There seems to be a never-ending catalogue of luxury accommodations in Bali, so many so that I’d rarely opt to visit the same place twice. With countless options to try why repeat an experience? Returning to the same location might rob me of the opportunity to find something even better right?
The Viceroy Bali, Ubud
Viceroy Bali however is a clear exception to my rule. Nestled in the lushness of the Petanu Valley, these opulent villas are not only of premium location, but their elegant design is amongst the finest I’ve had the fortune to discern. A year ago, I spent a glorious three days in the remarkable Viceroy Bali. Hubby in Venezuela, I was travelling with a friend, so missed sharing this beautiful property with him. I’ve been itching to revisit ever since so that he too could share in my adoration for this stunning estate.
My eagerness though seems to balance out his disbelief. “You always find the good. You never see the bad.” In line with our core characters, me seeking the positive, him forever noting the negative, he’s not 100% convinced that the Viceroy Bali is quite as wonderful as I report.
Our transport passes through security and we begin the short decent down the hill towards reception. I stay mute and wait for hubby’s reaction. He is so busy goggling the luxury cars on our left and rattling off some mind-numbing fact he’s read about a particular model that I have to nudge him to see the helipad on the right. I smile a little as I see his eyes twinkle.
This family owned property consists of 25 luxury villas each with its own pool and stunning valley view. Everything is executed with attention to detail and fittings, technology and accessories are of supreme quality.
Deluxe Garden Terrace Villa
Complimentary Wi-Fi, 42” flat screen TV, full satellite service, DVD player and iPod/ iPhone docking station, keep Viceroy Bali firmly up with the times. Illy coffee is used in the espresso machine and shampoo, moisturizer and soaps with wonderful aromas are made from natural ingredients and produced on the island.
Luxurious Bath Products
The bathroom makes me want to renovate our home and replicate the Viceroy design. Shower and toilet cubicles on opposing walls are separated by a splendid bathtub big enough for two. Twin basins are each equipped with their own set of luxury bath products including good quality toothbrushes, not the cheap type that leave bristles in your teeth!
Deluxe Garden Terrace Bathroom
Turn down service, where slippers and robes are left by our bed, water on the dresser and, a handmade truffle placed on our pillow continues to impress. Hubby struts around in the soft bathrobe, admiring the marble, sandstone and giant pillars supporting the curved ceiling over our heated pool, proclaiming he feels like a king. Viceroy Bali is started to take its hold.
Bedroom of Deluxe Garden Terrace Villa
CasCades restaurant and bar is where we spend our first evening and by now hubby is appreciating my words of excitement that I’ve whispered for the past year. An open-walled pavilion unlatches panoramas with a thatched roofscape in the immediate foreground, profuse tropical foliage of the ravine in the middle, and the misty tree line backed by ever-changing skies as the ultimate backdrop.
Pool and CasCades Restaurant
Helmed by Belgian Chef Nic Vanderbeeken the kitchen produces fusion cuisine with clear European roots. An assertive focus on using only the highest quality of ingredients, many of which are organic and sourced locally on the island, ensures food at its very best. We partake in a six course tasting menu and are blown away by the Hungarian Foie Gras, Marinated Scallops and dessert – all of them. Chef’s Caramel Crunch has me oohing and aahing and Banana Fritter drizzled with salted caramel leaves an enormous smile of satisfaction on hubby’s face.
Table with a View
Breakfast is served for a short period from 7am – 10am too at CasCades. It’s the place to witness the sun rising over the valley and sip on a good cup of coffee, with the morning rays caressing your skin and, pristine air wafting in from the valley encouraging deep respiration. Pastries here are a must as are the Balinese Benedict and Mango Trifle.
Lembah spa and beauty centre shares the same spectacular views over the valley with the rest of Viceroy Bali. Terraced down the hillside three levels of reception and treatment rooms invite hours of pampering. Swiss trained therapists offer skilled techniques but their warm Balinese hands add a soft caring touch.
Although we have our own private dipping pool perfect for skinny-dipping at any time of day, the valley-top infinity pool is so divine it’s worth putting on a bathing suit to visit at least once. Sun chairs shaded with white umbrellas and, day beds privatised with floaty fabric curtains, dot the lawn border. The curved edge appears to drop over the side of the ravine with nothing but coconut palms, jungle vines and cerulean skies in sight.
With villas founded down the slope, the walk to the lobby and common areas can be quite steep. I love the bum-tightening angle and heart-pumping hike up the stone walled path. I feel like I’m wondering through the grounds of an ancient castle. Hubby however does not, and dials for the buggy every time we depart. He delights at the sound of his name called by our ‘butler’, “Mr. Caning, your transport is ready,” lapping up the personal attention.
Facilities are completed with a modern gymnasium (open 24 hours), a library and meeting room.
Meeting Room and Library
Viceroy Bali is minutes away by complimentary shuttle to Ubud. Restaurants, cafés, bars, charming boutiques and bric-a-brac shops merit at least a few hours of exploration. Go further afield and you can see verdant rice terraces, an active volcano, craft villages and the beautifully green landscape of rolling hills and tropical vegetation in the area.
Shuttle to Ubud
Time passes too quickly and before we’re ready to say goodbye our sojourn at the Viceroy Bali has come to a close. This story has a different ending to the first however. Now, it’s hubby who is singing the praises of the Viceroy. “Fantastico, maravilloso, increible!” to all who will listen. Viceroy Bali is undoubtedly one of our top choices for luxury stays around the world.
Reasons to visit: mind-clearing valley views; luxurious spacious and private design of villas; perfect for couples; small boutique property with personalised service to match; CasCades restaurant.