Once you have left the main thoroughfare, you take many twists and turns on extremely narrow roads passing through local villages and ancient temples. Each turn moves you closer to the spectacular valley that is home to the Ayung River and finally turning into a very discreet and long driveway lined with palm trees, which creates its own beautiful forest canopy roof. Above the higher ground, lies a luxury resort surrounded with lush of tropical rain forest in the spiritual Ubud. Get ready to hear the silent and feel the peace in Ayung Resort Ubud. mylifestylenews writes.
Ubud is the ultimate escape from the tourist traps of Bali, It exudes and ethereal quality due to the mystical forests and elevation, providing some spectacular views which are not self-evident from the main roads, plus a cooler temperature due to its higher ground, accompanying breezes and a mythical charm unlike other places in Bali.
Do not get too intimidated while you are escorted to the Ayung Resort lobby by its electric art collection comes in a surprisingly different way. The Owner is a collector of many things, so his personal art collection features throughout every corner of the resort in many other styles, which may not be to everyone’s taste. Yet, the achievements of his lifetime dramatic and rare artifacts from around the globe make this “living museum” resort even more eminent.
Six years in preparation, Ayung Resort Ubud has only been officially opened in operation for less than two years. Already there are signs that it is on the right track and one of the key points is location, location, location. Nestled in the Valley with a high elevation that affords some spectacular rainforest views and its combination of two main accommodation wings in different locations and large numbers of private villas, you are spoilt for choice.
As it happens, we were allocated in the Sita Wing, which we later discovered is one of the best locations for the two main wing options. It has the largest infinity pool in the resort that also offers the best views and natural light in this valley enclave. Our spacious and well quipped Princess suite set in an open plan format with more artwork display from the resort’s collection.
The balcony overlooking the infinity pool with lush of green makes one of the best room- with-a-view when the curtains open. There is also a a big dining table with complete wine & dine setting that is big enough to hold dinner for 6 as well as a home theater sound system TV with excellent channel selection and a blue ray DVD player.
Each floor of both accommodation wings has a common open lounge area to chill, it is most ideal to sit with on the big plush sofa to enjoy the rainforest breeze and browse through the library of books and glossy magazines.
The Wijaya Kusuma Lounge
When you walk around this eight hectare private estate, you will discover some other eccentric attractions, local artisans had created a carved walkways with a replica of the Borobadur Temple in Yogyakarta, Central Java as well as some remarkable stone carving of many infamous faces from within.
The Carved walkways with a replica of the Borobadur Temple in Yogyakarta
The remarkable stone carving of many infamous faces
The Spa Pavilion
The infinity Swimming Pool embraced by the tropical rainforest
When you proceed further, there is a small deer park populated by a species native to Indonesia, and hundreds of steps leading to the Ayung River at the bottom of the valley where the white water rafting took place.
The Wijaya Kusuma Restaurant which is named after fragrance flower in Ayung Resort is another highlight. This one and only restaurant in the resort delivers superb quality wine and dine experience with very affordable price and overlooking the jaw-dropping views of the valley and the river. Wijaya Kusuma has two levels, on the lower level is the lounge where daily complimentary afternoon tea is served and this should not be missed, as the tea selection is a quality above many international class hotels and the local savories is absolutely scrumptious. Pre-dinner drinks is recommended here before you head upstairs for dinner.
A pre dinner drinks canapes are served
Dinner at Wijaya Kusuma an affair to remember, a classic French menu with an Asian twist. On our first welcoming dinner, we were unexpectedly blown away by the quality of the produce and the culinary skill presented. We started off the evening with <Sweet Corn Soup with Roasted Coconut and Prawns> and <Mushroom Truffle Cappuccino mushroom Soup With Pamersan Stick>, with both having a standout creamy flavor and each ingredient clearly stated on the palate with a perfectly well balanced flavours.
Next was the <Char-Grilled Beef Tenderloin>, the 180 gram tenderloin was as tender as one would hope, with a beautiful creamy galangal sauce with accompanying glazed vegetables, creamed potato in herb butter. The<Pan Seared Duck Breast> comes with gnocchi, Oyster mushroom, spinach, spring onion in orange duck gravy is divine. The duck is a French textbook example of how to cook a duck breast, as it was tender, juicy with the perfect orange duck gravy. We ordered the <Three Flavoured Crème Brulee> which is just not too rich to end the meals as well as the <Mango Ice Cream Sorbet>.
The high level of gastronomy offer in Wijaya Kusuma makes you wants to come back before even you leave the table to call it a night. It is rather magical and we decided to book ourselves a table on the last night of our stay to sample many other creations on the menu created both by the very well trained in house chef and the General manager who comes from a well experienced Food & Beverage background.
On our last evening, we returned to test the depths of the menu further. We started with a deep fried <Salt & Pepper Squid> accompanied by basil, coriander, star fruit, spring onion, pamelo, cucumber, beetroot, watercress, palm sugar ginger vinaigrette. The salad was brimming with Asian flavours, with tender and tasty squid to act as a counter foil - a wild and wow combination treat. The signature <Kare Made>, chef Made version of Indonesia Chicken curry comes with steamed rice, pickles and crackers is another dish you wouldn’t want to be missed from the menu. The curry gravy oozing with a richness of flavour can’t have you stop enjoying it.
For mains, of lamb we test the classic European side of the menu and find no disappointment either. The <Lamb Rack> with vegetables lasagna, cassava-pumpkin puree, form and mint gastrique pomegranate sauce is rather an innovative invention. The meat was so easy to cut and we couldn’t leace any meat on the bone. Highly recommended! The <Iga Bakar> grilled marinated pork ribs put most renown ribs dishes in town to shame. The pork was equally satisfying as this secret recipe marinated with cumin, shallots served with sauté green beans, Klongkang chili sambal and steam rice. Not to be missed!
Unfortunately, with such generous food portions, we had run out of room for dessert, but it was tempting. Two dinners, both consistent on all counts: great food, great service, great menu pricing and a very affordable wine list that deserves further investigation. It is a must dine-in restaurant while you are in Ubud. We were told this restaurant will be expanding to only open for dinner with a new location within the premises.
The upper level is the main restaurant where all meal periods are catered for aside from the daily breakfast. Breakfast in Ayung Resort Ubud surpasses the expectations. A la carte menu with a vast selection of choice are offered with no limitation with a very generous approach. The French teabag selection from Damman Premium Teas is a superb quality especially the Early Grey and Darjeeling. We love the freshly squeezed juice selection with a great variety of combinations to your requests. Having tried just about every menu item over the course of our stay, here are the standouts: the bakery basket surpasses many others, as it is all made on the premises and tastes how it should (croissants are flaky and crispy); the eggs Benedict and omelete are spot on, with each perfectly cooked, Indonesian Mi Goren, Nasi Goren and the Balinese style Congee is a must order. Pancakes with fragrant maple syrup, juicy fruit comes in appealing presentation. With such quality breakfast, you would want to wake up with eager anticipation.
The Ayung Resort Ubud delivers on all other fronts especially of its a serene hideaway for you to hear the silence and feel the peaceful surroundings around you to rejuvenate your mind and soul. The service is spot on, the food options never fail to impress and there is a generosity in all that is delivered. We spent endless hours marveling at the views from the swimming pool and at other choice locations throughout our resort experience and check out with many unforgettable memories.
Tried & Tested:
Design & Decor: 4/5
Food & Beverage: 4.5/5
The Valley View
Wine & Dine in Wijaya Kusuma
Desa Melinggih Kelod,
Banjar Begawan Payangan
Tel: +62 361 900 1333