Tranquil beaches, luxury hideaways, spectacular panoramic views, powerful waves and sacred temples; Uluwatu is home to all of these things and more.
Uluwatu is located on the Bukit peninsula a raised limestone plateau which juts out from Bali’s mainland like a separate island sitting just barely attached to its southern-most tip. Now home to many of Bali’s finest five star hotels and private millionaire’s lairs, and fast becoming an Asian epicentre for luxury and style, the Bukit wasn’t always the toast of town – its limestone base makes it rugged, rocky and drier than the rest of tropical Bali, and it sat virtually untouched for centuries, serving merely as a hunting ground for royals and a place of banishment for undesirables.
The western shores of the Bukit have been a place of earnest pilgrimage since the days of the earliest surf travelers, after perfect waves were discovered near the Bukit’s sacred temple of Uluwatu in the ’70’s. Filmmakers who were captivated by Bali’s intoxicating combination of perfect waves and exotic mystique portrayed the area as heaven on earth and legions of surfers the world over responded by making inroads into the Bukit’s then-remote shores. Simple warungs and beach shacks sprung up to cater for these intrepid surfers, but this basic and rustic accommodation had limited appeal to those outside the surfing fraternity.
The Bukit is still a world-class surfing destination, but these days surf adventurers rub shoulders with the rich and famous.