With Bali still revelling in dry-season sun, it’s a smart time to sample the tropical delights of this culture-rich Indonesian island. For a rustic retreat in the arty town of Ubud, escape to The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, one of our romantic, hand-picked boutique hotels in Bali.
Style Indigenous opulence
Setting Endless paddies, misty mountains
Why now? Smith members get an exclusive 20 per cent off stays of three nights or more at the Chedi Club Tanah Gajah from 12 November–15 December 2011, provided you book a One-Bedroom Pool or Spa Villa 30 days in advance. Plus your Smith card bags you a 60-minute Ancient Balinese Massage for two. If you’re heading to Bali before then, time a visit with the ANZ Ubud Writers & Readers Festival, from 5–9 October, when the town comes alive with literary lectures, workshops and creative high jinks. The dry season lasts until November, when weather turns wetter but rain will rarely stop play all day.
Our favourite bits The 20 spacious, elegant suites give the lush location a run for its money, decked out with well chosen local art and antiques. We’re pretty partial to the seductive sea-green pool and spa, too, where you can enjoy a treatment overlooking verdant fields. If you’re in need of extra pampering, Pool Villas sport their own plunge pool and Spa Villas come with a private spa room. Creative Balinese cuisine is served at the hotel’s restaurant, or Ubud’s buzzy cafés and bars are just a short hop away.
Mr & Mrs Smith say ‘Guest suites and villas are sleek, chic and rather sexy. What makes them stand out in Ubud’s competitive market, however, are the complimentary extras: a well-stocked minibar, laundry service, daily tea and cocktails, morning yoga classes, and airport transfers. The bespoke bath products smell heavenly, too. A private pool and expansive balé make the upgrade from a suite to a villa worthwhile, but it’s the butler service that really makes a villa stay memorable. Not only will your personal assistant oversee all arrangements on the property, from unpacking your bags to pouring a bubble bath and preparing romantic turndowns complete with scattered petals, but he or she can lead treks into the tropical forest or entertain younger guests with kite flying and Balinese fairytales.’
You say ‘After a cool welcome drink and snack of fried bananas, we were introduced to our personal butler Agus. Mr Smith and I were not sure how we felt about having someone on hand night and day just to pamper us and attend to our every whim, but Agus put us at ease with his smiles and jokes, and later we began to worry that we’d adapted far too quickly to the whole butler thing and life would seem a little emptier without him.’
Read the full anonymous review of The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah in Bali