The island of Bali is a popular destination for private getaways and romantic sojourns. It is a welcoming cocktail of aquamarine waters, glorious sunsets, tropical landscapes, vibrant cultures and warm hospitality mixed with the allure of world-class resorts. The visitor's first step on the journey and discovery of the romance of luxury travel begins at the Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali.
Panoramic views of the Indian Ocean from the top of a 70 metre high cliff on the southern Ungasan peninsula, combine with a secluded 10 hectare natural forest to create a signature space for weary travellers to rejuvenate their bodies, minds and souls. Nestled within is a central bale of facilities serving the village of 73 luxury villas where every guest can experience a private infinity pool, spacious living quarters, landscape gardens and sea views. This sanctuary-style is distinctive of the accommodations managed and developed by Banyan Tree Group, an international hospitality brand headquartered in Singapore with over 30 resorts and hotels, more than 70 spas, 90 retail galleries and 3 golf courses.
Open since 2011, this clifftop development has received many accolades from guests and awards from local and international industry organizations. It was named Indonesia's Leading Luxury Villa based on nearly 60,000 votes cast by both professionals and selected consumers from across the world at the seventh annual Indonesia Travel and Tourism Awards. The resort was also crowned Bali's Leading Luxury Villa at the Bali Tourism Awards 2016/2017.
Here are the top reasons to make Banyan Tree Ungasan your sanctuary for the senses in Bali.
The villas are the talking point of Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali. So much so they have become a destination unto themselves for travellers seeking a romantic getaway or luxurious vacation. The secret to their popularity is in the design. At 403 square metres each, the one-bedroom pool villa with garden, sea or ocean view is more akin to a large residential abode. It is easily among the largest standard rooms in Bali.
The landscaping surrounds a bale with a round daybed and outdoor dining, jet pool with warm water functions and a 10-metre infinity pool, all of which allows you to enjoy an expanse of the Indian ocean as it stretches into the horizon.
The villa contains a separate living and dining area with a pantry, a bedroom that opens up to the infinity pool and a guest toilet. In addition to overall spaciousness of the pool villa, guests will also be impressed by the oversized bathroom, complete with indoor and outdoor showers, separate bath, his and hers vanity counters and generous wardrobe space.
In-villa comforts include daily turndown service, the signature Banyan Tree oil burner and incense, a pillow selection, BOSE Stereo System and complimentary wireless internet, daily mini-bar (non-alcoholic) and coffee and tea making facilities.
The resort's footprint is small compared to the likes of AYANA Resort & Spa Bali but there is a bigness incorporated into its overall design. This sense of space begins even as you enter the central pavilion with its expansive lobby and views of the Indian Ocean. It continues with you as you move through the resort grounds and onto the individual villas.
Just standing by the infinity pool accentuates the sense of space with the wide expanse of sky above and the waters reaching outwards to touch the ocean. This experience continues at the cliff-edge restaurant of Ju-Ma-Na with sky-meet-ocean views and tall ceilings.
Apart from the daily breakfast gathering, guests are generally dispersed throughout the resort, out exploring or enjoying time in their villas. The extensive landscaped grounds including the poolside set the scene for private moments by day and dusk. The sense of privacy is further perpetuated by the villa design.
Perched on the edge of a cliff surrounded by greenery prevents prying eyes from above and sides. Each villa is also designed as a self-contained space to facilitate enjoyment of ocean views and the private infinity pool. In addition service throughout the resort is friendly but not intrusive, offering guests their personal space and privacy.
While the resort enjoys proximity to the busy tourist areas of Kuta, Seminyak and Sanur, its surrounds provides a natural haven for guests seeking a private escape from the cacophony of towns and cities. The journey to the resort takes you into the hilly landscapes of Bukit Peninsula and a quieter side of Bali.
Even driving up towards the central pavilion, you get a sense of peace and quiet as busy streets are replaced by rows of green undergrowth and trees. A light scent of essential oil in the lobby calms the senses and the relaxed feeling continues in the villa with the spa music, scented oils and incense.
The Banyan Tree Spa Ungasan delivers a restful sanctuary through spa rituals and Indonesian remedies while the infinity pool offers a tranquil canvas that moves from baby blue by day to a pastel dusk, and scattered twinkles at night.
Epicurean dining heightens the romance of travel at Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali. The complimentary breakfast at Bambu is nothing short of gastronomic. A wide buffet selection of cold and hot items is paired with an unlimited a-la-carte menu of gourmet dishes.
In addition to the American breakfast elements, there are Indonesian dishes paired with steamed rice, Chinese soup noodles, roast duck and carvery of beef. The pastry selection is extensive and freshly squeezed juices, bottle sparkling and still water, and bubbly wine is free flowing.
Highlights of the a-la-carte menu are the scrambled eggs with truffle and lobster, foie gras congee, scallop fricassee and poached eggs, and beef patties and fried eggs. Every breakfast is an indulgence.
The a-la-carte and degustation adventure continues at Ju-Ma-Na, perched on a terrace with a dramatic Indian Ocean backdrop. The design of the space reflects its name, which means "white pearl" in Arabic. The restaurant's technically skilled kitchen creates French and Japanese-inspired cuisine that is a delicious monument to international culinary standards in Bali.
While the resort provides many trappings for guests, there are numerous daily activities available at the Guest Activity Centre including cooking classes, arts and craft, guided tours and walks. Its isolation provides access to interesting natural surroundings including the cliff and shore that are worth exploring.
The resort buggy takes you down the cliff's edge to a section where legs will carry you the rest of the way and onto the shore. The brief walk down concrete steps offers breath-taking views of aquamarine waters and coral formations.
At late afternoon, the tide recedes leaving numerous rock pools running parallel to the shoreline. They are filled with aquatic life including crabs, fishes, whelks and starfishes. The steep cliffs of bare rock can be accessed via the beach through clearly marked paths.
The impact of tourism and hospitality is weighted at the Head Office in favour of environmental sustainability and local communities. The belief is "we can do well and do good at the same time" and invites guests to get involved with the company's efforts. Here at Banyan Tree Ungasan Bali, guests can participate in the conservation of sea turtles. A Green Imperative Fund crowd sources micro-contributions from guests during their stay with every dollar matched by Banyan Tree to protect endangered turtles in the Indian Ocean.