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Displaying items by tag: Bali

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Viceroy Bali

The Viceroy in Ubud, Bali was one of the highlights of our lengthy trip throughout Southeast Asia and Indonesia. With its gracious staff,  newly built bungalows, and magical location – it definitely scores a 10.

Upon arrival we were greeted with cool towels and welcome drinks by the friendly bell hops and explained the lay of the land by the helpful front desk staff. We were then taken down to our villa in a golf cart and shown around.

We had a Deluxe Terrace Villa and it was beautiful. Our own plunge pool awaited us complete with a balé (lovely little open-air pavilion) perched above it. The room itself had a sitting area, king size bed loaded with pillows, walk in closet, huge marble bathroom with a walk-in shower and soaking tub built for two. The design was a mix of Balinese and European and we had a thick thatched roof and marble floors. Every detail was thought of with fresh flowers everywhere, a free mini-bar (for non-alcoholic drinks), an espresso maker (with Italian coffee pods), a large flat screen TV with DVD player, and an iPod doc.

The Viceroy is owned by a family instead of a big corporation and strives to make guests happy. There are several categories of villas from Garden Villas to the regal Viceroy Villa (or presidential suite), they all are situated high on a steep hillside overlooking rice paddies cut into the opposite hill. There seems to be complete privacy even without drawing the shades, as all the villas face toward agricultural land.

We jumped in the pool as soon as we got a chance and it was cool and refreshing despite its small size and the Balinese heat. The balé was a perfect place to relax and read, write, or have a drink listening to our fountain and looking over the water and hillsides. It is also a great place to escape one of the rainy season’s afternoon showers.

The Lembah Spa is gorgeous. We were lucky enough to have an amazing couples massage in the double treatment room . After being expertly massaged with the scented oils of our choice, we were then given a crushed rice and cumin body scrub, and then doused with yogurt, before showering off. When we emerged from the shower we were led to a double bathtub completely covered with flower petals in a beautiful arrangement. The flower bath smelled divine with all the frangipani blossoms and was probably my favorite part. Afterwards we used the sauna, cold pool, and Jacuzzi and finished off with a fresh fruit juice.

The Viceroy also has a gym, a business center, a library, and a large pool next to the restaurant with lounge chairs. For those of you with an unlimited expense account there is even a helicopter pad so you can skip all the traffic and transfer directly from the airport.

The only inconvenience I experienced at the Viceroy is probably a plus to most people. When we arrived by car the guards did a thorough search of the car including using some type of long wand sensor to examine the car frame as well as checking the luggage in the trunk. I understand why they do it with the threat of terrorism in Bali, but even so I’d prefer not to be screened.

Daily breakfast was included with our stay and was delicious. We had our choice of entrée’s such as Eggs Benedict or Crepes with Valrhona chocolate served with juice, fresh fruit, toast, and coffee or tea.

The best part of the Viceroy was the complete relaxation we found there. Everything we could want was at our fingertips and there was no need to go anywhere. When we did go out to explore Ubud the free car service was very convenient.  At any point during the day, the drivers would take us downtown to one of the two main drop-off point’s  and in the evening they came to get us wherever we were in Ubud.

Visiting the royal palace and the market were fun, but we preferred walking through the rice paddies that surround Ubud. We went in search of Sari Organik, a restaurant that is hidden in the rice paddies and grows much of its own food – both the meals and the views were great. We also had a delicious meal at Bridges Bali, an upscale restaurant with excellent cuisine and great service.

On our last night we had another stellar culinary experience: the chef’s tasting dinner at the CasCades restaurant at the Viceroy. We got to try many of the chef’s divine creations. Our table was surrounded in a heart shape of flower petals in a romantic corner of the open air pavilion. The courteous servers always seemed to know if we needed anything. Our 5-course meal began with a silky goat cheese pannacotta with baby root vegetable salad, and followed through the sublime courses until we were more than satiated. Another standout was the main dish: chicken roulade with black truffles, forest mushrooms, baby vegetables and potato gratin. This would be the perfect setting for a honeymoon or anniversary, and actually the whole place can be booked out as an exclusive wedding spot.

The Viceroy is a luxurious retreat and one of the best places I’ve stayed in the whole world. I hope to return someday soon.

©Christina Kay Bolton

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