Uluwatu Estate  |  The Grounds

From the outside, the compound appears modest and inconspicuous, a long sliding steel gate with purposely aged teakwood inserts greet you as you arrive - but once on the inside, the vast extent of the longitudinal site is appreciated. The flow of the layout naturally followed a simple principle - staff and service zones were located nearest to the entrance, followed by the individual inward-looking bedroom villas, two wings of private bedroom suites sandwich the communal living and dining room, with the pool and terrace right at the end. Gardens and ponds serve as the buffer zones, with natural objects (wood, stone and even frangi pani trees) of monolithic proportions carefully curated and placed to resemble a sculptural gallery.

The base palette (of materials and colours) is purposely restrained: brown in all shades, taupe, white, grey and black, with some occasional red streaks. Warm expanses of teakwood, manually distressed by the local carpenters, kept to weather naturally or stained dark (depending), is set to contrast with the cool background of the beige Palimanan stone and off-white cast in situ Terrazzo. Because of the close proximity to the ocean, the use of steel was brought to a minimum – most of the metal seen is instead, solid brass, including the bespoke pendant light that hang over the dining table, made from 400-year old mercury jars salvaged from shipwrecks in Java, as well as all the outdoor lantern light boxes.

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