Bali | Uluwatu

January 21, 2023

After a frankly pretty rough year, my husband and I thought it would be a great idea to start of 2023 with an adventure! We spent all of 2022 finishing up our new build, having to move rentals multiple times, our move in date getting pushed back several times, yadda yadda yadda. All in all, it was a very stressful time and we are SO, so happy and grateful to finally be in our new home (since October). With all of that being said- moving in was a real whirlwind; getting somewhat settled before the holidays and ultimately hosting both of our families for the very first time together in our home for Christmas. So incredibly special. We then decided leaving 5 days after Christmas was a great idea, and in hindsight, it absolutely was, but in the moment- it felt like more rushing to get everything done, which is what we’ve pretty much spent the entire year doing in some form or another! I’m giving all of this backstory to say- we had this trip on the books for months, but had basically zero time to devote to planning for it. Which is why Bali, and specifically Alila Villas Uluwatu, was the perfect starting off point of our trip. We purposely started off here to just simply relax.

My husband is a real whiz when it comes to using our credit card points in savvy ways, so we booked our flights with those, meaning our travel day looked like this: Tampa to Seattle to Taipei to Bali. With one delay, that meant we were traveling for about 40 hours. So, to say we couldn’t wait to get to our destination is an understatement!

Bali is a full 12 hours ahead of us, so we experienced quite a bit of jet lag. We initially arrived to the property around 10pm, showered and went right to bed. Only to wake up the next day at 4:30, haha! It was an adjustment. We took full advantage of our early wake ups and were able to be the first ones to breakfast every day and snagged a great spot at morning yoga. Our evenings were spent trying to stay awake past 8:30, but by the last day- we did it!


The fact that we were coming off of a stressful season of life and trying to combat jet lag gave us every excuse to use this time at Alila Villas Uluwatu as the ultimate R&R locale. We never left the property, and never had to! This particular Alila property, like it says in its name, is made up of only villa-style rooms. The villas were super spacious with a large bedroom, bathroom, seating area, and outdoor pool and lounge area. There are three restaurants on property, one pool-side, one western style and one Indonesian style restaurant. There is even a special tasting menu option for dinners if you do so please, and we did one night. 🙂 We ate at all of them and were always beyond pleased with our selections. The breakfasts in particular were my absolute favorites. Fresh bread, pastries, jams, and fruit were served right away alongside an a la carte menu which changed every day. I loved the daily toasts and turmeric lattes. Aside from food, the beverage scene was also top notch! They had a beautiful outdoor cabana bar which was situated on a platform jetting over The Indian Ocean, so the views were spectacular (this is the same locale as morning yoga!). There was also a whiskey bar which had a really cool, loungey vibe. When we weren’t eating or drinking, we were relaxing by the pool, (both our private pool and in a cabana near the large hotel pool) hiking to the beach (not a leisurely hike- it was very steep!), utilizing the spa (both the massage and facial I had were phenomenal!), and looking for monkeys. There are lots of on property activities that you can book in advance, like cooking classes, cultural immersion experiences, surfing, paddle boarding, boating, and bike riding – to name a few. We actually booked a sunset cruise which was complete with an on-board dining experience as well and unfortunately had to cancel due to the weather. Which brings me to my next point….

We arrived in Bali on January 1. This is a peak season for the island because of the holidays and there are lots of tourists and visitors. However, weather wise, it’s not the most ideal. It is their windy and rainy season, which is why we were unable to continue with our boating excursion. We experienced mostly beautiful weather though, and when it rained, it was in quick spurts. We spent almost all of our time outdoors if that tells you anything.

We were in Uluwatu for three nights until it was time for our next stop, Ubud. We were booked at the Alila in Ubud, so arranging a transfer through the hotel was super easy. Typically, this drive would be about an hour and a half, but we left on the day where a week long Hindu holiday was beginning, so there were lots of celebrations going on throughout the towns and villages we drove though, which slowed us down a bit. By this point we were fully embracing our nice vacation ahead and had not a care in the world – including a delayed travel time to our next location. 🙂


If you’re wondering what to pack to Bali in January, my answer is bathing suits, shorts, dresses, sandals, and a scarf or lightweight jacket/sweater for the evenings (since it can be windy right on the ocean). Here are a few of my looks while we were there!