Holidaying in Indonesia from Australia can make you feel like a millionaire – even if you’re travelling on a budget- but while you can treat yourself to all of the hour-long massages for $12 you like you probably still won’t be able to afford to stay at one of the resorts with a beautiful infinity pool in Bali. These places cater for those with cash to splash and are often celeb-studded. There is however sometimes a way to gain access without having to pay the price of a night’s stay (and it doesn’t involve any breaking and entering!)
Some of the top luxury resorts in Bali offer day passes to their pools so you can rock up in the morning and chill out all day. You’ll be treated just like the resort guests, meaning you get to live a little bit of the celebrity lifestyle for a day. Sound good? Of course it does!
HOME TO THE BEST IN THE WORLD
When it comes to Ubud undoubtedly your mind springs to the Hanging Gardens. With three staggered infinity pools looking out over the jungle this place was recently voted the number one swimming pool in the world. Unfortunately (and probably due to this title) the only way to currently access the pool without breaking the bank to stay at the resort is to book one of their spa and lunch packages for around $250. Seems steep but looking at the photos of this place I’m certain it’s worth it if you’ve got the cash handy.
For those of us on a budget though there’s an alternative.
Opened just last year to accommodate all of the weeping tourists turned away from the Hanging Gardens is Jungle Fish, a restaurant and bar with an infinity pool overlooking – you guessed it – the surrounding jungle.
FORGET THE HANGING GARDENS
Jungle Fish has a number of distinct advantages over Ubud’s most famous infinity pool.
For starters it’s more centrally located from Ubud. It’s located just off the xx trail, which you take from the centre of Ubud over the mountains and through the rice paddies. Even if you’re not heading to JF the walk itself is a lovely retreat from the hustle and bustle of the main town, where you’re more likely to encounter locals than tourists, and I’d highly recommend stopping off at one of the little cafes or restaurants along the way that overlook the beautiful surroundings.
Be aware it’s a little way to Jungle Fish. There is a sign pretty early on and then nothing for a long way, which made me think I had missed a turning but be assured you haven’t. You follow the same path and the sign when you reach the turning is huge. It’s the one place in Ubud you really can’t get lost trying to find! Of course if you’re not up for the walk you can still take a taxi as it is accessible by road despite being off the beaten track.
Another advantage is that it’s not a resort, which means you’re not competing with people who are staying there for a spot on a lounger and the pool’s not overcrowded. They do recommend that you make a reservation just to ensure that there will be space for you and you can do this using an online booking form or by calling. Although you give an ETA because you don’t pay until you get there they will hold your reservation for you until 1.00pm so it doesn’t matter if you’re later than you specify (I can testify to this being *ahem* about an hour later than planned).
LIKE THE RICH AND FAMOUS
Now here’s the best part. Access to the pool here will cost you 100,000rp – that’s $10AUD or £5GBP!
You pay on arrival and a staff member will give you a towel and take to your sun lounger which you have use of until you decide to leave (or you get kicked out when they close, whichever happens first).
They have a restaurant and bar area for sit-down dining but if you’ve paid for pool access you can order food and drinks from the lovely staff right from your lounger and they’ll bring it to you, put it on a tab and then you just pay before you leave.
Honestly the only tough part is leaving and being faced with the reality that, despite having been treated like a queen for the day, you have sadly not morphed into Beyonce.
Have you been to Jungle Fish or another amazing infinity pool in Bali? Let me know in the comments!