Trips

Full Review: Hyatt’s Alila Villas Uluwatu Bali – $1k a night pool villa

a pool with palm trees and a body of water

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Alila Villas Uluwatu

In August we took an incredible trip around the world hitting up Bali, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and Paris. We flew some amazing cabins, but what was the most surprising? The Alila Villas Uluwatu – they were flat out amazing. Located on the southern coast of Bali in the spiritual haven of Uluwatu, Alilas the flagship property sits perched atop cliffs overlooking the ocean.

If you’re unfamiliar with Alila you’re not alone. Alila is a small luxury brand that focuses on health, well being, and incredible service. It was picked up and integrated into Hyatt after the recent Two Roads acquisition. Lucky for us, Alila was integrated into Hyatt’s point program roughly a month prior to our visit, and we seized the opportunity. I could not have been more impressed with the property, service, quality of food, and accommodation.

I’ve stayed at numerous Hyatt properties around the world, toured even more, and in my opinion, this is the best Hyatt property in the world. I’ll go into further detail below, but it’s just that good.

Stay Details:

  • When: August 2019
  • Length: 5 Nights
  • Rate: 30k per night
  • Room: Pool Villa
  • Status: Explorist

Booking:

The Alila Villas Uluwatu entry level rooms measure 3k sq ft, all have private pools, rates start at roughly $1k a night ( it says $830 but after fees and taxes…$1k+) Compare that to the 30k a night using points.

 

Our Strategy towards lowering cost

Hyatt and Chase are transfer partners and we had more than enough points to cover the 5 night stay between my fiancee and I; however, that’s a lot of Ultimate Rewards to burn on hotels.

Enter Hyatt Buy Points with 40% bonus promo.

Hyatt was running a promo ( and is again until 12/31/19 ) whereby you could purchase points for roughly 1.7c a piece, equating to $510 per night. As a result, we each transferred enough points for 3 nights, and then purchased 60k points for $1020 to shore up our combined accounts to 150k.  That effectively meant paying a little over $200 a night.

Hyatt recently announced a variable priced award chart which will be introduced in March of 2020. The long and short is that the rate of this property will fluctuate from 25k-30k-35k depending on the season. You can do the math, but going off season/shoulder could be an incredible opportunity.

You should also be aware that you can merge points into a single reservation. We ultimately didn’t do this, and instead made two separate reservations, and notified the hotel, in advance, to combine the reservations. This was done seamlessly, and whomevers reservation is last will acru the points for the stay.

Arrival to Alila Villas Uluwatu

Airport pickup

We arranged in advance for the hotel to pick us up by private car. Uluwatu is roughly an hour from DPS airport, and I would highly advise choreographing with the hotel for transport. You certainly could hop in a taxi, but the hotel car is roughly $50 each way, has snacks, cold water, and they will know of your arrival ahead of time.

Hotel Arrival

You’ll turn off the main road, venture for 5 to 10 minutes, and then find an oasis waiting for you at the end of a road you’d otherwise never explore. Your car will be inspected by hotel security, a gate raises, and your jaw will drop. From the first glimpses it’s a stunningly beautiful resort. The main entrance is an open air concept of ivory and muted grey stone perfectly integrated with water features. It’s effortlessly chic and soothing.

a building with trees and plants

You’ll be greeted and taken to have a welcome drink along with snacks. a tray with objects in it

Just look at this place

a pool with palm trees and a blue sky

a pool with palm trees and a deck with a deck and a building with a body of water

Next you’ll be given a quick rundown of how the resort works, it’s features, and then via golf cart driven to your villa

a walkway with trees and a pond

Villa 209

You know you’re in for a treat the moment you push the door. It’s an absolute beast, perfectly places on a swivel that makes it float open. Immediately you’ll get hit with a flash of cold air, and voila…an array of baked goods and snacks all in a box.

a room with a couch and a table

Overview

Nearly all of the villas on property are similar in size spread across 4 different levels. There are some two bedroom and a 3 bedroom villa, but those a few and far between. They all come with private pools, massive living indoor/outdoor living spaces that can combine to create a magical space for relaxation or hosting friends which we did throughout the stay. There are indoor and outdoor showers.

a group of houses in a forest

If I were to come back to the property, I would request to stay on the 400 block of rooms which are strung across the top tier of the property. These would have the most dramatic views and also the most private as you’ll never have anyone walking past your villa to theirs.

The biggest downside to villa 209 was its placement at the end of the walkway guests use to get to and from the main facilities and their villa. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but you could almost see into our pool area if you were at the right angle while ascending the stairs.

a white stairs leading up to a stream

Bedroom/living room

The villa is open concept and optimizes the space wonderfully. You can open the collapsible doors and either relax on the large sofa bed, or as we dd a few times, just lounge in bed and enjoy the full view of the villa.

a stuffed animal on a bed

Bathroom

The bathroom was drop dead gorgeous with two large vanities, his/her toiletry sets, a large closet, robes, and an amazing shower with multiple heads. If that wasn’t enough, you could also nip outside to shower in a private garden area, or draw a bath in the deep soaker tub.

a bathroom with a sink and a mirror

a bathtub with a sink and a pillow

Pool

Each villa comes with a large plunge pool which isn’t heated, but with high humidity and 90-100 degree heat a cool pool was quite refreshing. I’ve stayed at other properties with plunge pools ( Chitwa Chitwa ), but none where every single room comes with one that isn’t a super small lodge.

a pool with a deck and chairs

Activities + Facilities

Main Infinity Pool

Can we take a minute. Ok two. This is just ridiculous. Get out the gram, tok, or youtube vlog up and running…it’s time to flex. Whether you’re a social media influencer, or you just share family snaps, this is incredible spot to make anyone drool over your vacay digs.

a stuffed animal sitting on a chair by a pool

The large hanging structure is the hotel’s bar which is the perfect place to watch the sunset.

a man sitting on a bench in a room with a large window

a stuffed animal on a fence overlooking the ocean

The Gym

It would be hard to find a more beautifully integrated gym anywhere in the world. Located between the lobby and the front gate, cozied up next to a reflecting pool is a small, but well appointed gym.

Hiking and Yoga

There is an incredible set of stairs down to the water between the bar and infinity pool. A fancy myself in decent shape, but it was definitely a challenge on the way back up. Additionally, in the bar, they have yoga and hanging yoga in the morning

A day of spiritual enlightenment + other activies

On one of the days we visited local Hindu temples, experienced a prayer ceremony, blessings, and visited the Uluwatu temple. If you stay at the resort I would highly recommend this experience.

Dining

There are two restaurants at the Alila Villas Uluwatu. One, you’ll have breakfast at each morning named Cire. It’s western cuisine, fresh, and the service is fantastic. The waitstaff doesn’t write down orders, is prompt, and the views are incredible.

a table with food on it and a pool in the background

The second restaurant is Indonesian fare, The Warung. It’s a bit fancier, and we ate there our first night at Alila. Other nights we had room service, ate at Six Senses, Cire, and another place off site. I’d highly recommend eating in one of the little bungalows hanging over the water.

a restaurant with tables and chairs

Spa

One thing I regret not enjoying was a spa treatment. If it was anything remotely close to the rest of the experience they would have been divine.

a room with a couch and a table

Library

There is also a library with floor to ceiling glass, and if you must get work done in paradise…this is a pretty gorgeous spot to do it.
a room with a glass wall and a table and chairs

Overall

You won’t regret splurging at the Alila Villas Uluwatu. There are 5 star properties all across the world, but there aren’t many that exceed the star rating, and of those…how many can you use points for the experience? Alila Villas is just that, and if you’re looking for a special property to spend a honeymoon, anniversary, or treat yourselfication – the only regret you’ll have is not booking an extra night.

a pool with palm trees and a deck with a deck and a building with a body of water

A few thoughts from the intro I wanted to address…

At the beginning of this review I declared the Alila Villas Uluwatu the best Hyatt in the world. I thought I’d show you around the resort to begin with before explaining why I came to this conclusion. The Alila Villas are a true experiential resort, something that even the best Park Hyatt’s in the world won’t compete with…even the Park Hyatt Maldives ( which many say is dated ). Maybe you could make a case for Miraval.

Sure, there are properties like the Park Hyatt New York, Paris, Tokyo that have been truly aspirational city hotels, but you can stay at other properties in those cities for far fewer dollars and get a similar experience.  I’m not sure that’s really true in Bali – yes there is the St Regis in nearby Nusa Dua, but that is a massive resort comparatively speaking. Maybe the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay compares, but it’s a grand as well. So is the Six Senses ( soon to be an IHG property btw ).

Also…aside from NY – the Park Hyatt city hotels are often pricing off reputation not their current state. Tokyo is in dire need of a reno, so is Paris. I don’t mean that you wouldn’t get a great experience at those properties, I just don’t think they warrant the price, nor would I pay 30k a night to stay at them vs other Hyatts or the competition. You’re also getting a base room, not a 3000 sq ft villa with a private pool.

I would happily pay 30k to stay at the Alila again.

There are many SLH of the world hotels that you could compare, and I surely haven’t stayed at many of those – I have eaten at quite a few to get a feel for what I’d get however. But they aren’t Hyatt properties. In fact, if the hotel decides to decouple with SLH, they also decouple with Hyatt, but Alila are now Hyatt properties. I’m looking forward to experiencing other Alila hotels to see if they compare from a service standpoint – I suspect they do.

Next up, I’m planning on visited the Alila in Jaipur India. I’ll report back when I do. Only 15k a night ( or a cat 4 cert)

 

Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

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20 Comments

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  • Earl Lee December 12, 2019

    Looks incredible. I’m going to Bali in May and staying here and the Viceroy and also the Alila Seminyak. I agree with Christian that many friends told me to spend more days at Viceroy and also Seminyak as there is more to do. I was originally going to stay here 3 nights/4 days but changed it to 2 nights/3 days. I can’t wait. I used a Suite upgrade certificate (I’m a Globalist) for a bigger suite.

    Fabulous review. Thanks for posting!

    • Miles December 12, 2019

      Sounds like you’ll have a fantastic time! Enjoy 🙂

  • Kevin December 11, 2019

    Your review has me wishing we chose this property when we were there back in September. We stayed at the Radisson Blu Uluwatu for the one night we were in that area. It was nice, but not this nice. We were, however, blown away by another property you can access with Hyatt points; Vicreoy Bali in Ubud. It was amazing. Huge room. Private pool. The place even had a helipad. You know you are at a fancy place when they have a helipad.

    • Miles December 11, 2019

      Sounds like you hit a homerun at Viceroy. My fiancee and I had dinner there on this trip and it’s a gorgeous place.

  • Tom December 11, 2019

    I’m trying to decide between the Alila Uluwatu Villas and the Viceroy Bali for a two night stay at the end of a Bali trip. I’m leaning towards Viceroy because I’m already going to be in Ubud for a stay at the Alila there. The Uluwatu property just seems like it out in the middle of nothing, maybe that’s the allure?

    Any thoughts?

    • Miles December 11, 2019

      Both are fantastic properties so you can’t really go wrong. Uluwatu is far tho…budget 1.5 to 2 hours to get down to Uluwatu from Ubud, and then another hour to get back to the airport. The Viceroy has a very different aesthetic to Alila – more traditional balinese, set on a hillside, gorge views, etc. If you’re wanting to do more hikes, rapids, healers, I’d stay in Ubud. If you’re looking for a completely different vibe and aesthetic then you’ll be pretty happy about Uluwatu. You can also check out karma beach club nearby for a cool beach lunch/lounge vibe, rock bar ( Ayana ) has some gorgeous sunset views ( get their a couple hours before otherwise you won’t get in ), but the resort is so gorgeous you could R&R and be happy. GSTP has a great review of Viceroy Bali you should look up – it’s his fave I believe

  • Christian December 11, 2019

    The hotel looks lovely. It sounds like a really nice place to stay for a few nights, but the Uluwatu area pretty much has nothing outside of the temple itself and the shopping outside the temple. Did you do a lot of day trips?

    • Miles December 11, 2019

      Christian – it’s pretty amazing. We did some hotel excursions + karma beach for a day. Didn’t feel like too much time as it’s quite relaxing and serene. Certainly nowhere near the activity of Sanur or We had total of 8 nights and split 5/3 Uluwatu/Ubud

  • Geoff December 11, 2019

    Counting down to this property becoming a Cat 8(40K pts/nt) in 3…2…1…

    • Miles December 11, 2019

      If Hyatt introduces their own properties to cat 8 it wouldn’t surprise me otherwise, for the time being, only SLH are cat 8 and I’d guess this has to do with remittance more than anything

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