Bulgari Resort Hotel Bali - Jewel of the East

The island's newest top-end hotel lies perched on the southern cliffs of the Bukit peninsular with extraordinary panoramic views of the Indian Ocean. About ten years ago, the rocky hills of the Bukit attracted only the hardened surf crowd - the area's home to some of Bali's best legendary waves - and tourists on day-trips to Uluwatu temple. Now the arid Mediterannean like landscape is home to some of the island's top hotels and villa complexes.

Offering 59 sea-facing villas edged out of the rocky cliff face, the Bulgari is an uber-stylish marriage of Italian design, local traditional craftsmanship and contemporary Asian art. In their first foray into Asia, Bulgari have been careful to incorporate local know-how into their proven formula for an exclusive resort experience. In fact the entirely of the hotel's art pieces, fabrics, furnishings and design features, both antique and specially produced for the resort features, were sourced locally, using some of the region's most skilled artisans. The results are stunning. Architects Antonio Citterio and partners, together with the interior design team, have created an ambience that's simple, refined and effective. From the massive over-sized volcanic rock pots, stone obelisks and other assorted sculptures dotted around the hotel's grounds to the tiny musical instruments decorating the guestrooms, the attention to detail and quality of workmanship is second to none.

The resort is separated into two main areas, affording the thatched enclosed villas a degree of privacy away from the public areas, where the hotel's two restaurants, II Ristorante and Sangkar, the bar and the main pool are situated. If it's all about location, then the bar is hard to beat. With views as far as Java on a clear day, this is the perfect place for a sun-down cocktail before moving to Sangkar next door or II Ristorante behind to eat. If you're looking to spoil a loved one on special occasion day, the seven-course menu includes such delicacies as Artichoke Veloute with Fole Gras and crispy San Daniele emulsion, Saint Pierre Fillet with Truffles, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Chestnut and Chocolate sauce, and Wagyu Beef Tenderloin with Celeriac puree.

Beneath the resort lies a secluded beach, only accessible by a mildly terrifying trip in a tram-like lift, guaranteeing guests a total absence of interruptive beach trade while relaxing on the garden sand. No resort is worth its salt these days without a spa and at the Bulgari, a full range of treatments is available, enhanced by beauty products from the ESPA range. The spa reception area is a beautiful antique teak house from Java, transported from the town of Kudus. Beyond, six treatment rooms, a gymnasium, beauty salon and yoga pavilion provide ample space for spiritual and bodily replenishment.

With the addition of the Bulgari, Bali now offers an almost unbeatable selection of exclusive resorts and villas tailored towards the high-end market. It's a positive sign that despite the past uncertainties, Bali is still very much at the top of the world's luxury travel market.

The Bulgari, Jalan Goa Lempeh, Banjar Dinas Kangin, Uluwatu, Bali
Tel: +62 361 847 1000