Uluwatu, Bali – the basics

Bali had been at the top of my to-visit list for years and we finally made it there this summer. I spent months putting together the perfect two week itinerary – trawling Pinterest and Instagram to find the most beautiful parts and reading endless travel blogs and guidebooks to find the “secret spots”. We had an incredible two weeks exploring this beautiful island and so I thought I’d share my tips with you and see if it tickles your fancy…

Where to head to first?

Most people head straight from the airport to Ubud – the “cultural heart of Bali”. We knew that after twenty-seven hours of travelling, all we’d want to do is head for the beach and so Uluwatu was our first stop. And what a way to kick-start our trip. To me, Uluwatu is what Bali is all about. Think sheer cliffs leading to white sandy beaches, your days floating on a surfboard in crystal waters and evenings sipping cocktails and watching  the sun set. If you want to stay in a sprawling five-star resort and party until the early hours, Uluwatu is not for you. Listed as one of the top surf spots in the world, everyone’s tucked up in bed by 11pm dreaming of waking up with the sun and catching the first waves.

Where to stay?

We try to avoid “resorts”. We shiver at the thought of characterless hotels with rooms all decked out in matching furniture, ten restaurants on site and and two kids clubs to choose from. Anything with over 50 rooms is thrown onto the “no” pile. We like a place with character, charm and a touch of luxury, without the stiff collar.  On this occasion we couldn’t find anything on our go-to sites (Mr and Mrs Smith and i-escape). Finally, after hours of googling, I stumbled across Gravity

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Quite literally built from scratch by a charming Portuguese couple, a quick glance at the Instagram page will tell you that Gravity is one of those cooler-than-cool hotels that you can’t wait to check in to. Since opening its beautiful doors last summer, a whole host of fashionistas. bloggers and models have descended on this magical place, with its picture perfect infinity pools, Mediteranean-meets-Bali interiors and dragon fruit infused water. Here’s a little taster…

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In response to “what time does breakfast finish?” we were told with a smile “when every guest has eaten”. Enjoy your papaya and dragon fruit at the communal breakfast table…

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Or have your banana pancakes and a juice of the day delivered to your door…

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Which you can snooze off at one of the three pools…

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Or take a turn at each…

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How to get around?

In terms of location, Gravity couldn’t be better. Slap bang in the middle of Uluwatu, it’s nipping distance to all of the best restaurants, beaches and bars. Unfortunately, no matter where you stay, Uluwatu is not the easiest place to get around. It’s definitely not walkable, the local taxis are a complete rip-off and I can’t imagine it’d be easy to find car parking. For £5 a day and armed with the comfort of my husband’s motorbike licence, we chose to follow the crowds and rent a scooter. Now we were warned that scooting around Bali is super dangerous. The roads are not exactly UK quality, there’s no requirement to have a driving licence and there aren’t any rules against drink driving. However, we felt pretty safe and absolutely loved having our own wheels.

 

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Nipping to Coco and Poké for a beachside lunch…

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Popping into the surf shops and pretty boutiques…

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And heading home to Gravity after a virgin mojito at Bukit Cafe (which also serves the most delicious breakfasts and cakes)…

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More on where to eat and how to find Uluwatu’s secret beaches in my next post…

Posted by

London-based foodie with a shopping addiction, a love for swanky interiors and an obsession with white sandy beaches.

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