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Experiences

How to make the most of your stay in Uluwatu

Perched atop a limestone cliff-fringed peninsula, Uluwatu offers sweeping vistas of the Indian Ocean, scenic luxury resorts, cultural temples, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, world-class surfing spots and delicious dining destinations.

Your stay in this stunning southern Balinese region is guaranteed to be one of indulgence, sun and relaxation wherever you choose to spend your time. The laid-back nature of this little slice of paradise means its graciously compromising if you want to lounge by your villa’s pool all day long.

However, Uluwatu’s perfect package of beaches, attractions, restaurants and beach clubs is irrevocably unparalleled, and it waits expectantly to be discovered by the fortuitous holidaymaker. To explore every nook and cranny of these wondrous attractions would be unrealistic, instead use this list as a helpful guide and uncover the very best of what Uluwatu has to offer.

Restaurants

The food scene in Uluwatu has immensely benefited from Bali’s continuing luxurious metamorphoses, which has lured a host of world-renowned international chefs to the region.

Now, from the best in local cuisine to fantastical fusions, Uluwatu claims some of Bali’s most delectable restaurants, and they’re all at your fingertips.

 

The Pool Lounge at The Ungasan Clifftop Resort

Perched atop the clifftops, this luxurious restaurant within the lavish Ungasan Clifftop Resort has food to match its opulent surrounds.

The culinary enjoyment you’ll experience at Selatan Restaurant is the culmination of years of dedication and passion. This starts from the moment you are served the bread — so often overlooked in so many establishments, Executive Chef Josh Tyler has managed to overcome Bali’s humid weather and produce the perfectly baked loaf.

Chef Josh began his culinary career in 1998, as his passion for cooking grew, so did his milestones. Now, he is recognisable from his TV appearance on River Cottage Australia and his very own restaurants, Tyler’s Kitchen and Tyler’s Pantry, for which he earned a Chef’s Hat from the highly-regarded Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide.

Whether you’re after perfectly cooked fish, meat, or locally sourced vegetables, you’ll find cuisine that has been individually treated and cooked to the finest detail with a unique Balinese twist.

With this incredible team, compounded by six-star quality service, your experience at The Pool Lounge is a rare one — and one not to be missed.

 

Mana

Featuring some of the best views in Uluwatu, Mana is elegantly tucked away in the verdant jungle and set high atop the jagged cliffs. Towering above the waves, this subtle restaurant not only offers sweeping vistas of the tranquil Indian Ocean, but marvellous food to match.

The menu is simple, yet effortlessly effective. In true surfer style, the food is all about wholesome, nourishing bites from both land and sea. The tacos are the stand-out dishes here and typify this restaurant’s philosophy — where the finer details make all the difference to your culinary experience.

 

The Warung at Alila Villas 

Set within the luxurious Alila Villas resort, The Warung’s food is exquisitely crafted for even the most overfastidious of palettes and offers a journey into Uluwatu’s rich variety of exotic flavours.

Serving the most decadent Indonesian and Balinese cuisine in the region, four distinct set menus aid your culinary journey through perfectly light and flavoursome dishes. By the end of your meal, you certainly won’t be clamouring for dessert. Instead, sip some of the finest international wines as the sun sets over the violet Indonesian sky.

Beaches

Dotted throughout Uluwatu’s gorgeous coastline are brilliant splashes of golden sands and blue water that unapologetically entices people into its cooling embrace. Every beach in this beautiful region is undoubtedly marvellous, with each emanating its own charm and allure, simultaneously satisfying a wide range of visitors.

 

Sundays Beach Club

There is often a scattering of rentable beds, umbrellas and warungs at most of the beaches in Uluwatu, but if you’re after a coastal destination with more amenity, then Sundays Beach Club presents a six-star experience.

A picturesque journey through the Ungusan Clifftop Resort reveals a funicular that takes you down to this private cocoon, enclosed by the magnificent cliff faces. Arrive early to guarantee yourself the best spot, shown to you by the always-attentive and friendly staff.

You can laze the day away amidst Sundays’ heavenly combo of sand, sea and sun-soaked splendour, or enjoy the delicious food and tasty cocktails served at the Ocean View Bar. Sundays also presents Private Beach Bungalow options and a relaxing Beach Spa for an even more elevated experience by the sea.

 

Thomas Beach

Thomas Beach effortlessly epitomises Uluwatu’s coastline offering. Located between Bingin and Padang Padang, this beautiful, blissful and bountiful Balinese beach presents soft sand, crystal clear waters and plenty of space to find a private spot.

Despite its raving reviews, this destination largely flies under the radar as a go-to tourist hotspot, so you’ll find it easy to capture a true piece of secluded heaven.

To achieve this enviable nirvana though, you’ll need to brave the steep walk down the jagged cliff face to the treasures that lie below. Once you’ve reached the sand, rent an umbrella for the day and watch the world go by, all the while sipping on a delicious and refreshing Kelapa (fresh coconut) you can purchase from the quaint bars that lie at the back of the beach.

During low tide, there are rocky outcrops, secluded beaches and small caves to discover along the nearby coastline, or simply take a quick dip for some respite from the sweltering heat.

 

Green Bowl Beach

The sheer number of beaches in the region means there are those that enclose a more intimate and secluded scene such as Gunung Payung Beach or Green Bowl Beach. The latter is named after its semi-circular shape and botanical surrounds, but its hidden and unknown nature make it truly special.

Among the irreproducible features of this secluded haven are impressive limestone caves that feature little rock shrines to explore and an abundance of shade to sit back and watch the surfers ride the forgiving Balinese waves back to shore.

These coastal beauties only scratch the surface of Uluwatu’s heavenly offering. There’s such an array of picturesque sandy pockets that hug the outskirts of this eclectic and stunning region that it requires time and patience to experience them all.

Experiences

Take time out from lounging in the sun and explore this beautiful, dazzling and alluring region by visiting the island’s greatest treasures.

 

Spa Day

A paradise for tired bodies and a treasure trove for those addicted to their wellness, Uluwatu’s spa selection is seemingly infinite, with a choice of anything from Balinese massages to Ayurvedic therapies. The top resorts in this region are a good place to start if you’re looking for the best treatments, but there are a few stand-out experiences.

Vela Spa at the Ungasan Clifftop Resort wondrously delivers six-star luxury service. The friendly staff offer perfect pampering in tranquil and elegant treatment rooms or if you’re staying at the resort, in the privacy of your own villa.

Meanwhile, Anantara Spa and The Edge sit patiently atop Bali’s beautiful cliff faces ready to spoil their guests with a banquet of spectacular treatments and body scrubs.

 

Waterfalls

Located deep in the island’s lush jungles, there’s a vast array of these wonderful waterworks to witness. Some are harder to reach than others, but each portrays their own unique splendour and presents varying degrees of possible activities, including cliff diving and swimming.

There is an abundance that lies to the north of the island, however, if you are staying in Uluwatu, it’s advisable to plan a trip to those that are positioned more centrally. Hire a driver and spend a full day in awe of these incredible forces of nature — especially Nungnung, Tukad Cepung and Kanto Lampo Waterfalls, which are among the most spectacular.

 

Day trip to Nusa Penida

If you plan to embark on a real escape from the modern world, then a private boat charter to the remote island of Nusa Penida is a truly unforgettable experience.

Seemingly unlimited snorkelling opportunities, unspoilt beaches and friendly locals await your arrival from your exclusive yacht, driven by your own captain who will tailor the day to suit your requests.

Local Culture

 

Pura Luhur Temple

Bali has an array of fascinating and magnificent religious sites, but none are as picture-perfect as Pura Luhur Temple.

One of the country’s six key temples, Pura Luhur — otherwise known as Uluwatu Temple — is one of the most popular spots if you’re embarking on a cultural journey. It’s renowned for its magnificent location, perched atop a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above the crashing water below.

At a nearby amphitheatre, a captivating Balinese Kecak and fire dance is performed every evening, where a troupe of around 75 male dancers descend onto the stage with extended arms and shaking hands, chanting a ‘chak!’ chorus repeatedly. As the sun goes down, fire becomes an increasing component of the ritual.

 

Tanah Lot Temple

Situated on a gigantic jagged rock that rises out of the ocean on Bali’s southern coast, Tanah Lot Temple is simply jaw-dropping. You have to wait until low tide to traverse 300 metres across the ocean bed to reach it, but its setting provides exquisite scenery — especially at sunset.

 

Markets

Bali has an eclectic cluster of markets spread throughout its busy towns and vivacious villages. They’re not only places where you can pick out a fantastic bargain, buy traditional souvenirs, or find fresh produce — they also provide a chance to experience the friendly and eclectic local culture.

Across the island lies an array of day markets, night markets, Sunday markets and markets that specialise in clothes, food, ceramic and carvings — a plentiful concoction of local culture to burn a hole in your pocket.

Discover The Flea Market (or Kayu Aya Square Market) in Seminyak, or head up just north of Ngurah Rai International Airport for the bountiful selection in Kuta. The Love Anchor Market is the stand-out shopping destination in Canggu, while The Art Market in Kumbasari has remained a local favourite for the last 50 years.

Beach Clubs

With so many holidaymakers making their way to the coastal regions of Uluwatu, beach clubs have sprouted into the cliffside to accommodate the ever-increasing numbers — and they’re truly sensational.

Fantastic food, creative cocktails, incredible infinity pools, dynamic DJs and sumptuous ocean views, Uluwatu’s beach club scene is a dazzling experience and an insatiably indulgent way of enjoying your day by the water.

 

Sundays Beach Club

It’s not only one of the top beaches to visit for a perfect experience on the sand, but the club at Sundays is one of the most comprehensive, friendly and luxurious in the area.

After you’ve arrived via the beautiful Ungasan Clifftop Resort and set foot on the silky sand, you’ll be presented with friendly staff whose mission it is to make your stay as pleasurable as possible. Allow them to escort you to your private sun lounger or make your way through to the Ocean View Bar where an array of gourmet cuisine and word-class cocktail options are available.

From 9am there’s a wonderful selection of healthy classics for breakfast, as well as some tropical smoothies, or a breakfast cocktail to kickstart your day. The rest of the day is kept to the same high standards, with some delicious dishes on offer such as club burger, wonderful wood-smoked pizzas and brilliant barramundi tacos.

It’s the VIP experience at Sundays that really sets it apart. Like your very own piece of private beachfront real estate, the brand new Private Beach Bungalows can be reserved for groups of up to eight guests and are scattered with comfy beanbags, fresh fluffy towels and uninterrupted ocean views.

This exclusive experience extends to Sundays Beach Spa. These six-star pampering cabanas overlooking the ocean are where you can treat yourself to fabulous massages, body scrubs, healing foot reflexology and so much more.

In the evening, this effervescent club is just getting started. A scattering of beachfront bonfires transforms the bay into a place where you can lay back in a comfy beanbag chair, roast marshmallows, enjoy happy hour or a glass of champagne under beautiful constellations.

You can even carry on dancing late into the night to the tune of Internationally renowned DJ’s who regularly converge on this unique spot.

 

Ulu Cliffhouse

With access to a spacious 25-metre infinity pool and an exclusive beach, this eclectic location really does offer the best of both worlds, while throwing up fantastic cocktails and world-class cuisine as it hangs provocatively over Bali’s rolling waves.

The restaurant and bar are housed in timber and rattan pavilions that provide soft, dappled shade and tiered dining with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Here, you can discover a menu carefully crafted by world-renowned Peruvian chef Diego Muñoz and his take on Uluwatu’s laidback lifestyle. Once you’ve eaten, find one of the numerous shaded sun loungers that dot the decking.

The centrepiece of Ulu Cliffhouse is the grand infinity pool. Revellers are invited to bask in the pool-side loungers amid gorgeous geometric motifs, pastel furniture, inviting hammocks and lush greenery. If you get thirsty, an array of mixologists can rustle up some fantastic alcoholic and virgin cocktails. When the tide is low, patrons have access to the bar’s very own private beach cove where the turquoise sea meets a fine, sandy shoreline.

 

Karma Beach Club

This picturesque beach club offers a marvellous combination of beautiful bayside scenery and a delectable selection of exquisite Mediterranean, Asian and Indonesian food.

The yellow sand, blue waters and brilliant bar are reached exclusively via Karma Kandara Resort’s funicular, which provides sweeping vistas over the bay. Once you’ve reached the bottom, you’ll understand why this venue is so highly regarded amongst locals and travellers alike.

The restaurant offers exquisite and delicious Mediterranean, Asian and Indonesian cuisine throughout the day. Take your pick from fresh fish plucked daily from the ocean, expertly prepared sushi and sashimi, or one of Karma’s legendary Hot Babi Guling (Suckling Pork) BBQ Beach Parties.

The beach club also offers private lounging quarters that can open up as double daybeds for up to ten people and a personalised butler service for a high-class VIP experience. At night, internationally renowned DJ’s from London and Ibiza converge to deliver upbeat music into the early hours of the morning.

*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, opening times and closures are subject to government guidelines.


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