Travelshoot photoshoot The Edge Uluwatu

5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

Nikki Parkinson Travel 12 Comments

{Editor’s note: if you’re planning your first trip to Bali, check out this post I wrote after our first trip in 2013. I’ve updated it after subsequent trips. If you’re looking for packing tips, then this post might help}

As part of the introduction our butler gave on arrival at our private villa at The Edge, Uluwatu, he cautioned us to always keep our doors closed.

Leave them even slightly open, he said, and the resident monkeys will help themselves to any food on offer.

Got it. Leave doors shut.

Waking up the following morning, my eldest son, who had been reclining upstairs on one of the gazillion day beds on offer, called to me to let me know the monkeys were out front and below.

I immediately reached for my camera, because if it wasn’t recorded for Instagram, it never happened, right? I’m thinking, how cute. Little babies with their mums. A whole tribe hanging out on the thatched roof. The chief monkey sitting on the lawn below us, dipping his hand into a pack of Pringles.

Pringles. Say what?!

Cheeky monkeys | The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

The HUSBAND. The husband had gone downstairs to check out the morning view, returning inside without closing the door.

For the feast they were having on our front lawn, he may as well invited them all in for a drink because the minibar was decimated and our welcome fruit bowl looked far from, well, welcoming.

Still, you can’t blame the monkeys for hanging around the villas at The Edge. If you were ever going to adopt a place as your own, this would be prime monkey real estate. 

The eight villas that make up this luxury, boutique resort, that clings to the side of a cliff, 500ft above the Indian Ocean, offer a next-level way to ease yourself into a Bali holiday. 

In this post, I’m going to share my five reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali. The Edge may not be everyone’s budget but there are other resort and villa options in this area. Check out airbnb or booking.com. If you find a hotel or resort that you’d like to stay in, it’s always a good idea to contact them direct to see whether they can beat that offer or add inclusions.

I chose The Edge as an indulgent three-night treat to hit relaxation mode on our short mid-year break in the fastest way possible. 

That feeling started from the moment our butler (yes, BUTLER) Padma (pictured below), whisked us away from Denpasar airport and continued through every minute of our stay.

Padma the butler The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

The Edge has been open since 2009 but a few of the villas have only opened in the past year. What’s put this boutique hotel on the map, and on Instagram feeds the world over, is the opening last year of the oneeighty sky pool, bar and lounge, a beach club centred around the glass-bottom sky pool extending six metres over the cliff edge.

oneeighty at The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

I’ll admit that it was that pool, and the idea of swimming in it, that had me obsessing about staying at The Edge but the more I researched and looked into the accommodation side of things, the more I wanted to make it happen.

View from The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

Our two-bedroom, two-level villa, The Mood, was massive. MASSIVE. Downstairs was a huge living, dining area and kitchen; upstairs two king-bedrooms, each with indoor/outdoor bathrooms that were bigger than the size of my bedroom back home. 

Mood Villa The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

oneeighty at The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

There were daybeds upstairs and down; poolside and facing the garden and out to the Indian Ocean. So many places to recline, so little time.

Mood Villa The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

Apart from our own pool, we had access to The Edge pool, as well as the aforementioned glass-bottom sky pool at oneeighty. And we got to hang in the pool before 12noon, when it opens to the public. By hang, we had our breakfast floated to us and I pretended to audition for the remake of Splash (see below … I’m in with a shot, yes?). As you do.

oneeighty glass bottom pool | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

oneeighty glass bottom pool | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

This is a treat for guests at the Edge, both the floating breakfast and the private time in the pool. Public visitors to oneeighty are capped at 100 but after 12noon that still makes for a lot of people angling for selfies.

oneeighty glass bottom pool | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

The biggest treat for guests at the Edge is that their every need is either pre-empted or organised for them. I’m such an organiser (just call me Nicole) that it took a little getting used to to take a back seat, but once I got the hang of letting go, I was very OK with it. Dinners, in-villa breakfasts (including awesome coffee), spa bookings, transport to other locations, great tables at those locations, these were all things Padma sorted for us.

When I told Padma, I’d forgotten to pack my running shoes for the gym, he tried to organise me a pair. they were three sizes too small, but hey, it’s the thought.

We’d come back to our villa each night to find a special treat on the bed … frangipani incense, lavender eye masks and little notes. These are the things that surprise and delight.

5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

What also surprised and delighted us was just how beautiful and chilled this part of Bali was. We’d only visited as part of a day trip on our first visit to Bali, five and a half years ago but knew it was a place we wanted to stay at. We really only had two full days and three nights to enjoy this part of Bali but we gave it our best shot.

1. It’s quieter than other tourist parts of Bali. If the crazy traffic and crowds of Kuta and Seminyak seem the opposite of a relaxing holiday, then Uluwatu will be your dream destination. It was perfect for us as a way to fast-forward into re-charge mode.

2. You can swim in the water on white sand beaches. The beaches at Kuta, Seminyak and Canguu are volcanic black sand beaches and I struggle a bit with the water quality when we have so much on offer here in Australia, but Uluwatu was different. There are a number of white sand options, for starters, and the water quality is great. The most famous beach is Padang Padang Beach, which featured in the Eat Pray Love movie. Dreamland Beach is another option. For both, expect to pay a small fee to park/visit and you might have to fight the crowds. If you have a surfer in the family/friend mix, they will love what’s on offer. 

3. Hang out at a beach club for the day. I’ll admit, this is my favourite way to enjoy a Balinese beach. Princess, much? We pre-booked a spot at Sundays Beach Club, located at the very bottom of the Bukit Peninsula, not far from The Edge. Sundays is situated on a white sand beach at the bottom of the cliff (you access via a cable car) below the Ungasan resort. You can book either a spot on the beach on very comfortable bean bags, or on lounges on the deck. Either option gives you fantastic access to this reef-fringed lagoon, where at low tide you can snorkel, kayak, or stand-up paddle board, all as part of your entrance fee. The entrance fee is redeemable against food and drink purchases while at the club. And you’ll want to order up on the food. It was SO good (see below re food).

Sundays Beach Club | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

Sundays Beach Club | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

We also visited Ulu Cliffhouse, a beach club that only opened last year. It’s located above Padang Padang, so a great way to check out a not-so-crowded part of this beach. When the tide is low, you can walk down and you’ll have it almost to yourself. The club has an infinity pool up on the cliff, a restaurant and an ocean deck half-way down the cliff, from which you can access the beach. The decor is next-level, think Greek island white with splashes of blue and a Hamptons vibe thrown in for good measure. It’s free to enter Ulu Cliffhouse but there is a minimum spend if you want to take out a poolside cabana spot for the day/evening. Book ahead for a dining spot (see below re food).

Ulu Cliffhouse

Padang Padang Beach from Ulu Cliffhouse | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

4. You will eat fabulous food and drink delicious cocktails. You WILL. Prices where we ate were comparable with Australian prices and often cheaper, except when it comes to wine/Champagne. You’ll pay more for those.

We ate out at The Edge (at both the oneeighty bar and the Cliff Bar – in-house guests only) and loved. Our Cliff Bar three-course dinner was included in the price of our accommodation and was a great way to start our Bali holiday, think fresh ingredients, presented beautifully. Check out how my tuna ceviche arrived at our oneeighty dinner. 

oneeighty food | The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

Lunch at Sundays Beach Club was a stand-out. The menu is crafted by Australian chef James Viles from Biota Dining in Bowral, NSW. The team works with local farmers and fishermen and that shows in what we ate. I loved my tuna rice paper rolls and the husband enjoyed a poke bowl. 

Sundays Beach Club lunch | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

The Ulu Cliffhouse offering was next level with a food and drinks menu that had me at the fun graphics but delivered on fresh and fun dishes and cocktails with a twist. The White Peach Sangria was next level and practically health giving. HAH.

Our only night away from our villa was spent mesmerised by the surfers at sunset at the legendary Single Fin beach bar and restaurant. What started as a place for surfers to hang out has grown into a must-visit for so many. We loved the fish tacos years ago, so re-ordered and were not disappointed. And the pineapple margarita may just be my new signature drink.

Single Fin dinner | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

5. The sunsets are ridiculous. For east-coaster like us, there is always a thrill of seeing the sun set over the ocean and Uluwatu did not disappoint. At The Edge (at this time of year – June/July), we only caught the colour of the sky at sunset.

oneeighty sunset The Edge | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

At Single Fin, it was a stunning display on a picture perfect evening.

Single Fin sunset | 5 reasons to stay and play in Uluwatu on your next holiday in Bali

Ok, so five reasons may not seem like enough reasons to make Uluwatu part of your next trip to Bali but, trust me, it’s in the doing very little and taking in all that is around you while in this part of the world that you will remember the most.

Getting around

Transportation was included as part of our accommodation package at The Edge, including airport transfers, so this made getting around very easy for us. 

Others hire scooters (please check your insurance coverage to see if scooter accidents are covered), use the local taxi service or book a driver. Many accommodation places will have their own driver or have drivers they recommend. We used our favourite Bali driver, Dewa, from Bali Smart Tours for the second part of our trip, and can highly recommend. The cost of this is not expensive at all, the cars are clean and you always feel safe on the roads.

The weather

We were travelling in the dry season and experienced only a little rain, briefly on our night out at Single Fin. What I did notice was that June/July is cooler and less humid than the other times of year I’ve visited (January and October). Think 27 or 28 degrees instead of into the 30s. It was refreshing for me as I’m not one to really embrace the heat/humidity but it did make jumping in the pool and swimming at the beach quite fresh. I’m a wuss when it comes to such things here in Australia!

Capturing the moment

I was kindly offered a Travelshoot one-hour photoshoot for this trip. After booking and paying for this in Rome in 2017, and loving the results, I said, yes please! My husband and kids may have eye-rolled but I love having these memories and photos of us together captured through someone else’s lens. Here’s just a couple of photos from the shoot.

Travelshoot photoshoot The Edge Uluwatu

Travelshoot photoshoot The Edge Uluwatu

Dress: Camilla (I’m in XL), bought in the recent sale; earrings Jimena Alejandra, from my husband; FRANKiE4 Footwear ALYCE wedges

So, tell me, are you a Bali fan? Stayed in Uluwatu? Where did you stay? Favourite things to do?


Why travel insurance is as important as your passport

For me, I don’t book a holiday without first taking out travel insurance. Often the time of booking flights and accommodation can be long before the time of travel and you can never be certain of what might happen between then and showing your passport at customs.

I then want to take off knowing that if someone in my family needs it, I’m backed up with help from my travel insurance company. For my last three international trips – to EuropeHawaii and to Bali – I’ve chosen and paid for Allianz travel insurance. I also take out Allianz travel insurance for any domestic travel or road trips we do.

Obtaining Allianz travel insurance is a simple and easy process. I select and purchase my cover online. I’ve found that the insurance cover is competitive in price for the inclusions I select.

For me, it’s about having peace of mind when we travel. I want to know that if anything goes wrong that my family is backed up through medical help or simply help with extra accommodation or replacement belongings should something be stolen.

When our son was sick six years ago while in New York, we weren’t concerned by the potential expense should we need hospital treatment. And when I book holidays in advance, I do so with the knowledge that if unexpected cancellations occur, I’m covered.^

In short, I don’t leave home – or book a holiday – without it.

Book with Allianz Travel Insurance online HEREEnter STYLINGYOU to receive up to 10% off Comprehensive Travel Insurance*

Allianz has more information HERE and HERE – please read if you’re travelling to Bali.   


Disclaimers

*Discount based on standard premium rates and applies to International Comprehensive policies only. Please note some discounts may have already been applied to premiums when a product is purchased through a certain channel (for example, online) (Original Discount). In such a case, the greater of the discount offered under this voucher and the Original Discount will be applied. Discount applies to standard premiums only. No discount will be applied to other premium components such as pre-existing medical condition cover.

Allianz Travel Insurance is issued and managed by AWP Australia Pty Ltd ABN 52 097 227 177 AFS Licence No. 245631, trading as Allianz Global Assistance, on behalf of the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFS Licence No. 234708. Any information or advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement available at allianz.com.au before buying this product.

^Terms, conditions, limits, and exclusions apply. Please see the Product Disclosure Statement for more information. Any information or advice here does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. If you purchase a policy, Allianz Global Assistance receives a commission which is a percentage of your premium – ask them for more details before they provide you with any services on this product  


My 10-step packing guide for any destination

Confessions of a Reformed Over-Packer | 10-step packing guide for any destination | Styling You | Nikki ParkinsonFor me, the holiday planning is all part of the excitement and anticipation of being on that escape. I love nothing more than going down the rabbit hole that is the internet looking for inspiration and ideas for what to do at the chosen destination but also for the types of clothes and accessories that will best suit that destination at the time that I’m travelling.

The formula I use for packing is one that can be adapted and applied to every destination and type of holiday. It’s not complicated. If you follow all the steps it’s quite liberating. I can’t ever imagine returning to my bad old days of throwing everything into a suitcase, sitting on said suitcase to get it closed, and hoping that I’d packed what I needed.

Want to get that formula? It’s all in my e-book.

Last year I released my e-book, How to plan and pack for your next holiday (confessions of a reformed over-packer) and I’m excited to let you know that it’s had a 2018 update and an expansion with some new chapters.

Buy my e-book HERE

Comments 12

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  1. Just arrived back from Bali. Stayed at Ayana- highly recommend: food, service, pools – especially ocean pool and views incredible. Also spent some time at Seminyak at Hotel Indigo- like an oasis. Enjoyed a couple of day trips with Dewa and his drivers- great suggestion, thanks

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  2. Amazing photos Nikki, I would love to visit Uluwatu. Been to Bali once, stayed in Seminyak, loved it. Not a fan of Kuta, too busy. Now those monkeys, I would have bolted every window and door, I am terrified of them! Your professional photos are beautiful, as were the ones taken in Rome. I was surprised by the food in Bali (even though we ate at local warungs as well) we had some absolutely beautiful meals, so fresh and on par with Australia. Will definitely go back one day. x

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  3. Oh, the monkeys!! We had a similar warning via a sign in our room when
    we were in Shimla, India, for a weeding a few years ago. They were all over the place! We loved our Bali Christmas 6 years ago now – we stayed in Seminyak and Nusa Lembongan, both so different. Would go back in a heartbeat!

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  4. Ulawatu looks amazing as do all your Bali photos Nikki.
    I can’t say I’m a fan of the black volcanic sand beaches I’ve seen in Bali and I’m not sure I’d go in the ocean in Kuta or Seminyak I’m more a pool girl anyway
    We are going in October for our sons wedding we are staying at 3 different places while we are there.The Magani Hotel and Spa with our own private plunge pool first off,then at Komune Resort at Keramas for two nights for the wedding,then on to a private Villa in Legian with our daughter,her partner and Piper and then back to the Magani for a rest.I do wish the temps would be in the 20s when we go but I’m sure it will be very hot and I do struggle with the humidity as well.Great post Nikki welcome back Xx

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