No wonder they call Bali the ‘Island of the Gods’ – this piece of paradise is guaranteed to charm every visitor to its shores. But forget the crowded tourist alcoves of Nusa Dua or Seminyak, as less than three hours away from the madding crowd, in the rural southwestern coastal village of Kerambitan, you’ll find this opulent holiday temple.
The Soori is a jewel in the crown of the Alila range and jewels really come to mind when you see lush, emerald-green paddy fields, black-diamond volcanic sands, and the sapphire-blue Indian Ocean.
From the moment we arrived we knew that this place was something out of the ordinary. Our first and lasting impression of the Soori was one of serenity, exclusivity, and privacy, with just the sound of crashing waves in the background.
Our home from home was a contemporary, sea-facing villa (one of 48 of various sizes) with private dipping pool, terrace, and our own little plot of beach. Architecturally, our contemporary villa didn’t immediately feel at one with its surroundings; it was only natural to have expected more local flavour. This said, it was perfectly appointed: beautifully decorated, with touches of Balinese art to remind us of where were, although the large picture of what seemed to be a witch-doctor ritual was slightly menacing,
But what truly made us feel welcome, aesthetics and service aside, was finding that our fabulous toiletries were all ‘his-and-his’ – a really, really nice touch. The Balinese are pretty gay-friendly compared to the rest of Indonesia. The only Hindu/Pagan island in a Muslim country, it has never really been an issue here: Hindus tend to have a live and let live attitude.
We really felt that we had the place to ourselves, but with the knowledge that our hosts were always waiting in the wings to cater to our every whim. Mainly recruited from the local community, they were attentive, interested, and simply charming.
Our best experience of this was two simply awe-inspiring Alila Journeys into the surrounding area with a local guide. The first was a temple-hopping adventure that took in the local village and spell-binding sea temples of Tanah Lot and Pura Batu Balong amongst many others. The second was a gaspingly beautiful morning out to see the magnificent, verdant rice terraces of Jati Luwih whilst learning something new about local agriculture. But the icing on the cake of these trips was our inspiring guide, a native of Kerambitan whose passion and pride for his homeland and desire to share it with the world was something that we’ll never forget.
The centrepiece of this property, however, is the magnificent spa. You can’t help but surrender to its pure bliss. It’s quite possibly the most stunning spa we have ever seen – like a shrine, lovingly built to honour the Balinese God of indulgence, this will blow your mind and perhaps even your wallet as you’ll want everything on the menu. From start to finish, our couples massage was a mind-melting experience, fusing Balinese techniques passed down through the generations with more contemporary therapies. Both masseurs worked in unison, delivering perfection in calming the mind, body, and spirit.