Sarah Douglas rejuvenates at Six Senses Uluwatu.
It is a challenge to avoid sounding like a raving lunatic when reviewing the new Six Senses, Uluwatu, but I will try to exercise restraint. To say it’s wow from the get-go is possibly understating things. If there is a better place for a woman on Day Four of a fitness challenge, I can’t imagine where that might be.
First impressions count for a lot and this one doesn’t disapoint. A lofty ledge overlooks vast sea and sky views, some easy chairs and an aged wood table serving as reception are a reminder that simple can be very sophisticated.
As in the very best resorts the hospitality is generous. The staff speak to you in conversational voice, the resort manager says hello, and offers to extend your wellness package. The buggy driver tells you to hang on, “I’m going to go fast,” then assures you he is joking.
My home for the night was a one bedroom cliff top villa. It’s beutifully decorated, with an enormous bed dressed with crisp white sheets, pale grey linen-covered sofas and touches of blue and green to echo the sea. Thoughtfully chosen books, a cookie jar with raw brownies (including the recipe) and a fresh juice made with fennel, celery, green apple and spirulina, excellent coffee and tea and perfectly placed charger plugs and a blue tooth speaker speak volumes about the service here.
The bathroom boasts a free standing bath, long dressing table, spacious wardrobes, soft lighting and an endlessly entertaining hi-tech toilet. It whooshed open every time I got close and had more functional buttons than the TV.
Glass doors frame the wide terrace and the panormamic ocean views beyond your private pool. This is the moment you start calling all your friends and posting Insta stories joking that you wish they were here. Before long piano concertos were floating on the breeze, with a beautiful vanilla-scented green tea, I proceeded to put my feet up and chill out.
A discreet knock on the door revealed Jenny, my butler of sorts. Butler types can vary from overzealous to annoying, occasionally you meet one like Jenny who is genuinely warm, generous and funny. I loved her. Later she escorted me to dinner, gave me a quick tour and made sure I was happy with my table at the restaurant.
There is a promenade sort of feeling along the cliff front, home to two restaurants, the horizon pools, the fitness centre and spa. A second lobby organises the coming and going of buggies and directs guests to the restaurants. A few guests linger in the pool enjoying the fading light, while others line up for photos in the ‘Cinema Paradiso’ frame. Tables are scattered outside both restaurants (Rocka and Crudo) while the interiors glow with warm lighting.
I chose to have dinner at Crudo, on the terrace overlooking the resort promendade and enjoying the sea breeze. A fresh himachi sashimi, an heirloom tomato salad and a simple grilled red snapper. The food was delicious . . . I was happy to eat it and head back for a relaxing bath in my beautiful bathroom.
Day 2. A slight tremor in the night and a downpour kept me in bed late, watching the sun rise over the ocean and enjoying the deliriously big bed. By 9am, I headed to breakfast, ready for a hectic schedule of wellness screenings and spa treatments before check out. The clifftop Rocka is the second clifftop restaurant, offering all day dining. Every meal served in the resort addresses myriad health dietary considerations and each dish is labelled GF, V, DF, Lo Carb etc. Some guests have their diets prescribed, based on their wellness screening, but it is absolutely optional.
Breakfast was bountiful, they really go the extra mile. Jenny arrived to sort out my spa and wellness schedule and escort me over. I have to give Six Senses 11/10 for their staff, they have a very nice way about them.
The Spa. Wellness screening is part of the Six Senses philosophy at all their resorts, with many guests checking in for luxury retreats and signature programs that include sleep studies, detox, yoga and fitness programs and more. Ivan, the wellness coach, has a high tech wellness check that he puts his guests through. He checked the diet I was on, agreed I needed to take off weight, improve my cardio fitness, watch my low blood pressure, sluggish digestion and circulation. Overall, I had some minor adjustments to make and my heart is in great shape.
My prescribed spa treatment was a tension relieving massage with extra attention to my feet. I was introduced to Juno, the tiniest masseuse ever. And a powerhouse. She went to work on the neck, shoulders and back with gusto. Silicon cups were then applied to stimulate the nerves and relieve tension, it was occasionally painful but she found every knot. Then she headed down to the feet, ouch. As she worked I could feel my digestive system waking up.
The spa and fitness centre go right to the heart of Six Senses’ philosophy, and had I stayed longer I would have indulged in gravity yoga classes, morning meditation and the sleep study. And more massages. Absolutely.
Back at the villa, I had time for a swim, a shower and a final check of my bag. I decided to take up the offer of lunch and I am so glad I did. No menu this time, instead the chefs took it upon themselves to create something based on my keto diet. The first dish was a cucumber gazpacho poured over a tangle of prawns, finely diced tomato and cucumber and herbs. Black garlic spiked the incredibly tasty broth and the chef informed me this would be great for my low blood pressure. Someone has obviously been comparing notes, yet another thing that is so impressive about this resort; each guest is an individual and the more the staff learn about you, the more tailored your experience will be, without you saying a word.
Following this was a beautiful piece of sashimi grade tuna, rolled in sesame seeds and seared. Sliced, it sat on a warm, comforting pea purée and grilled avocado. Finely sliced kale, sautéed with sesame added both flavour and texture (take note kale haters, it was actually delicious), beside a punchy, garlicky salsa verde. The message was clear, you want flavour? We deliver.
Parting from this place is difficult but check out time had extended and as I wove back up the winding cliff paths with my entertaining buggy driver, the sea and the sky followed me all the way to the top. I guess it goes without saying that I would absolutely recommend this experience and I suggest, if nothing else, you book in for a wellness screening, as it does create a shift in the most subtle and luxurious ways. All Six Senses were on high alert as I reluctantly headed for home.