From its humble beginnings as a casual chiringuito (a small no-frills beach bar to you), El Kabron has grown into one of Bali’s most sought-after cliff clubs … famous for its champagne parties, mind-blowing Mediterranean cuisine, and gorgeous turquoise pool overlooking the ocean.
The story began when two brothers left their native Spain in search of sublime surf and washed up on Bali’s shores. David and Jesus Iglesias soon came across a spectacular spot where the sunsets were superlative, so they built a small cabana to serve as a hangout spot for friends. Eventually they realised that Bali was missing an authentic Spanish spot, so they set about transforming the space into a chic restaurant and bar.
Today El Kabron offers three sophisticated and scenic areas to eat, drink and play. The chic dining room with its lengthy bar is the perfect venue for a romantic dinner or group gathering. The Cliff Club is home to the iconic pool and curved sun loungers that face the rolling surf, and the VIP balcony boasts an exclusive bar and soft sofas built into the side of the cliff.
The menu at El Kabron is authentically Spanish with a mouthwatering selection of tapas, croquetas, paellas and imported meats and cheeses. Start with small plates like the Spanish cured Ibérico ham croquettes and smoked codfish carpaccio before moving onto something more substantial like the traditional oven cooked seafood rice with ample portions of prawns, mussels, clams and squid. A carefully curated wine list complements the cuisine.
Never ones to rest on their laurels, the Iglesias brothers always seem to have something in the works at El Kabron whether it be sunset live music sessions with world-class musicians, chic fashion shows, Moët & Chandon champagne shower parties, or even new additions to the space. In fact, a little bird told us that there will soon be a second pool available just for adults.
New to the Bukit’s cliff top scene is OMNIA, a dynamite dayclub brought to us by the Hakkasan Group. This is the sister venue to OMNIA Nightclub in Las Vegas and every bit as spectacular; perhaps more so given its scenic location atop the surf-battered cliffs of Uluwatu.
No attention to detail went unnoticed in designing the space, as eco-architectural firm WOHA and the Rockwell Group took great lengths to ensure that OMNIA and the adjoining Sake no Hana restaurant blend into the natural surroundings and maximise the panoramic views.
Step through the reception and you find yourself surrounded by a massive wooden lattice that houses upscale Japanese dining destination Sake no Hana upstairs and a lounge downstairs. Make your way to the front and the space opens up to a stunning al fresco dayclub done up in hues of cobalt and cream.
At the centre a free-form infinity pool merges with the blues of the sky and sea. Sun worshippers sprawl on oversized sun loungers and revellers get down on the open-air dance floor to the DJ’s beats. Others take respite from the heat in curtained bungalows with private plunge pools or in the comfort of VIP cabanas nestled behind the DJ booth.
Then there is the Cube, a jaw-dropping bar and sundeck that juts out over the edge of the cliff. Accessed via a wooden bridge over the infinity pool, this hovering bar is the best seat in the house for unrivalled views of the rugged cliffs, the beach far below, and the ocean spreading out in front of you.
Acrophobes may want to avert their eyes at oneeighty, a lofty cliff club that sprawls along the edge of a sheer 500-foot drop along Bali’s southernmost coast. Located within The Edge estate – an exclusive enclave of luxury villas in Pecatu – oneeighty offers panoramic views of jungle-covered cliffs and the Indian Ocean from nearly every direction you turn.
As if the jaw-dropping views weren’t spectacular enough, oneeighty also boasts what is arguably Bali’s most breathtaking pool, a gravity-defying body of water that extends six metres over the edge of the cliff and has a glass bottom section where fearless swimmers can peer down at the waves crashing into the shore hundreds of feet below.
When not inducing vertigo in the infinity pool, guests can cool off in the second free-form pool, soak up the sun on the VIP deck, recline under a palm tree at the sand lounge, sip on craft cocktails and champers at the rooftop bar, or snack on elevated beachside fare either al fresco next to the edge of the cliff or in the covered restaurant and bar.
The man behind the menu is chef Nyoman Suasa, whose previous position was sous chef at The Beverly Wilshire on Rodeo Drive. His innovative dishes include refreshing starters like ceviche with yellowfin tuna marinated in kaffir lime, chilli, lemon basil and virgin coconut oil, Indonesian classics like Lombok-style grilled duck with smoked chilli, and decadent Western bites like the wagyu burger with foie gras, bacon and cheese.
The beverage list is just as impressive with an enticing selection of fruit-forward cocktails, energy boosting juices, and premium spirits. Reds, rosés, bubbles and whites come by way of the award-winning cellar manned by head sommelier Nyoman Suwinda, who was named Bali’s Best Sommelier 2016 by Wine Spectator.
Equal parts elegant and irreverent, party central and a sweet place to chill, Ulu Cliffhouse is many things rolled into one. Perched on a plateau high above the legendary Uluwatu swells, this fabulous 50,000-square-foot cliff top playground draws sun worshippers, surfers, and style mavens from far and wide.
Designed by award-winning Shed London, the space features manicured lawns and a glittering 25-metre infinity pool surrounded by plush sun loungers. On either side of the pool you have sleek shaded areas with fully stocked bars and ample seating on cushioned benches and rattan chairs. Head towards the edge of the cliff and you have a sun-soaked lounge area with sweeping views of the ocean.
Also at the edge of the cliff is a set of wooden stairs that winds down the face of the cliff to a secret hideaway known as The Ocean Deck. This sea-facing bar can seat up to 100 people and offers tiki-style cocktails, incredible views of surfers riding the waves, and access to the bar’s own private cove below.
Ulu’s kitchen is helmed by Peruvian chef Diego Muñoz whose culinary creations include light bites like fresh ceviche, crab bruschetta and duck rillettes. Heartier fare includes the roasted red snapper, lamb skewers, and braised octopus. Behind the bars mixologists shake, stir and pour everything from cold-pressed juices to kombucha, cheeky cocktails and fine wines.
Music is another important element of the Ulu Cliffhouse experience, so you’ll find an in-house studio and a rotating roster of local and international DJs hitting the decks every day. And in keeping with its surf haven locale, there is also an in-house surfboard shaper to help you fine-tune your ride.