One night at Rock n Reef, Uluwatu

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Uluwatu was a part of Bali I’d not explored until recently so  I thought it was worth a visit this time around. Known for its stunning cliffsides, I knew I wanted to spend some time at one of the beach front hotels there although adamant I wanted somewhere that wasn’t a big resort; something small, unique, boutique. I ended up using Google Maps to see what lined the beach and soon came across Rock n Reef. It ticked all my boxes.

As I learned from my BBQ on the beach a couple of days prior, getting from the top, down to the beach in Uluwatu is no easy feat. The paths are steep and rocky, often leading through abandoned sites with no idea where they are going to end up. I had to trust Google Maps more than once this trip, but as I got closer to the beach and passed through a small door, suddenly I found myself in the safe haven of the reception area. And relax.

I had booked a room called "Sunset," and it was perfect. Open plan with a bed on one side and an open stone shower on the other. I unbolted the doors and swung them both wide open onto the balcony overlooking the ocean. It had a straw roof and a hammock and was pretty magical. 

As soon as I walked in, I knew I wanted to stay an extra night, but of course, it was fully booked; unsurprisingly so. 

After a couple of hours listening to the waves from the hammock, I started getting hungry so headed downstairs and grabbed a sunbed as the evening drew in. There were only three or four beds, and they were all empty so I had the area to myself. 

I actually wasn’t planning to eat there, but there was no way I was going to bother with the stairs more often than absolutely necessary, so I ordered a plate of fried rice (and dessert, of course) and dined at what felt like my own private, beachside restaurant.
I retreated to my room just in time to shoot some golden hour content before settling in to watch the sunset from the hammock. Very pleased I'd chose the sunset room over the sunrise one, the sky turned orange as the day faded into night.

Once it got dark, I laid inside with the doors open, listening to the sound of the waves until I fell asleep.

I woke up early the next day as the morning light flooded in. After spending most of the morning lazing around on the hammock, I got up for breakfast served on the balcony. A very nostalgic banana pancake circa 2017 baby backpacking Georgina, accompanied by tropical fruits and honey, tea and fresh pineapple juice.

With the tide out for a couple of hours, I grabbed my chance to take a walk alone the private beach. It was totally empty apart from one woman selling bracelets who I couldn't say no to. I finished my exploring with just enough time to shower off the sand and take one last hour in the hammock.

After checking out, I was planning to hang around in the communal area for a little bit longer, but the idea of tackling the stairs again was playing on my mind so I couldn't relax and ended up heading out for lunch pretty soon after. Despite that, I would 100% recommend this amazing hotel. It provided me with such a special experience, that I will never forget.
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