Words Melinda Williams
Luxury brand Bvlgari’s second foray into hotels has resulted in resort that’s as much of a treasure as its signature diamond necklaces.
If there’s one thing Bvlgari understands, it’s jewels. For over a century, the Italian company was unwavering in its commitment to its core business – the creation of fabulous baubles for the wrist, throat and ear. But now, less than five years after the brand joined forces with the Ritz-Carlton luxury chain and diversified into the hotel business, Bvlgari is proving it also knows how to pick a jewel of a site and create a gem of a resort.
Perched on a headland above towering 160-metre cliffs, the Bvlgari Bali resort, which opened in October, is a stunning 59-villa complex that combines traditional Balinese materials and artifacts with clean, modern Italian style. The resort was designed by Milanese architects Antonio Citterio and Partners, and built using locally sourced materials – dark mahogany wood from Java, green subakumi stone for the outdoor showers and pools, ylang-ylang thatch, and butik, a white coral that transforms into slick black stone when wet. Modern elements of sleek Bangkiray wood and black terrazzo bathrooms play off against rice-barn walls and bamboo-beamed ceilings. Exquisite Balinese antiques decorate the resort and all the ceramics, plates and glasses were designed and produced exclusively for the resort by local artisans.
On the eastern side of the resort, the clifftop pool, bar and restaurant area step the glamour up a notch with bamboo cage lamps and daybeds ranged along the cliff where guests can recline and sip cocktails in the sun all day. Even the most anxious travellers to Bali can relax here – the resort is a 40-minute drive from the noise and bustle of the tourist-ridden Kuta and has its own private beach, accessible only by an elevator from the resort. A helicopter and vintage Harley Davidsons are available for guests to use to explore the island in real style. MW