We arrived in Ubud in the early eve, and while the darkness shifted my senses, sounds to the fore, we wandered into the Warwick Ibah to the soft flow of trickling water and the chi chak of local geckos.
We were led along a stone path to our room, intermittent lights bringing into focus frangipani trees and foliage that had crept through the cracks of the wall. The humidity was high.
Our room was the promised luxury, a four poster bed draped in a thick white mosquito net. Glassed bottles of water and air conditioning were welcomed. The room had a large balcony beside an outdoor dimly lit stairwell and peered into the tropical-sounding blackness in the other direction. We were above a valley of sorts that we couldn’t yet see. We ordered drinks to the room.
It wasn’t until the morning, when we walked through the hotel grounds to visit a local fave cafe (Sari Organik) of my travel buddy Kel (who I think I mentioned in a previous post has been to Indonesia many times and she first stayed at the Ibah when her partner was in the crew of the movie Eat, Pray, Love – yes, this is where the actors stayed as well), that I saw just how stunning this place was. The balcony did open out to a lush valley, with a few thatched-roofed villas hidden below. Little squirrels jumped through the trees and birds flew between them.
Tropical plants and flowers lined the walkways, Buddha statues stood serenely here and there, and there were little ponds filled with coy fish towards the front outdoor reception. This was possible the most beautiful (certainly the most tropical) hotel I have ever stayed in…
…and that was before I saw the pool.
You enter through an archway of stairs to find a little paradise. Cabanas made of stone wrap one side of the pool, with overgrowth spilling down the walls. We lay in the sun on reclining chairs covered in blue and white striped towels, and then swam to the edge of the infinity pool and watched out to palm trees and the blue sky.
We stayed at the Ibah on two separate occasions, and both times we didn’t want to leave, overstayed our check out time by hiding down by the pool and asking for yet another extension. Wouldn’t you?
Want more? Check out my Wanderlust on Bondi Beach Radio Bali Special, which includes loads of great interviews from this trip to Bali and an accompanying soundtrack!