I realize that there are countless breathtaking tropical islands on our planet, but given the vibrant spectrum of experiences offered by this destination, it has become my first suggestion for many, especially those who have never explored Indonesia. Wandering yogis, avid entrepreneurs, jet-set fashionistas, families with young children, and what seems like everyone in between are flocking to Bali, and have been for years. The luxury travel industry on this island is brimming with elusive properties, and I jumped at the opportunity to experience both Seminyak and Uluwatu through a bespoke artisanal journey with the Alila brand. World-renowned for the authentic character of their resorts, sustainable approach and award-winning service, I knew that my time spent under their spell would be a treat for my senses.

I began at Alila Seminyak, the beach front property that occupies prime real estate along the lively southwest coast of Bali. Marrying tropical luxury with minimalist design, the resort is a work of modern art and features a Balinese temple within its manicured grounds. Rooms are equipped with fine details, including floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that open to a soft ocean breeze and black sand beach view. I was quick to spot surfers from my giant bed and thrilled to discover that the bathroom amenities were locally made and organic. The multiple infinity pools, open-air candlelit dinners, and evening (I suggest the Bali 75, an innovative rose water concoction) made it very clear as to why this resort is renowned for exceptional design, service, and cuisine.

Just steps from the front gates of Alila Seminyak, the sophisticated offerings of Bali’s hottest neighborhood await. The fashion, food, and nightlife lends to a cosmopolitan ambiance that feels glitzy but relaxed. Exploring beyond the bustle into more traditional surroundings was easy. The resort’s concierge planned a guided morning bike ride through the rice paddies and charming village of Canggu, topped off with a picnic on Cemagi beach. It was a truly special way to get a peek into daily Balinese culture, and just one of the many customizable eco-luxury experiences available to guests.

From Seminyak, I traveled south along jungle-lined ancient roads to the expansive property of Alila Uluwatu. Perched high above the cliffs on the edge of the Indian Ocean, the opulence of this remote location is obvious at first glance. Architecturally, the resort seamlessly blends the dramatic natural landscape with a contemporary wood-slatted design. Upon arrival, I asked a porter why the winding paths to the villas were unusually arranged. He told me that it was of utmost importance to work around the preexisting flora and fauna during the building process, which relied on locally sourced, recycled, and sustainable materials.

The villas are light-filled, spacious, and supremely private, with larger-than-average plunge pools and day beds. Curated gardens are lush with tropical plants. The walk from my villa to breakfast at Cire, one of two in-house fine dining restaurants, made me feel as though I was within the grounds of a private estate. The morning market menu is filled with local, nutritious ingredients, which are served poolside under palm trees overlooking the incredible view. The main pool is a prime location to lounge, and there are plenty of private areas to do so. It truly feels as though you’re swimming high above the ocean within the clouds. Post-pool, I enjoyed a traditional Balinese massage with essential oils and ancient healing techniques at the Alila spa. Their holistic approach to relaxation is unparalleled and my spa experience was calming for both body and mind. For those who prefer to explore, the famed Uluwatu temple is only a 15-minute drive from the resort. Be sure to stay into the evening to catch the Kecak fire dance at sunset.

At night, the walkways are softly lit, the air is fragrant with the sweet smell of frangipani, and there isn’t a soul in sight. As I slowly make my way back to my villa for the final time, I am in awe of how effortless this experience has been. The Alila brand has created sanctuaries for travelers who expect natural luxury in beautiful surroundings. There is nowhere else I would rather be, and I’m certain I’ll return again.


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