Payogan Resort, Bali
If you’ve been reading my blog for the last couple of months, you’ll know that we spent five days in Bali as part of our honeymoon. We stayed in Ubud, which is known as the cultural heart of Bali. Ubud is famous for the craft it produces from the local population. It’s also a real insight to Bali. On one hand, you have lush forests set high up in the mountains and on the other, a busy, thriving area full of people, noisy motorbikes, shops intermingled with temples. There’s something for everyone in Ubud.
I thought I’d share with you the place we stayed in when we visited Ubud. We booked a villa in The Payogan Resort. Located just a couple of miles outside the busy centre of Ubud and tucked away down some very bumpy streets, the resort is quite the hidden gem.
If we were driving, I’m sure we’d never find it, but luckily we had a knowledgeable driver pick us up from the airport. The drive from the airport normally takes about an hour, but because we hit right at the wrong time of the day, our journey took almost two. We can thank the line at customs for our delay – two hours to get through - thanks, Bali!
The pictures of the Payogan Resort looked stunning and I’m pleased to say we weren’t disappointed. On arrival, we were presented with a refreshing welcome drink and checked in. We had booked a package with a few options – spa treatments, a candlelit dinner, a cycling tour and a cooking class. The team there booked all of our activities at our requested times with ease.
We were then taken by golf buggy to our villa. By the time we arrived night had fallen, so we arrived at our villa in the dark. It looked stunning. The pool was lit up, the bath was filled with petals and you could just about see into the rich foliage and stone walls that surrounded our villa, giving us privacy from the outside world.
After a shower and a quick dinner at the on-site restaurant, we returned to our villa for a restful night’s sleep – after all, we had been flying for more than a day.
The next morning we awoke to the sounds of nature. Birds, animals - all kind of amazing creatures that live in lands surrounding the resort. My husband actually questioned whether the sounds were piped in, as they were so intense. The answer is no, by the way. But the sounds were mesmerising and magical and if I close my eyes I can hear them and think back to the peace and tranquillity that enveloped us.
Our villa at the Payogan Resort was afforded with a private pool, unfortunately, the pool was too cold for us to swim in, but it looked beautiful both day and night and the little terrace by the pool was perfect for relaxing. I on more than one occasion went to read a book on the terrace and fell asleep. It was so peaceful.
The view from the terrace was astounding. You could see right into the lush lands across the hillside. It was a plethora of greenery and serenity. One of the most amazing things about the villa was you could take in these views from the four-poster bed. If you drew back the curtains which spanned the whole room, you could sit on the bed and just look out.
The bathroom was also pretty special. With the bath, shower and toilet all being located on a large covered balcony. The bathroom was actually open on one side and you could enjoy the views and the fresh air whilst you showered. The location of the bathroom, plus the foliage coverage gave you privacy.
The facilities at the Payogan Resort were brilliant. There was wifi available if you needed it. The resort was set on a steep hillside, so if you wish, you could ask for a golf buggy to pick you up from your villa to take you up to reception. We quite enjoyed the walk up the hillside. Made you feel like you’d earned your dinner or cocktail, but useful if you were heading out and didn’t want to get too hot or sweaty, before leaving the resort.
There was also a spa on site. We visited twice for massages. They were quite hard massages, so a little painful in places. But I had been warned on this before coming. Our muscles felt good for having these.
There was also a communal pool, we didn’t use this, but I would imagine from the location, was probably a little warmer than the private pools. Because a lot of the villas had their own pools, there were plenty of sun loungers around the pool, including some nice daybed style ones.
As I mentioned, we’d also booked a cycling tour of Ubud, a candle-lit dinner and a cooking class. These were really fun. The cycling tour took us around lots of different sites of Ubud including a temple, the rice fields and across some amazing views.
The cooking class was with the hotel chef and we made a three-course meal. A starter of soup, including young papaya, which I would have never thought to use in soup. A main of spiced, grilled tuna and chicken and a dessert of palm sugared bananas. It was a really fun experience.
The Payogan Resort was a real haven of tranquillity. The villas were beautiful. If I had to find fault, I would have said the air-conditioning was a bit weak in our villa. It was very hot at night. Some nights we slept with the doors open but it did put us at risk of being bitten or having visits from the local wildlife (which did happen!) The on-site restaurant was nice, but we weren’t blown away by the food like we were in Lombok.
Would I change where we stayed, absolutely not! It was truly heaven on earth and perfect for a honeymoon. The team there looked after us so well, and we enjoyed our whole stay there. I would definitely go back in a heartbeat.
Our package, which included five nights in a private villa with pool, breakfast, two massages each, airport transfers and a candlelit dinner cost about £650. The cycling tour cost around £22 for the pair of us and the cooking class around £55 for both of us (including eating the three-course meal that we made).
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