In addition to its thriving art scene, Ubud has a magnificent natural landscape and scenery that have won and are winning the hearts of many. As rivers run through this highland of Bali, the waters caress the surrounding land to produce the dramatic contours of the Ubud forest. The vista is viewable in all its glory from Udhiana Resort Ubud, a new tranquil and verdant retreat situated on the Petanu River valley slopes.
PHOTO BY Bagus Tri Laksono
"Udhiana” in Sanskrit means a beautiful garden in heaven, a fair name for a beautiful resort with a lavish landscape and a beautiful view of Petanu River and its valleys. The resort is personally designed by the owner, Ketut Alit who has gained credence as a contractor. He adapts the agricultural terrace to Udhiana’s masterplan design, hence the division of the villas into four decks. Each level has its own highlights; the sound of the gushing river is more audible from the swimming pool and the rest of the lower zone, and becomes increasingly distant as you progress towards higher ground, where views of the panoramic Ubud green belt will take your breath away.
Recently opened in July 2016, Udhiana has 13 villas, all featuring a private pool and an expansive sundeck. In the units, the spacious bedroom sits behind the sundeck, facing southeast, allowing early risers to catch the first rays of the sun rising from behind the forest. The calming interior has several Dayak-inspired accessories and lighting fixtures, all are nicely arranged under the exposed traditional wooden ceiling.
Dining in Udhiana’s Art Deco-inspired restaurant is another pleasure the resort offers. Open daily between 7 am and 10.30 pm, the restaurant serves appetizing dishes by chef Putu Hovit, a young culinary connoisseur. Chef Putu picks a series of local ingredients to transform into fusion dishes like Balinese Chicken Rice Roll and Pandan Panna Cotta. There are also classic offerings on the menu like Pumpkin Soup or Grilled Beef Steak, but get your cameras ready as the dishes have flawless, photogenic presentation. Breakfast is served a la carte, so guests have the privilege to be surprised by Chef Putu each day.
Above the restaurant is The Khayangan Bar that shares the same ambiance with cool natural breeze and breathtaking views. Both the bar and 43 restaurant sit near the lobby, adjacent to the prayer area where the local hotel staff would do their daily worship. From the balcony seating, guests can also catch glimpses of Ubud monkeys playing in their natural habitat.
General manager Pamela Bathgate ensures that guests are at ease when staying in this property with butler service and an array of other facilities. “The guest need not rush for flight reconfirmation, foreign currency exchange, postage service, laundry, or sightseeing arrangement since they can do it at our reception desk. Understanding that art is one of the things people want to see in Ubud, we have a gallery nearby the lobby where the owner displays his private collection. Nevertheless, we have several Dayak wooden sculptures as a part of our landscape design that were also hand-picked years ago.”
The new resort continues to develop to offer more comfort for their customers, including the fitness centre that will be opened later in 2016. While the spa facility is still approaching completion, guests are welcome to have optional massage service in their rooms. Udhiana will open three private pool joglos in late 2016, followed by four joglos in 2017.
Ubud’s main road that’s lined with bustling markets, art shops, cafes and Balinese cultural sites is just two kilometres from the resort. Take a walk or alternatively, hop on Udhiana’s complimentary shuttle service. A serene resort with easy access to the heart of Ubud, Udhiana offers an experience of both facets of the Ubud lifestyle. Set amidst 1.1 hectares of a heavenly tropical garden with spectacular nature as its neighbour, Udhiana Resort Ubud is an idyllic retreat for travellers who wish to see the best of Ubud.