Jumeirah Bali: Ultimate Luxury in Uluwatu & Best Villa in Bali

April 14, 2023laurenslighthouse

It’s been a couple of years in the waiting but Jumeirah Bali has finally been able to open its doors to welcome guests from all over. We had the opportunity to stay at this incredible property before its grand opening and are excited to show you around Jumeirah’s first and only resort in Indonesia.

The Jumeirah brand is known for taking luxury to a new level, one that gives some sense of royalty. It’s no surprise given that the Emirati state owns the luxury hotel chain, and royalty is what they are. Building their first and only property in Bali, Jumeirah made the effort to connect their style and brand with the strong culture of the Majapahit era, the greatest and most powerful empire in the history of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Bringing back the imperial architecture, palettes, landscaping and cultural expressions while using Jumeirah’s know-how in modern opulence, Jumeirah Bali is as luxurious as it gets.

The property feels like an incredible kingdom village on a remote part of the island. Buggy rides or walks along the cobblestone paths or through lush walkways gives a sense of exclusivity on this sea cliff in Uluwatu, one of Bali’s most beautiful areas to stay in. Even though it sits right above the public Dreamland Beach, the resort feels very peaceful and quiet, particularly because Dreamland Beach isn’t as easily accessible as many of the other shores in Bali.

The most standard room on this all-villa resort boasts an expansive 210 sqm footprint overlooking a stunning view and has its own private pool. You know you’re living it up if you choose Jumeirah Bali for your vacation.

Arrival and Check-In

We were immediately greeted once we rolled up to the grand entrance of the resort and politely ushered to have a seat while the kind bellhops swiftly took care of our baggage and luggage tags. We were provided a welcome drink that was quite sweet and tasted like a strawberry grenadine. Not the welcome drink I was expecting at a Jumeirah in Bali but it was still refreshing!

We honestly loved relaxing on the contemporary couches with an entirely unobstructed view to the sea and the fresh breeze you get in Uluwatu. We didn’t mind that we weren’t rushed through the check-in process and shepherded to our villas just yet so that we could take in these peaceful moments.

While we were seated, we were shown our itinerary that we would have throughout our stay which included our dining reservations, a scheduled activity and some complimentary guest activities we could join in on optionally. We were then introduced to our butler Indah who was super welcoming. She walked us over to the electric buggy and we were off on a quick tour around the massive property.

With the resort being a villa-only property, it spreads across over 30 acres of land on the Bukit Peninsula of Bali’s southwestern shoreline. Indah drove us down the winding cobblestone driving paths passing different villas along the way, and she showed us the depths to which Jumeirah Bali brings out architecture and landscaping inspired from the Majapahit Empire, one of the oldest and most powerful empires in the history of Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Indah proceeded to give us the lay of the land and a visual picture of what we saw on the property’s map earlier during check-in.

Sunset Villa with Private Pool

After an enlightening joyride through the resort, we headed to our own villa – the Sunset Villa with Private Pool – where Indah gave us a tour as well before leaving us to be. It. Is. HUGE! It felt more like a house than a resort villa. Even the entrance was stunning with stone steps leading to the massive intricate blue door with well groomed shrubs on the sides.

The villa spreads across 210 sqm with half of it dedicated to a living area and the other half to the private bedroom. Once we entered, we were greeted with the highest vaulted ceilings and full glass windows at the end of the living room from which we could see the outdoor terrace and further out to the Bali Sea.

Right beside the door was a touchscreen control panel for your villa. With the click of a button, you can set your desired temperature, open or close your window shades, turn on or off your main lights that are out of reach and even set your privacy controls to let housekeeping know when you need privacy or your villa made up.

On one side of the entryway was a powder room which is perfect if you’re welcoming guests in your villa who need to freshen up. The bathroom was stunning with modern fixtures and new technology for the toilet’s bidet. I have to say that I do love being able to control everything with the press of a button. No need to touch the lid, seat, or the tank to flush – all can be controlled by the panel on the wall.

Across the entryway opposite the bathroom was a coffee bar situated within its own room. Stunning cupboards with glass panels housed a premium selection of teas, coffee pods and all the coffee necessities above a bar sink and a premium coffee capsule machine and kettle. I do have to admit that this was the most unique coffee and tea set up we’ve had at a resort and loved the appliances and tea brands Jumeirah provided for us.

We could easily enjoy our cup of tea or coffee on the large work desk or in the wide living room while watching something on the massive flatscreen smart TV. The Jumeirah management team gave us a bowl of welcome fruit and Indonesian kueh cakes to enjoy upon our arrival at the coffee table along with a nice handwritten note. The seating was so comfortable that I almost fell asleep on the wide couch after digging into some of those welcome sweets.

The massive cabinet that sits across the work desk encloses storage compartments for your miscellaneous belongings as well as the entire minibar. It was incredibly abundant and the mini-fridge fit our leftover takeaway baggies when we were too stuffed to finish dinner.

On the other side of the wall where the TV lies is where you’ll find your ensuite king bedroom. Conveniently, singular sliding doors are situated on both sides of the TV wall to access the bedroom and for privacy from the living room.

The unique wall patterns and textures against the white wood finish in the living room are continually displayed in the bedroom as well, contrasting against the dark furniture and complementing the light coloured upholstery. Yet another high vaulted ceiling towers over the bedroom, making it seem even larger than it is, and a flatscreen TV identical to the one in the living room is perched on the bedroom side of the wall separating the two rooms.

My favourite part about the bedroom is the wide bay window seat that spreads across the bedroom window to fit two people facing each other. It’s quite a romantic enclave to enjoy a morning coffee or tea – with all the premium options they provide in the coffee bar, you might as well enjoy one – or enjoy some light reading as natural light pours in.

The soft king size bed was a dream to sleep in. It was extremely convenient having the all the outlets we needed right in our night table, and hidden within a flush flap on the inner night table are all the controls to open and close the electrical curtains, turn on/off DND and master lights. Ah the added luxury of not having to leave the bed to do so!

The bedroom opens up to a gorgeous bathroom with a standalone bathtub in the centre of the room. You know I didn’t wait long to turn on the hot water and pour in some of the provided bath salts for a warm soak! On both sides of the bathtub are the his and hers separate wardrobes. One wardrobe a smaller set of both outdoor branded flip flops and soft indoor slippers, while the other housed a slightly larger size. There was also a large weaved beach tote bag and two beach hats that were provided for us during our stay which we could take home with us as well, and the bathrobes also hung in the armoires.

Beside my wardrobe was a cute and classic vanity and beside my hubby’s wardrobe was a large dresser in which was housed the safe. So much closet space for just the two of us! If you’re someone who travels with tons of outfits to change into, this is the place for you because of how much room there is to stow your clothes.

Behind the bathtub is situated the double vanity with individual mirror and lighting for each of the two sinks. The mirror doesn’t cover the full frame because you can actually see beyond the glass pane behind them into your own outdoor garden terrace. I was pleasantly surprised to see the toiletries and bathroom amenities Jumeirah provided for our use that were found in the beautiful wooden box on the countertop. A full travel-sized Gillette shaving cream, toothbrushes, a comb, hair accessories and so much more! They didn’t cheap out on these, much like how they provided Balian water bottles as our complimentary in-room drinking water.

On the one side of the vanity is the toilet enclave with a privacy door – this toilet also boasts all the electronic features and bidet functions as the one in the powder room! On the other side is the massive rainwater shower. From here, you can walk out via a glass door into the garden terrace where there’s an outdoor shower that draws inspiration from Javanese architecture.

Heading back out to the other side of the bedroom and living room, we can walk out the two glass doors from either rooms out to the expansive sundeck. The Sunset Villa boasts a large plunge pool, a sheltered cabana with a sun bed, two sun loungers – a single and a double to get cozy with a partner -, an outdoor coffee table, and a vast parasol. We had a gorgeous little garden on both sides with a beautiful traditional mural that separated our villa on one side, and there’s a Javanese style statue that serves as a water fountain spout for the pool! It automatically shuts on at 8am and off at 9pm, so you don’t have to worry about the noise during the night.

Facing out towards the ocean, the Sunset Villa in all honesty doesn’t have the most privacy. You’ll be looking out to the sea, yes, but to the neighbours below as well. You can see them getting into their villa’s front door while they can see you taking a dip in the pool. It really didn’t matter to us and we loved our villa regardless, but it’s something to keep in mind if you book this room type!

Jumeirah Bali Dining

The resort has two dining options onsite: Segaran for more casual dining (though it was still more fine dining in our books) and where breakfast is hosted, and Akasa which opens for dinner for an even classier experience.

Segaran Dining Terrace

With our stay, daily breakfast was included in the package and was hosted at the Segaran Dining Terrace. We also enjoyed a romantic dinner during our stay at Jumeirah which was held here as well.

“Segaran” originates from the Javanese word for “sea”, “segara”. It suits the dining spot well with its view overlooking the sea.

Segaran Breakfast

During breakfast, they have a well-rounded buffet selection found in the indoor dining area that is self-serve. But in actual fact, the staff are always there to assist you in plating or making things to order that they can then bring to your table.

At the juice and fruit station, they would make freshly pressed juices and smoothies on demand, and at the fresh noodle station, they always had a chef taking your customized order. In the centre of the buffet area, you can find the fresh bread corner, the salad bar, pastry selections, cereals, yogurts and even a full row of various nuts in jars.

But the best part was that the restaurant offers a huge selection on their à la carte menu already. They call Segaran’s breakfast “semi-buffet” but honestly, you could indulge yourself completely just by ordering off their menu.

Might I add, the dishes are exquisite. They have a list of daily chef’s choices for breakfast sets, main dishes, drinks and more that change every day. My husband was eager to order one of the breakfast sets as that’s something he loves to dine on for his first meal of the day. Breakfast sets are always filling, have great nutritional value and variety and give us a taste of what a typical authentic breakfast might look like in the destination we find ourselves in!

They had a lovely “healthy bowl” section as well if you wanted something light like a chia seed pudding topped with grains and fruit, or a smoothie bowl topped with granola. And their bubur ayam (Indonesian rice porridge) was one of the best I’ve had throughout our time in Bali. On a morning I wasn’t feeling well, our server Ricky gave me suggestions on what I could eat and drink that wasn’t necessarily on the menu, then brought me a lovely tea set filled with fresh ginger and lemon tea as well as a lighter version of their bubur ayam.

Segaran’s fruit platters were so good with mangosteen, rambutan, passionfruit and more tropical fruits, and we could either order them at the fruit station or from our table. The latte art was also top notch and I loved that they sprinkled the Jumeirah logo onto our cappuccinos!

Segaran Dinner

Dinner at Segaran hit the spot as well! Ricky was once again our server – he’s the best! We sat indoors as it was raining and it was a quiet setting with the ocean still in view. The team rolled out with some delightful rice crisps and crackers along with three delicious sambals for dip. A cold refresher was also served shortly after we were seated. It was such a tasty citrus drink with honey and ginger and I wish I kept note of the Balinese name of it. Definitely a nice palette cleanser before our meal.

For starters, we ordered the Coconut & Crab Laksa with a side of crab crackers, and a surprisingly delicious roasted carrot hummus with pita bread. I couldn’t get enough of it!

For our mains, my husband had temporary narrow vision and could only see the Wagyu Beef Cheek “Rendang”, served on a bed of smokey mashed potatoes. It was hearty and rich, with all the true Indonesian flavours oozing out for a mouthwatering meal. I kept it simple as I was still recovering and ordered the Nasi Goreng served with chicken satay, a fried egg, fried shallots, sambal and shrimp crackers. It was definitely the best nasi goreng I’ve had yet.

We had to finish with a classic Indonesian dessert made with thin coconut pancake wrapped around a filling of shredded coconut and palm sugar. This traditional kue is called Dadar Gulung. The pancake has an iconic eye-catching bright green colour from an infusion of pandan leaf which boasts even more of a coconut vanilla flavour. It’s such a delectable dessert and was a great way for us to end our dinner at Segaran Dining Terrace.

Maja Sunset Lounge

We had the pleasure of checking out the stunning Maja Sunset Lounge and Bar when the indoor tables of Segaran were taken by the time we were having breakfast. Our host was kind enough to set up a table for us in the lounge and we had the whole place to ourselves for a peaceful meal. We really appreciated the servers making the walk from the Segaran kitchen to the Maja lounge during some heavy rain in order for us to enjoy our breakfast to the utmost.

It definitely makes a great place to enjoy some drinks during the evening with some light snacks, though we didn’t have the opportunity to do so during our stay!

Jumeirah Bali Guest Activities

Morning Workouts

The resort offers complimentary guest activities daily, including a morning workout class which we had the pleasure to join in on. The instructor Paula is an absolute gem and was incredibly encouraging during the invigorating bodyweight cardio workout that we participated in. When the weather is nice, the workout is held outdoors just below the grand stairs going down from the lobby. When weather doesn’t cooperate, the session is held indoors at the spa.

The spa is stunning from what we saw in its welcome area, though we didn’t indulge in a treatment so I can’t speak on the service. During the workout though, it would’ve been nice to have proper yoga mats provided as opposed to a simple medium-sized beach towel to sprawl on the hard stone ground. We also weren’t provided waters from the beginning so I had to walk back to the spa to grab some for us. A more intimate pavilion would be lovely to perform the workout as opposed to the more public and undefined space we were stationed.

Batik Painting Class

Jumeirah also provides other guest activities that aren’t complimentary but that guests can choose to book, such as a private Batik painting class we took. It was lovely and lots of fun being able to learn how to trace our designs on the fabric with the melting hot wax, appreciating this incredibly hard and traditional skill that continues to prevail in Indonesia.

But again, we were placed in an awkward space tucked behind the grand staircase seated on pillows which made it difficult for us to freely practice this new skill as we had to uncomfortably hold our paintings in one hand. The tools provided were also a bit faulty which caused some mess ups, and we ended up using acrylic paint instead of water colours which was strange and not at all meant for Batik painting.

Our finished paintings were then dried that evening without removing the wax (which goes against the whole point of Batik painting?) and they were folded and placed in narrow envelopes instead of being displayed in a square paper frame. As a paid activity, I must admit I expected there to be a better way to pay tribute to this beautiful art form, in order to show guests how Batik painting is actually meant to be and not offhandedly offer it without a constructive system in place. Regardless, we were grateful for the time we spent doing the activity and my husband was unexpectedly very content with how fun it was!

Jumeirah Bali Amenities

Swimming Pool

There’s only one pool on property situated steps away from the Segaran restaurant and with a view of the Akasa restaurant. The three-level swimming pool stands on the cliff over Dreamland Beach and each level has its own infinity’s edge that could see out to the sea. The shape of the pool is unique, especially seen from the sky, with the top section having a little shrub island in the middle. The bottom section is separated from the other two levels and is in fact a shallow kids’ pool.

Adjacent to the little pool is the stone stairway that leads down to the public Dreamland Beach. A security guard is stationed at the gate at the top of the stairs but guests can freely come in and out if they want some beach time! Currently, Dreamland Beach is completely open to the public and no Jumeirah beach chairs are located there. I personally enjoy that this section is left to nature, as are all the shores of Bali.

When you come back up from the beach, there are a couple of rinsing stations with traditional spout designs that you can utilize before heading back into the pool or back to your villa. I personally loved how quiet the main pool was, as most folks spend their time in their own private pools. It was nice having the area to ourselves most times, and the pool staff are stellar. They hand you two towels, unless you request otherwise: one to dress the sun lounger and one with which to dry yourself off. On a hot day, they’ll come around with some fresh fruit cubes on a skewer which is always a nice touch at the pool.

Jumeirah Bali Service

I wouldn’t say service blew us out of the water at this resort for the caliber that it is and the price tag that it comes with. Given that it’s a newer property that hasn’t yet had its grand opening, we could understand why the flow and communication wasn’t quite on par with Jumeirah’s competitors. This was more noticeable during check-in and for the butler service (or lack of) that the resort boasts about.

What we did appreciate about the butler service was that we could directly communicate with the team over WhatsApp and they were very responsive. This was primarily used for calling for the buggy service for a ride if we needed one. But when it came to a personalized butler service, in which you had your own dedicated butler during your stay whom you got to know, there wasn’t such a thing at Jumeirah. So far, no place has quite mastered butler service like the St. Regis, especially the St. Regis Abu Dhabi!

Though some parts of Jumeirah Bali’s hospitality missed the mark, all the staff we interacted with at the restaurant and at the pool went above and beyond! We won’t forget their genuine attentiveness and desire to take initiative. Whether it was making sure they put an extra bit of love into making a fruit platter that’s not on the menu so that we could try more native Indonesian fruits, or ensuring our pool lounge chairs were properly dressed with the cover towels before we even needed to ask. Th service staff was always perceptive and we truly appreciated it.

We’ve now stayed at a number of high-end resorts in Asia, notably in Bali, and Jumeirah Bali takes the cake for the most gorgeous villa. They have some ways to go in terms of appealing to a personal side of hospitality, but our interactions with the service members was still what we would expect from the Jumeirah brand. The food was also exquisite and I only wish I could have indulged in more! Segaran did well to bring authentic Indonesian flavours and palettes to the table.

Want to take a closer look with more visuals of our experience staying at Jumeirah Bali? Be sure to watch our vlog!

This post is written in partnership with Jumeirah Bali after a PR stay. It goes without saying that all opinions are my own!

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