Ubud, BALI -– It’s an experience like no other, in a setting beautiful enough to bedazzle royalty. Bespoke, exclusive, and luxurious, Viceroy Bali is a unique destination resort poised on a ridge overlooking the verdant Valley of the Kings in central Bali.
Located just seven minutes’ drive from central Ubud, this tropical paradise feels like another world, with 25 Bali-styled luxury pool villas, bespoke amenities -- including a complete gymnasium and wellness-centered spa -- award winning restaurant, peerless service, and stunning surroundings. It’s the perfect place for the discerning traveler to relax and renew in utter tranquility, for celebrants to gather for a wedding or reunion, or for executives to retreat to plan for the future.
Better yet, there’s a world of experiences on offer that highlight the very special place that is Bali. Among them: classes in traditional Balinese cooking.
On request, the Viceroy Bali dedicated guests services manager will arrange for skilled local chefs to present demonstrations and tastings of a range of traditional dishes. (Generally speaking, Balinese food is hot and spicy, though it also incorporates coconut cream or milk, and often is served cold.) Sample dishes might include everyday offerings such as rice, steamed vegetables, and bits of fish accompanied by condiments such as tabia lalah manis (a thin soy sauce with chili peppers) and sambal matah (a lemongrass and shallot dipping sauce). Fruits are also part of the Balinese diet, often eaten as snacks. Common offerings at local markets include durian, mangosteen, breadfruit, zirzk, white mangoes, and nangka. For those ambitious enough to tackle signature dishes, the lesson might extend to celeng guling, also known as babi guling, a pork dish made from a suckling pig spit-roasted over a charcoal fire with garlic, shallots, candlenuts, coriander, lemongrass, lime leaves, and peppercorns and a rub of turmeric and water. Another possibility: tipat cantok, a common dish made of compacted, rolled rice cut into chunks and seasoned with peanuts, chili, lime juice, and sprouts.
Viceroy Bali recommends the Paon Bali cooking classes conducted by Mrs. Puspa and a local chef at a location just 10 minutes away from the resort. One popular option is for guests to go to the markets in the morning with the chef, then return to the homestead, prepare, and then enjoy eating the fruits of theirlabor overlooking the rice paddies. In each class, before the lesson starts, guests will be invited by Mrs. Puspa’s husband to come to their house to see the unique design, he will explain to the guest about family temple or Balinese compound. Classes are held daily and can be booked the day before.
Once finished with class for the day, guests can reward themselves with a visit to Lembah Spa, another spectacular experience. The skilled staff specializes in combining the best of western and Balinese techniques to provide wellness treatments in a tranquil setting that reflects the spa’s therapeutic focus. In addition to the normal amenities, Lembah Spa offers double massage rooms with showers (one with a double bath), a steam room, a cold plunge pool, a 68-jet therapeutic American Jacuzzi, and relaxation decks overlooking the Petanu Valley. Treatments range from traditional massage to special themed treatment courses to reflexology sessions, and packages are available. Guests might wish to nurture the glow a bit longer by dropping by the Viceroy Boutique to peruse its offerings of quality casual resort wear, jewelry, artifacts, and hotel memorabilia.
Those new to the joy of Balinese cooking -- and dining, of course -- as well the most experienced, will find that enjoying them both in a setting as lovely as Viceroy Bali is truly an elevating experience.