Banjar Dukuh, Desa Kelating, Kerambitan, Tabanan, Bali T: (0361) 894 6388
While the Alila Soori isn’t going to be on any Bali budget place to stay shortlist, it certainly makes our Bali fantasy wishlist. Nestled into Bali’s southwest coast, well away from the hectic tourist bustle of the south, its minimalist style and beachside locale make it a great retreat for those looking for barefoot luxury.
The hotel is well-signposted along the main Canggu road as it heads north along the coast, but you will need to keep a keen eye out for the sometimes discreet arrows. If you’re staying here though — rather than just inspecting the place, sigh — chances are you’ll have a transfer with them directly from the airport or somewhere else, so you can just sit back and enjoy the lovely rural villages and volcanic and paddy views along the way.
The latest of the four Bali Alila hotels is still classic, pared-back Alila style, with woods, terrazzo, and a dominant neutral palette of natural fabrics. Extras like creamy candles and frangipanis add warm touches to an otherwise quietly masculine, elegant decor.
There are 48 villas here, all with private plunge pools and outdoor decks, but the careful design means it certainly doesn’t feel like there are quite so many. Coming standard in each room are Apple TVs, iPods, Nespresso machines, Alila his and hers toiletries (to with his and her vanities, of course), a roomy bath for two and an on-call butler.
Choose from mountain or ocean view; mountain view rates start at US$617, including tax and service. If you are watching your dollars and coming here as a special splurge, you may as well go mountain as the rooms are just as lovely.
If, conversely, you are not on a budget and you have lots of similarly cashed up friends, you’d want the 10-bedroom residence, right next door to the hotel proper.
The spa is hushed and womb-like — it was so dark we needed to take a few moments for our eyes to adjust before we could appreciate the fine wall carvings and sedate, chilled-out surrounds.
Although you may well not want to leave your villa — aside for spa treatments — we did particularly like the communal library. Unlike most hotel “libraries” it was packed with welcoming lounges and decent books.
The only downside of staying at the Alila Soori really is that the beach isn’t particularly suited to swimming due to rough surf and wild currents. While you could always go horseriding along the black volcanic sand beach at sunset, or laze by your private pool or the communal oceanfront one, you probably won’t be getting too much in the way of saltwater on your skin. It’s a small price to pay for such a stunning location.
With both Ubud and Seminyak around 45 minutes to an hour’s drive away, you won’t stay here if you’re looking to explore Bali, but if you’re just looking to soak up some atmosphere and recalibrate yourself in plush surrounds, Alila Soori should do the trick.
Tanah Lot temple is quite nearby, but as a Bali sight we think it’s a bit overrated and it gets rottenly crowded, especially at sunset. You’re also an hour’s drive from Jati Luwih — we’d probably spend our time exploring the beautiful paddy in this area instead of heading south.
If you like what you see here but it’s not within your budget, Alila Manggis, on Bali’s east coast, is a more affordable option.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.