A few months ago I had the opportunity to spend a few nights in one of the most famous hotels in all of Bali.
The Hanging Gardens of Bali is located a little north of Ubud and is about a 2 hour drive out of Seminyak. This incredible hotel runs down the inside of a forested canyon and provides a truly incredible environment for both romance and relaxation.
By Balinese standards, Hanging Gardens is pretty pricey. Rates start at around $630 AUD per night for a Spa Suite, right up to around $780 for a Panoramic Villa. These rates are definitely on the more expensive side for a Balinese getaway, but after two nights in the Panoramic Villa, I can tell you right now that it is the kinda place that is well worth the extra moolah.
When I think of words to describe a stay at the Hanging Gardens of Bali, the first one that comes to mind is ‘romantic’.
You may think for a solo traveller that staying alone somewhere inherently ‘romantic’ would be a bit of a disaster.
This is where I have a little confession to make. I wasn’t exactly solo for these two nights at Hanging Gardens.
Truth is, I messaged a guy that I was seeing and told him that he should come to Bali for the weekend and call it the best second date ever.
At the time of writing I am still seeing this guy – but before you go thinking that I am going to need to change the name of my blog – the vast majority of the travels on this blog will still be about travelling alone.
I do not travel solo because I have no other options, I do it because I love it. Solo travel is my favourite way to see the world and that is not going to change any time soon (or ever). So, to all my wonderful fellow solo travel enthusiasts – rest assured – the future of Travelling The World Solo won’t be veering off onto a different track.
Anyway – enough about the (rarely present) romantic aspect of my life, back to the Hanging Gardens!
Everyone who stays at the hotel is provided with incredibly beautiful sarongs – there is a temple not too far away and visiting it requires one to don the traditional garb.
An assortment of fresh tropical fruits was also provided each day. Some of them were absolutely delicious – especially the mangosteen.
The panoramic villa was certainly luxurious, but the real appeal of these villas was not the inside…
… It was the outside! Check out this truly gorgeous infinity pool that overlooks the incredible forested valley below.
There is evidently pretty high demand for the place, while I visited they were in the process of creating extra villas right below my pool.
It was just so peaceful! I could hear the birds chirping, the trees rustling and the soft lap of water against the edge of the pool.
Unlike many other parts of Bali, Ubud and the areas immediately adjacent have a fairly mild climate. In areas such as Uluwatu, Seminyak and Kuta, one would expect to spend their days pretty hot and sweaty, but during my time at Hanging Gardens, I was more likely to find myself getting cool! If you plan to visit this part of Bali, packing a light cardigan or jacket would not be a bad idea.
The Ubud region still has characteristic wet and dry seasons, but even in the driest months of the year, rainfall is significant. As a result, the region is extremely green and plant life flourishes in the wet and cool environment.
So. Beautiful villas – check. Scenic views – definitely. But what makes this resort any more special than the huge amount of other villas in the Ubud region?
Well to answer that question – check out this next picture.
Famed for being the greatest pool in the world – this double story infinity pool hanging out over the valley is seriously inspired. If you asked Bali enthusiasts about the resort experiences on their ‘Bali bucket lists’, you’d be hard pressed to find one that didn’t have swimming in this pool right up at the top!
My days here were spent lazing, floating around in pools, gorging on delicious food (try the shakshuka – amazing) and indulging in traditional Balinese massages.
Though the pool at the Hanging Gardens of Bali may steal the show, my personal favourite feature of the resort was the hillside funicular. There are two segments to this little transportation system; the first will get you from the lobby down to the bar, while the second will get you from the bar to the spa.
I really didn’t need to take the funicular up and down (being young and having no physical ailments and all that), but despite that, I opted to do so more often than not. However this was not out of laziness (at least not completely), it was more as a way to take in the truly stunning views.
Spending a few nights at the Hanging Gardens of Bali may be an expensive outing by Balinese standards, but if you can spare the dollars, it will be the kind of jungle relaxation that you didn’t even know you wanted.
T H E L O W D O W N
Getting to Bali: Flights to Bali are abundant and frequent, check out adioso.com to find the cheapest dates to fly
Getting to Hanging Gardens: The best and cheapest way to get to this amazing resort is with a privately hired driver
Made Atawan: This wonderful private driver offers affordable and reliable transfers within Bali, click here for more info
Hanging Gardens of Bali: Rates start at $630 AUD per night – click here to book
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M1 with M.Zuiko 12-40mm f2.8 lens
What to Pack: If you are visiting in the rainy season, mozzie repellent is not a bad idea! Also – a light cardi will not go astray
Remember: Don’t feel lazy for taking the funicular!
Don’t forget to add me on Snapchat and Instagram – @wwellend – for more foolishness and travel adventures!