My wife and I stayed for 5 nights in August and what an experience we had. Being city dwellers, I decided that to celebrate my wife's birthday, we should get away to some place peaceful with good service and good food. And I never regretted my decision to choose the chedi club. And here is why:
Location - Surrounded by rice fields and well manicured lawns, your body automatically goes into a relaxed state. Everything slows down and we find ourselves walking slowly to absorb the peacefulness in. Everywhere you turn is green and you hear the gentle sound of the breeze and the relaxing sound of water flowing in the irrigation system or in the pond. Occasionally you hear the sound of a bird or insect but not the noises from the road or people talking. Perfect. Yet you are not far from Ubud. Once out of the gate, you are back into civilisation. However, we more of look forward to entering the gate back into this peaceful setting.
Villa - Ours is a pool villa (no 8). It looks out into a small patch of paddy field and the sound of water flowing into the pool adds to the overall spiritual feeling. Our villa is clean and beautifully decorated. It looks and feel modern and luxurious yet Balinese at the same time. Perfect balance again. Everything is in a workable condition and comfortable. However I do find that the front gate to our villa, as well as the door to our room is a bit out of alignment resulting in slight difficulty in locking the gate and also opening the door fully. But this is a minor detail that don't bother us as we know that nothing is perfect.
Staff - We have a butler called Putra. He is really nice and not intrusive. We arrived late and he is waiting for us to take us to our villa. And check in is done in room the next day! Totally no stress on arrival. He is always there when we need him and nothing is too difficult for him to do. We wanted to experience flying a kite like a local and he appears with a kite. We wanted to feed the swans and he appeared with bread. He also does online check in for us as well as cleaning our shoes after the paddy field walk. And on the last night, he fold towels into animals and my wife totally adores them.
The staff at the restaurant are among the nicest you can find anywhere in this world. They are a perfect balance of professionalism, friendliness and passion. It would be unfair for me to single out 1 or 2 of them for commendation as they are all very good. In fact we felt sad when walking out of the restaurant after our breakfast on the day of check out. We never felt like that before. They are like our good friends instead of some wait staff.
The drivers are also very friendly and knowledgeable. They are very careful in their driving. At no point were we stressed in any car trips with any driver due to their driving or behaviour. Very professional.
And the security staff at the gate. Very friendly people. You can see the friendliness in their eyes and in their actions and smile. You can't fake friendliness.
I can't forget about the staff at the spa as well as the gardeners. Very friendly and professional too.
I do regret that we didn't have much interaction with the general manager and the executive chef. In the very short conversations that we had, they seemed like very professional people and very passionate in their roles.
Food - We had the paddy dinner, cultural dinner, lunch with a view as well as a Indonesian rice table. I would say that the international menu that we had are of a very high standard. It is not easy to achieve that in a restaurant in the middle of the paddy fields in Ubud. I am sure that the executive chef must have worked really hard to create this high standard. However I feel that the Indonesian menu is a little bit tuned to suit mostly western guests. But they noticed and offered to spice things up. They will also cook what you want or make the food tastes to your liking. Very personalised touch. The chilli cashews offered in the room are a must try. We also had meals in Ubud so you could have some variety.
While things like free mini bar, afternoon tea, evening cocktails are a nice touch, I would also like to suggest some improvements. The free laundry for us took some time to get back to us (you send today morning before and you get it back the next day instead of the same day as written in the hotel book) so one may want to take note of that and cater for enough clothes especially if for special dinners. There was a dead fly in my breakfast one day and although it happens sometimes, the kitchen staff should be more careful as it could be a big turn off for anyone.
Lastly, the main thing that I really appreciate about the chedi club is that they really support the local community. I am not sure if I am right, but the dancers in the kecak dance are locals, the shampoo and bath gel in our villa, I believe, are locally sourced due to the way they are presented in a jar with no designer labels. I also heard that the locals managed the rice fields and the chedi club buys the rice back from them. Very well done if true. These are the small things I think matters the most.
In all, this is a very special stay. It is highly unlikely that we will encounter a hotel or resort like the chedi club Tanah gajah again. This is a very well managed property, with passionate and dedicated staff from the top down.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.