By Dian Hasan | July 30, 2009
Riding in a personal funicular descending down verdant tropical hills to your sumptuously-appointed luxury villa in the heart of magical Bali, is – after all – not your typical hotel experience. Such is the unique travel experience that awaits you at Ubud Hanging Gardens.
One could say the name was inspired by Babylon Hanging Gardens, of the seven wonders of the ancient world fame, but the setting is truly unique, if not outright spectacular. Consider this: a half hour outside of Bali’s artistic pulse of Ubud, Ubud Hanging Gardens cling to the edge of the densely forested valley, a situation so precipitous that guests ride a personal funicular from the reception to the villas.
The accommodations are fairly conservative in style, but packed with all the luxe trimmings, including, crucially, private plunge pools. What counts here is not the interior design but the exterior view — you won’t miss designer furniture when you’re taking in the view across the valley.
Perhaps the best place from which to take in the view, however, may be the infinity pool — backed with the right view it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser, and this one certainly makes the most of its situation, each of its two levels coming to a point that feels suspended out above the valley.
Add yoga, a spa, and a well-trained chef overseeing two Indonesian restaurants, and there’s very little that can go wrong — Ubud may be an open secret, but the Hanging Gardens are far enough from town to feel very comfortably secluded.