This classic resort had been on our “bucket list” for so long that we shaped it in our imagination into some kind of idealised Balinese archetype. This place, we thought, surely ought to fulfil the expectations of the most spoiled sybarite? Having now visited, we can say: it fulfilled ours.
The totality of our expectations concerning Bulgari was finally verified during the latest trip to Bali. This was the last resort we checked into (after four others: Mandapa Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Four Seasons at Sayan, Amandari, and Amankila) and it was a perfect place to end the Balinese adventure. The real Bulgari certainly matched the imagined one.
Italian in Bali
To begin with, we were looking forward to appreciating the resort’s design—and Bulgari does not disappoint. The resort’s designer Antonio Citterio created a place that beautifully blends Italian elegance and local building traditions.
We especially liked the villas. Their large bedroom and equally big bathroom interiors utilise black lava stone, mahogany from Java and sophisticated Balinese fabrics. Everything seems polished to a shine—from the wooden floors and neat bricks of the volcanic walls to the floor-to-ceiling glass walls that look out to manicured greenery and beyond, to the ocean.
But it is the resort’s striking setting that really stays in memory. Positioned atop a dramatic cliff, the Bulgari ensures wonderful vistas from pretty much everywhere: from the swimming pool and cliff-edge restaurant area and from most of its 56 private villas. And perhaps especially from the unique inclined elevator, which is a one of the kind lift that slides on the cliff’s slope to a secluded beach.
The resort’s beach is not very big and it gets overwhelmed by a roaring sea at high tide, but it opens to a vast and deserted public beach, which we, of course, traversed, all the way to a lone old shipwreck, just over a kilometre from the resort.
The hotel’s location ensure beautiful sunsets, which we’d wait for while sipping drinks in the clifftop bar. We loved to gaze at the sea in the fading light of the day until its dark expanse got dotted by dozens of spotlights from fishing vessels luring squid to the surface.
This was the perfect prelude to a romantic dinner at the award-winning Il Ristorante, where we had the chance to try the sublime creations from the Italian Chef de Cuisine Nicola Russo.
A World Unto Its Own
The pool, bar and restaurant areas are gracefully incorporated into landscaped hotel grounds. The beautiful gardens and pathways are sprinkled by mature frangipani and acacia trees.
Only occasionally the hotel introduces an element somewhat at odds with the surroundings. The spa is housed in a historical house imported from Java (wonderful spa treatments by the way!), which works well in context. But the sleek form of the wedding chapel seems to pay homage to the deconstructive architecture more than Balinese building traditions. It is nothing if not impressive though and it brings to mind contemporary design in Italy.
Maybe this what makes the Bulgari take on luxury so attractive. For us, the resort has always evoked images of sophisticated Balinese luxury, but only by visiting it we discovered strong traces of European DNA. In any case, it all results in a very compelling end product. The Bulgari reputation as one of the best high-end properties on the island is well earned.
Beach, Honeymoon, Island, Luxury, Modern Design, Private Villa, Quiet, Relaxing, Resort, Romance, Secluded, Sightseeing, Spa, Tropical, Wedding, Wow Factor,
Number of rooms & suites: 59
Rate per night: From USD 750 (EUR 670)
*The rate is only approximate and is based on our own independent research, at the time of writing. We cannot guarantee the rate in any way.
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