, as well as recommendations from friends who’ve stayed there before. And we dare proclaim that everything about this resort has exceeded our expectations.
Around a month prior to arrival you’re invited to fill in a questionnaire sent via email asking about your preferences of, say, choice of pillow, spa service, butler service, diet, etc. This will determine what you’ll be enjoying during your stay. After you land into Denpasar Airport and have cleared immigration and customs you’re immediately greeted by an Alila staff who takes you to your limo (if you’ve booked one). It’s an approximate 45-min ride from the airport to the resort with moderate traffic. The minute you step out of the limo, you’re immediately blown away by the picturesque scene of the Indian Ocean from the lobby. The staff will guide to a lounging area for the extremely simple and efficient check-in procedure (they only ask for your passport and credit card). Afterwards, you are then whisked off to your villa in a buggy driven by your personal butler who tells you everything you need to know about the resort. We stayed at row 4 of the property, because we were advised of the better view of the Indian Ocean (highly recommended).
The villa is absolutely stunning, in terms of décor and layout. You have your own private pool (small but adequate) and cabana (extremely spacious). The bed is extremely comfortable with soft linens and your pre-selected pillows. The bathroom is extremely spacious with a his and hers washing basin and amenities (probably L’Occitane). If you’re adventurous you have to try their outdoor shower. The only peeping toms are the local monkeys and birds. There are 2 doors that allow easy access to the pool and cabana. One with direct access to the bathroom so that you avoid wetting the floor in the main room. The other door is in the main room. The bath tub offers adequate space for 2 adults. When we arrived ours was already filled with warm water, flower petals and bubbles (points added here). The “pee and pooh” area is located at the far end of the bathroom and equipped with a magazine rack for those who like to read while doing their thing.
The food is simply decadent. For breakfast you have a generous selection of breads, pastries, fruits, meats, cheeses, juices, etc to choose from. Everyday something new is served. We skipped lunch because we normally eat like a king for breakfast. For dinner, we went for both the western restaurant and Indonesian restaurant. Both were fantastic in their own ways. For Indo cuisine, they start you off with condiments and a generous selection of sauces you can dip into. You mustn’t miss the satays, meat so succulent and best of all heated on a mini coal stove so that they’re always served warm. The pork rib was cooked to perfection and literally melts in your mouth. If you desire more local flavors to fill the stomach go for the mie goreng or nasi goreng. You won’t be disappointed. Our 2nd dinner was staged at the cabana in our villa because I wanted something private for my girlfriend’s big day. I asked our butler GeDe (pronounced as Good Day) to decorate the room with balloons (extra costs incurred). He even suggested enhancing the romanticism with flower petals and candles (on the house). And boy did he and his trusty side-kick do an impeccable job in spicing up the ambience. For dinner, we started with a crab claw dish and salad, which were both excellent in terms of taste and presentation. The yellowtail fish was a bit dry but still not too bad. We concluded the dinner with a small half pound cake I ordered a month in advance. GeDe even threw in 2 apple crumbles on the house, because he thought we were not filled (so kind of him).
If you crave excitement this is definitely not the place. But this resort offers other extra-curricular activities like yoga and spa to pamper your mind and soul. I’m not much of a spa fanatic, but my girlfriend was very relaxed after her 90-min treatment, while I spent some time at the gym. Apart from swimming in your own villa or at the main pool (this is where you get the best view of the Indian Ocean), you mustn’t miss the resort’s own private beach, but be prepared to walk 600 flight of stairs down and another 600 up again. The best time is to go during the low tide, as you see more of the beach like corals and sea creatures. The first time we went was at around 4pm, and the second time at 7am (tide at its lowest). The beach was very private though not big, and locals could be seen walking on the corals.
Alila’s service is one of the best we’ve ever experienced. They must have very strict training regimes for all their staff. GeDe did a fantastic job in taking care of us whenever he was needed. Every time we’d bump into him he’d greet us with a big warm smile. All the other staff were also very friendly.
We stayed at this resort for 4 days and were reluctant to leave. The minute we hopped onto our limo, we were already missing everyone and everything at Alila, especially GeDe who was such an angel to us. But the top-notch service doesn’t end here, and is extended to your departure at the airport. As you leave the limo another Alila staff assists you through the entire check-in process before bidding you farewell at the immigration counter.
Alila, you have done an excellent job in spoiling us from top to bottom. We hope to return very soon.
If you’re traveling during the peak season (during the dry season of Sep to Apr), be prepared to endure long queues at the immigration. We waited for 1.5 hrs just to clear immigration and customs, and were robbed of USD 5 just to retrieve our suitcases from those greedy airport porters. Using the expedited passport and visa service (around UDS 35-38) is highly recommended because the immigration process should take only 5 mins. But this is not needed when you depart Bali.
Though tipping is not mandatory, but have sympathy for these guys because they make a very modest living of around USD 150 per month. A reasonable tip of around 10,000 to 20,000 IDR would suffice.
Best time to go is during the dry season – less mosquitoes, cooler weather and nice breeze.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.