Alila Soori Experience, West Bali

The beautiful Indonesian island of Bali is a paradise destination thanks to its fascinating history, art, culture and culinary wonders, but these highlights are all too often lost among the hustle and bustle of tourist strongholds (think Kuta and Denpasar). Secluded western Bali offers a different story: the stunning black-sand coastline – surrounded by acres of tropical jungle and studded with paddy fields – invites visitors to experience the island’s spirit and charm away from the crowds. Couple that with luxury eco-resort Alila Villas Soori’s exclusive new cultural journeys itineraries, and you’ll find an opportunity to discover a different side of the island.

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Gracefully planted within the lush green of Balinese rice terraces, on the island’s southwest coast, the Alila Villas Soori is the first luxury boutique resort in West Bali. Set just a few kilometers from the island’s renowned Tanah Lot Temple, the idyllic eco-friendly property resides on a gentle slope above a soft, black-sand beach along the enchanting, azure Indian Ocean. Each of the 48 exquisitely designed villas, ranging in capacity from one to ten bedrooms, offers the epitome of relaxing luxury and unadulterated privacy. Guests are invited to experience the equilibrium between tranquility and vitality by exploring Bali’s rich heritage with a trek or a cycling trip, a round of golf on the Greg Norman-designed course, or an afternoon of indulgence at Spa Alila, the zenith of this secluded sanctuary.

Sure enough, the natural landscape of the west is a sight to behold, with undulating, hilly terrain ranging from rugged grassy paths to dense jungle and dramatic-looking rock formations. The Alila Villas Soori resort isn’t exactly hard on the eyes either: the only all-pool residences in the region are situated right on a tropical beachfront, and boast a contemporary Asian architectural design that seamlessly blends the resort’s luxury interior with lush, outdoor surroundings.

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From navigating the winding paths leading to neighbouring villages on a Segway ride, to exploring the ornate western temple of Puri Anyar, Alila Villas Soori offers an endless array of fascinating journeys to encourage its guests to get out there, and get exploring. Highlights include the Journey of Balinese Knights, which teaches guests all about the island’s history with horses. After trekking up the coast to a near-by royal stable, guests will be given a history lesson, before taking the reins for a horse ride along the black sand beaches to the peninsula. Once there, they will be treated to a Champagne picnic while they watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean.

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Budding gourmands may also be particularly enamoured by the Journey of Culinary Delight. A personal chef will accompany guests to the vibrant traditional market of Kerambitan. There, they will scour the stalls of exotic fruits and colourful spices to pick ingredients for their very own Balinese dish that they will prepare back at the resort.

Bali is a great place to visit at this time of year, when the newly fertile island springs alive with greenery and festivities after months of rain. Go between April and September for guaranteed sunshine and low humidity.

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