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Wednesday 15 January 2014

A Bali resort ideal for surfers - or lovers

Sun-drenched Bali remains a firm favourite with Australian visitors: political issues aside. 
And for those who yearn for almost-deserted beaches, great surf breaks and a place away from the crowds, then Anantaru Uluwatu might fit the bill. 
It's not a resort for everyone, but if you really want to get away from it (there are no shops to stroll to, no shopfront massage joints just outside the gate), then you will almost certainly enjoy yourself. 
The setting, for one, is spectacular. 
Situated on a cliff-top terrace overlooking one of the island’s best surf beaches, the Anantara offers a range of hotel suites and villas with great views. 
It is located above Impossible Beach, aptly named for its surf, hard-to-access limestone cliffs and secret caves. 
The recently opened resort is close by several other Indian Ocean surf beaches and one of the island’s most ancient temples, which hosts nightly traditional dance performances. 
Enjoy great sunsets and solitude, treatments at the Anantara Spa and dine on Mediterranean cuisine, or poolside, but beware: there are several dozen steep steps to be negotiated in each direction en route from the main building to the pool - making the on-site gym superfluous. 
As stated, the property is isolated and transport options limited, making a car obligatory for anyone planning to stay more than a couple of days. 
That remoteness also has its pluses, however. Look out for the cheeky monkeys that often parade through the resort. 
Surfers can chose from Padang Padang, Impossible, Bingin and Uluwatu beaches and the resort is currently offering a three-day package in an ocean view suite including breakfasts for two, complimentary shuttle to three of the surf beaches, dinner or lunch twice for two; two 60-minute massages, sparkling wine and return airport transfers for $US999 plus taxes. 
Perfect for couples or lovers, the resort can arrange excursions including trips to local villages, or maybe lunch by a volcanic lake. Yoga and cooking classes are available on-site, or perhaps you'd prefer to go elephant trekking.
Even the entry level rooms boast Bose hi-fi home entertainment systems, plasma TVs and iPod docks - and there is a library with computers for guests to use.
The food is pretty good, too, with the choice of the Mediterranean-style dining (with some Indonesian specialties also available) high above the water at 360, casual food at the Splash Pool Cliff Dining Retreat, Japanese at SONO Teppenyaki, or in-room dining.  
There is also the delightful Anantara Spa with a wide selection of wellness and beauty treatments from charming practitioners. 
The views have that wow factor but service standards still need some attention - and anyone without full mobility should look elsewhere. 
Anantara Bali Uluwatu Resort and Spa. +62 361 895 7555.

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