Jumeirah Bali, the latest oceanside resort from Jumeirah Group, has now opened. 

Sitting gracefully on the beach area of Uluwatu, one of the most coveted locations on the island, this striking cliffside resort is a collaboration between Grounds Kent Arsitek Indonesia (GKAI), who developed the architectural concept, and Denniston International, a design consultancy led by Jean-Michel Gathy. Wrapped around the property are the sprawling gardens designed by PT Wijaya Tribwana International.

The design brief for the all-villa luxury resort was to connect Bali’s past and present in a verdant water-based sanctuary of luxury. In response, GKAI created an overall design narrative centred on the golden era of Majapahit empire and its role as a sanctuary for Bali’s ruling elite in the year 1343.

Architecturally, the maritime empire was characterised by its imposing walled cities that concealed clusters of pavilions, including those used for bathing and socialising, terraced royal gardens, and exquisite water features. Throughout Jumeirah Bali, these traditional spatial elements are used to reveal a sumptuous water palace that celebrates the magic of life. 

Furthering the story are the three swimming pools, the largest of which represents Waduk Baureo, the legendary reservoir of Majapahit. With its sunset vistas and the turquoise hues of Dreamland Beach down below, this is a focal point of the resort.

Jumeirah Bali’s 123 spacious villas are a carefully choreographed composition of light and space. Drawing on the “water palace” design narrative, GKAI architects ensured that guests are never more than a few metres away from a gurgling stream or a fountaininspired by a royal purification pavilion from the Majapahit era.

Starting from 210 square metres, the one- and two-bedroom villas all feature sublime tropical views of the Indian Ocean and offer pockets of private space for concentration and calm. Each villa comes with a private pool, outdoor living area and a landscaped tropical garden.

To root villa interiors to the location, the Denniston team incorporated outdoor showers and covered pendopo pavilions overlooking the sunset horison into the design.

At 4,900 square metres, the four-bedroom Royal Water Palace marries Balinese, Javanese and Arabian influences to create a sense of exclusivity and ultimate seclusion. Technology has a place here too: at a press of a button, a glass elevator takes guests down to the beach level where a natural cave converted into a high-tech, temperature-controlled wine cellar houses an extensive collection of fine vintages.

Akasa Gastro Grill, Jumeirah Bali’s specialty restaurant, is situated on the topmost level and offers views across the island’s crystal blue waters and sunset panoramas. 

Jumeirah’s signature Talise Spa, a 1,705-square-metre heaven of tranquillity, features five private treatment rooms; steam and sauna facilities, including a Vichy shower; and a lavishly decorated Turkish hammam.

The latter pays homage to the Arabian influence that the Majapahit empire experienced shortly before its collapse, bringing with it to the Island of the Gods Turkey’s world-famous bath-house culture.