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Hanging Gardens Ubud is a legitimate piece of paradise, just 25 minutes of hair-raising road away from the culture and cuisine of Ubud’s city center. The 38 villas, 2 restaurants, bar, spa and jaw-dropping infinity pool are carved into the side of a cliff and accessible only by funicular. No biggie.

Hanging Gardens Ubud Funicular (detail) Hanging Gardens Ubud Bedroom Hanging Gardens Ubud Lobby
 HERS: It’s absolutely amazing to me that someone was once walking along in the middle of nowhere and said, hey, that looks like a nice steep hill… let’s carve a hotel into the side of it! I’m sure that’s not how it actually happened, but that’s the indelible impression I’ve got of Hanging Gardens Ubud: it’s a preposterously luxurious feat of engineering. Be warned, you will have a hard time concentrating during check-in. You will be overlooking the vast Ayung River Gorge, with a temple peeking out of the lush jungle on the opposite hill, and the hotel itself stretched out below you. You will be led, slightly jaw-dropped, down the wide steps to the first funicular stop, and then lowered down the hill to your private villa. Hanging Gardens Ubud Toilet Flower I’ve always had a thing for funiculars, the only way to travel around the property at the Hanging Gardens, and it’s a good thing too or we would have never left that room. I felt perfectly, blissfully isolated behind the mesh draping of our four-poster bed, looking out over our private (heated!) infinity pool and the valley below. Gorgeous accommodation, check. Outdoor showers, check. Flower floating in the toilet bowl on arrival, check. It was all a bit over the top, including the stunning, two-level main infinity pool jutting out of the hillside like the prow of a ship. And floating in the curved embrace of that structure, unable to see the ground below, I understood: if this place is possible, anything is. HIS: In my view, Hanging Gardens provides the ultimate in ‘alone time’ for you and your partner, and a nice contrast to the hip, sophisticated vibe on offer elsewhere in Bali. The hotel (formerly an Orient Express property) is designed to almost disappear into the landscape, and strikes that perfect balance of luxury and discretion. The remote location also seems to inspire a stronger-than-average commitment to the environment, which I liked: there is limited use of air conditioning and a lights-out policy, among other initiatives, all without skimping on service.Hanging Gardens Ubud Monkey on Private Infinity Pool
An extensive range of intimate experiences are available for honeymooners, from a candlelit dinner at the Puri Segarma Temple to a meal served and enjoyed while floating in your private pool. And the spa, nestled at the riverside base of the hotel, combines indoor and outdoor spaces so you can feel cheeky and serene at the same time. But if you tire of leafy pathways and hidden corners, there’s always that award-winning cliff top infinity pool, the property’s one, glorious moment of exhibitionism. And speaking of, if you have any trouble getting in the mood, the, ahem, sexually active monkeys roaming the place will be happy to set you a good example of how to spend all that private time.

VISIT: Hanging Gardens Ubud

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