Our next stop in Bali is one of the most amazing hotels the Belmond Hotel group has to offer: Ubud Hanging Gardens Hotel, and the name itself is just as mysterious as the setting of the resort.
Lets begin with a little bit of history about this property. The current owner (British) was mountain biking through the mountains of Ubud. When he was standing still to catch some breath he looked around and saw this spectacular temple. Of course Bali is full of temples, but this one was special. It was build against the mountain instead of on top. He fell in love with the view (from where he was standing that moment) and started making plans to built this amazing resort so everyone could enjoy the view.
The idea for the building was ingenious, met complex. The mountainside was around 30 to 50 degrees steep, which didn’t make it an easy build. But, the Brit convinced enough people to get the right people (Belmond Hotel Group) excited so they started building. And not long after, we came to Bali to see what all the fuzz was about.
While entering the premises we noticed that there’s a different vibe then what we’re used too. There was of course the friendly Balinese hospitality, but the location grabbed a hold on us. We don’t know what exactly was responsible for this ‘weird but ok feeling’, but it might has something to do with the James Bond like Funicular which helped avoid hundreds of stairs.
The other thing that was different, was the air. There was this mystical atmosphere in the air that surrounded the hanging gardens. The people at the hotel told us this has something to do with a religious conjunction of the hotel and the temple on the other side of the mountain, but we don’t really believe in these kinda fairytales…
Like we always do, we check the resort by using the shower (always a good thing after traveling), test the bed for softness and stroll around taking pictures of the resort. But this time we do it in a bit of a hurry. We’re staying for just one night and because it’s very humid we can’t wait to start skinny-dipping in our own private pool.
When all this is done we head down to the Béduur restaurant to speak with their Thai Chef and French manager. This combinations is also reflected in the menu which makes it a joy to just look at it. We order the rice table (which is famous) and start waiting for the food to arrive.
We made the right decision. The Thai Chef used local ingredients which are fantastic. We really enjoyed our food. Because there were so many different dishes we can’t really remember what we ate (and because we forget to bring our notebook), but we do recommend you ordering this meal of you like a big rice table. Oh, and before we move on from dinner, we would like to say that the service was impeccable. Without being irritated, our glasses were never empty, our napkins were always folded correctly and most of the crew spoke English fluently.
So, did we like everything at Ubud’s Hanging Gardens? No. there was this drive to sell dressing gowns and sarongs and we don’t like people asking us to buy something. We’ll buy something if we want to and if we feel the need to it, so please stop embarrassing yourselves by being obtrude. The other downside of the resort if the fact that it takes over 40 minutes to get there from Ubud. The hotel does offer a complimentary shuttle service (6 times a day), but it’s still a long way from the civilized world. But, both these negative things didn’t break our stay at Ubud. We loved every bit of it and we highly recommend anyone staying here for a few days. The mystical atmosphere in combination with your own private pool and staying in the middle of the jungle is something we (and you) will never forget.
Price: USD 360 a night
More information: Website Ubud Hanging Gardens