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Hotel review: the Viceroy Bali (Indonesia)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

Today (April 27, 2016): Review of  the Viceroy Bali (Indonesia). 

The Viceroy Bali is sure to take the breath away from even the most seasoned traveler. This Balinese gem brings ultra luxury to Ubud. When booking my visit to the area known as the “Valley of the Kings” I wasn’t aware that I myself would be treated as royalty, but what a pleasant surprise. Upon arrival you are spoiled by the sight of pristine gardens while receiving a fresh floral lay and juice made from the sweetest oranges and tropical fruits. With just 25 private villas, attention to each guest is of the highest priority and impeccable service is the staple of this retreat. Privacy is greatly respected and pampering seems to occur without a second thought. The staff was one of the finest I have had the fortune to be served by and I would recommend other hotels follow their suit if looking to please guests at the highest level.

The Viceroy Bali features in my top 10 list of hotel pools with the world’s most stunning views.

In this review (more info below the slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Each villa is enhanced with its own private pool. Varying in size depending on the villa you’ll be residing in for your stay, from plunge pool to private infinity pool, this area is one that you’re sure to spend a lot of time at. Each morning I had breakfast served in my villa and dined on the pool patio while reclining in the bale. It is an experience I wish I could have packed up and brought home with me to enjoy daily. The monkeys jumped from tree limb to tree limb while watching me relax in the private pool each afternoon, which made for some wonderful entertainment.
  • In addition to your own private pool there is also the acclaimed infinity pool that is available to all guests. The views over the Penatu Valley are utterly amazing from the pool. One gets the feeling that they could simply swim into the jungle, through the tree limbs from the idyllic pool setting.
  • The pool offers a wonderful swim-up bar where you can order a cocktail to enhance your relaxation. Food service is also available poolside, making it unnecessary to stray very far and the perfect excuse to continue relaxing without interruption.
  • CasCades is rightly acclaimed as one of Bali’s top dining venues. French contemporary cuisine enhanced by exotic Asian flavors makes each meal more than memorable. Our meals at CasCades were the best we had while in Ubud and certainly some of the best food we ate during our entire stay in Bali.
  • Traditional Balinese dance performances during dinner are a regular occurrence so be sure to try to catch the show during your stay.
  • The all-inclusive breakfast is superb. The menu was seemingly endless, affording a different option to this finicky eater each and every morning. With healthy options such as toast with avocado or granola and yogurt to the indulgent pancakes covered in chocolate sauce, there is something to please everyone.
  • I was also pleasantly surprised to find that the restaurant offered a gluten-free menu for diners with dietary restrictions for breakfast, lunch and dinner which further showed their indelible attention to detail.
  • The Viceroy Bar is the best spot to catch the sunset over the valley. Pull up a chair and chat with the friendly and knowledgeable bar staff while sipping on a locally crafted cocktail or glass of wine from their highly respected collection. The Viceroy Bar is lauded as one of Bali’s finest stocked cocktail venues. The view over the Penatu River gorge is simply stunning so just get there a little early to secure a seat.
  • There are five types of villa accommodations and you can’t go wrong with any of them. As with any hotel, accommodations reflect your budget but even at the beginning price point you are still staying in the lap of luxury. Each villa has expansive valley views, private pool, marble bath with shower and separate tub and sitting areas in addition to the sleeping space. 24 hour room services as available as is free wifi, satellite television, in-room espresso maker and bath amenities produced right on the island. The bed in my villa, Vice Regal Villa I, was something from a dream. Larger than my California King at home, it afforded me some of the best sleep I’ve ever gotten while away.
  • The hotel is happy to arrange numerous activities for the antsy guest. There are countless tours to national reserves, local markets, marine parks and more available via the concierge. Cooking classes, private yoga sessions, cycling, rice paddy trekking, and Balinese dance lessons are just some of the other offerings.
  • If you’re feeling a little more adventurous why not take advantage of the on-site helipad and book a helicopter tour to see Bali from the sky? The only hotel in the Ubud district with its own helipad, it can also be used for transport to and from the airport.
  • If you’d like to stick to travel on the ground, hotel drivers are happy to offer complimentary car service to and from the main downtown area of Ubud, about a 5 minute drive from the hotel.
  • If in the mood for some additional pampering, look no further than the Lembah Spa where health and meditation are encouraged alongside relaxation and beauty.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW 

  • One thing that I found a bit strange at such a luxurious and exclusive property is that non-guests can pay to use the pool area from 11am to 5pm depending on availability. It wasn’t something that hindered my experience by any means, but when paying top dollar for this tranquil property I would prefer that the grounds be kept private for paying guests.
  • The bar is wonderful and the view possibly even better, but it can get quite crowded during the popular sunset hour since locals and other hotel guests also want to snag a seat.
  • A small hotel means not a very large restaurant and tables book up quickly, especially if there is a traditional Balinese dance performance being offered. Reservations are necessary as CasCades is quite popular and just because you’re a guest at the hotel doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a table.
  • The hotel is not adult only, which is a bit of a shame given the luxurious setting. Not a deal breaker for everyone, but know that there is the possibility of “tantruming” toddlers around the hotel grounds even though you’ve paid top dollar and are guaranteed privacy and peace.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 9/10
  • Design: 9/10
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 9/10
  • Service: 8/10
  • Overall Experience: very good: 8,8/10

TIPS FOR FUTURES GUESTS AND SAVE MONEY
  • Read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Viceroy Bali (and/or receiving many free perks).
  • Read my tips for how to prepare for your trip in time

BEST TIME TO VISIT

To ensure you enjoy the best weather Ubud has to offer visit between July and September, the driest time of year. January and February receive the most rain which can limit activities and sightseeing, but the rainy season runs from November to June. It can be extremely humid during this time and is the least popular for tourists. Temperatures remain fairly constant given the proximity to the equator, temperatures of between 28 and 34°C for most of the year, although an occasional fall to around 22°C isn’t uncommon during the wet season.


GETTING HERE

Ubud is located in central Bali, and if you’re planning on arriving via airplane, you’ll want to go to the Denpasar Bali Airport, located on the southern tip of the island. From there you can either rent a car or take a bus to get to Ubud. Of course Hotel Viceroy Bali is happy to arrange pickup and drop-off at the airport upon arrival and departure. The island isn’t very large, but it can take a while to get to Ubud because of the terrain, and not all of the roads are paved very well. Also, every year the roads get damaged due to the rains and harsh weather, so this can also slow things up a bit. If you are going to rent a car, you can either get a car from a few different agencies at the airport, or you can rent one right outside the airport.


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