Picture this. You’re swimming in tranquil blue water that spills over the edge of a black stone wall into another pool below, and beyond that is lush rainforest and cerulean sky forever. You soak in the view and tranquil atmosphere, find a chair to lounge in, and order a drink from the passing bar attendant.
This is Hanging Gardens Ubud.
The Hanging Gardens is an exquisite hotel in the lush countryside of central Bali outside the city of of Ubud. Balanced on the edge of a forested cliff side, the resort has private villas cascading down the steep ravine, each with their own infinity pool.
Unfortunately, the hotel is about $400 a night, which is a little steep for most young travelers. We got a tip, though, to go and use the main pool above the villas for $20 a day.
We spent an entire afternoon between the lounge chairs and the edge of the pool, soaking it all in. It was gorgeous. To swim to that edge and then have the whole view open up is pretty incredible. The view from the wooden pool deck is nice, but floating over to the edge through the water that reflects the sky, to find more water and decks below, and thick rainforest alive with birds and monkeys with a river gushing through the valley, it can’t be beat.
This spot is one of Bali’s hidden jewels. We were so happy to find that we could taste this luxurious experience for a day without actually staying at the ritzy hotel.
We almost couldn’t find it, though. Following google maps on an iPhone while driving a scooter through winding narrow roads outside Ubud, we ended up on a bumpy trail full of chickens and foot travelers before turning around and happening upon the hotel at the end of a road that begins to slope down to the forest ravine. If you’re trying to find this spot, turn left at both forks you run into after the main road with the Hanging Gardens sign…
I’d hate for anyone to miss out on this surreal swimming experience. It’s low key, but oh so lovely.
For an overview of our whole Indonesia trip, click here.