We could easily have spent all our time at The Chedi Club just listening to the quiet peacefulness, wandering about the trees and gaining inspiration from this rather magical place. But there are quite a few other ‘not to be missed’ things to do too (although soaking in the peacefulness should be one of your top priorities here). There are complimentary yoga classes and rice field treks organised through your personal butler; did we forget to mention you get a personal butler? Well you do, and ours was lovely.
Food fanatics (us) as well as anyone who has an interest in Balinese food (surely that’s everyone?) should book a cooking class with the enigmatic Executive Chef Dean. We got serious garden envy as he walked us round the organic vegetable garden (where, incidentally, his house is located too) showing us fruits, vegetables and herbs (ever heard of cinnamon basil? us neither). This man literally breathes the ‘garden to table’ philosophy.
We watched him make traditional Balinese favourites, tasting, picking up tips about cooking (turns out we’ve been using a wok incorrectly all these years) and listening to stories about local people who make his palm sugar (uniquely smoky in flavour as it’s cooked over wood) or his method for making their speciality rosella salt.
Stay on a Tuesday or a Friday and you’ll be lucky enough to see a traditional Kecak fire dance performed by 60 local, neighbouring villagers. Think this sounds contrived? Well think again; the same village has been performing this fascinating traditional dance here since it was a family home in the mid 80’s where guests would be entertianed in the open air amphitheatre and it has continued ever since. Imagine a kind of ancient chant-come-beatbox soundtrack with crazy martial-arts-esque moves and fire. Lots of fire flying about. It’s a marvelous spectacle.
And the newest not to be missed activity? Bali’s only hot air balloon.
Step into a tiny basket, feel the roar of the flames and float up above the rice fields to see Mount Agung in the distance. Oh Ubud, when you’re staying somewhere like The Chedi Club, you really are a beauty to behold.