Mulia Resort in Bali opened its doors in 2012. Less than 1 year later it won the coveted Condé Nast Traveler USA - Readers' Choice Awards for #1 Beach Resort in the World.
Ummm… is that cray cray or is just me?
How does a brand new independent resort in an uber-competitive location like Bali instantly stand out as not only this island’s most prestigious beach resort, but the entire world?
That question has been plaguing me since I first heard about Mulia Resort, and I’ve been yearning to experience this resort first hand so I could find out if the frothy hype matched steak-on-the-plate reality.
Well… I can say it sure did.
Now that could be the end of this article, but it would be a pretty short and boring article. So for your reading pleasure, I’ve expanded on my experiences. Here’s what 2 nights in world’s best beach resort really looks like.
Hold on, hold on. Before you get your #baligasm on, I just need to reiterate that the awards Mulia Resort has won aren’t from some rinky-dinky no-name websites or organisations. These are widely respected travel industry juggernauts - Condé Nast Traveler, CNN, Travel Weekly, TripAdvisor, FlightNetwork, Travel&Leisure, ForbesLife, Agoda, and Booking.com amongst many others.
Ok, you get the idea. On with the show.
Let’s Get This Straight
Now, the first thing that confused me was the name. I’d read about “The Mulia” and “Mulia Resort”. Was this the same place or different one? I tried reading TripAdvisor forums and fellow travellers were equally confused. Turns out there are 3 different luxury properties in 1 location. All of this is spread over 30 hectares along the coast of Nusa Dua.
Mulia Resort – this luxurious resort houses the majority of the facilities (pools, gym, restaurants) and offers 526 guest rooms. Some of these have garden views, others have pool and ocean views.
The Mulia – an adjoining more private resort which offers 111 larger ultra-luxurious rooms with ocean-front vistas. It also has a separate lobby, exclusive pools, and an exclusive dining room (but these guests can use the facilities of Mulia Resort as well). Oh, and you get a personal butler. Yes, I said butler.
Mulia Villas – in a completely separate section of the property, accessible via golf cart, 108 stand-alone villas have their own private swimming pools and Jacuzzis. If this looks like where royalty stays, then you’re right. Vogue.com reported that a Middle Eastern queen stayed in the 6-bedroom Mulia Mansion villa for a month, along with her entire staff in tow. This option is the ultimate in privacy and seclusion, but naturally comes at a higher price tag. The demi-gods that grace these villas are allowed to use the facilities of Mulia Resort if they wish. After all, it’s just a golf cart ride away.
Did I Just Die And Go To Heaven?
The word “opulent” or “sophisticated” doesn’t begin to describe this 5-star luxury paradise. From the perfectly pristine white sandy beach to flawlessly manicured gardens to hand-selected artworks adorning the corridor walls, attention to detail is apparent at every turn.
Pride in Indonesian culture is reflected in the selection of tasteful pieces of furniture, paintings, sculptures and even light fittings (if it is fit to call such extravagant chandeliers “fittings”). I was quite fond of one particular sculpture near the main lobby staircase which was created from a collection of stacked sewing machines.
The iconic statues that adorn the pool area are inspired by Balinese women observing religious customs, holding an offering basket.