Tropical forests and terraced rice fields dominate the central part of the island of Bali, in the Ubud region. The sacred river Ayung flows undisturbed making its way through the valleys, allowing nature to develop luxuriant and giving life to one of the most evocative landscapes of the island. It was precisely the richness of water that allowed the birth of the typical rice crops, which tourists can not miss in their trip. One of the most exclusive hotels in the area, Ayung Resort Ubud, is located in this luxuriant environment.
What struck us about this place? The possibility of having a private infinity pool overlooking the tropical forest. It is not the only resort in the area to offer this possibility, but compared to the famous Hanging Gardens you will find more affordable prices and with the same budget you can prolong your stay.
Let’s go in order. This fabulous resort is located on a hill overlooking the Ayung River valley and offers the possibility to stay in a room, in a residence or in a villa. The most exclusive way to stay in this place is obviously in one of the many villas. These are very large accommodations, about 200 square meters of space available for your wellness, which rise at various levels along the slope of the hill. They consist of structures in wood, that is richly finished and decorated, in which you will find a very spacious bedroom with every comfort, a dressing room and a bathroom in elegant yellow marble with tub and shower. You will have a kettle and a coffee maker, but there is not a kitchenette. The villas are the only accommodations that provide the infinity pool for your exclusive use.
The sense of hospitality that you can breathe is very strong; we were greeted with a tasty welcome mini drink at reception and later in the villa with a bottle of champagne, some snacks and fruit. Every day at the sunset a sweet was offered you (macarons in our case) to wish a good evening.
The second big plus point of this resort is the food. When you are resigned to the ordinary Indonesian cuisine, you will realize with great amazement that the quality of the dishes that you can enjoy here is at such a level that you will hardly find in Bali: the freshness of the raw materials combined with the right combination of flavors and originality of the dishes will surprise you. Let’s start with breakfast, which is simply fabulous. It is served à la carte in a room at the top of the hill, which on 3 sides offers a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape. You can order food and drink as often as you like (and we assure you that this is very far from what are the customs of Bali), it will be brought fresh from the kitchen. An example of what you could order? Mixed brioches, pancakes, fresh fruit, juices, mixed cold cuts, smoked salmon, cheese, plus hot egg dishes, porridge, meat and vegetables.
The same room is elegantly dressed to receive guests for dinner. It is recommended to book as the seats are not so many, especially on those evenings where the performance of the dancers in traditional clothes is expected (not to be missed!). We could see that the prices are much higher than the restaurants that are located in the center of Ubud, but given the quality of food and considering that the transfer could cost you more than the dinner itself, perhaps at this point we could accept the compromise to stay at the resort for dinner. The dishes proposed derive both from the Bali’s traditional cuisine and from the strong international influence (they also had a menu dedicated to Italian cuisine), but whatever you order we are sure that it will satisfy even the most demanding palates.
To crown the beauty of this place, almost like in a large open-air museum, you will find many sculptures in stone or marble, the suggestive hill with the sculpted faces emerging from the green mossy stones, the miniature reconstruction of the buddha temple and the deer park, which is an enclosure with fawns (unfortunately not used to being approached by men) that you can only admire from a distance. In addition, if you are lucky you will come across the clan of wild monkeys.
Other services available for the guests are the spa, the gym, the shuttle to the center of Ubud and, for a fee, the transfer to the international airport.
As with most hotels in Bali, the location where the resort is located is inconvenient to move around, but you have to get in the mind that without a driver in Bali you will not be able to move. For the visit of Ubud you could rely on the poor shuttle service that carry you from the hotel to the town centre, but be aware that the last shuttle leaves at 4 pm, just in the middle of the afternoon; for the evening shuttle service there is a surcharge of 100.000 IDR (around 6 EUR per person). Unfortunately this is a widespread policy in Bali hospitality and basically we hoped that this resort stood out a bit more from the average for this kind of service.
But how much is a dream vacation at Ayung Resort Ubud? It depends on how you will be vicious. One night in a villa with private pool in high season (we refer to the month of August) costs about 250 EUR (4.200.000 IDR), with breakfast included. A two-person dinner with two dishes per person could cost around 60 EUR (1.000.000 IDR). The transfer to and from the airport costs around 35 EUR (600.000 IDR). In addition, all treatments in the SPA, if you want to use them, are to be paid separately.
Ayung Resort Ubud is the best you could wish from a holiday in Bali. Of course, if your intent is to explore the island as much as possible, the villa is a bit of a waste of money. But if at the end of the holiday you want to give yourself a few days of absolute relaxation to regenerate yourself before returning to your normal routine, then this is the right place for you.
See you soon