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“The perfect choice to stay while in Ubud”

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The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud, Bali – a GHM hotel
Ranked #5 of 196 Hotels in Ubud
Certificate of Excellence
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“The perfect choice to stay while in Ubud”
Reviewed September 13, 2008

In a word, this hotel is stunning. It perfectly captures the magical essence of Bali’s serene side. A couple of previous reviewers have complained about service and location. Well, I can tell you that in my experience their claims are completely off base.

My observations:
Location: The hotel is located a short complementary drive away from Ubud center. Is it walking distance to shops and restaurants? No, but all the luxury properties are located a short distance from town (think Four Seasons and Aman). Whenever we wanted to head into town, a driver was ready within a few minutes at most. They were always prompt in picking us up at the prearranged location and time in town as well. The hotel is set in the rice paddies and this contributes significantely to its charm and romantic atmosphere. I strongly preferred its setting as compared to some of the other luxury properties we visited (F.S. and Aman). The setting is utterly peaceful, almost like a lushly painted landscape come to life.

Hotel grounds: Wow! The hotel design captures the flavor of Bali perfectly and, at least to my eyes, seems utterly authentic and provides a very strong sense of place. I traveled nearly 12,000 miles to visit. The last thing I wanted was the standard international luxury style so common across the world. The hotel did not disappoint. All the amenities you could wish for are provided, but in a very unique way reflecting the Bali style. Everything is open air (excepting, of course, the comfortably air conditioned sleeping quarters). Eating breakfast each day in the restaurant was such a magical experience as all four sides are open to the setting.

Service: Perfect. We met the GM, Helen, and she seemed sincerely interested in our feedback (all positive) and was genuinely warm and welcoming. Our butler, Uni, was very focused on our needs without being too intrusive. She took care of whatever we needed, when we needed it. We had no problems communicating, either with her or any other hotel staff. Other hotel staff were uniformly warm and gracious. All staff made us feel like we were very special guests.

Room: I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but again all I can say is it was absolutely stunning. We stayed in pool villa #9, the most private of the villa locations. We had our own infinity pool, which was much larger than we expected. Each morning our Butler would open a small gate at the edge of the pool that looked out onto the working rice paddies. Our only surprise is when we discovered that field workers passed right in front of our open gate as they went about their business. The bedroom was again done in the Balinese style that seems to combine a modern minimalist aesthetic with ample touches of authentic local culture (beautiful wood carved platform bed, local art work etc…). For us, it was perfect.

In conclusion, in my experience this is probably the most memorable property that I have ever visited. For me, that speaks volumes because I have traveled extensively through Europe and the Americas and have stayed at many high end properties. The hotel features a wonderful combination of luxury, beautiful style and a strong sense of place. The magical setting will long live in my dreams.

  • Liked — Complete privacy and beautiful sense of authentic local style
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank WanderlustFL58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Taiwan
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2008

My husband and I have stayed at the Chedi Hotel in Chingmai and had a good impression of the hotel chain so we decided to stay at the Chedi club for our trip to Bali. The Chedi club is located near the mountain side of the Bali island, which was what we preferred but found out later it is quite far from the Seminyak area (which is the best shopping area in Bali, in my opinion). The hotel room is overall ok but our butler doesnt speak very good English. He did not push us for the activities in the Chedi club like the other review but instead it was quite difficult to communicate with him. The other services were ok, the shuttle car drivers were always nice, but we have to check ahead of time to make sure the cars are available. The birds were very loud in the morning and we cant sleep in! We could also hear people walking by or singing outside our villa--this was not ideal. The bed was comfortable and my husband had no problem getting internet access. The cmplimentary breakfast was very good. Bali has become a very commercial tourist spot overall, some meals we ate outside of the hotel were the same price as New York and London. We did enjoy the John Hardy jewelry workshop--nice price for amazing pieces. Also we very much liked the restaurant Mosaic, located in Ubud. Definitely try the tasting menu.

  • Liked — Nice rooms, clean and nice atmosphere, complimentary breakfast, nice shuttle car drivers
  • Disliked — No sound-proof system, a little too far from the fun parts of Bali
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank kuos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 5, 2008

I think the last couple of reviews posted about this hotel are far from objective, so I wanted to comment upon what a fabulous stay we had at the Chedi. I can understand people moaning about lack of atmosphere, as it is very peaceful and quiet. But peace and quiet and a serene environment are what many people want from a hotel! If we wanted to make friends with fellow guests by the pool or the bar, then we would have stayed somewhere else, for example, Butlins.

We spent the first 4 nights of our honeymoon at the Chedi and for us it was perfect. Very relaxing, our butler couldn't do enough for us and went out of his way to make it a fabulous experience. Small things like bringing more coathangers to our room because he saw that we had used all of them; bringing an adaptor plug because he saw that we had unplugged a bedside lamp to plug in one of our gadgets; cleaning our shoes after we had been for a rice paddie walk; bringing cold water and towels whilst we played tennis. I could go on.

I also loved the "Club" concept, which meant that this hotel was actually great value. By the time you have had your clothes laundered each day, eaten your delicious breakfast, enjoyed complimentary drinks all day at the pool and from the mini bar in your room, taken afternoon tea, enjoyed a sunset cocktail and had private car transport into and out of Ubud whenever you like, I would say that the room rate which includes all these items suddenly looks very reasonable.

Accusations by reviewers that the hotel tried to push you into doing things from which it took a huge cut just aren't true from my experience. And, in any event, it seems rather mean-spirited to make such an allegation, if you have happily enjoyed so many complimentary items that are included within the room rate!

I would definitiely recommend a stay in this hotel to anyone.

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
5 Thank FezFu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 3, 2008

Having just returned form a fabulous 12 night honeymoon in Bali, I thought that I would share our experiences of the hotels we stayed in, as we had used Trip Advisor to research them all and to pick where to stay. It is with some surprise that I read below some of the latest reviews, as we are definitely with the majority of reviewers on thinking that we had arrived in Heaven upon entering the gates of the Chedi at Tanah Gajar. Our review is as follows:
Arrival and Grounds: We arrived for a 4 night stay in a Private Pool Villa at the Chedi and were immediately taken aback by the beautiful gardens that unfolded before us and can truthfully say that the photos of the grounds do not do them justice. The landscaped gardens, small ponds and rice fields at the back were all breathtaking. I would describe the experience as if we had arrived somewhere magical. We were greeted with drinks, towels and banana fritter treats and by both the Head Chef, inviting us to enjoy our meals, and our Butler, who drove us by buggy to our villa – via a short tour of the grounds which included the Pavillions you can take afternoon tea in, the spa and the restaurant. By the time we were in our Pool Villa I was ecstatic and a bit overwhelmed by where we were staying. It was completely unexpected in its beauty, luxury and in being so welcoming. Exactly the place you want to be honeymooning!

The Butler: Our Butler was very friendly, and not at all overbearing. We saw him once or twice a day at most but could call him directly whenever we had any queries. He was very useful in booking restaurants in town (we ate at Mosaic, great food and lovely gardens, and at Lemak, great food but lacked atmosphere), arranging the free pick up and transfer services, doing our laundry (we virtually emptied our case with no notion of the 6 pcs per person that we have only become aware of from the comments below – certainly no mention from our Butler), arranging afternoon tea (which we took in the Pavillians and in our villa) and generally giving advice on bike hire, local eats (try Ebu Oka next to the Royal Palace in Ubud for delicious spicy Suckling Pig at 25,000Rp) etc. He also left cakes for us as he turned down the room and arranged our honeymoon cake and champagne flower bath for our return from a spa treatment.

Services/Treats: We also thoroughly enjoyed the free bar in the villa (which was restocked everyday and which was refilled upon request – as we did, for more tonic upon return from a meal out one night) and also the cocktail hour at 6pm, which could be taken anywhere in the resort (your villa, the pool bar or restaurant). This included different canapés each night and a good drinks list to choose from. We made full use of the transport and found it to be very flexible, as we often rang to change our pick up time, and provided us with a real peace of mind that the Chedi were just on the end of the phone for us. We wanted to use the internet (to check our wedding photos!) and were able to use the Chedi laptop by the pool which worked fine. Our Butler also sent a fax for us and my husband was able to use the Chedi office printer to print out some documents he needed. We also had massages (which were amazing, starting with a foot wash and rub and ending with a relaxing drink out on the deck overlooking the paddy fields) and manicure and pedicures. All to a high standard.

Food: Breakfast was included and lovely. We tried the Indonesian noodles, which were very tasty (and a huge portion), and also the American breakfasts. Good quality breads, homemade jams and great coffee. On our departure day we had to leave before breakfast (7am!) and they prepared breakfast boxes for us with fruit, croissants and the best BLT I’ve ever had! We also ate two meals at the Chedhi. The first was a set meal as part of the Balinese Dance package. This was good in variety and the spicy prawns were delicious, but the meat dishes only ‘fair’. The dance was good though and so worth doing anyway. Our second a la carte meal however, was delicious and faultless. Try the Pork three ways and the Beef Rendang.

The staff at the restaurant also deserve a mention as they will happily tell you about the rice paddies and the way of life there, point out the frogs and other creatures making their noises and also find out and remember your favourite tipple (on our last night after the cocktail hour finished we were brought Gin and Tonics, noted as our drink, on the house). I thought this was a nice touch and added to the feeling that you were really ‘guests’ at the Chedi.

Whilst in Ubud we also visited the Four Seasons Resort and though the architecture was amazing and the valley view beautiful it really didn’t have the same feel as the Chedi. If you like your luxury resorts bustling then maybe the Chedi isn’t for you, as what you’ll find here is a peaceful oasis, but one you really feel you are the only one to have discovered! We really didn’t want to leave and will definitely be back!

  • Liked — Service, Location, Views
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
4 Thank caraghm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level 6 Contributor
113 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 142 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2008

I agree wholeheartedly with the two reviews posted below from "Brandenburg5" and "LikesALittleLuxury." The Chedi Club is wonderful, but has some serious drawbacks and we do not intend on returning.

The Chedi Club is beautiful and luxurious, set outside Ubud proper about 15 minutes. Formerly an estate, it has been converted into a collection of luxury villas and bungalows, looking out over the rice paddies. The service is absolutely impeccable, with each villa assigned a butler to help coordinate reservations etc (and yes, I agree with the other reviewer- these people are obviously charged with repeatedly encouraging guests to sign up for revenue-generating hotel activities). The resort is completely private - you never have to leave your villa if you don't want to. Each villa is equipped with what you'd expect of a 5-star resort, including Bose sound system, flat LCD TV, high threadcount sheets, free mini bar etc. Laundry is also included in the room rate.

Now onto the problems. One of the first things we noticed were the birds in cages. Everywhere. By the restaurants...outside the villas....in the lobby. You name it, there are birds in cages. This is a little unsettling given you're in the middle of the jungle and it seems that birds should be flying free. But let's put that aside for the moment - the biggest issue with the birds, some of which are PARROTS, is that they shriek and squawk starting around 5 in the morning, and proceed throughout the day. The villas are not sound proofed and it was like having a bird sit on your head to wake you up in the morning. When we complained, to their credit, the staff of the hotel moved two of the birds directly outside our villa and we ended up with 2 quiet mornings before we departed. If you go to the Chedi, request - or demand at these prices - that you be located in a villa without birds nearby. Also a challenge was you need to plan your trips into Ubud if you want to use their shuttle. One morning I called to arrange a shuttle and was told they were all booked at 10 am but I could go at noon. Not a wonderful response at these rates.

Other reviewers have commented on the sterile atmosphere. We noticed that as well. While in Bali, we stayed at 4 different resorts, and made friends at all but this one (perhaps because we were so cranky about the birds, no one wanted anything to do with us). Many people seem to stay in their villas all of the time, so you feel you have the whole place to yourself. At first it's nice, but after a couple of days you start feeling like you're in the movie "The Shining."

One final thing: the restaurant. Breakfast and lunch at the beautiful restaurant, which is in our opinion the best part about the Chedi, were wonderful. Dinner, however, was overpriced (again, we agree with the other reviewers) and inconsistent. The Ahi Tuna was wonderful, but many other dishes were uninspired and bland. Prices were comparable to New York or London, not Ubud, and we've stayed in several 5-stars around Ubud. We noticed the restaurant was empty at dinner most nights and assume that guests take the complimentary shuttle into town for better and less expensive food. The view from the restaurant, which is open-air, was gorgeous, especially at night when they light candles in the rice fields. We also enjoyed complimentary tea at 4 pm every day there, and cocktails from 6-7 pm.

In summary -where does that leave us? Very difficult to write a review that's composed of two extremes... we would recommend Chedi for the first couple of nights of a honeymoon, where sleep may not be a priority. Chedi is so isolated and such an artificial atmosphere, it's hard to recommend Chedi for anyone who really wants to experience Bali, unless they want to do it in a Disney-atmosphere way. We also stayed at the Warwick Ibah in Ubud during our trip and much preferred this resort - again at 5-star luxury.

Read the reviews below carefully... you have been warned!

  • Liked — Impeccable service, complete privacy, gorgeous restaurant overlooking the rice fields
  • Disliked — Loud birds in cages, artificial/sterile environment, mediocre/expensive dinners, challenges getting into town
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
19 Thank lucyandethel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level 6 Contributor
459 reviews
127 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 295 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2008

The Chedi is located in the middle of rice paddies, wonderful! The hotel has a very nice garden, and the rooms/cottages are spread out in the garden. The pool villas have views of the rice paddies. Unfortunately there is a main road close to the hotel and therefore you can hear cars passing by from your room - a bit disturbing in this very nice and quiet place.
The rooms are nice, a bit on the smaller side for Bali, but nicely decorated. The pool villas have a terrace with a small pool with a view to the rice paddies.
Staff is very friendly, sometimes a bit slow but OK. Be patient and don't be upset if they do not understand you (very often the case in Bali). The manager is very helpful and tries to accomodate you as much as possible.
Only downside: food is not very good; go for the local food as that is still good, all western dishes are not really good. Wine choice is very limited.

You have a shuttle to Ubud and there you can either walk in the main streets with galleries and shops, or go further out and walk through rice paddies - very recommended, it is so great to walk in this quiet area, only rice paddies, and some friendly local people!

Overall o good choice, good value for price.

  • Liked — rice paddies around the hotel
  • Disliked — food
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TandTSwitzerland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Curitiba, PR
Level 6 Contributor
183 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 204 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2008

Positives: gorgeous landscaped grounds in the midst of the paddy fields; beautiful villas; wonderful breakfasts (the home-made bread with home-made jam was delicious); extras such as free mini-bar, free laundry and transfers into town (15-minute drive); lovely spa; fantastic infinity pool

Negatives: internet never worked and staff didn't understand why it wasn't acceptable that 50% of websites (including all online newspapers) were blocked by their server; extremely high prices in the restaurant (why should main courses be 2-3 times as expensive as very chic restaurants in Seminyak?); the "butler" who was a kind of concierge, and was very pushy in getting us to book excursions from which the hotel was clearly making money - this "butler" often made us very uncomfortable, and was not knowledgeable about Bali and gave us very poor advice which wasted our time and money.

Ubud itself has a lot to offer, great shopping and sightseeing and restaurants, but does get very over-crowded and in the daytime is simply a massive traffic jam.

All in all, the Chedi would be great if you truly need to get away from it all - staying in your villa, lounging by the pool, eating fine meals (at a huge mark-up but probably still cheaper than London or New York). But the atmosphere is soul-less. You almost never see anyone else (apart from your "butler" who constantly comes to your door - even entering once without knocking!), and bizarrely there often wasn't anyone at reception which is a bit of a shock when you return to the hotel and need to get your key.

Very strange, and ultimately not very pleasant despite all its positives.

  • Liked — breakfast
  • Disliked — the pushy and unknowledgeable "butler"
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
18 Thank brandenburg5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud, Bali – a GHM hotel

Property: The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud, Bali – a GHM hotel
Address: Jl. Goa Gajah, Tengkulak Kaja, Ubud 80571, Indonesia (Formerly The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah a GHM Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Ubud
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Ubud
#2 Romantic Hotel in Ubud
#2 Family Hotel in Ubud
#4 Spa Hotel in Ubud
#5 Luxury Hotel in Ubud
#9 Business Hotel in Ubud
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud, Bali – a GHM hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 20
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ubud’s leading 5-star luxury boutique resort, The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, rests within an exclusive former private estate and features only 20 art-filled villas in 5 hectares tropical gardens, surrounded by lush rice paddies in the heart of Bali. Villa choices include 7 one bedroom Suites, 9 one bedroom Pool Villas, 3 two bedroom Family Pool Villas and the one-of-a-kind 570m² two bedroom Hadiprana Villa. Each villa is assigned a personal butler and guests enjoy extensive complimentary Club Benefits: A la carte breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails, minibar incl alcohol, laundry service, car service to Ubud, yoga classes, Wifi, and access to the 28m swimming pool, gym and tennis court. Unique activities include rice paddy trekking, cooking classes with Chef Dean or the acclaimed Kecak & Fire Dance followed by a Royal Balinese dinner at The Restaurant. The property features elegant spaces for memorable weddings and events for up to 150 guests and may be bought out exclusively. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Chedi Hotel Ubud
The Chedi Hotel
The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, Ubud, Bali – a GHM Hotel

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