Set in Ubud on the steep hillside of an area called “Valley of the Kings” the highly awarded villa resort Viceroy Bali is not part of the U.S. based Viceroy Group, but instead an independent property owned and operated by Australian Margaret Bainbridge. Opened in 2005 – her brother took her on the back of his motorcycle to show her the spectacular setting – the resort has grown from the original plan of six villas to 11 villas when it opened and now 25, with the last 14 having been added in the past 18 months.
With its own helipad, the resort is 12 minutes by helicopter from Bali’s International Airport and its strong word of mouth reputation means its not unusual for elite travelers to helicopter in from their super yachts for lunch.
The 14 new villas are in the Deluxe Terrace category and feature larger pools, a stunning wooden bale, more outdoor space, walk-in closets with the same uber high quality materials and finishes the resort is know for.
Bainbridge who uses guest feedback for much of what she does was busy trying to decide whether she should add a mirror to the well-equipped gym while I was there. Apparently it is a split decision, so most likely there will be a folding Balinese style mirror near the substantial dumb bells for those who want to monitor their technique.
For those that just want to enjoy themselves there is a fine dining French restaurant, a spa with warm and cold pools, and a secluded outdoor treatment area for couples on a grassy bluff. There are arched footbridges, stepping stones over lily ponds and the sounds of the roaring river below. With the perfectly decorated public areas, including cozy bar with amazing valley views you may want to just stay put and chill.
The hotel does accept buy-outs and does have a small meeting room. Several of the new one-bedroom villas can be connected, and Bainbridge whose stewardship of the resort is a second career, doesn’t rule out building additional villas at some point in the future.