On a quiet weekend, after several weeks of traveling and just being busy, A & I decided to go away for one night to the Alila Villas Soori. The 45-villa hotel is located in Tabanan, in Bali’s southwest coast, a bit further than Tanah Lot temple. After a bit over an hour’s drive from Sanur, passing many rice fields and going deeper into the real Bali, we finally arrived at the hotel. The entry is an open-air pavilion framing the view of the crashing waves.
We checked into our Ocean Pool villa which is a one bedroom villa with both an indoor and outdoor living area and a private infinity pool which overlooks the ocean. Colors are muted – grays, beiges and blacks. Flat screen TVs and an apple TV filled with music and movies were also in our room. There was an indoor shower, an outdoor shower and a deep and wide marble bathtub made for two, as well as lots of closet space. Amenities included a trendy woven leather beach bag, raffia sun hats and his and hers toiletries – from the sun tan lotion to after-sun cooling gel, from soap to lotion. All the Alila-labeled bottles of different products were labeled his or hers – a personal touch not usually found in small hotels.
After unpacking our overnight bag, we walked the short distance to their main restaurant – Cotta. An open-air all-day dining restaurant, right by the main pool with a menu of both Indonesian and western dishes, we both settled for some local fare: Babi Kecap (braised pork ribs) for A and the Ayam Taliwang (grilled red-chili and spice rubbed chicken) for me with some iced teas. We then spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the villa’s outdoor living room, reading quietly and dipping our toes in the cold pool. Before sunset, we both had Balinese massages at their spa which was impressive – again with Alila-labelled massage oils and creams and a therapist who really knew what she was doing – unobtrusive but efficient.
For dinner that evening, American chef Ashton Hall prepared a five-course tasting menu for us at Coast, their open-air beach-front restaurant. There we were, a table for two on a torch-lit beach with just the waves and bats from the nearby cave to accompany us. Dinner was composed of different flavors: sliced beets and goat’s cheese tempura with red wine jelly followed by a foie gras mousse on a brioche with caramelized apples to start. For the fish course which was the best dish that evening, we had a soft and flavorful butter fish over sweet corn puree. The meat course came next, a melt-in-the-mouth braised beef in jus, oddly topped with sliced green apples and chili. For dessert, there was a light-green Pandan souffle and green apple sorbet (again the apples, perhaps that was the theme as three of the five courses had green apples on it). We finished dinner and walked back to our villa way before midnight.
The next day, we woke up late and had a leisurely breakfast at Cotta, where we had their “tasting-style” breakfast menu. We chose one dish from each section of the menu to compose our meal. I had a pot of French press Balinese coffee, a mango and yogurt smoothie, croissants with jam and butter, scrambled eggs and crispy bacon and finally, a pancake topped with fresh fruit – a hearty breakfast and perfect to jump start our lazy Sunday. We spent a few more hours in the villa, reading and then packing up to go back home. Sometimes, a short drive out and an overnight stay a deux is all one needs to recharge their batteries and get ready for the busy routine of daily life.
Banjar Dukuh, Desa Kelating
Bali, 82161, Indonesia
Telephone: +62 361 894 6388