Standing tall and dramatic, as if a vision crafted from the distinctive rock formations, showing their magnificence along Jimbaran’s pristine sunset coast, Rock Bar Bali at Ayana Resort is definitely amongst one of the world’s most popular sunset and cocktail venues. Situated just 14 meters above the majestic Indian Ocean, the only way to access the Rock Bar from Ayana Resort is from a dramatic cliffside inclinator. The crown jewel experience which boasts of the dramatic sunset that slowly but beautifully transforms into a seductive after-dark ambiance is further enhanced as you can hear premier international DJs spinning their groove from a custom DJ booth that seems to be carved magically into the cliff.
Clever designing by an acclaimed Japanese firm called the Design Studio Spin offers an outstanding combination of stunning location, accomplished design and impeccable service. These features seamlessly pushed Rock Bar onto the world map as the media couldn’t help but gush over the uniqueness of this place making the bar feature prominently on various lists which include “World’s Best Beach Bars”, “Best Hotel Bars in the World”, along with garnering appreciation and accolades from many other industries and the media. It also has no doubt made it’s place as one on the “must visit” list of so many visitors to Bali.
Designed with the minimalist approach, natural materials such as local stone and timber form the construction of the bar, which is then covered with a glossy stainless steel capped, waist-high glass curtain wall as if forming a boundary of glass. Divided into several smaller and separate sections, the main bar is surrounded by a number of free-form terrace areas, cozy and isolated which merge into the contours of the cliff face. Rounded cane lounge chairs made to fit a couple easily, prove perfect for romance as they overlook the crashing waves, with the winds playing music in their ears. Candles flickering their magic on various tables seem to transport reality into magic.
The spectacular location, along with the amazing views is just a prelude to what Rock Bar has to offer. Offering an alluring and spectacular cocktail list curated by an international bar consultant acclaimed for his work, refreshing concoctions are served from behind the magical and beautiful glass top bar, which has been custom made by Seiki Torige, a Japanese glass artist. With more than 40 cocktails on offer, the mix is an interesting blend of both contemporary and classic creations, with special focus given to martinis.
“The Rock Stars” range which is also their signature drinks, include “Rock My World”– Vodka, Grand Marnier, Pineapple Juice, Grapefruit Juice, Fresh Orange. “Spa on the Rock” an interesting mix of Vodka, black current liquor, blueberry and cranberry juice and definitely “New Age Cosmo” which has egg whites as an ingredient with the Vodka, Grand Marnier and cranberry jelly. Cocktails are just the icing as they serve a full beverage range which includes a good selection of champagnes, international wines, and sparklies served by glass and bottle; beers, both local and international along with premium quality spirits.
A compact menu comprising of gourmet tapas-style dishes both Asian and international gives perfect choices. Chicken popcorn is a firm favorite as are the Rock lobster spring rolls and much to my surprise, the two vegetarian options on offer did manage to get a smile on our faces as we relaxed tranquilly enjoying the chill in the air with rain playing hide and seek while waiters kept umbrellas on hand to make sure guests did not face any discomfort.
The idyllic location flanking the western orientation definitely makes Rock Bar the best place for a sundowner. Watching the sunset over the Indian Ocean as the sky paints a palette in a blaze of colour, as a refreshing beverage slowly soothes your mind as your senses are enveloped by all that is on offer. Can life be any better? But do keep in mind that with limited seats available, the access to Rock bar is controlled with a well-managed queuing system. In-house guests no doubt have priority for both the inclinator access as well as seating for the bar, the outside visitors have to queue at the top of the cliff till seats become available. The inclinator while going down gives a most amazing view as you feel you are transported to another world filled with magic and lights.
The Rock Bar opens daily from 4:00 pm, but one is recommended to arrive there early if you wish to catch the sunset experience. My experience is definitely one which will stay etched in my heart and mind forever as Bali with all its beauty and tranquility has so much to offer but Rock Bar was like the secret garden which I managed to discover.