Less than 25 miles north of the crowded
and steamy Balinese tourist beaches near Kuta and Legian, the
relatively cool breezes to be found in the town of Ubud, located on
the gently rising slopes of the island's central mountains, come as
a breath of fresh air.
Ubud is the
cultural capital of Bali, with surrounding villages specializing in
a range of Balinese arts, from carving to dance, painting to
cooking, and jewelry-making to the manufacture of wind
To cater to a
growing influx of tourists, hundreds of places to stay have sprung
up, ranging from private homes and guest houses to bungalows and
The most recent
trend is the construction of villas, most with large bedrooms and
bathrooms, private pools and gardens and some with fully equipped
At the top of
this range is the luxurious Royal Pita Maha Resort and Spa, located
a few miles outside Ubud, overlooking the Ayung River in a place
called Desa Kedewatan, meaning "area of the gods" and of great
spiritual reverence for the Balinese.
The Royal Pita
Maha comprises 52 villas, all with stunning views of the
picturesque Ayung. Each has a large bedroom overlooking a private
pool; a sitting room; and separate bathroom with spa bath. In
addition to the private pools, the complex has two large swimming
pools and a holy pool fed by spring waters believed to possess
Dining areas are
located on three levels, with another restaurant/bar by the
river. The resort also offers rafting
and other water sports.
The Royal Pita
Maha was constructed using traditional methods, designed by a
member of Ubud's royal family, that complement and integrate with
its lush environment. Full of local artwork, the property blends
beautifully with a landscape of rice terraces, river gorge and
The resort motif
is the hibiscus, and everywhere you turn, the flower has been used
as imaginative decoration -- from bedspreads to blooms placed on
steps leading to the pool and perched on towels.
resort's sales manager, said, "The hibiscus is a humble tree, and
we hope the hotel will grow and develop like the
Bali is well
known for its variety of health treatments, and the Royal Pita Maha
offers a range of massages, herbal skin scrubs, foot reflexology
and other beauty treatments.
by shuttle bus, offers a variety of attractions, including markets,
craft shops, museums and Hindu temples.
The nearby Monkey
Forest Sanctuary is a home to a band of simians that keep visitors
on their toes as they beg for handouts.
start at $400 plus 21% tax and include roundtrip airport transfers
and American breakfast. Agent commissions are negotiable. Call
(011) 62-36 198-0022, fax (011) 62-36 198-0011, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.royalpitamaha-bali.com.
To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail
to [email protected].