Perched on an elevated plateau adjoined with soaring limestone cliffs, Alila Villas Uluwatu, a stunning eco-chic boutique resort with picturesque views of the Indian ocean, is the perfect model of eco-modern design. Located on the parched savannah landscape of the Bukit Peninsula, the resort integrates dramatic design elements of the surrounding natural landscape using locally-sourced materials.
Inspired by Bali’s rocky terrace fields and lush gulleys, the buildings’ low-pitched terraced roofs create an open atmosphere which gives way to spectacular views of gardens, cool reflecting pools and miles of deep blue ocean. The 86 villas and other buildings on the property were constructed using bamboo, hand-cut stone and volcanic batu candi rock to purposefully blend with the surrounding natural environment. (The volcanic rock was used in building the roofs due to its natural insulating properties and ability to support local ferns and succulents.)
The most striking feature of the villas is the seamless integration of wood, water, flora, stone and air — rather than indoor living quarters, the rooms were designed to be inhabited garden sanctuaries. Walkways and bridges connect relaxation pavilions and pools to spacious living areas creating a sense of freedom and fluidity that wafts through the entire property — from the one bedroom villas to the expansive pool and cabana area.
Local craftsmen from Java and Bali designed the villas’ minimalist interior furniture and lighting fixtures using local materials, which eliminated the environmental impact of importing and transporting foreign materials while supporting local communities and artisan trades.
Rather than importing exotic flora that can disrupt the natural environment and demand a more frequent supply of water, local plants from the Bukit savannah ecosystem are raised in a nursery on site to encourage local bird and animal life. These plants have adapted to the dry savannah landscape by going dormant in the dry season and blooming when the rains arrive.
Alila Villas Uluwatu is the first resort in Indonesia to receive the highest level of certification from EarthCheck for Best Practice Building Planning and Design (BPDS) development. The certification was achieved through the application of environmentally sustainable design (ESD) measures, including water conservation with soaks and rain gardens, and a waste water management system using local plants from the savannah ecosystem; the deliberate use of sustainable/recycled, local materials; protection of the natural environment; and measured work practices throughout construction.
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*For more gorgeous photos, check out our essay on the less-explored eastern side of Bali.
*Our fabulous accommodations were sponsored by Alila Hotels and Resorts.