Points Miles and Bling (blog) contains referral or affiliate links. The blog receives a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your continued support. Credit Card issuers are not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details, current product information, and Terms and Conditions, click the link included.
This stay at the Alila Uluwatu Bali is probably my first and last stay at the Alila property for a long while. I have decided not to chase the Hyatt status for 2024 for the reasons stated in an earlier article. However, the property was stunning, and the villas were very well-designed. There are still shortcomings I would encounter at the Hyatt properties, as usual, thus confirming I have made the right decision. Initially, I was not going to write about it because the experience was not impressive enough to motivate me to write about it, but well…
Alila – An Introduction
Alila Hotels and Resorts is a luxury and high-end hotel brand within the Hyatt family, known for its commitment to eco-friendly and sustainable practices. The word ‘Alila’ is derived from Sanskrit, meaning “surprise,” which reflects the refreshing character of the properties and the reaction they aim to evoke in their guests. The chain was acquired by Hyatt Hotels in 2018, which was an excellent addition to the small footprint of the Hyatt chain. Most Alila properties are located at unique locations like Uluwatu, Big Sur, and Napa Valley or have stunning architecture, such as Wuzhen and Jaipur. According to Alila’s website, the philosophy of Alila is “Sustainability, respect for local culture, and a profound connection inform the Alila experience. Embrace your sense of wonder and go within to feel something unexpected, profound, and new.”
Getting to Alila Uluwatu Bali
After deciding not to run for globalist in 2024, I needed to burn my points and free night award certificates before my globalist status ended. I started my liquidation process by burning my globalist qualification gift at Alila Uluwatu Bali.
The hotel is located in a relatively remote area in Bali, which belongs to the Uluwatu region, in the southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula. Uluwatu comes from ulu, meaning “land’s end,” and watu means “rock.” I booked a taxi ahead of time and had some delays at the airport because I did not find a sign with my name. After making dozens of phone calls, I was finally on my way.
The road to Alila Uluwatu was a quiet adventure, consisting of mountain climbing and driving on narrow roads. Again, even though I do not think that was the case, the low-power engine may have been overworked by my weight and my suitcases. The driver had to put the car in gear 1 or 2 on his 1.2L vehicle. The last time I had a similar experience was in Barbados when I was driving a 1.0L manual car, climbing the mountains, where gear D would not move the car anymore. Luckily, after 45 minutes to an hour or so, we arrived at the sanctuary, the Alila Uluwatu Bali, at the end of the road, on the rocks, as its name suggested.
Check-in experience at Alila Uluwatu
Once we arrived at the hotel entrance, a lovely courtyard, no other check-in guests were around. The friendly staff greeted us and helped us unload the bags. Another front desk lady escorted us to the check-in area, where there was no “front desk”; a few comfy ottoman-style sofas with a coffee table were placed in the check-in lobby area. This space is used for check-in and serves as a living room concept when there is no need for check-in.
I will probably repeat it many times, but I enjoyed its architectural design, which has the ultra-modern style well blended with the reserved Asian culture. From the courtyard to the check-in area, you will need to walk a few steps, and once you arrive at the check-in area, you will be facing a panoramic ocean view on a cliff along with the little house you see on Hyatt’s website. You can also hear the water flow within its decorative installation. You will have to come here in person to experience this, and at this property, there is no picture, only for reference purposes. You will be able to see the magnificent view with your own eyes and feel the vibe of this environment.
After we sat down, the receptionist brought us a box of goodies: welcome drinks, facial spray, and local snacks. This box’s presentation is unique, creating an excellent first impression. Then, the receptionist patiently introduced us to the property’s amenities, such as restaurants, gym, spa, attractions, and activities. Also, as globalists, we were told our benefits. The check-in process was enjoyable despite a little bit of a language barrier. After check-in, the hotel staff took us by the golf cart to our villa.
One-bedroom pool villa at Alila Uluwatu Bali
Alila Uluwatu is an all-villa property. The base villa I stayed in has a spacious room with an outdoor pool and seating area. It is huge for two people. The villa also has a bathtub indoor, and outdoor shower. The villa also has shower amenity kits for both males and females, which is a nice touch. The main area of the villa is a square room, which includes a king-size bed on one side and a somewhat square sofa adjacent to the window, overlooking the pool outside. A seating area and the TV/minibar wall are on the other two sides. Overall, I found the space quite lovely, and all the facilities are well-appointed.
However, everything in the villa felt dated or not cleaned properly. It adds a layer of the “haze” to everything. You can see excessive wear on the furniture and the bed. Perhaps that’s the signature feature for World of Hyatt freeloaders or the redeemers. Before arriving in Bali, I inquired about possibly assigning a villa with a view. The hotel had promised to give me the best-view villa possible, and much like my experience at the Al-Maha, my villa at the Alila Uluwatu had no view, unlike the Ritz Carlton 5th Central Park, where they at least provided me with a price list of upselling room categories and features. The view situation was very disappointing. The hotel staff said, “All one-bedroom villas would not have any good view.” I have enough social media friends who travel on a 365-day basis, and one guy just went to the exact property and had an ocean-view one-bedroom villa weeks after my trip. It is just another bad Hyatt taste, way better than Campari or Aperol.
Food and beverage at Alila Uluwatu Bali
I had dinner and breakfast at the property. The dinner was also very disappointing, as the service was prolonged, and they missed the items we ordered. I believe it has something to do with the language barrier. Moreover, the cocktails we received were very cosmopolitan, meaning that the drinks contained almost no alcohol component, and their main ingredients were the juices and soft drinks.
For breakfast, it was a different experience. We were lucky enough to take one of the tables at the mountain’s edge. The view was magnificent, and it will be one of the most memorable breakfasts you ever had. You can hear the ocean, the birds, the wind, and the trees. The service was very attentive, and the à-la-carte menu was extensive. I even ordered some mimosas (at extra cost) to better enjoy the moment.
To sum up, I am not sure why there is such a huge difference in services and food/beverage quality in the same hotel. I highly recommend anyone staying at Alila Uluwatu to have breakfast at the edge of the rocks and enjoy one of the most beautiful breakfasts there.
Would I ever come to the Alila Uluwatu Bali? As much as I love the natural scenery and the property’s architecture, I found the service was hit and miss, and the villa we stayed in is due for a significant renovation. I even noticed a metal fork on the road, a few villas away from mine. I understand that the hotel employees flip very fast, but Alila Uluwatu’s training seems not up to speed. I could say that I enjoyed my stay at the Alila Uluwatu Bali, but the hotel could improve in many areas.