Hotel Highlights

  • Explore Bali’s undeveloped west coast with its untouched beaches and lush rice terraces
  • Nearby cultural attractions include the 16th-century Tanah Lot temple, and the region's renowned dancers and gamelan players
  • Attentive, knowledgeable butlers assigned to each villa

Overview

On the wild, less visited shores of south-west Bali, a new level of luxury has arrived with Alila Villas Soori. Architecturally accomplished and sublimely minimalist villas – ranging in size from one to 10 bedrooms – each have their own pool and courtyard overlooking the cerulean Indian Ocean. The natural setting between verdant rice paddies and shimmering volcanic-sand beach has been enhanced by lush gardens and reflective ponds. Add a slick spa, decadent dining options and service from personal hosts and you're in pamper paradise.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Alila Villas Soori with us:

A 90-minute Balinese massage for each guest

Facilities

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Alila Villas Soori – Bali – Indonesia

Need To Know

Rooms

48 pool villas.

Check–out

Officially noon, but late departures can be accommodated. Check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $650.00, excluding tax at 21 per cent.

More details

Breakfast is extra at US$25 a person.

Also

Spa treatments don't have to be an extravagance, as US$200 a day buys you unlimited sessions at Spa Alila during your stay. The classic Balinese Massage is hard to beat, or splash out on the luxurious Journey to You, a full day’s pampering from yoga at sunrise to massage under the stars. Junior Smiths, there's a kids' treatment menu too.

At the hotel

WiFi throughout, library, spa, gym, bicycles, gift shop. In rooms: personal host service, flatscreen TV, preloaded Apple TV, iPod dock, Spa Alila toiletries, minibar, espresso machine.

Our favourite rooms

All the sublime minimalist pads enjoy ocean views, but book into a second-storey Ocean Pool Villa for a blue bonus: a sea-view bath tub. Villas 202 to 206 are best positioned to maximise the postcard-perfect panorama.

Poolside

At the resort’s heart, lies a sleek 25m infinity pool with four submerged day-beds at the shallow end.

Packing tips

Women will need to cover their shoulders at nearby temples, otherwise Odabash bikinis and floaty Heidi Klein numbers should do the trick. Bring closed shoes, or your own hard hat, if you're planning on horse-riding.

Also

Smoking is permitted outdoors. Sunscreen, after-sun gel, lip balm and mosquito repellent are provided in-room as part of your chic 'his' and 'hers' toiletry sets.

Children

Younger guests are welcome in these divine natural surroundings. Baby cots are free, and although extra beds can’t be added to rooms, the villa’s sofa can be made up for children up to 12 years old to sleep on. Babysitting costs about US$16 an hour.

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Eco‐friendly

Green innovations include aligning buildings to encourage natural light but minimise heat gain, natural cooling through fresh air circulation, and planting indigenous vegetation. The hotel supports eco work in the community, too.

Weddings

This property is suitable for weddings

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Food & Drink

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Alila Villas Soori – Bali – Indonesia

Hotel Restaurant

Begin each day with an adventurous, tasting-style breakfast (and a carefully considered range of teas and coffee) at casual, open-air Coast. For lunch and dinner, the talented chef rustles up a range of authentic Indonesian dishes, cooked with precision. Ombak is a little more fancy, designed with romantic dinners in mind. Start with sunset cocktails and nibbles from the special snack menu, then eplore the European-influenced tasting menu, matched with wine and cocktails.   

Hotel Bar

More lounge than bar, the informal Drift resembles the living room in the beach house of one’s most enviable friends – slip-covered couches and comfy chairs on a weathered wood floor, plenty of sunlight and the added bonus of air-conditioning inside make it the ideal spot to escape the sun. Sit back and plan the following day with an iced tea in hand, although you could always opt for the Long Island version or the Haven II, a warm vanilla-bourbon tea infused with Cognac, fennel seed, cardamom and honey. The latest style bibles are piled high for guests’ delectation or borrow a laptop to check your Facebook while nibbling on a Balinese spiced duck burger or chocolate soufflé.

Last orders

The official witching hour is 11pm, but night owls have nothing to fear; Alila Villas Soori’s service-minded staff will feed hungry guests at any hour.

Room service

Prefer not to leave your pleasure palace? Room service – from the restaurant menus or specially requested comfort food, like pasta and burgers – can be delivered 24/7.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Skip the stilettos in favour of Havaianas topped with cool kaftans or a simple sarong over swimwear. There is no sign of LV or the like on this beach; instead it’s all about effortless chic.

Top table

Come well before sunset to snag one of the two beachfront tables at Coast; dine under the stars at Ombak. A table can also be set by the pool at your villa for a romantic, private affair.

Local Guide

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Alila Villas Soori – Bali – Indonesia
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Local restaurants

Apart from humble warungs on nearby beaches, there are few restaurants around here. Head towards Seminyak – about an hour’s drive – to enjoy some of Bali’s finest fare. Sarong (+62 (0)361 737 809), at Jalan Petitenget, has a pan-Asian menu encompassing grilled and tandoori dishes, curries and creative stir-frys. Newcomer Métis (+62 (0)361 737 888) has a tempting Gallic menu in a gorgeous rice-paddy setting. Watch the sun set with a cocktail, then indulge in tasty Italian fare at beachside La Lucciola (+62 (0)361 730 838), on Oberoi Road.

Local bars

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.

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Volcanic sand, jade-green rice paddies

Alila Villas Soori

Banjar Dukuh, Desa Kelating, Kerambitan, Tabanan, Bali, 82161

Alila Villas Soori is on Bali’s central west coast in the Tabanan Regency, one of the island’s most fertile regions. It's just 20 minutes north of the famous and sacred Tanah Lot temple, and 45 minutes' drive from buzzy, bar-strewn Seminyak and Kuta.

Planes

Fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport (www.baliairport.com), near capital Denpasar, served by carriers including Garuda, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar and JAL. You can buy a Visa on Arrival, if required, which costs US$25 for 30 days. The process is much quicker if you bring the cash with you.

Automobiles

Alila Villas Soori is about an hour’s drive north west of the airport and the hotel will organise complimentary transfers for most packages (otherwise the cost is US$50 each way). You can rent a car at the airport but the traffic is hectic and the roads aren’t always of top quality (particularly away from the built-up areas). Fortunately, you can hire well-maintained cars with excellent drivers for as little as US$30 per day. They will take you wherever you want and are even happy to wait while you have a swim at the beach, enjoy a meal or go shopping.

Other

Ask Alila about helicopter transfers from the airport.

Reviews

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Alila Villas Soori – Bali – Indonesia

Anonymous review

by Tony Ayres , Freewheeling filmmaker

The rice paddies and temples appear to have been engulfed by shopping malls lined with Givenchy and Bulgari boutiques in the 20 years since Mr Smith and I last visited Bali. Somehow, though, the island has retained its distinctive charm. Everything still appears to have that same human scale – the malls remain modest, the temples diminutive and the roads more like alleys.

Not that...

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Alila Villas Soori

Anonymous review by Tony Ayres, Freewheeling filmmaker

The rice paddies and temples appear to have been engulfed by shopping malls lined with Givenchy and Bulgari boutiques in the 20 years since Mr Smith and I last visited Bali. Somehow, though, the island has retained its distinctive charm. Everything still appears to have that same human scale – the malls remain modest, the temples diminutive and the roads more like alleys.

Not that we notice any of this at first. The journey from Ngurah Rai Airport to Alila Villas Soori on the island’s isolated west coast is an impressive indicator of the two days to come. After being met by a car organised by the hotel, the attention to detail en route is deliciously distracting: ginger-scented face flannels, exquisite snacks, cool bottled water and an aloe vera, ylang-ylang and lavender face spray. The driver even offers to phone ahead to ensure a meal is waiting in our villa when we arrive.

After another fragrant flannel (in case we managed to work up a sweat between opening the car door and stepping out, perhaps), we are shown around the resort by the charming manager. Our first response is that this is one of the most beautiful hotels we have ever experienced. The combination of spectacular scenery – the villas overlook a turbulent ocean whose waves crash onto an iridescent black-sand beach – and the effortless elegance of the architecture make the Alila an aesthetic delight.

Once we’re alone in our Ocean Pool Villa, Mr Smith and I eye each other before whooping like children. This is, without question, the most glamorous place we have ever stayed. Our bedroom opens into a living space that opens onto a private pagoda with day-beds overlooking the sea. Each villa has its own swimming pool, indoor and outdoor showers, and his-and-hers toiletries (they are discreetly changed over to his-and-his versions during the afternoon).

For the first half-hour Mr Smith and I are quite literally paralysed by luxury, unable to decide whether to use the day-beds in the lounge or the pagoda, or if, in fact, we should take a dip in the ocean, the 50-metre infinity pool or our own private one. Finally, we settle for soaking in the perfectly proportioned double bath, complete with ergonomic stone head rests. Considering these Mr Smiths are from drought-ravaged Melbourne and normally shower with buckets at their feet (to recycle the water to the garden) this is incredibly exciting.

For the next two days, we revel in the property. There’s the complimentary afternoon tea to enjoy, accompanied by gamelan players, and we end up dining at all three of Soori’s eateries. The first night is casual beachside Coast where I devour a gorgeous grilled snapper with Balinese spices, backdropped by waves glimmering under spotlights and a horizon illuminated by a lightning storm.

The next day we visit the main dining area, Cotta, where I have ayam taliwang (barbecued chicken with red spice) and Mr Smith has rigatoni with portobello mushrooms and truffled ricotta – a seamless curation of cuisines from East and West. Finally, we test informal Drift, where you can order café-style food among books and sofas by day, and enjoy fine-dining at night. In principle this is a great idea, but in practice eating a meal in the severe white room filled with hard-edged furniture was as cosy as chowing down at an Ikea showroom. The food is, as usual, terrific: lobster and mushroom quesadilla, smoked chicken pizza and chargrilled vegetables. All of this is then followed with a delicious green tea martini. Need I say more?

Perhaps it sounds like we are preoccupied with food, but between meals we do book in for massages in the tranquil, temple-like spa beneath the central reflection pool. Greeted with a cool lemon and honey drink, I relax with a reflexology massage, while Mr Smith has a more traditional Balinese massage. Both are heavenly and transport us into complete relaxation mode. Lying in bed at night watching CNN (one of our few criticisms is the lack of bedside reading lights – although we’ve heard they’ve since been installed), we feel a million miles away from the world. In our designer retreat, surrounded by black volcanic rock walls and driftwood sculptures, we feel completely cocooned.

Rested beyond our wildest dreams, we venture out of the Alila grounds on our final morning. The resort’s leisure concierges can organise all types of sightseeing opportunities (they call them ‘journeys’) and we opt, perhaps unsurprisingly, for the gourmet variety. Alila’s sous chef, Made Suriana, acts as our guide to the real Bali. Made, a man of great dignity and knowledge, gives us a crash course in the island’s culinary culture, taking us to markets and showing us deep-fried elvers (baby eels) caught in the local rice paddies. He explains that the small village eggs are the most expensive because they are the equivalent of what we know as free-range. Made also points out the many offerings – woven baskets filled with flowers and food – for sale. One of the cultural shifts in the past two decades is that women, traditionally responsible for creating these gifts to the gods, have now entered the workforce so don’t have time to make their own.

Afterwards, guide becomes chef once again and Made prepares an extraordinary meal while demonstrating the basics of Balinese cooking. As we’re eating, I think of the local people in the markets and how impoverished their lives are by our standards. Still, they devote so many of their scarce resources to their beliefs, making offerings of gratitude for what they do have. It occurs to me how little appreciation Westerners have for their blessings, and that there is much for us to learn in this small, beautiful island of smiling strangers.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Alila Villas Soori's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on 25 Oct 2013

We loved

The service in Alila Villas Soori is simply sensational – super excellent service. We had a private check-in in our villa with a butler handled it all for us. We travel with a toddler; the staff are so thoughtful my toddler even got her own bath tub with her own toiletries! And every time we had our meal, they offered to look after my daughter – the simple gesture that wins! It was money well spent. We had the best on our stay; we will come again definitely!

Rating: 10/10 stars