It was with great sadness that we said goodbye to Ubud and Payangan Hideaway. Our holiday started off with such a big bang, we hoped it would continue in this same vein. We stopped by a couple of places to soak up the beautiful Ubud ambiance and way of life before heading out the our next destination, the Karma Kandara on Ungasan, Uluwatu.
Say a little prayer for you..
The wise lady of Ubud
Part Two of Our Journey Brings us to Uluwatu..
Dramatically handsome, this classic luxury resort is built into the cliffs overlooking an unspoiled coastline. Karma Kandara Resort is a Bali holiday resort occupying a spectacular cliff top high above the Indian Ocean at the farthest extremes of an elevated limestone peninsula at Bali’s southernmost tip.
Ah, after 1 and a half hours of driving, we had finally arrived at our next destination!
Perfect View – Karma Resort built on a cliff, overlooks the ocean
Down to the Private Beach
The Bali resort is just 20 minutes from Ngurah Rai international airport. The property features a wide choice of luxury Bali villas and accompanying amenities such as beautifully landscaped bridges, stone walkways and little paths that meander through vivid tropical gardens. These connect 46 expansive private beach villa residences and we had the joy of staying in one of them. The Villas are all huge and allow 6 persons to stay comfortably as it has 3 huge bedrooms, a massive living room, kitchen, a washing area, a laundry area, outdoor showers, plus a private swimming pool.
The colorful entrances to your own Private Villa.. so gorgeous!
The private Villa with 3 bedrooms, private swimming pool, outdoor and indoor bathrooms
sunbathing in the privacy of your own quarters
The Living Room and Dining Area
Night view from outside
The Karma Kandara is open, elegant, and very island-styled, making it one of the nicest mega-resorts that we have visited so far. Wondering along its grounds, we reach the super cool restaurant known as the di Mare, where Chef Steven Grande from the U.S. heads the kitchen. He tells me that his kitchen utilizes only the freshest, season-driven local ingredients, combined with premium imports from overseas in designing an ocean-inspired fine dining menu that delivers the finest Mediterranean style food with a Pan-Asian flourish. This is necessary so that his diners don’t fell too heavy after a meal as they will need to hit the beach!
Chef Steven Grande
di Mare restaurant
di Mare is laid out in a semi-circular fashion, with a white and pastel blue theme, an open concept with no window, and a white canopy as a shelter from the sun. Protective motorized blinds come down should it decided to start to rain. One side opens to the sea, but this, Chef Steven tells me, is the secret doorway to the sea and beyond! He is a funny guy with a great sense of humor.
By the way, a huge common swimming pool that is situated just below the di Mare restaurant is a big hit with kids and adults alike. It is here that one can witness the sunset or the rolling clouds as thunder summons the rain on a overcast evening. All these amenities are beautifully set amid landscaped grounds. While adults enjoy treatments at the first-rate Spa, kids can busy themselves at the pool.
The food is wonderful but that deserves a separate post in itself, plus our interview with the Chef. That will be up in the coming week. Stay tuned.
Karma Cobb Salad
Minestra di Verdura
Baked Pineapple and Phyllo dessert with Ice-cream
Above di Mare sits the Temple Lounge, a Moroccan-inspired rooftop terrace with cushioned cabanas, ottomans and Arabian glass lanterns. This is the perfect spot to watch the sunset, and with a lychee martini to hand, we looked the part too!
The Temple Lounge
best place to catch the sunset
Martini’s all round please
After dusk and all the cocktails drained, we stop by the wine cellar to check out the wines. The di Mare cellar is stocked with more than 3000 wines from around the world. That’s pretty well stocked by my books.
Presenting, the Enomatic Machine
Have you ever wanted to taste a certain type of wine but just couldn’t take the risk of paying for an expensive bottle just to find out later that you don’t really like it? Well, the Enomatic produces a wine serving systems that allows you to dispense wine, one glass at a time. Ingenious right? Perfect for alcoholics like me who want to have their cake and eat it. I mean, let’s just try everything.
That’s right, these machines let you get a taste of various types of wine. You try a couple servings of different brands, you find one that suits your palate and then you order a bottle to go with your dinner. Easy! And as for maintaining the wine in good drinking condition, the Enomatic system preserves the wine by injecting nitrogen (an inert gas) into the bottle in the same volume as that removed in each serving. Of course I knew all this but it was still mesmerizing listening to Karim Benramdane, Karma’s sommelier tell me all over again in his sexy french accent.
Here’s me.. showing off how much I know about Enomatic Machines😉 Call it wine on tap, is what I say!
The next day, it is time to try the Legendary Spa!
Spacious rooms, sprawling ocean views, a very cool spa area with private massage rooms that overhang the cliffs and look out into the ocean are just what one required to unwind. The spa is warmly decorated with stone, wooden floors, bamboo and wicker furnishings and island art.
The Karma Spa sounded really cool and we could not wait to check it out. Apparently it practices this new genre in holistic travel and spa culture. You can pick from curative sessions that can be experienced in-villa or at the cliff-hanging sublime spa facility overlooking the Indian ocean. The entrance through the spa lounge leads to the treatment huts and there are also all-white stone temple steam & scrub rooms. The centerpiece, an open-air platform, where sunrise yoga and sunset massages are performed, features an infrared detox sauna and a Himalayan crystal salt pool. Come sundown, core strength yoga sessions are offered at the Temple Lounge. It’s all pretty Zen. I like!
In conjunction with the year of the Rabbit, Karma Spa had this special offer on a Couple Himalayan Crystal Spa, at the rate of IDR 1,999,999++/couple (approx. RM678). Totally affordable even for me!
The staff at Karma Spa are all friendly and well educated on their products
service with a smile
“It’s getting hot in here!”
The gorgeous ocean view from the spa rooms
What can we say. No hotel is perfect but this is damn near close. When we arrived at 1.30pm we were greeted by lovely staff, who were efficient, organized, spoke excellent English. Not only that, the General Manager, Mr Raymond Saja was there in person to meet us. He ensured that everything was in order before passing us on the to the staff show showed us to our Villa. Having developed an excellent portfolio of restaurants under the Karma banner in Bali, he is now the General Manager at Karma Kandara. Nothing gets by this guy. All the F&B staff are kept on their toes by his attention to detail. He knew all the occupants at Karma Kandara by name. Raymond Saja really made our stay at Karma Kandara a memorable one. Toward the end of our stay, we had the pleasure of meeting Clinton Albuquerque who is the Group Creative Director of Karma Resorts. He is a charming fellow in charge of a young and dynamic creative team. By utilizing social media marketing campaigns, his Group keeps Karma’s patrons in tune with the rapid changes that’s happening within the resorts. He is also responsible for the online newsletter, the Karma Chronicles.
About Karma Resorts:
Karma Resorts is expanding rapidly. The Group currently operates two oceanfront luxury resorts on Bali’s dramatic southern peninsula and another in Koh Samui, Thailand, all of them earning industry accolades, including membership of the Leading Small Hotels of the World. Development is now underway on two new luxury villa resorts. Karma Margaret River celebrates the idyllic charms of this famous winemaking region in Western Australia, while Karma Agung, named after the sacred volcano that rears skyward behind it, spills down a hillside on Bali’s magical eastern coast. Exquisite new luxury villa resorts will soon unfold in Palawan (Philippines), Langkawi (Malaysia), Lombok (Indonesia), Fiji, Goa & Kerala (India) and Mykonos (Greece), putting Karma Resorts at the vanguard of 21st century global luxury living.Add: Karma Kandara Jalan Villa Kandara Banjar Wijaya Kusuma Ungasan, Bali, 80362 Indonesia T: +62 361 848 2200
F: +62 361 848 2244 E: [email protected] / [email protected] website