Worth getting out of bed for
Make time in the afternoons to watch the young Balinese girls who practise temple dancing in the resort lobby. Though the gym is open 24 hours, challenge yourself to descend and then climb the hundreds of stairs leading to Alila’s patch of private beach. Save some energy to explore beyond the property on Journeys by Alila, which include visits to leading Balinese artists, private kitchen time with the hotel chef (as well as trips to Jimbaran Fish Market and Indonesian cooking classes); outings to community projects supported by the resort. Nearly next door, the black coral rock temple, Pura Luhur Uluwatu, hugs the cliffs and is believed by locals to guard the island from evil spirits. At sunset the kecak (monkey) dance is performed but watch out for the real things, who will steal your sunglasses, camera, water bottle or anything else they can get their thieving mitts on.
Popular with surfers and backpackers is the simple yet welcoming Yeye’s Warung (+62 (0)361 742 4761), between Uluwatu and Padang Padang beaches, where you can get Indonesian, Thai and Indian food, along with pizza and burgers (retro surf videos add to the vibe). Just a 15-minute drive away is Jimbaran Bay and its famous beachfront seafood warungs, where freshly grilled fish, prawns, lobster and squid are served at tables on the sand at lunch or under the stars.
Nammos Beach Club is part of Smith-approved resort Karma Kandara (+62 (0)361 848 2200), east of Alila Villas Uluwatu. Take the inclinator down to a protected beach, where you’ll find a club that wouldn’t be out of place on the Aegean. Dip in the ocean, order signature cocktails and wood-fired pizzas, and listen to the cool Café del Mar-style tunes. A favourite place for Bali visitors to watch the sun set is the huge, funky Ku De Ta (+62 (0)361 736 969; Jl Kayu Aya No 9, Seminyak; www.kudeta.net), which combines beach club, lounge bar and restaurant on the Seminyak waterfront. The range of cocktails is definitely a cut above.
There’s not a lot going on after hours in Uluwatu, but travel towards Seminyak and Kuta and you’ll find a completely different scene. A lot of it, of course, caters to crazy backpackers but there are pockets suitable for the more-discerning visitor. Climb the stairs to the roof of Sky Garden Lounge (Jl Legian 61; +62 (0)361 756 362), enjoy a cocktail, find a spot to shake your thing and watch as it all starts to go astray late at night. It’s popular with European footballers playing in the local league. Speaking of things going astray, Double Six (+62 (0)361 733 067; Jl Double Six; www.doublesixclub.com) is the huge open-air club on the beach of the same name with a swimming pool and bungy jump. More upmarket is the nearby De Ja Vu (+62 (0)316 732 777; Jl Double Six), with its top DJs, trendy crowd and glass doors overlooking the beach.
March or April The whole island closes down for 24 hours on Nyepi, the last day of the Hindu saka calendar. For the Balinese it’s a day of introspection and no one is allowed on the street. It’s believed evil spirits will think everyone has deserted the island and will move on. Use it as a day to catch up on sleep or reading, but avoid arriving on Nyepi as many hotels can't check you in and the airport closes. The night before though, there are street parades as well as people banging on drums and letting off firecrackers to scare off any demons. September See baby turtles released, kites flown, waves surfed in competition and other fun events during the Kuta Karnival (www.kutakarnival.com) on popular Kuta Beach.
Offers at Alila Villas Uluwatu
Join us – it's free!
Sign up now for exclusive hotel offers, money back on every booking, and Smith extras (like the one below) whenever you book with us. more
Smith extra at Alila Villas Uluwatu
A 90-minute spa treatment for each guest.