>  Destinations   >  Indonesia   >  Bulgari Resort Bali review

Bulgari Resort Bali is one of Bali’s best known high-end hotels and conjures up images of the kind of luxury that makes sophisticated travel lovers sigh with undisguised longing. Here are 10 reasons to check in and check it out, especially since many of the amazing experiences below are only available to in-house guests. Even if you can only afford to stay one night, Bulgari Resort Bali is worth the spend.

1. Bulgari Bali inclinator

This amazing ‘lift’ is one of the longest of its kind in the world and provides an experience you won’t forget. The views from the open sided carriage are spectacular and the ride is so smooth, you hardly feel you are moving. Keep a look out for cheeky monkeys on the way down to the hotel’s private beach. Only hotel guests can use the inclinator.

The inclinator provides a memorable way to reach the beach

2. Bulgari Resort Beach Club

We packed a beach bag and spent some time soaking up the sun at the exclusive Bulgari Beach Club. It is a beautiful spot to pass a few hours and if you time your visit in line with the tides, you can bathe in the natural rock pools which form along the beach. Just don’t try to go swimming as the tides along this stretch of coastline can be treacherous. Only hotel guests are permitted at the Bulgari Resort Beach Club.

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Bulgari Bali private beach club

3. Bulgari Bali rooms

Don’t worry if you can only afford the cheapest room as you won’t miss out on the full Bulgari resort experience. Something that is very handy to know is all of the villas are virtually the same. Each one has an outdoor plunge pool and large alfresco living area, a sensational bathroom with a deep tub and outdoor shower and myriad glamorous brand-name toiletries. And they are all about to undergo a renovation in preparation for the hotel’s 10th anniversary celebrations so they will soon look better than ever.

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All villas have a huge outdoor living area
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View from our Premier Ocean View Villa

Paying more for cliff side accommodation won’t necessarily get you a larger room but it will get you a spectacular view. If you want the views shown on the Bulgari website, then an Ocean Cliff Villa is the one for you. That said, we stayed in a mid-range Premier Ocean View and were more than happy with the outlook from our room.

This is one of the best hotel bathrooms I’ve ever had

4. Bulgari toiletries

It’s almost worth staying at the resort for the room amenities alone. Not only is everything Bulgari, but along with the usual shampoo, soap and bath gel there are plenty of goodies to enjoy such as Bulgari-branded perfume, shaving cream, tea lights and bath salts. And yes, you can take them home with you.

5. Bulgari Bali welcome gift

Guests receive a traditional Balinese kite, a beach bag and matching woven sunhats as a welcome gift on arrival. Each night there is also a different turn down gift to look forward to. We loved our miniature gamelan which came with its own descriptive card.

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Gamelan turndown gift

6. Bulgari Bali La Spiaggia

A lot of guests don’t seem to know this restaurant is here which was good news for us as we always got a seat! La Spiaggia means ‘beach’ in Italian and that’s exactly what you get – a stunning stretch of sand tucked at the base of some mighty cliffs. This restaurant will have you reaching immediately for your camera. With only two tables of four, it never feels crowded and the view is one of the best I’ve had from any restaurant.

View from La Spiaggia

The menu at La Spiaggia is compact yet delicious and focuses on freshly grilled items like seafood, steak and gourmet burgers. The Herbojito cocktail is the restaurant’s specialty drink and a refreshing choice for a hot day. Under the restaurant there is a cosy lounging area that is ideal for cocktails although you might have to shoo away a few monkeys who are fond of dropping by to ‘chaperone’ romantic couples. La Spiaggia is open for lunch and accessible via Bulgari’s famous inclinator. La Spiaggia is only available to guests at Bulgari Resort Bali.

Gourmet burger

7. Bulgari Bali Il Ristorante

Il Ristorante is the flagship fine diner of the Bulgari hotel group and has an extensive Italian menu and matching wine list. This isn’t the place to come for a cheap nasi goreng but the restaurant, which has been awarded Best Hotel Restaurant in the World, certainly delivers – and then some. Il Ristorante may have the stunning looks of an Italian supermodel but this hotel restaurant is much more than just  pretty face. Even if you’re not staying at Bulgari, it’s well worth making the trip to Il Ristorante for a special night out. If you are going to visit the resort for dinner, make sure you arrive early enough to enjoy a drink (or two) and watch the sunset from the bar overlooking the cliffs.

Il Ristorante

8. Bulgari Bali location

Bulgari Resort Bali is not only very tranquil thanks to its stunning location perched high on the cliffs at Uluwatu, it is also well placed for a visit to the area’s famous temple. It is only a short 15 minute drive to this famous Bali landmark where you can watch the monkey’s play and buy tickets to see the famous Kecak dance performance as the sun sets behind the temple.

Monkey dance at Uluwatu temple

9. Bulgari Bali spa

The spa at Bulgari Bali is located in an antique hand-carved Javanese building and surrounded by lush gardens and a selection of indoor and outdoor treatment areas. We had a couples’ massage in an outdoor (but very, very private) treatment room accompanied by the sound of crashing waves and tweeting birds. It was a sublime experience that was capped off by refreshments served overlooking the ocean. We had our treatment in the morning but for an even more memorable experience, I would suggest booking your massage to finish at around 6pm so you can watch the sunset from the relaxation area (followed by dinner at Il Ristorante perhaps?).

Outdoor relaxation lounge

10. Bulgari Bali infinity pool

This would have to be our favourite part of the resort. Perhaps surprisingly, we didn’t spend much time in our private plunge pool. The main infinity pool had such a spectacular view that it proved impossible to resist. The Bulgari Bali infinity pool is one of our all time favourite hotel pools. We used our complimentary beach bag to carry our books, iPads and magazines down to one of the huge daybeds and stayed there for most of the morning. Because there are such a small number of villas, the pool area never feels crowded and it is always easy to get a daybed. These are more than large enough for a couple to spread out on or even a small family to enjoy. It’s worth asking for late checkout so you can make the most of this wonderful part of the resort before you have to tear yourself away and go back to the reality of the outside world.

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Sunrise at the main pool

Disclaimer: The writer stayed at the resort as a guest of Bulgari Bali.

We’ve got plenty of hints and tips for travelling in Bali and also some great hotel and resort suggestions. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we’ve reviewed the Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort, Peppers Seminyak Resort, Apurva Kempinski Bali, Bulgari Resort Bali, Aria Villas Ubud, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, The Mulia Bali, Merusaka Nusa Dua, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Anantara Seminyak Bali, the InterContinental Bali for couples and those travelling with kids. We’ve compared the Singaraja and Club rooms at the InterContinental Bali and found the best luxury family hotels in Bali and the best honeymoon hotels in Bali.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.