UBUD’S FIVE-STAR SANCTUARY
IMAGINE CHECKING IN TO YOUR OWN PRIVATE VILLA IN UBUD, AS BREATHTAKING VISTAS OF A PRISTINE RIVER VALLEY SPREAD OUT BEFORE YOU, AND THE POP OF A CHAMPAGNE BOTTLE SIGNALS THE START OF AN UNFORGETTABLE HOLIDAY.
A heavenly bottle of chilled Champagne? ‘Who ordered this?’ you may wonder. At The Ayung Resort in Ubud, small acts of kindness make a big difference, and pampering villa guests with a complimentary bottle of Champagne is just one of the many reasons guests are raving about the Kumala Group’s newest five-star resort.
Set amongst eight-hectares of lush, tropical forest, perched high up on the bank of an untouched river valley, every step you take within the resort’s dramatic environs brings you face-to-face with remarkable statues, paintings, carvings or artifacts. Five years before opening the resort in March, over 250 local artisans and highly-talented village stone masons lovingly applied their skills to create carved walkways through the gardens in honor of one of Indonesia’s most important Buddhist monuments – The Borobodur Temple.
Featuring the largest meeting rooms in Ubud, appointed with plush furnishings and offering inspiring views, Ayung Resort has already established itself as the go-to retreat for MICE groups and corporate events. The property’s flexible mix of accommodation includes 74 generous guest rooms (each with a personal espresso machine), two spacious Princess Suites, two Royal Suites and ten private pool villas. A natural extension of his contagious passion for life, Ayung Resort’s General Manager, Frits Henskes, is excited about creating a utopia of Balinese hospitality in all aspects of the resort. “I listen to my guests,” he says enthusiastically. “Whatever they want, I try wholeheartedly to meet or exceed expectations. The word ‘no’ doesn’t exist in my dictionary.”
The perfect example of how Ayung Resort creates harmony between exquisite Balinese culture and trend-setting modern taste is Wijaya Kusuma, an intimate signature restaurant with a menu as expansive as its breathtaking views. Featuring Southeast Asian fine-dining fusion, Executive Chef Made Lugra is a cutting-edge culinary talent who gains inspiration from Balinese, Indonesian, Asian and European cuisine. Accompanied by a worldly selection of fine wines from the restaurant’s private cellar, both in-house and walk-in guests are drawn to Wijaya Kusuma’s innovative style as well as the discreet, personalized service.
Elevating Indonesian and Balinese specialties to gourmet-status, Chef Lugra wows diners by taking traditional street food dishes, including ikan pepes, soft-shell crab and crispy duck, and adding gourmand twists like boutique-grown, organic produce from Bedugul, artisan-crafted sausages, and freshly caught snapper sourced at Jimbaran’s famous fish market. His delightful, three-course and six-course degustation menus starts with a surprise amuse-bouche, followed by such mouth-watering temptations as Pan Seared Foie Gras (accompanied by mushroom ravioli, morel sauce & apple chutney), Lobster-Jumbo-Prawn (with fresh asparagus, potato, orange slices, and lemongrass dressing with a hint of coriander), and Pandan Crème Brulee complemented by a luscious scoop of mandarin ginger sorbet.
For an even more laid-back Ubud dining experience, there’s no better place to spend your Friday afternoon than Napolitano Terrazzo. Located above the restaurant with drop-dead gorgeous views of the forested peninsula (recently acquired by Kumala Group to preserve the integrity of the resort’s mystical surroundings), the area is rumored to be the birthplace of I Gusti Ngurah Rai, Bali’s beloved hero. Serving up world-class Italian cuisine and boasting Bali’s only marble and granite pizza oven, Terrazzo is old-world comfort at its very best.
Since ‘thinking of everything’ happens to be the Ayung Resort’s specialty, Ubud residents will be thrilled to discover the beautifully appointed Delicatessen, stocked full of gourmet bites and necessities perfect for take-away bliss or even better yet, delivery! Yes, you heard that correctly. The resort’s five-star hospitality expands off-site as well, encouraging locals to count on it for pick up and delivery of a wide variety of premium, brand-name spirits and an extensive selection of attractively-priced international wines. The best deal we’ve seen in a long time? The Delicatessen’s champagne offerings, with an impressive Louis Roederer Crystal that won’t break the bank. Now that’s something to celebrate.