A classic honeymoon hotspot and exotic island escape for all who appreciate natural beauty and ancient culture, Bali is a truly idyllic place for a holiday in Asia, offering soft sandy beaches, spectacular scenery and humble traditions. In its lesser-known southwest corner lies picturesque Tabanan where the verdant rice fields are UNESCO-protected, the mountains are majestic and the volcanic beaches unspoilt. The best place to experience the best of Tabanan from a luxurious base is at Alila Villas Soori, an all-villa retreat in a sublime setting.
Alila Villas Soori is the resort from which dreams are made. Its awe-inspiring location between a powder-soft black sand beach and picturesque mountains that disappear behind the mist, the super luxurious villas with views and plunge pools that were made for couples, and the unrivalled hospitality with staff who will move heaven and Earth to make your stay as perfect as possible.
What's to love?
If a beautiful resort in a breathtaking location wasn't enough, the heavenly hideaway is extremely good at thinking of the 'little things'. You will find insect repellent, sun cream and after sun in your villa, along with his and hers bath and shower products - all gorgeous, natural products made by Alila. The daily morning yoga classes allow you to experience the beauty and tranquility of the retreat as you stretch on the lawn overlooking the beach. We also love how Alila Villas makes use of its surroundings: the black sand from the beach is used in a Spa Alila body scrub, the food in the restaurants features locally sourced ingredients and the Sunset Lounge invites guests for a cocktail to watch the world-class sunset while witnessing hundreds of bats make flight from their cave nearby.
The Ocean Pool Villas are amazing. From the bath tub designed perfectly for two, to the huge indoor rain shower and outdoor shower - the sleek spaces provide you with your own private sanctuary. The bed is large and sumptuous, while the pool overlooks the ocean and the delightful terrace invites you to enjoy an al-fresco breakfast or while away the hours as you relax by the sea. The interiors are chic with unique touches and furniture you will you want in your home. While in your elegant villa you could easily de-tech, but in case you feel the need to be entertained there are high-tech features, including Apple TV, satellite channels and an iPod docking station. The excellent butler service is delivered on a private, discreet or indulgent level, with the latter for those who like a 24-hour butler at their service.
Where to eat/drink
Dining at Alila Villas Soori is an exciting experience. Ombak is the signature restaurant, serving eclectic European cuisine. Chef Fernando has brought his creative flair from Argentina and uses quality ingredients to impress diners. At Ombak, you can enjoy healthy dishes, such as the raw food selection. Cotta is the place to enjoy a daily-changing breakfast menu, as well Indonesian specialities for dinner. Whichever you choose, don't miss the delectable desserts which use the best of Asian ingredients, including black rice, mango and coconut. Ombak is also a fabulous spot to enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail in the evening.
The place to relax?
A treatment in the stylish Spa Alila is a must if you're looking to indulge and be pampered on your holiday in Bali. The extensive treatment menu combines Asian and Western therapy techniques with natural active ingredients designed by Alila. The Soakology Foot Massage is a soaking ritual that is excellent after spending the day on your feet and uses deep cleaning, a foot massage and moisturising techniques to revive your feet. Enjoy a 45-minute Volcanic Body Scrub, which uses volcanic sand from the beach and nutritious rice milk to detoxify your skin. To experience a complete body awakening, the Soori Signature Massage, with the long Balinese strokes and deep tissue techniques, relieves tension. For those who like a face treatment, the Awakening Facial combines delicious rose and lemon oils with relaxing massage techniques to rejuvenate your skin.
This place is perfect if you're...
... a couple on a romantic island escape or honeymoon. Aside from being a place for lovers, Alila Villas Soori is a marvellous retreat for families looking to relax, with parents encouraged to spend quality time with the children (there is no kids club) and the little ones inspired to explore the local culture. As well as a swimming pool and sandy beach to enjoy, there is an array of Journeys to help broaden the minds of children, from cooking classes to kite flying. On a more immersive Journey, children can visit a local school, go on a philanthropic journey to SOS Children's Village Bali, or get close to nature in the rice fields with an indigenous experience. There is even the chance to dress up like a Balinese princess and learn to dance.
You probably won't ever want to leave your villa but if you can peel yourself away it's definitely worth exploring the breathtaking surroundings. Go on a guided Segway tour around the hotel where you will see where the villagers live, pass rice fields and soak up the natural beauty of Bali. Or grab one of the hotel's bikes and explore the area by bike. A stroll along the gorgeous beach will take you to the peninsula (complete with the bat cave), where you can enjoy incredible views from the top.
... the Journeys by Alila. The excellent experiences offer the perfect way to immerse yourself in the Balinese culture and provide you with a more meaningful understanding of the destination. The All About Rice Journey (£75 + taxes per person for full day) is ideal for getting to know the rice-rich region of Tabanan on an enjoyable day out of the resort. The fascinating tour looks at how rice is cultivated, taking you to the Subak museum, allowing you to get muddy as you plant your own rice and work with cattle in the rice field, as well as teaching you how to make offerings and showing you a typical Balinese compound.
A One-Bedroom Ocean Pool Villa costs from £568 +21% tax per night based on two people sharing. The Spa Alila treatments mentioned above are part of a five-day Relaxology package priced at £201 + 21% tax and service charge per person.
Alila Villas Soori, Banjar Dukuh Desa Kelating, Kerambitan, Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia 82161. Phone: +62 361 894 6388.
Malaysia Airlines is the only airline to offer a twice daily non-stop A380 full service link between the UK and Malaysia. Economy class return flights from London Heathrow to Bali via Kuala Lumpur International Airport cost from £824.
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