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In constant pursuit of checking into the next best villa, The Chedi Tanah Gahah checked all the boxes on our luxe list: authentic, exclusive, and picture perfect. The estate is located Ubud, the heart of Bali, within the Tanah Gajah private estate surrounded by lush highlands. 20 villas and suites are spread over sprawling gardens and beautiful rice fields.
Guests are greeted with a welcome drink and cold towel before taken of a buggy ride tour of the estate and its facilities, extending to the poolside bar, Spa and Health Club, tennis court and a boutique/salon. There are daily complimentary activities including yoga classes, printed in a list waiting for you in your room. Each villa has a dedicated butler, free alcohol replenished daily, and the usual refreshments, snacks, cookies and fruits.
For the very best stay, book yourself a sweet escape at The Hadripana Villa. This one-of-a-kind two-bedroom estate was built by Tanah Gajah’s founder and owner, Hendra Hadripana. Originally the residence for him and his wife, the villa features some of the finest paintings, antiques and artefacts from his vast private collection, all set in 570 square metres of space. Outside the villa sits a 10-metre long swimming pool with a private deck and a large, comfortable bale.
Luxe tip: Make plans to stay in for dinner. Overlooking the rice fields and aptly named The Restaurant, guests are treated to a kecak dance performance every Tuesday and Friday at 7pm. The villa also holds a Barbecue Under the Stars every Sunday. Fun fact: The rice served at the villa is sourced straight from the surrounding paddies!
Must-do: Take a cooking class with Chef Dean Nor, who’s had 17 years of experience working on the island. The class teaches you how to cook three different Balinese dishes, and when you’re done, you also get a certificate and spices to take home.