Perched on steep slopes of the misty Ayung River valley, the thatched roof villas of this small boutique hotel seem to float above the mist, rising from the lush rain forest. “Hanging Gardens Of Bali” is a well-deserved name.
Hanging Gardens Of Bali is built on a very steep slope descending straight to the Ayung River. So steep is the descent that a cable had to be installed on the grounds of the hotel, serving as the main way of transportation.
The funicular is a necessity, sparing guests from climbing hundreds of steps, but it is also an attraction and a local idiosyncrasy. The cable tram ride begins by the reception and lobby, the highest point of the hotel and ends at the bottom of the gorge, by the spa and the café overlooking the river.
Halfway down, there is the Three Elements restaurant and bar and one of the most famous swimming pools in Bali: the two-level, infinity-edge basins of elliptical shape. Designed for the maximum effect, the striking form of the multi-tier pool appears suspended over the dense rainforest, giving a unique sensation of floating above the treetops.
The villas are elegant, simple and romantic, and are decorated with hints of ethnic style. Bedroom, sporting a four-poster bed and floor-to-ceiling windows, opens to the terrace and infinity pool. And most villas have a remarkable view of the valley. The amazing views are one of the key elements of the experience here. The sight of the mist lifting from the lush jungle growing in the Ayung Valley as you chill in the private swimming pool is a memory worth keeping.
What I loved
- Hanging Gardens of Bali should be especially attractive to travellers who thrive on aesthetics. Surrounded by a truly gorgeous landscape, with fantastic views, and designed in a simple but organic style, the hotel offers a lot to satisfy the most demanding boutique hotel aficionados.
- In particular, the iconic infinity-edge swimming pool is simply spectacular. It’s one of the most photographed pools in the world, if not to say, most “instagrammable”
- The villas are comfortable and elegant, and each features a private, heated infinity pool
- Friendly and professional service, and intimate atmosphere
- The funicular cable car is both fun, and useful.
What you should know
- Best to reserve one of the (aptly named) Panoramic Pool Villa Suites, located in the upper part of the hotel. Every one of them comes with some truly stunning views over the valley.
- Bali roads are narrow and winding and getting to Ubud from Hanging Gardens can be twenty-five minutes by car, and to the Ngurah Rai International airport as much as three hours by car, depending on traffic
- Due to the high elevation, air temperature in this area tends to be on the chilly side
- Kids are welcome, but there are no special amenities for them. The atmosphere is that of the romance of Bali, and it is more suited to couples.
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