As I reflect on our 4-night stay at the exquisite Renaissance Uluwatu, I've distilled my experience here for you, just in case you were looking for a quiet resort for your trip to Bali.
+1 Design first approach to accommodation
Our huge executive suite with ocean view from the deck, was a looker. I've included a few pictures of the room in the above gallery. Hard to argue that the tub, rainshower, intricate tiling and double Darth Vader vanities don't impress. After the initial WOW, you start noticing a few problems: the living area is small proportionaly, half of the suite is taken up by the bathroom, shower area. If one needs to work while the other needs to rest, you might have to relocate to the tub for a while, as the sofa is right by the bed.
+2 Marriott Bonvoy recognition galore and hospitality
Even before we arrived, we had received a room upgrade in the app and the [online] concierge had secured a ride from the airport to the hotel. Upon check-in, our status was recognized, we were thanked for our loyalty and free breakfast was offered. The general manager showed us around the grounds and took us to our room. Once in the room, snacks and beverages were waiting for us on a tray with a thank you note. At breakfast, our servers offered us specialty drinks to thank us for our status (Titanium Elite). Over our five day stay, we would constently be greated by our name. Just wow.
+3 Impecably maintained grounds, pools and common areas
The amount of work that goes on in order to keep this property up and running is mind-blowing. I've never seen so many employees catering to the grounds, pools and general cleanliness. As a result, you get to experience a location that is picturesque and safe for the whole family. There's a lovely temple (Jalan Pantai Balangan l) less than a three minute walk on the property.
-1 Punchbowl Ritual and gimmicky "events"
On our last evening at the hotel, we went to thr R Bar in the lobby, mostly to enjoy the spectacular views one last time. We had seen multiple posters and signs for the daily "Punch bowl Ritual". It looked promising and vaguely authentic. So, after a few drinks, we asked the increadibly kind waiter when the ritual was starting. He told us they only go ahead with it if 10 or more guests are in the bar... Since the bar was basically empty except for the two of us, he offered us a free cocktail.
-2 Limited food options at and around hotel
The hotel is isolated on the side of a cliff. So yeah, save for the two restaurants on resort, there isn't a lot of options. The Indonesian Uber Eats "Grab" is your best friend if you tire of the perfectly acceptable fare on offer at the hotel.
Yes, on a windy afternoon, there was a faint smell of raw sewage at the pool. The Spa offers decntly priced treatments but the other services (sauna, steam rooms, relaxation studio, etc.) are barebones. The events are hit or miss, but the resort was exactly what we needed. I read my school books by the pool (most days we were alone), I napped in the afternoons and we hit the panoramic gym every afternoons.