Uluwatu has changed. The pristine beaches that first attracted surfers to the area are as beautiful as ever, the legendary waves still roll up to picturesque white sand beaches, and the limestone cliffs and perfect sunsets never fail to inspire with their natural beauty. Other things, however, have changed a lot. With some of the island’s most sophisticated new venues opening on the cliffs of Bali’s stunning southern peninsula, there are now more reasons than ever to head up the hill.
The island is on a fast track to join glamorous island destinations like Ibiza and Mykonos with ever more beautiful, and exclusive, beach clubs in Bali. The jet-set would be very happy here and the arrival of the occasional helicopter is a clear sign, that Bali is changing. From designer bikinis to glittering caftans, men in linen shorts and boardies straight out of GQ Magazine, Savaya, formerly known as Omnia is a game-changer for Bali.
The cliff-side club is the latest and the largest day club to open and the venue is every bit as stunning as the crowd. It is here that one of the world’s biggest hospitality groups, Hakkasan, has opened their first Indonesian property. And what a statement it makes. They are already big in Las Vegas, this is brand new and already making waves in Bali’s social life.
Blue and white are the colours that define the expansive club that follows the edges of the cliff with a sparkling horizon pool. Complete with VIP gazebos, private pools, day beds, and a bar that defies gravity, Savaya raises the bar for Uluwatu and Bali.
From the impressive entrance to the tiered lounge area that leads to the main pool deck, Savaya is chic, crisp and inviting. Here everything from the towels to the glassware, the service, the menus, the cocktails, and the food is polished and ready for guests.
The location, beside the Alila Uluwatu resort, on the cliffs of Pecatu, is breathtaking. The tiered lounge area offers shade from the sun as well as expansive views over the club. Smart looking day beds and sofas line the pool deck. A bridge leads to the main bar, which is suspended above the cliff. A large floating cube gives the bar its name.
The VIP area has its own private pool and is surrounded by luxurious gazebos that are perfect for entertaining a crowd. Central to it all is the DJ booth. Savaya’s line-up of international talent is bound to be a magnet for the switched on and the tuned-in, something the group is well known for internationally.
Besides a large selection of wine, champagne, beer and bespoke cocktails, Savaya offers a full menu of beachside classics alongside a delicious Japanese menu that offers a hint of what diners will find at Sake no Hana, the signature restaurant that overlooks the club.
Sake no Hana is a modern Japanese restaurant that has already won the hearts of some of the world’s toughest audiences. Their restaurant in Mayfair, London, hosts a discerning crowd daily and is highly recommended for lovers of Japanese food.
At Sake no Hana, a Japanese master chef has designed the menu, another Japanese chef oversees the daily menu. General manager, Christian, walks the floor like the professional he is, making suggestions from the menu that brings some of the world’s most beautiful ingredients to the table. From the creamy, fresh Hamachi sashimi dressed simply with freshly grated wasabi and a truffle ponzu dipping sauce, to incredible Alaskan king crab burnished with a chili gratin, this is a menu for celebrating.
Sake no Hana overlooks Savaya. The airy restaurant with high ceilings and an impressive main bar offers a cocktail menu that combines the flavours of Japan with local, tropical influences and a world of experience. Head mixologist, Charles, is on hand to shake up something special, advise and charm guests, while three sommeliers are on staff to oversee an impressive list of local and imported wines and sakes.
Like the very best hospitality operators, Savaya and Sake no Hana have a clear understanding of their market. Prices range from affordable to wow, so everyone can afford to visit. Children under 18 are not permitted, so parents are encouraged to hire a babysitter and take a day off.
Music is central to the Savaya experience. The group works with many of the top names in the entertainment business so expect a steady rotation of world-class DJs appearing on the schedule. The DJ booth is located at the centre of the club and the music system is designed to reach the farthest corners of the club. Rather than overwhelming, the music program is designed specifically with Savaya Bali in mind.
Savaya and its signature restaurant Sake no Hana are part of a growing number of stunning day clubs that have opened in Uluwatu, including Ulu Cliffhouse, Oneeighty at The Edge, Karma Beach, Sundays and El Kabron.
There are now more reasons than ever to climb that cliff and spend time on Bali’s amazing southern peninsula, known locally as The Bukit.
Photo credit: Savaya Bali