Mix traditional Balinese villa design, a home-from-home ambience, spa-resort luxury and a lush tropical location in the heart of the island and you have Kayumanis Ubud. Enjoy utter privacy in your own thatched villa, with a cinnamon-tree-shaded pool and an ever-ready personal butler. ‘Romantic’ is an understatement.
Warm and thoughtful service from your personal butler
Complete privacy in a rustic garden setting
Chauffeured limousines around Ubud on demand
A one-hour Relaxing Massage for two and a romantic flower bath on arrival
In the know
Also need to know:
Your personal butler is on hand to provide afternoon tea, daily fresh fruit and a constantly stocked complimentary minibar, and anything else you request or require. Smoking is allowed throughout.Kayumanis Ubud also organises trips to Buahan village for a picnic lunch overlooking the mountains and Ayung river valley or to watch the sunset at famous Tanah Lot, a romantic temple perched on cliffs high above the ocean.
Yoga clothing – there are classes every Wednesday. Keep some space in your suitcase for authentic Balinese artworks in gallery-packed Ubud town.
Laid-back Balinese or cool flowing cotton – from sarongs to Stella McCartney, anything goes.
Mr and Mrs Smith reviews
City dwellers often forgot the joys of silence. On our first night at Kayumanis Ubud, Mr Smith and I lie in bed and giggle at the deliciousness of not being able to hear anything. There are no rumbling air-con systems or humming fridges, barking dogs or tooting horns and – thank you, thank you – absolutely no thumping beats or noisy neighbours. OK, so we can just make out the stirring of palm trees on the gentle breeze, but that’s hardly upsetting the romantic vibe.
A rooster crowing, however, does stir me from my slumber in the morning. Mr Smith’s idea of a morning meal is lunch, so I wander alone to breakfast. After passing on what looks like a muffin of mass destruction, I’m presented with an American breakfast that is a sorry, cold state of affairs. The last time I saw a sausage that mistreated was on my dad’s barbecue during a bank holiday. Thankfully, the happy hens of Bali deliver eggs that scramble like a dream.
Really, a less than fortunate breakfast experience is the only bump in an otherwise smooth road to relaxation. On arrival the previous day, Mr Smith and I are escorted to Cedana, our Deluxe Villa, guarded like a precious jewel behind two heavy wooden doors secured by a huge padlock. The adage ‘size doesn’t matter’ may not apply to villas, but we both gasp when we realise just how huge our temporary love nest is. An eight-metre swimming pool is glistening in the sunshine. Here, there’s an emphasis on outdoor living, with areas for lounging and relaxing open to the elements. The only concession to the great indoors is a raised pavilion housing the bedroom and its draped four-poster.
Stone boulders on the path outside point the way to Dining Corner, a villa that has been converted into a restaurant serving traditional Thai cuisine. Sitting in one of the upper pavilions, having ordered a strawberry mojito and Long Island iced tea, Mr Smith and I simply stare at the verdant jungle foliage spilling down the river valley. We feel as though we’ve found Bali’s physical and spiritual heart.
With stomachs demanding attention, we opt for in-villa dining at lunchtime so that we can soak up every indulgent moment. Waiting for room service to arrive Mr Smith goes into boyish discovery mode, flicking on the tellie and pumping up the sound system. Meanwhile, I’m wrestling with issues concerning the outdoor bathroom. It’s drop-dead sexy, but my girly side can’t overcome concerns about creepy-crawlies and being bitten on the most delicate of regions.
Attacks by bugs are soon forgotten as the butler transforms our fully equipped kitchen into a private restaurant. Two types of flavoured olive oil, wood-fired garlic bread, iced lemon water and handmade crostini are laid out along with the nasi goreng and mie goreng we’ve ordered.After wolfing down satay sticks and noodles, there’s nothing to be done but lie about. By the pool, the thickly padded sunloungers make movement – apart from rolling over – difficult. Mr Smith even comments that for someone who usually can’t remain still for more than a moment, I am doing a remarkably good job of this relaxation thing.
With the sun setting we head across the wooden footbridge suspended over the river to the spa for our complimentary massage. Thatched open-air treatment pavilions are host to an unbelievable sensory experience. Face down I feel totally encompassed by nature, and soft strokes lull me as I listen to the sounds of the forest. All too soon I hear those four dreaded words: ‘Your massage is over.’
In the darkness, we light candles around the villa and soak together in the huge bath (I defy anyone not to fall in love all over again), before strolling back to the restaurant. There’s no one there but us, and we’re treated like superstars, with a tasting menu of Thai delights filling our table and our stomachs. The service is gracious and warm, and there’s always a watchful eye ensuring we need for nothing.
When Mr Smith finally wakes from his slumber – a long time after I’ve finished my forgettable breakfast – we decide to explore. A stroll down Ubud’s Monkey Forest Road is an assault course of broken paving stones, dogs, exposed drains and stepped-on offerings. Still, it has a great vibe and there’s plenty to look at and eat. We stop at famous Ibu Rai (named after a woman who began selling food to travellers on this site in the 1960s – now a restaurant run by her grandson) for a well-earned snack and at Tropical View for killer cocktails. We finish up in the evening with dinner at TeraZo, having discovered that Mozaic, Ubud’s iconic fine-diner, is fully booked. The colonial bistro serves tastebud-defying Mediterranean and Asian cuisine, and I have a moment of food envy given a taste of Mr Smith’s incredible tuna.
The next day we slowly pack our bags and padlock our retreat. Kayumanis promised luxury, privacy and comfort and delivered on all fronts. Even the cinnamon trees seem to be waving goodbye as our heavy legs struggle away from a holiday we never want to end.
Banjar Baung, Sayan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia, 80571
11.4 mi / 18.3 km from city centre
- Valet parking
- Internet services
- Complimentary in-room coffee or tea
- Room service
If you can tear yourself away from the cloistered luxury of your villa, let chef Nyoman Mustika serve you up some thom yam goong in the Dining Corner – traditional Thai food at its spicy best.
The corner table on the bottom deck gives you a privacy boost, as well as putting you closest to the stunning natural surrounding.
The Dining Corner and the Wine Corner both close at 11pm.
You can order an a-la-carte meal served overlooking your own private pool and garden.
The elevated Wine Corner lounge is a great place to hole up and usher in the dusk with a good bottle from the extensive cellar. Cocktail fans will lap up (or at least contentedly sip) the Sayan Forest, a blend of Kahlua, fresh strawberry and milk.