I am a seasoned traveller - please read my profile to put my review into perspective. I lived in SE-Asia for 6 years in the early 2000's and still come back lots.
I stayed at the Viceroy with my wife for 6 days just before new year. For people less familiar with Bali, it is a high end Ubud boutique hotel; there are about 4-6 similar ones around Ubud, such as the Alila or the Hanging Gardens. Hotels around Ubud provide the rice terrace / mountain type holiday feel, whereas Kuta, Seminyak and most other well known suburbs in Bali typically are the more "Beach type" places. Make sure the mountains / rice fields is what you are after if you go to the Viceroy (or any hotel around Ubud)
If this is what you like, then the Viceroy does a fantastic job, at a high end price. The rooms are very luxurious even for this top end type of hotel, probably the most luxurious I have ever seen in the tropcis. This makes unfortunatley for a somewhat less "Bali style" environment (which would be more rustic) however the rooms make up for it with pictures and art pieces as well as the design of the exteriors and the overall 'village' style feel of the property which is very "Bali". We had a lux terrace villa, I think that is the medium room category, with plunge pool. (BTW I think the plunge pool and innter courtyard are a "must", we would have been disappointed had we only had the communal pool available, see below). The room was very large, had also a very large bathroom, big bathtub and oversized shower, and everything worked perfectly. Best part of the villa was the very private plunge pool and the little private pagoda built half over it, half hanging high over the edge to the valley; it was our favorite place of the trip. Overall, the room quality is really what makes the Viceroy stand out compared with the other abovementioned places, it is phenomenal.
All (~22?) rooms are build into the slope of one side of a valley which contains a little river (that can be heard but not seen) and you pretty much look into the other side of the valley with a very nice view of palmtrees, rice fields and lush greens into every direction. While the view directly ahead is a bit limited as you are below the crest of the valley, you can see the Bali vulcanoes one you look to your left, through the valley, which makes a fabulous view particularly after rain, when mist comes up all around. Fantastic view. Service around the room was just perfect and very friendly.
As to facilities, the restaurant was nicely built, had great service and good food, and is apparently one of the best fine dining restaurants in Ubud. However, we felt a little lonely at times, and menu choice was also limited, both for dinner and breakfast, particularly after 6 days. Wine, as in so many places (but not all) in Bali, is ridiculously overpriced, some bottles up to 5x their retail price. Still, a top notch restaurant, and the bar to the side was very nicely designed to make the most out of the proximity of the restaurant and pool and the view over the valley.
The Spa was nice although a little 'clinical' in appearance. However, I had absolutely the best treatment and massage I ever had, including many in Europe, all Asia and Australia. Outstanding and professional. Very impressive, and at a fairly reasonable price.
The gym was very good, with all basic equipment and free weights provided, and less outdated than you typically find in boutique hotels. The treadmill was not working though.
The communal pool was very nice with that same great valley view from a bit higher up, although the space to 'hang out' there is a little limited. The Alila or the hanging gardens are probably better if 'see and be seen' at the main pool is what you are after; however, for us it was not a big deal as we were mostly lying by our own plunge pool in our private courtyard anyways.
Overall therefore, the hotel was absolutely outstanding - if the small, boutique and sometimes somewhat overly quiet feel is what you are after.
However, what did put us off was Ubud in itself. While one might argue that that should not be part of the hotel discussion, I believe it has to be, as the hotel is very small and most people will want to venture into the city at least for dinner, but probably also for shopping and a bit of local experience. This was the problem for us.
I have been to Ubud for the first time 12 years ago, and already then it was fairly ugly experience to walk through the city; since then, it just got a lot worse. The crazy traffic, constant contruction sites, incredible pollution, dangerous footpaths (if any), dirt and ruins everywhere this time got to me after just a day. It has been there for the past 10 years plus, but has multiplied to an extend where I just didnt want to go into Ubud anymore, other than for dinner after suset when the traffic had quieted and the dirt wasn't so obvious. Still lots of nice restaurants around, however I could not get over the feeling that Ubud was in the process of 'being left behind' as all shops have opened franchises in Seminyak, Ubud is growing but not in quality but quantity, and infrastructure remains as bad as ever, but with 4 times the traffic. Seriously, I dont understand why people still go there, it has lost all of its original 'alternative / nature / romantic / hippie' charms it was once famous for, and all the new developments in Bali are elsewhere on the island. If you want to stay in your resort all day, you can still have the rural rustic flair; other than for that, I will not return.
All this is a little unfair to the Viceroy, as they have done the very best and created a luxurious paradise within their boundaries, however location and surroundings are important and my tip is to think this one through very carefully; the very negative Ubud experience has definitely spoiled some of my holiday mood this time around.
A couple of tips on the side: do your shopping in Seminyak, not Ubud - much more choice of the same kind; "mosaic" is a really good fine dining alternative, and "bridges" still has the old ubud flair, style, quality and food at better prices - at least by night.
If you like the review, please vote 'helpful' or leave a brief compliment ;-) and happy travels!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Viceroy Bali recently won 'Best Boutique Honeymoon Hotel' in the world, it is a family owned and operated resort conveniently situated five minutes from the centre of Ubud and features 25 luxuriously appointed one and two bedroom private pool villas, CasCades fine dining restaurant which serves French cuisine with an Asian twist and the Lembah spa which has a variety of traditional Balinese and international treatments. The Viceroy Bali is a sanctuary in paradise and offers complete privacy with breathtaking tropical valley views. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Viceroy Bali Ubud
- Viceroy Bali Hotel Ubud