There are two distinct travellers that flock to the island paradise that is Bali: the party people, and those looking to get away from it all. If you’re in the latter camp, then you’re in luck. Far away from the party area of Seminyak, at the southernmost part of Bali and way above the sea level lies The Ungasan Clifftop Resort. Within the resort is a hidden cluster of villas for you to experience the quieter side of Bali.
When we say it’s for those looking to get away from it all, we really do mean it. The Ungasan Clifftop Resort is at least a 45-minute drive away from Seminyak — without traffic. It may be located near the Uluwatu Temple (which we could actually see from our villa) and a popular spot for surfers, but its location in Bukit Peninsula is not known for its nightlife. As for the pristine beaches, yes.
So kick back and relax, because staying at The Ungasan Clifftop Resort is made for rest and relaxation. You may not need to leave the resort for any reason at all, but if you do need one, we recommend taking the cable car down to Sundays Beach Club, where all guests of the resort get VIP access to.
At The Ungasan, you can pick from either five-bedroom villas or one-bedroom villas. From the former, there are five different villas available, all of them taking on a distinct design from one another. But what’s similar to all the five-bedroom villas is that they are set amongst 2,500 square metres of manicured gardens and 30 metres of clifftop frontage. Hence, no matter which villa you pick, they all have the same clifftop view overlooking the Indian Ocean.
The Lifestyle Asia Kuala Lumpur team stayed in Villa Jamadara, which could accommodate 10 guests or more. During the day time, natural light bathes all parts of the villa. You can experience both nature and the seafront in just a few paces — greenery surrounds the bedrooms, juxtaposed against the dark wooden finishing. Then, walk over to the open-space living area and it looks out to the ocean from the infinity pool.
The rooms take on a rainforest, back-to-nature vibe with an outdoor bathtub surrounded by a body of water. Rest assured that the outdoor bathtub experience also involves nature, as the “body of water” is a pond with plants, fishes, and the occasional amphibian.
While the bedrooms take on dark wood finishing, the living area has a lighter colour palette of navy and light marble. The indoor sunken lounge is a treat to entertain guests with, while the outdoor dining area brings “poolside bites” to a whole new level. Head upstairs and you’ll find yourself in the media room, where you can watch movies, Netflix, and chill. There’s also a study room next to the media room, but who would want to work when they’re in a gorgeous villa in Bali?
There is also a kitchen fully stocked with glassware and utensils, but there’s no need to head inside there — not when you have a butler at your service to whip up coffee, tea, or juices.
When your villa is a utopia, it can be difficult to leave its confines to feed yourself. Luckily, The Ungasan has a good reason to: a world class menu created in partnership with Australian chef, James Viles. Viles is owner of the two hatted Biota Dining in Bowral, New South Wales. You can head out to the resort’s restaurant Selatan to indulge in this menu, or have it in the privacy of your villa if you so please. The menu encompasses a wide range of dishes, from local Indonesian cuisine like mie goreng to easy crowd favourites such as burgers and freshly baked pizzas. Local Balinese ingredients are sourced daily for optimum freshness. In fact, you can also request for a personal BBQ to be held in your villa.
But don’t just limit yourself to the three main meals of the day. As a treat, a complimentary afternoon tea set will also be sent over to your villa. Just in case you get peckish. For more dining options, head down to Sundays Beach Club where you get VIP access if you’re a guest at The Ungasan.
As mentioned, all guests of The Ungasan gets VIP access to Sundays Beach Club, which is directly connected to the resort. Make your way downwards from the communal swimming pool and take a cable car right down to the beach. Sit by the bar or chill out at the beach with your drink of choice, be it a coconut or cocktail. When the sea is just right, take on some water sports too like paddle boarding, kayaking, swimming, or snorkelling. Sundays Beach Club is perhaps the closest you’ll get to experiencing any semblance of partying in the area, which can be good if you’re actively avoiding large crowds of tourists.
Taking on Bali with a group of friends doesn’t need to be all about partying and drinking, as proven during our stay at The Ungasan Clifftop Resort. It’s as idyllic as can be, and close to a large body of water without actually being on it. But you know, the beach is always within walking distance should you feel like going. If not, the infinity pool is always a great place to lounge with your unicorn floats — just don’t let them topple over the edge like we did.