The Uluwatu clifftop in Bali provides a dramatic setting for ‘one of the best private clubs in the world’ - Ulu Cliffhouse, designed by Shed, London.
The dramatic Uluwatu Cliffs play host to an impressive boutique hotel that boasts some of the world’s best surf, stunning views and atmospheric sunsets. Shed, a London-based interior design and architecture studio, was invited to design The Mandala Group Ulu Cliffhouse boutique hotel, with the brief to re-imagine a new generation of one-off destination venues that dance to the beat of their own drum, whilst making the most of the breath-taking clifftop setting 30 metres above Uluwatu beach.
Described by Tatler as ‘one of the best private clubs in the world’, Ulu Cliffhouse has quickly become a firm favourite on the international club circuit since opening in 2020, featuring superstar DJs such as Carl Cox.
Shed partnered with implementation architects, Design Assembly, and local design firm, The Good Firm who specialise in Balinese craftmanship to design one-off pieces and interiors. As the lead designer, Shed knew to be relevant the right recipe was needed to stand-out from the Balinese resort scene.
Part Beach: Laid-back vibes and a nod to Uluwatu’s surf heritage.
Part Natural: Celebration of the location’s landscape, local materials, foliage and craftsmanship.
Part Jet Set: All the panache of an International Member’s Club.
The jewel in Ulu Cliffhouse’s crown is the Ocean Deck, hidden out of sight only to be discovered by a winding staircase that leads to this dramatic, secluded rock bar. The inspiration here was simple: The stunning natural beauty of the rock outcrop rising above the crashing waves of the ocean. Built into the cliff face the design is rustic and raw with bleached timber decking and a bar set seamlessly into the rock face.
The Ulu Cliffhouse’s pool area is the hotel’s centrepiece, giving a nod to mid-century geometric forms and pastel furniture. Loungers and bespoke sunshades arranged in ‘sets’ around the pool, make the perfect setting to see and be seen. A bleached yellow diving platform is for posing and drinking in equal measure. Two cantilevered terraces flank the cliff edge with neutral umbrellas and deep sun loungers.
The Cliff Bar and Restaurant offers tiered dining with fantastic sea views. Shed designed the new timber and rattan pavilions that provide a soft dappled shade. Furniture is hand crafted by local craftsmen and comes in an eclectic mix of styles: Mid Century rattan is paired with bold Hawaiian print, soft tertiary colours provide a changing landscape of personality.
The main entrance to the hotel through the Clubhouse teases residents with the unparalleled beauty of the view beyond from the top of the cliffs. Villa décor themes are playful: ‘Beach’ villas reimagine the 70’s ‘avocado suite’, palm wallpaper with dressing gowns to match and a swing in shower, ‘Club’ rooms are inspired by a Panama Penthouse with luxurious tropical furnishings in navy, coral, brass paired with rattan wardrobes and finally ‘Natural’ Villas celebrate material and craft, monolithic slabs of timber and stone form surfaces patterned with Balinese fabrics.
Matt Smith, co-founder of Shed and lead designer, says, “Many of the materials used in this project work within the context of the local resources and the beautiful, natural features available on this unique site. The materials have been skilfully used to create a natural, yet dramatically contemporary, ruggedness to the overall design that ultimately lets the beauty of the clifftop landscape take centre stage.”
Ben Jones, Owner of The Mandala Group, says, “Ulu Cliffhouse has redefined the Bali beach club scene with world-class music, design, food and beverages.”