I first visited Bali 33 years ago, and it will always hold a special place in my heart, so when my goal was to find somewhere that our family could escape to that had a health and fitness angle I thought of venturing here immediately. Sure, most properties have a gym, but I was looking for that extra special sauce that would have us coming back feeling refreshed and relaxed, as well as a smattering of indulgence thrown in.
On talking to Ravish Doctor from Luxury Escapes about booking, my first comment was “but your deals seem too good to be true!” Apparently I wasn’t the first person to point that out to him, and I am sure I won’t be the last. It seems that statement couldn’t be further from the truth, as they not only promise an amazing stay in properties around the world, but they over deliver in so many ways.
We finally decided on the Chedi Club Tanah Gajah as we hadn’t spent much time in Ubud, and the thought of being surrounded by greenery and peace and quiet was appealing after a busy few months.
As part of booking with Luxury Escapes there are always added VIP extras included with any holiday, and for us this comprised of airport transfers, breakfast, massages and even a hot air balloon ride.
On arrival at the Chedi Club we were greeted by our butler Bawa, who showed us around the property and then to our amazing family 2 bedroom pool villa. Unlike large-scale resorts, the Chedi Club only has 20 rooms (it was originally the family estate of famous Indonesian art collector Hendra Hadiprana) so you feel like you are staying as the guest of a friend, rather than just another ‘room-number’. The Balinese décor is in keeping with the essence of the property, including special pieces of art and furniture featured in every room, which flows out onto the hotel grounds as swans grace the ponds and ducks run through the rice paddy fields.
Coffee and tea are always complimentary, as is the indulgent afternoon high tea (a must-do) and evening signature cocktails. Over dinner, the Executive Chef, Dean Nor, was fast to make my 9 year-old feel welcome and informed us that we were always able to request a dish not on the menu if we were craving something special. And as it turns out, that was the consistent theme of the stay - nothing was a problem, and everything could be customized.
Did I manage to stay healthy? Yes, pretty much. The gym was enough to get me sweating, a 30m pool provided ample opportunity to do some laps, there was free yoga and walks through the rice paddy fields were a nice way to mix up some exercise outdoors. The food was fresh and clean (if you are after all you can eat buffets, this isn’t the place for you), so you could indulge but it was easy not to over-do it.
Highlights for my daughter was the kite flying, fishing and Balinese dance, while we loved the massages and staring out onto the fields with a drink in hand watching the sunset.
On leaving the Chedi Club all the staff embraced us with smiles and big hugs, asking if we will come back soon. We most certainly plan to, and will be booking through Luxury Escapes again.
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