Luxurious Bliss in Ubud
Words and Photos by The Yum List (Monica Tindall)
A helipad to the right and luxury vehicles to the left – the driveway to the reception of Viceroy Bali exudes lavishness. Choose your transportation. Fly by helicopter direct from the airport in 15 minutes or take in the sights with a picturesque one-hour drive in a premium transfer to the healing artisan retreat of Ubud.
Continuing down the slope to the lobby, the split-level foyer gives you just a peak of the splendour to come. The towering thatched ceiling opens up to views of the helipad behind and main recreation area below. Impeccably manicured lawns roll out to ivory sun umbrellas shading cushioned deck chairs and, wispy curtains puffing out in the gentle breeze from Balinese bales. An infinity pool drops over the edge of the lush verdant Petanu Valley, all the way down to a gushing stream. A forest of green palms is at the mid-level with azure skies tinting their crest.
Welcome drinks at the Viceroy Bali are gulped without thought in eagerness to see the rest of the property. A smiling valet notices guests’ avidity and quickly whisks them away in a buggy to their room.
An Opulent Home Away from Home
Built on a gradient, the Viceroy Bali features 25 villas perched in rows in succession along the hillside. Looking down from the pool you see a roofscape of pyramid thatchings interwoven with verdurous undergrowth. At ground level, winding rock walls clothed by hanging vines and carved stone murals, give the appearance of an enigmatic castle. Both a sense of grandeur and mystique burgeons on the descent to the room.
A foyer hung with paintings depicting local scenes and culture houses the entrance to two villas. Carved double wooden doors open up to an expanse of Italian marble and a wall of glass, which exposes the cynosure of the accommodations. The first impulse is to dash across the room squealing with glee and out onto the patio. But, this is a sophisticated place, so composure is maintained (until later when the valets have disappeared and you jump with joy at the sumptuousness of your home for the next few days).
A deck with private plunge pool with an infinity edge plummeting down to the ravine is the celebrity. A fountain spouts from the far end rippling the surface and padded sun chairs beseech hours of lazing at the edge. A pavilion perched above the pool and fringing the gulf, is furnished with a low table, cushions and fluffy white towels. With the sounds of the jungle and surge of the running stream, there’s no need for any relaxation ‘nature sounds’ CD here.
Doors closed though, you’re insulated. Quiet. Peace. The view: clear skies; lush trees; glimmering water. The sound: silence. It’s fresh. It’s magical. It’s repose. It’s disconnection and privacy. It’s perfect for couples. It’s perfect to be alone. Serenity, majesticity and luxury. It’s the Viceroy Bali.
Curtains drawn, the bed is the centerpiece. King. Soft. High thread-count linens. A chocolate left on the pillow during turndown service. Slippers and kimonos placed on top. Water and glass left by the bed.
|Chocolate on Pillow|
The bathroom is partially opened. Shaped in the form of a capital T, the toilet and shower are tucked off to the sides in the arms. The toilet is given privacy with a door. The enormous shower left open. A mammoth tub sits in the middle. His and hers sinks, sit not beside each other but on opposing walls. Recessed shelving hold ceramic refillable bath product containers giving additional luxury but also a note of respect for the environment.
Mahogany furnishings complement a fawn upholstered sofa with day bed and glass-topped table. An Illy espresso machine, equipped with frother and supplemented with milk, allows the making of unlimited cappuccinos and lattes. All of the in-room amenities are there as expected including satellite television, DVD player, I-pod docking station, safe and mini-fridge. Of note though is the quality sound system and speedy Internet connection. Money has obviously been invested in ensuring the details are of equal quality to the rest of the property.
If the flat screen TV in your room isn’t big enough then perhaps the theatre screen in the conference centre will be. The latest TV series or movies are for the picking alongside an entire wall of books. A gymnasium with cardio machines and weights neighbours the centre, but a wander through the rice paddies or roam around the village on one of the Viceroy’s bicycles might be just as pleasing.
The active will love the hilly pathways between rooms. Steep flexuous lanes lead guests on pulse-invigorating walks from their beds to the common areas. For the less sprightly though a buggy is available at the dial of a phone. To head to the town centre, a free shuttle bus awaits your call.
Recreation for Hedonists
The Lembah Spa is a glorious celebration of the importance of providing a space conducive to relaxation. Too built on the side of the hill, the reception spreads out to a pond and fountain that disappear over the edge of the valley. The green outlook and spa tea enhance the tranquil mood. The semi-open space invites in nature and fresh air, while closed treatment rooms shut out the outside world yielding privacy and seclusion.
Further taking advantage of the location, a small marquee is posited on a private lawn and garden for those wishing to take their treatment al fresco. A steam room, cold pool, sixty eight jet therapeutic American Jacuzzi and, relaxation deck complement the spa menu. Treatments designed by Swiss professionals, incorporating Balinese natural therapies and healing knowledge, form a comprehensive list of offerings.
|Outdoor Treatment Area, Lembah Spa|
For some, a deep massage and soak in a floral bath are ideal relaxants, others though, find peace in the culinary kingdom.
Classic Cocktails and French Cuisine
The Viceroy Bali Bar is double sided. On one edge is the swim up bar, stocked with under water seating and a shady canopy from which to sip on a fruity cocktail. On the other, a row of stools inspires long solitary gazes at the lush valley and palm topped hill with a robust liquor based drink in hand. Further over, elevated tables and Thai style seating encourage a social flutter with a glass of wine. Later in the night, the Cognac display is illuminated provoking deeper confabulation and perhaps a puff on a Havana Cigar.
CasCades Restaurant, while fine dining in presentation and food quality, allows a relaxed resort feel in a friendly setting. Guests are invited to dress in smart casual attire and take in breathtaking views while savouring elegant cuisine made by the French chef and his team. At night, a la carte menus and wine paired dinners are the highlight. But, staying at the hotel or not, breakfast is worth surfacing for. In the early morning, as the sun rises so does the mist from the valley. The clean smell of the dawning jungle and cooler air are unparalleled condiments to a hot coffee and flaky pastry basket.
From palatial rooms, to striking views, to resplendent facilities, the Viceroy Bali, is a deluxe stay in paradise.
Reason to visit: a lavish location for an intimate retreat for those who expect only the best, professional yet personable service, rooms with premium finishings, your own private plunge infinity edged pool and stunning views of the verdant Petanu Valley
Br Nagi, Ubud
+62 361 971 777
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