Hotel Review: Viceroy Bali, Ubud’s Quintessential Romantic Getaway
When you ask a native of Bali how they envision heaven, they’ll tell you it’s just like Bali. And they are serious. It is heaven there with a varied natural environment from pristine white sand beaches with blue waters to the lush mountainside jungles. The area recognized as the most cultural, spiritual and the closest to nature is Ubud. Just a few minutes away from the town center is the Viceroy Bali, a group of luxury villas promising a most exotic and romantic tropical holiday.
Ubud is the spiritual capital of Bali that knows how to cast a spell over its visitors. There’s something intoxicating and mystical in this town surrounded by lush jungles and rainforests filled with mischievous monkeys, colorful birds, waterfalls and rivers. The people are just a colorful as the landscape with artists and dread locked bohemians whose intricate and spiritual pieces of art can be found in the artisan galleries along the center of town. There are also a number of boutiques, bistros and bars and shabby chic cafe’s on in the nearby rice patties perfect for catching the next mesmerizing sunset. The spiritual energy of Bali also make it a mecca for practitioners of yoga who you’ll often see strolling through town with yoga mats sticking out of their tote bags. Mixed in with the warm and welcoming locals are traveler and transplanted Asians, Americas, Aussies, and Europeans.
The Viceroy Bali is the ideal hotel to take in the magical essence of Ubud. The road to the hotel passes through vibrant green rice patties. The hotel, which is perched on a steep mountainside overlooks the Petanu River gorge and in the mornings, mist rises from the depths of the dense jungle to create an even more ethereal scene. The centerpiece of the hotel is the steeple-like conical grass thatch roof pavilion where the bar and restaurant are located. Most will find it difficult to find a more stunning pool with its free-form winding along the hillside terminating at the bar. The pool scene is sultry where canoodling couples laze about the pool in curtained gazebos on white cushions. In between dips they’ll indulge in a view from the pool’s infinity edge into the gorge’s jungle or swim up to the bar for a refreshing cocktail.
Like the pool, the property winds down the steep hill with 25 villas strewn along the way. The hotel also has a full service spa, helicopter pad, gym and a staff proving a warm and caring Balinese hospitality found nowhere else in the world. The hotel is like walking through a garden with its rough-hewn stone walls and colorful bougainvillea bursting with color while the fragrant frangipani flowers scent the air.
There are only 25 villas at the Viceroy Bali so this is a very exclusive resort. Their alang alang grass thatch roofs dot the ledge of the hillside and face the thick jungle of palm trees in the valley and mountain that face the hotel. One of the many things that makes this property special is the fabulous and discrete outdoor living spaces. The pagoda like cabana, with soft pillows and cushions, is perfect for languishing on lazy afternoons in between cooling plunges in the infinity edge pools. It’s an ideal place to read that summer paperback, at times distracted by playful monkies that scamper about across the rooftops for a quick peek and then dart back into the jungle. It’s also a wonderful space to enjoy your in suite breakfast or a glass of bubbles with your loved one. Indoors in wonderful as well the chic and clean Asian décor of whites and teak wood with intricate wall art and Balinese artifacts, ornate teak furnishings, and a gauze shrouded canopy bed. The white marble bathroom is spacious as well with large soaking tub and walk in shower with rain shower. All the suites are quite spacious ranging from 1500 sq.ft. pool suite to the 4300 sq.ft. two-bedroom Viceroy Villa.
The dining experience is excellent as well. Most evenings will begin with cocktails while taking in the sunset over the Petanu River valley from high above at the bar. It is a sensual scene with dim lights, soft piano music playing and romantic couples clinking glasses. From there its dinner at CasCades for their delicious gourmet menu of European and Asian fusion cuisine. Executive Chef Nic Vanderbeeken has worked at the top Michelin starred restaurants in Belgium, France, and the U.S. and brings these skills to the dishes he creates using modern European gastronomic techniques. Not to be missed is the Balinese dish, Bebek Bersih, which is Balinese-spiced confit duck leg with long bean and coconut-ginger urab, and yellow rice.
The resort offers plenty of activities yet the option is there to just relax and do nothing but deliciously snooze the day away. For the next level of relaxation, the Viceroy Bali has an exceptional spa offering a wide range of Balinese and European treatments. One must have a Balinese massage in Bali and theirs uses various types of pressure and the extensive use of the forearm and elbow to work deep to loosen knotted muscles. The staff is highly trained in a wide range of spa rituals based on western knowledge and with traditional, time-honored Balinese wellness techniques handed down over centuries.
Ubud is natural playground with so much to do and see. The resort’s staff can arrange a cadre of activities from yoga to Balinese dance classes, local cooking classes or even a trek through rice paddies. The hotel is a short drive to town and the staff is happy to give you a complimentary lift to town for shopping or a day of exploring the culture and arts which are in abundance.
The Viceroy Bali is a one-of-a-kind holiday experience sure to flabbergast the most jaded of travelers. For romantic couples, it is the perfect retreat to reconnect while experiencing all that this magical place on earth has to offer.