by Lucas Raven
I was down to my last 2 weeks in Bali, after prancing around the island for nearly 7 months. My husband, Chris, had sent me a series of reels on Instagram as references to places that he would like for us to experience, Soori was on top of the list. As I was scrolling through reviews of the hotel, it reaffirmed my decision to save one of Bali’s finest for last.
And there we were, with the biggest smile on my face, finally making our way to Soori. The drive alone was worth the journey. It was as if we were transported to the old and untouched “Island of the Gods”. Vast rice paddies with joyful farmers and their children playing with wild birds under a crisp, blue sky, with stone-carved temples and mountains looming in the background.
Soori enjoys a peaceful beachfront setting that is removed from the crowds – a wonderful location for those who want to escape the world. It is half an hour up the coast from the trendy cafés and boutique stores of popular Canggu. As you get closer to Soori, these are replaced with rice paddies, traditional villages and quiet beaches. The famous Tanah Lot temple is a 20-minute drive away, while Ubud is about two-and-a-half hours by car.
Arriving on Soori’s grounds, there’s an atmosphere of peace that is felt immediately. It’s the generous space that draws an air of serenity coming from every direction. I walked from the lobby, like a kid in a toy store, like my feet knew where to go, I kept walking until I saw the main pool, I gasped. I walked some more until the sun got a drop of sweat rolling from my forehead. I took my shoes off and ran to the beach. As the sun started to set, the beach turned golden-pink, and the black volcanic sand that had my footprints on started to sparkle, like the night sky stars that eventually took over the magnificent sunset. How could you not fall in love here? I whispered to myself.
The property was designed by acclaimed owner-architect Soo K Chan, who heads up SCDA Architects (whose clients include Park Hyatt Maldives and Four Seasons Lijiang). The property’s elegant, contemporary Asian style creates a restful ambiance, and the design is characterized by expanses of horizontal lines – often black or dark grey – as well as natural textures and elements of stone and water. The gardens have been landscaped to maximize the flow of cool air through the resort, and pools around the property add to the magic.
Every villa has its own outdoor lounge area and private pool. The resort has two restaurants, a well-equipped gym and a beautiful spa that offers acupuncture, meditation and massages, among other treatments. Those wanting to explore more of Bali can do so through the various excursion packages that Soori offers.
The service is discreet yet exceptional, allowing one to feel well looked-after, but enjoy privacy.
On our first night, the hotel team organized a dinner on the beach. I was delighted! I put on my summer linens and left our villa barefoot. There is an access from villa to beach and it is one of the many things I loved about this piece of paradise. This was no ordinary beach dinner. The bonfire was burning not too far from the table and seat that were all carved, by hand, where a spacious pit was carefully dug and carved for us to step into. Everything was on volcanic sand. The white tablecloth, plates and utensils, looked as if they were floating in the night, as did the candles. It was mesmerizing. Soori’s chef de cuisine had crafted a menu of Balinese specialties. Every dish told a story of past, present, and somehow, by keeping these recipes alive, rejuvenated by trusted hands in the kitchen, it also told a story of the future.
Do not miss out on the local cuisine here. You can thank me later. As the stars twinkled above us, the moonlight graciously touched the beach, and there it was again, the sparkling sand brought out by the night light, like glitter scattered everywhere, embraced by the gentle sound of the waves. As above, so below. It was like stepping into a living and breathing Van Gogh. To even say that this is a hotel would do no justice to all work of art, Soori is a moment, well-preserved by time, in the right place.