Looking for ideas for a relaxing eco vacation this year? This stunning Balinese Alila Villas Uluwatu eco resort is located on a sloping hill in Bali’s Uluwatu region on the Southern Bukit Peninsula of the charming Indonesian island. This beautifully designed complex straddles a striking white limestone cliff and an arid savanna on the tropical island's arid Bukit Pennisula. The Alilas Villas resort is the first of its kind to achieve the highest level of certification for Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) and is designed for the Green Globes GG21 standard. The take-your-breath-away beauty of the resort and its sensitive placement on the delicate landscape is enough to set one’s mind at ease. Warning, if you read on you will need to take a vacation….
Ok, just remember we warned you…… the design by WOHA is a vision of ecologically sound placement, form and materials which speak to a greater harmony. Indoor and outdoor spaces blend together as verandas, canopies, bridges and passages weave through the resort. The architects drew inspiration for the stone walled court yards from the local farmer’s buildings, and the overall design is a fusion of low-slung vernacular Indonesian architecture and modernism. The villas are placed to follow the natural contour of the gently sloping land, leaving much of the local vegetation and natural formations intact and providing each with a view of the Indian Ocean.
The relationship between the buildings creates unique corridors and vistas, adding to the intimacy of the grounds. The resort has 52 one-bedroom villas along with 5 cliff-side three bedroom villas and 25 private villas, each with its own pool and private pavilion perched above the Indian Ocean.
The villas need no air conditioning — they open toward the ocean to scoop up the prevailing breezes, which are cooled as they sweep over the salt water pools. The limestone for the walls is reclaimed from excavations on-site, and the extensive use of reclaimed and locally-sourced ironwood graces the doors, cabinets, and exterior trellises and paneling. Most of the locally-inspired furniture is built on the neighboring island of Java, as are the artisan cement tiles.
The landscaping consists of only local fauna — determined by an extensive study of the grounds. There is an extensive grey water system combined with a rain water cistern under each villa that provides water for the toilets and gardens. A series of bio-swales and rain gardens throughout the development manage storm water, and even the sewage water is reclaimed onsite. The domestic hot water is heated using heat pumps. Power is currently provided by biodiesel generators powered by organic waste from the resort, but the site will eventually use electricity generated from wind farms on the peninsula.
A resort like this is only as successful as the health of the greater surrounding environment. The developers intend to set an example for Indonesian tourist development that respects and intimately relates to its environs though an ongoing program to reduce its overall environmental impact. It is up to you, though, to find an environmentally sound way to get there.