If you think Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa is just another picture perfect 5-star resort in Bali, you couldn’t be more mistaken.
To justify my standfirst, imagine this: a luxurious property designed to take full advantage of its majestic natural surroundings that is one of the world’s most stunning peninsulas encircled by verdant cliffs with clear views all the way to pristine surf beaches.
Complimenting this natural advantage is the tailor-made service made to connect to every guest on a personal level. Upon alighting at the main lobby, in addition to fabled Balinese hospitality delivered with beautiful, welcoming smiles, I witnessed a uniquely memorable welcome, with two hotel staff deftly playing a lively welcoming beat with traditional Indian drums—one of them was using a tabla and the other playing what I think was a pakhawaj. I later found out they were part of a wedding reception, which showed the versatility of the hotel in accommodating any kind of personalised request.
Walking into the main lobby, I could barely notice this lovely young lady directing me to the reception desk, for my attention was drained to the lobby lounge opposite the driveway, which had no walls save for an acrylic railing sheltering comfortable couches and sofas. The view was nothing less than spectacular. Noticing the welcoming drums starting again to welcome another lucky guest, I had to approach this open lounge and take some snaps—checking in can wait.
Upon descending a few flight of stairs, I could notice how the lounge was perfect for afternoon tea, light bites, or just a casual time-killing session over drinks. Leaning against the rails, I could see the main restaurant, Clay Craft, a few levels below, the gorgeous infinity pool adjacent to it, lush cliffs further out, and even all the way to the beach and the line where the sky meets the sea.
The lobby is a perfect marriage of opulence and summery vibes, with marble floors and pillars connected to jetblack teak ceiling beams stringing multiple quirky chandeliers. Large layered marble slabs—which reminded me of tiered rice paddies—decorated the lobby, apparently functioning as extra seating area and selfie background for waiting guests. The hall is blessed with permanent summer breeze and plenty of natural light. Here is a lobby that is both comfy and instagenic.
After reaching my Junior Suite, a relaxing ambience assailed my senses. Dominated by hues of dark granite found in the bathroom counters and cool brown panels opposite the black-and-white leopard print above my super inviting king-sized bed, I could barely resist plopping onto the bed and called it a night right there and then. The shower area had a floor-to-ceiling back wall revealing the same view a the private balcony: a full view of green hills lined with trees and nothing else for miles toward the coastline.
As if all this wasn’t pampering enough, I noticed the lovely welcome note, which was not at all generic, but fully personalised to the point that I felt like coming home to people who have known me for ages.
It’s in the details
Within this indescribable surrounding is the resort’s well-appointed signature restaurant, Clay Craft, which also doubles as a Balinese pottery school and workshop. “It is the first and only concept within Marriott International that carries a pottery studio. I wanted to go local as much as possible so the philosophy behind it is to have fun and offer the guests a little bit of everything,” Executive Chef Christopher Smith explained the philosophy behind Clay Craft, one of the hotel’s many F&B venues.
Breakfast at Clay Craft was, again, a refreshingly personal dining experience. I was in need of a specific type of sustenance after a typically jaunty Balinese evening, and the breakfast spread delivered more than I hoped. Just for fun, I asked for a doppio, and the team duly delivered: a double shot espresso with a thick, rich crema, most likely containing no less than 14 grams of ground coffee.
Following breakfast, I decided to walk to my room instead of taking the convenient buggy. The details I managed to observe along the way made the long walk worthwhile. I walked passed a fountain with artistically arranged slate sculptures, which I’d have inspected closer if the sun was more forgiving. I noticed how every inch of of lawn and flower beds lining the trail were well-trimmed and groomed to perfection. Twice I was passed by buggy-driving staff, both politely offered a ride, concerned as they was for this strange slow-walking guest.
As I checked out, I was saddened that I couldn’t stay longer at Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa. Then again, any amount of days spent in such a delightfully welcoming property would not have been enough.