As travelers, we are always searching for unique experiences. Special moments that help to elevate our mundane day-to-day existence into the sublime. The type of experiences that create special feelings that will always be remembered and carried in our hearts and minds forever. These moments can be transformative that change our lives dramatically or can wait in reserve, stored in your back pocket so that during moments of stress they can be remembered and help you to not feel so overwhelmed. Over the last few years, we started seeing photos of an infinity pool floating in the middle of a rainforest canopy that immediately caught our attention. We located this otherworldly pool at Hanging Gardens Ubud, a luxury, boutique hotel located in the Ubud area in Bali.
Ubud is the arts and cultural center of Bali, located far from the beaches that draw the largest crowds on the island. Hanging Gardens Ubud is situated at the top of a large, steep hill overlooking the Ayung River. It is an eco-friendly resort with a minimal footprint that has won awards for its dedication to conservation and use of local elements within the hotel. The site is incredibly steep requiring funiculars to travel up and down throughout the property. It consists of 38 suites and private villas that blend into the jungle landscape. We were advised that we might encounter a monkey or two, although to our disappointment we didn’t see any while were there. Our private villa was designed in balinese style with a thatched roof, it was traditional yet comfortable at the same time (i.e. air-conditioned). The villa had a private pool with an amazing jungle view, however the crown jewel of the hotel is their amazing multi-level pool cantilevered over the river valley.
It was such an incomparable experience. We first visited the pool shortly after we checked in, and it was absolutely stunning. However, there were many people already there enjoying the surreal experience, feeling free on the floating deck up in the tree canopy. We realized it would be best to return at sunrise and attempt to have the pool to ourselves while everyone else was sleeping. The decision paid off and when we returned the next day at 6am, the pool was all ours as the sun started peaking through the trees.
While we waited for the light to improve for photography, we hopped into the pool to experience it for ourselves. The sensation of swimming with the infinity edge blending into the treetops across the valley while cantilevered over hundreds of feet to the river below was beyond incredible. It felt like swimming in a heavenly river deep in the heart of the jungle. The sounds of the rainforest came alive with birds and other animals greeting the day. It is truly something we’ll never forget. We took some great photos at the pool and made it back to our villa just as we started hearing the stirring of other guests starting to awaken and make their way to the restaurant for breakfast.
Looking back at our stay there, it was such a special experience. We were not surprised to later learn that this pool is almost always included in any list of top pools in the world, including Conde Nast and TripAdvisor. It would be included in the list for us as well!
Check out their website if you would like to learn more about having this experience for yourself.