Set amidst tropical greenery and palm trees just a short drive from the centre of Ubud, Kupu Kupu Barong offers a quintessentially Balinese experience. The 5 star property nestled in the heart of the Indonesian jungle is ideal for guests hoping to be close to Bali’s cultural hub without being in the busy thick of it. It’s the ultimate luxury jungle retreat.
A Luxury Jungle Retreat
Unlike many other luxury hotels in Bali, Kupu Kupu Barong celebrates Balinese heritage, a factor that manifests in everything from the décor to the wooden panelled walls and vast tropical gardens. Overlooking the beautiful Ayung Valley, Kupu Kupu Barong is large and rambling; boasting two outdoor pools; one of which is flanked by trees, while the other sits on the rooftop and offers stunning views of the sweeping valley. The La View restaurant, famed for its endless jungle vista, often features on lists of restaurants with the best views; and its easy to see why.
On arrival I was given a frangipani flower garland and a tropical welcome drink before being shown to my room. I stayed at the Jungle Retreat, one of the beautiful hotels that are part of the Kupu Kupu Barong property. Settling into my Deluxe Suite in the Jungle View Wing, the suite was large and its design traditional yet opulent. The hand carved Javanese Joglo style wooden furniture and warm accents of colour throughout made the space feel cosy and welcoming, and the balcony offered a stunning view of the surrounding tropical landscape. Luxury touches could be found throughout, including L’Occitane goodies in the bathroom.
Fine Dining with Unrivalled Valley Views
The food at Kupu Kupu Barong is fine dining at its best. Breakfast is both a lavish and leisurely affair, with a bustling buffet offering Indonesian food, fresh fruit, and cooked breakfasts for anyone wanting to fuel for the day ahead. Daily complimentary afternoon tea is also offered to guests, including fresh juice, a selection of teas and an assortment of both Indonesian and western sweet treats.
The La View dinner menu offers an unbeatable variety of menu options alongside extensive views of the Ayung River. I sampled the flower menu; aptly named due to its inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables and beautifully presented with local flowers.
If you want to truly treat yourself at Kupu Kupu Barong, opt for one of their unique dining packages for the experience of a lifetime. Whether you want a a romantic evening with a loved one on a unique floating dining setting under a canopy of stars, set against a natural backdrop of timeless woodland greenery and the enchanting Ayung River Valley, or a more rustic experience enclosed in either the Bird or Eagle Nest with stunning valley views, Kupu Kupu Barong have you covered.
I was treated to an a la carte brunch on my final morning in the beautiful Birdnest. Despite dining solo, I decided to make it an indulgent affair by ordering pancakes, smoked salmon, fresh fruit, a smoothie, a pot of tea, a basket of pastries and strawberry-whip pudding to finish it off. The perfect finale to my three night stay, both the experience and the view, was an unforgettable one.
The Tree Spa by L’Occitane is as luxurious and relaxing as one would imagine. A natural extension of the L’Occitane brand, they favour hand-performed treatments over machines and traditional massage techniques over technologies. The setting is an unbeatable one, and hearing the sound scape of birds and the rush of the river during my facial made for quite the indulgent afternoon. Inspired by techniques and traditions from all around the world, the spa menu is an extensive one; and offering everything from body-brushing to soothing massages, it’s the perfect place to unwind.
As well as sun-drenched days by the pool and indulgent afternoons at the spa, guests are encouraged to take part in one of the hotel’s local tours, so when I was invited on a morning of biking around Ubud I jumped at the chance. We set off after an early breakfast to avoid the blaze of the midday sun and took in local villages, temples, and rice-paddies a-plenty. The guide explained much of the local history and traditions, from the layout of typical Balinese houses and villages, and it offered a great insight into the culture and heritage of the Island of the Gods.
Melding Balinese tradition with five-star indulgence, Kupu Kupu Barong is a unique and refined resort perfect for anyone looking for luxury without wanting to compromise on culture.
Jungle Retreat Hotel
Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571, Indonesia
The Fit Traveller was a guest of Kupu Kupu Barong for this stay. As always, the opinions, words and images are authentically our own.
Lucy Pearson is a certified bookworm, wanderluster and a qualified yoga teacher with a thirst for adventure and love for life.
Lucy has her own blog, The Unlikely Bookworm and also contributes to Stylist Magazine and Hip and Healthy.