Banyan Tree Ungasan is a boutique all-villa hotel where even the most affordable rooms have their own swimming pool and a major ‘wow’ factor. This luxurious resort reflects the spirit of a traditional Balinese village, following the local practice of designing the resort along the Kaja-Kelod, or the axis dividing North and South to separate mountain from sea. Many of the villas have beautiful ocean views and all of them are dotted throughout the resort’s lush gardens so each one feels like a sanctuary.
Sliding doors offer easy access to the outdoor area which consists of a large relaxation cabana, spa tub, deck chairs and the pool. You can walk from here down a side path directly into the bathroom, saving the lavish living area from an undignified trail of pool water. Floor to ceiling windows make the most of the view throughout and the bathroom takes up an entire room, and that’s not including the outdoor shower.
Because each villa has its own pool, the main swimming area is fairly quiet but you should try this out at least once. The view from the infinity pool is superb and staff members are friendly and proactive, spreading out towels when guests arrive and delivering chilled ice-water. There is also another pool on the terrace outside Tamarind Restaurant, a secluded dining spot serving delicious spa cuisine. It was very quiet both in the restaurant itself and outside at the pool during our visit. If you are craving some romantic seclusion this is the place to come. We dined here once for lunch and enjoyed the light, healthy menu which also included cleansing herbal juices.
There is also a fine dining restaurant, Ju-Ma-Na, but we chose to eat at the main restaurant Bambu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Given the high end nature of the resort, we had braced ourselves for high prices however the meals were extremely affordable not to mention delicious. Bambu served some of the best food of our trip at prices that were cheaper than the local takeaway back home in Australia. Even if you aren’t staying at the resort, I would encourage you to dine here.
Breakfast consisted of the usual western choices, Indonesian specialties and traditional Asian dishes such as Peking duck washed down with free-flowing champagne for those who know it’s there. More information from the staff about what is available would be helpful. Lunch is a well-priced mix of western and Asian choices and dinner is traditional Indonesian fare. There is a themed buffet every night but we ordered from the a-la carte menu and learned a lot from the staff who were happy to share their knowledge of Indonesian cuisine with us.
We were delighted to discover we had arrived at the resort on a performance day for one of the shows that regularly take place at the resort. We were planning on seeing the famous Kecak dance at the nearby Uluwatu temple but were able to sit and enjoy it from the comfort of Bambu instead. I’ve seen the Uluwatu performance before and found the one at Banyan Tree to be equally good if not better due to the close proximity of the performers.
We only stayed at the resort for two nights but still managed to squeeze in a couple’s massage. The spa at Banyan Tree Ungasan is on two levels with reception upstairs and the treatment rooms downstairs. Therapists escort you to the treatment room which creates a sense of arrival although the rooms themselves are understated than over-the-top lavish. Our massage treatment was excellent and the therapists were kind, caring and very professional.
Our only disappointment was being unable to use the spa’s facilities such as the steam room either before or after our treatment. If you enjoy using these as part of your ‘spa treat’, it could be a good idea to check these are available when you book your appointment time.Along with a cute kids’ club there is also an activities desk where helpful staff can help you arrange tours but, really, when you are staying at such a beautiful resort why would you want to leave? Banyan Tree Ungasan is ideal for those who want a relaxing and romantic Bali stay.
Disclosure: The writer stayed as a guest of Banyan Tree Ungasan. Lunch and dinner at Bambu was at her own expense.
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