For those of you celebrating a joyous occasion whether a birthday, an anniversary or just a night out to chill with friends, there can be no better place than The Rock Bar at Ayana Resort & Spa in Bali. Built in 2009 and situated on natural rocks 14 meters above the Jimbaran Bay, it was truly a breath-taking view and the ultimate way to usher in my big 3-0 celebrations.
This innovative open-top bar is perched at the base of Ayana’s towering cliffs and is definitely Bali’s most glamorous sunset and after-dark destination. Designed by Yasuhiro Koichi from Japan, the main bar on top of rocks has a floor space of 106.26sqm with an additional 600sqm of surrounding terraces and paved areas to hold a capacity of 236 people (seated) or 300 (cocktail style).
The best time to head down to The Rock Bar is just before sunset to get yourself a nice comfy spot to soak in the effervescent beauty of the sun setting majestically across the Indian Ocean. The sun sets earlier in Bali or even Jakarta for that matter as compared to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore – approximately about 1.5 hours earlier, making 1645 hours an idle time to head on down. Access to the bar is via an inclinator or stairs.
On either side, two timber platforms featuring comfortable sofas provide additional viewing points. One is accessed through a natural cave, a unique entrance that leads to a ‘secret’ garden over the beach. Naked to the elements, fresh sea wind and crystallized rocks, possibly centuries old adds illumination to the bar’s already natural glitter.
The short trip down the cliff-face to the bar and nearby Kisik Seafood Restaurant by inclinator takes about a minute. Should there be a queue, first preference for the ride down goes to guests residing at the Ayana Resort. That could possibly make any guest feel special… I know I did!
Missed the sunset? Fret not! This iconic ocean-front bar is mesmerizing any time of day. Open from 5pm to 1am, visitors can soak up the super-chic ambience and enjoy music spun by DJ Zoe Noa or LA-based DJ and producer Martin East every week.
This is not your everyday typical techno head-banging joint. Its a classy and elegant bar that allows for a compilation of relaxed, chill-out tracks that blend with the sound of the ocean during sunset. A more sensual and upbeat atmosphere takes over as the sky turns black beckoning you to gaze at the ambient glow of the stars across the milky way.
The bar’s minimalist design maximizes the natural beauty and layout of the rocky outcrop. As you suddenly realize that with only the sea between you and the horizon, there is no better place to sip your Margaritas than right here. The Rock Bar’s beverage menu compiled by General Manager Charles de Foucault is nothing short of amazing!
The wine list features premium labels from Australia, New Zealand, Chile, California and France with an extensive range of top-shelf Aperitifs and Bitters, Sherry and Port, Scotch and Single Malts, Cognac and Liqueurs. The cocktail list includes more than 40 classic and contemporary creations. The Martini selection on the other hand, has been devised by Maestro Laval Lim-Ho, who has mixed cocktails during his 30-year career for celebrities and royalty such as Prince Rainer and Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco, Liza Minelli, Shirley Maclean and Clint Eastwood.
A selection of delectable tapas and desserts are also available for those who wish to have small bites. The best would be to sojourn to The Kisik Restaurant (picture above) just over the other end near the jetty for a scrumptious array of seafood dishes.
As you mingle with panache and feel you skin glow in the sun’s radiant glimmer or the moon’s luminous light with the sounds of the waves crashing against the rocks, it somehow eases in a sense of calmness and tantalizing pleasure, quite interestingly both at the same time. A ravishing feeling indeed! The Rock Bar is located at Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia. Seek its captivating aura during your next visit to the island of Bali for this is where mother nature ignites your senses.
Photography by Rosemarie John © All Rights Reserved