Hanging Gardens of Bali
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are said to have been built by a King for his wife who was homesick for mountainous scenery along with the plants and gardens of her homeland. The Hanging Gardens of Bali were built for those who also enjoy the mountainous scenery, but who also enjoy a nice hotel. In the heart of Ubud, meaning ‘healing’, the local medicinal plants and laughing rivers make this the perfect setting for a boutique hotel.
The split-level infinity pool, lined with Batu Changi stone and built from a wall of solidified volcanic ash allows you to swim straight into the views of the veiled jungle.
Perched high up in the jungle of Ubud, the views change throughout the day. Bright sunny mornings later give way to the tropical rain. As the rain later clears, it leaves a low-lying mist filling the valley. Soon the animals are reemerging and their sounds providing the soundtrack to the scenes around. Monkeys can be found playing in private pools while the roosters helpfully wake you to enjoy the pink shades of the sky as the sun rises above the mountains. You just can’t help but sit and gaze throughout your days here.
Later, as the sun sets beyond the valley, the nighttime animals come out to play. Tea light candles line the swimming pool, giving a romantic feel to a very special setting. Private dinners are arranged on the lower swimming pool as well as at the temple on the opposite hillside which is also beautifully lit up by candles.
The 44 rooms each have a private pool and stunning views. The mistake they make is marketing themselves as 7 stars when really it’s more like a 4-star. There is no gym or yoga despite their position in Ubud, and the spa facilities are more in line with a budget Thai spa. Rooms and decoration throughout are very dated. This wouldn’t be a problem if you weren’t coming with a 7-star expectation.
However, the reason we are here is the views and the pool and luckily these two things they do well. The top pool cascading down to it’s partner below where the infinity edge gives the impression that you are swimming out to the jungle ahead. Villas have their own private pools meaning the main pool surprisingly doesn’t get busy and we had it all to ourselves quite a few times.
The restaurant faces out to the pool with fantastic views over the jungle valley. Beyond the views, the restaurant is also far behind their competitors in terms of quality, service and facilities, yet this was the most expensive restaurant I’ve visited in Bali. Unfortunately you’re so far from anywhere else that you don’t have much choice but to eat here, which they might be taking advantage of.
Hanging Gardens of Bali is a really unique hotel in a stunning setting. It’s a little pricey for what you get, but somehow with the views and the feeling that someone has built this sanctuary just for you, it becomes worth it.