There’s more to The Ungasan than Sundays Beach Club writes Ondy Sweeting – as she climbs above the sand to experience bespoke villa luxury.
There is something unique about a lush green and beautiful lawn set against an azure sea and a big blue sky.
The Ungasan Clifftop Resort is sprinkled across sprawling soft green grass and superb gardens on Bali’s wild Bukit peninsula. It’s a rare pleasure among the region’s spectacular coastal cliffs that plunge into the Indian Ocean to deliver dramatic panoramas.
Bright red flamboyant trees, glossy rubber plants, swaying coconut palms, bamboo and fragrant frangipani are interspersed throughout the manicured gardens that have pretty tropical borders and statement ponds brimming with deep purple lotus flowers.
The beautifully Balinese landscape has been carefully created and nurtured over many years and holds within it 35-rooms, including 10 suites set across seven villas. Each villa is individually designed and decorated to an utterly indulgent standard. Villa Tamarama, with its neo-colonial style, crisp white interiors and 28-metre pool, was named The Yak’s Best Villa 2016.
The five-bedroom Chintamani villa is open-air tropical opulence with the bedrooms cleverly placed to maximize privacy off a central Zen-style covered pathway enveloped by ponds. The villa has a private kitchen, bar, an open-style dining room for 12 people, two lounge areas – one upstairs overlooking the ocean and another by the long pool. This villa’s bedrooms deliver Bali bliss with private infinity plunge pools and private gardens creating a functional and gorgeous space that is ideal for groups for families who want to be together while ensuring a private escape is at hand.
The interiors are contemporary Indonesian-style with wood, stone, hand carved and mosquito netted four-poster beds and tribal motifs. Big windows, with delicate white linen curtains backed with separate moonlight blackout shades, frame the 180-degree ocean view. Step out of the door into a private lawn surrounded by flowering crimson bougainvillea and an infinity plunge pool.
The bathrooms are luxurious and spacious with a private shower and separate standalone bathtub, double sinks in a vanity stocked with perfumed toiletries plus a double dressing room.
Villa staff includes an excellent butler service, for who no request is too onerous. Breakfast can be taken in Selatan restaurant or delivered to the private dining room exactly at the hour requested and 24-hour in-room dining delivers juicy steaks and spinach and fresh Jimbaran fish dishes with a well-paired glass of wine. The In-Villa dining menu offers special dishes conforming to Keto, Paleo and Low Carb-High Protein diets as the norm.
The kitchens at The Ungasan source their produce locally where possible with an aim to maintain a ‘farm to plate’ practice. The resort has a program underway to reduce its carbon footprint and to reduce waste. The menu includes tasty pasta dishes with fresh seafood, Indonesian classics such as Nasi Goreng with all the trappings of sambal, rice crackers and fried egg and perfect poolside dining such as crisp pizza and cocktails.
A full barbeque can be arranged in the villas, which have private bars that will be stocked on request. It is little wonder that this resort is a popular destination for weddings, including Australia’s former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins whose opulent nuptials at the resort made international headlines.
Reception is an open Indonesian-style bale that catches the sea breeze and overlooks a pretty view across another delicate lawn to a central 28-metre blue infinity pool that is next to the resort’s Selatan restaurant and leads to Vela Spa. Watch the monkey’s playing on distant houses on the other side of a jungle ravine while the professional staff check you in. All they need is your passport to efficiently ensure that vacation formalities are minimized.
The Ungasan has plenty to do for the fit and athletic with a full size tennis court, a golf putting area, a children’s playground and an impressive gym fitted with free weights, strength machines, treadmills and stationary bikes overlooking the ocean.
A walk down the staircase to the inclinator to the famous Sundays Beach Club – which is part of The Ungasan – is exquisite for a morning stroll and a swim in the natural bay that is protected by an outer reef. Every day a Kids Club is set up on the sand at Sundays from 11-3pm so parents can get active with SUP boards, kayaks, snorkeling gear or simply chill and dine on wonderful food under an umbrella.
This is a fine destination to kick back with a fresh coconut – with an eco-friendly straw – and watch the world go by while soaking up the equatorial sun. Bring plenty of swimming costumes given the multiple pools and glorious beaches.