The Final Verdict
The Property
The Villa
Food & Beverage

To be #1 at anything, anywhere is no small feat. To be the number one ranked resort, in a country where tourism is their #1 industry, and resorts are everywhere- that’s something special. On a recent trip to Bali we decided to see if the Viceroy, the  #1 ranked resort in Ubud, and a constant winner of Condé Nast Traveler awards lived up to it’s megastar level hype. As you may have seen on Instagram, it was an adventure to remember…

The Grounds + Overview…

a stone wall with a statue on it

Upon entering the grounds there’s an immediate feeling of place, terroir and exotic intrigue. Having just had a hellacious Uber ride, which involved haggling, we were taken aback by the location, even at night. The spiced mojito welcome drink, with local palm sugar and mint certainly may have played an initial part, or perhaps the fact that there’s a 2:1 staff to guest ratio…

a building with a thatched roof and a pool in the middle of a jungle

This angle, which the hotel uses on lots of online material, brought us in, and this photo we snapped from said angle is one of the many reasons we’ll be back. For once- pictures just don’t do this place justice. The feeling of being remote, in a jungle, overlooking a river deep below is real. If you’re into that sorta thing…

a table set up on a balcony overlooking a river

And then there’s the simple things… like breakfast and service. After eating complimentary all you can eat a la carte breakfast, watching mist rise off the river below, while peaceful attentive servers take care of your every need, it’s hard to go back to normal life. With just 25 villas, and more than 50 staff, there’s at least two people at every beckoning call.

a green field with palm trees and a concrete wall

And of course, no trip to Bali is complete without epic rice field views, which are easy to find at the Viceroy. Being able to source almost all food locally makes for exciting food and the fields certainly play a part in setting the remote paradise vibe.

The Villa + Infinity Pool…

a room with a bed and a couch

But lets be real here. If you’re going to splash out $500+ per night, you want to live and feel like a king or queen. Our villa certainly did not disappoint. Tastefully appointed, with a hand written welcome note, fresh fruit and space for an entourage, the stay immediately began to feel “big time”.

a bathroom with a tub and bathtub

And then of course we discovered our bathroom, which is larger than many hotels I’ve stayed in- in many metropolitan cities. With a full soaking tub, shower, dual sinks and a separate restroom, it was truly palatial.

a pool outside of a house

And then… the “a-ha” moment, where you completely understand why people spend $500 a night to stay here. A private infinity pool, overlooking the jungle, complete with day bed and loungers. No one in site, no one with a chance to peer in. And yes, you can wear your robe back and forth to feel like a complete lush as you slide from bed to infinity pool, just steps away.

two people in a pool

One thing that’s hard to get across visually is just how far down the jungle laden river was. You could regularly see monkeys climbing the tree line and some 200 feet below, rushing water. One thing you’ll see everywhere, lush greenery, incredible flowers and infinity pools so blue it will make your head spin.

a view of a forest from a balcony

Not for the faint of heart, the view from beyond the infinity pool/reading bed area. A dramatic plunge, which in our opinion made things all the more exciting. No paparazzi, that’s for sure! One funny side note: it felt like every time we left our villa for five minutes, someone must have repelled from the roof and tidied up, because our robes always seemed folded, towels freshly hung, and always a little chocolate or fresh fruit somewhere, despite our best efforts.

The Iconic Pool + Bar Overlooking The Jungle…

a woman in a pool with a donut in a pink inner tube

The iconic pool is the centerpiece of the Viceroy Bali, connecting Cascades, the resort’s restaurant- with swim up wet bar and sun lounging areas all around. It’s the meeting place for those who prefer the more social environment over private sun lounging in their individual villas. With just 25 villas, and few reasons to ever leave them, the pool never felt over crowded.

a pool with lounge chairs and umbrellas on a ledge

Not much to say here, just admiring the view. Much like the edge of the villa pools, there’s a real feeling of “oh wow, this really does feel like an infinity edge”. If you’re brave enough to swim up near the edge (totally harmless), you can find reward in the wet bar, where a mojito is always on tap.

a group of roofs with trees and plants

The central guest area is the highest elevated part of the resort, so all guests will at some point make the trek (they also have golf carts if you’re lazy) from the upper sun lounging terrace, pool area and restaurant down to their individual villas. The staff (who are just so friendly) are always happy to give you a ride, so don’t hesitate to ask.

a pool with a building and umbrellas in the background

Surprisingly, mosquitos were not really an issue. Despite incredible views and the benefits of privacy in our villa, it was hard to pass up taking in sunrise from the upper pool. If a picture is truly worth 1,000 words, I’m sure you can think of a few to justify the early rise for yourself…

The Food + Drinks At The Viceroy Restaurant, Cascades…

a fork next to a plate of food

Resorts and elevated food rarely go hand in hand, but the Viceroy proved to be a true culinary exception. The chef came up in Europe, perfecting french technique, before landing gigs at some of Southeast Asia’s top spots, learning to meld classic French training with the incredible flavors of Asia. The results were knockout.

a plate of food on a white plate

On our last evening we sprung for a four course tasting menu, offering traditional Indonesian dishes-elevated with top ingredients and presentation. The menu, which ran about $70 per person was a fun way to experience local food, without the worry of falling ill. Though not pictured, a surprise stunner for the group was a spinach soup with chicken sausage. We’ll leave you to browse…

a plate of food on a white surface

Duck. Yum.

a row of desserts on a plate

Italian meringue and citrus. Yum.

a plate of food on a table

Pandan infused cake with chocolate, pop rocks, berries and honeycomb. Yum.

Conclusion: Worth It?

With very limited ways (but one trick) to stay for free, staying at the Viceroy Bali is an investment. There are definitely cheaper properties, but this one truly set itself apart in standards of hospitality, natural beauty, modern amenities, food and infinity pools. For a special trip, honeymoon, anniversary, or anything that screams “let’s splash out”, we can’t think of a better place to do it. Check it out on their site. Five stars.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *