Our guide to Uluwatu will have you staying, seeing and surfing at all the right spots.
There are some holiday destinations that we just keep going back to: Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, and of course beautiful Bali. If you’ve been to Bali a few times and are looking for an area on the up and up, Uluwatu is where you need to be. Once a haven for just surfers and extreme luxury travellers, more options in accommodation, food and drink and things to do now make it one of the coolest parts of the island. Check out our guide to Uluwatu and get ahead of the game.
Stay: Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu
Located just a 40-minute drive from the airport, Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu is a wonderful spot to call home if you’re planning on staying in the Bukit area. Built around a stunning 1000sq-m pool, the contemporary Balinese design at the hotel makes you feel like you’re on vacation from the moment you step out of the car.
Guestrooms and suites are generous in size, with views of the pool and the surrounding beach available. A selection of restaurants and bars mean that you’ll always find something new to try, while the spa will have you relaxing in no time (don’t miss trying their Blu signature massage featuring natural aromatherapy oils – heavenly!)
Apart from all the wonderful facilities on offer, we love that you can choose from a range of activities to enhance your stay, including beach yoga, learning traditional Balinese flower arranging, or a romantic poolside dinner.
Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu, Jl. Pemutih Bali Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia, p. +62 361 3008888
Beach Club: Ulu Cliffhouse
Don’t be fooled when you arrive at this amazing destination. Despite the fact that it looks like you’ve pulled up in a carpark in the middle of nowhere, when you head around the corner and through the entrance, you’ll find yourself in the perfect spot to call home for the day. Reserve a daybed in advance and settle in for a bit of sun with drink in-hand, of course.
We love the infinity pool, and the beats that really make you feel like you’re on holiday. Plus the food is epic, with loads of great choices for everyone, including vegetarians and vegans. Don’t miss the divine baked polenta with smoked tomato and the gado gado, or off the cocktail list, the son of a beach is a good one to kick off the party. There’s also direct access to the beach below and the views are to-die-for.
Ulu Cliffhouse, Jl. Labuan Sait No. 315, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia, p. +62 813 3881 2502
Visit: Uluwatu Temple
This Balinese Hindu temple, also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu, is one of the six key spiritual locations in Bali. Perched on a hill and offering sweeping views of the surrounding seas, it’s a magical place that makes for a wonderful afternoon out, and some epic photo taking.
Be sure to cover up your shoulders and knees (they have sarongs available at the entrance if you forget) before entering and exploring the Balinese architecture or taking in the wonderful sunset. Read about why you can’t miss the Kecak Fire Dance that happens at the temple below.
Uluwatu Temple, Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Pecatu, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
See: Kecak Fire Dance
It’s a good idea to plan your trip to Uluwatu temple in the afternoon so it coincides with the Kecak Fire Dance that takes place in an adjacent amphitheatre. Tickets for the show can be bought from 5pm at the booth inside the temple, but seating is free-for-all, so it’s good to get inside early to grab a higher vantage point.
The show starts at 6pm every night and features almost 100 performers who tell the story of a prince and his escape from exile thanks to the help of a monkey king and his troops. The entire performance is told through dance and movement with the actors using their voices to create the soundtrack. As the show is going on, you can also take in the magical sunset atop the Indian Ocean, this is one thing to do in Uluwatu that simply can’t be missed.
Kecak Fire Dance at Uluwatu Temple, Jalan Raya Uluwatu, Pecatu, Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia
Surf: Impossible Beach
So named because access to the beach used to be dire, nowadays, Impossible Beach is much easier to get to, but still at the bottom of a steep cliff (so get ready for some post-surf climbing!) Suited to those who know their way around a board, the beach has great waves and views of the cliffs surrounding it, making it one of the most favoured surf spots on the island. Handily, it’s also located right behind Radisson Blu Bali Uluwatu, so you can collapse into the pool or your bed after a morning session.
Take a look at the full list of Bali’s best beaches here
Impossible Beach, Follow the signs around Jl. Pemutih