Stay Here: The Purist, BaliBy Claudine Levy
It took us approximately 37 minutes to forget the gruelling 16 hour long-haul flight from London Heathrow. As we touched down to Denpasar we were greeted by a friendly driver sent to pick us up from our hotel. The expected humidity was eased by the cold water and iced towels he offered, and as we set off towards The Purist Hotel and Villas, dozily chatting on the 1.5hr drive to the hotel, we unwittingly fell into a deep sleep. We awoke to find ourselves propelled into a cocoon of luxury as we were warmly welcomed by the hotel’s accommodating staff and led into the calming open plan reception area.
The Purist: The Lowdown
Ideally located a half hour-walk from central Ubud, Bali’s cultural and spiritual center, you’ll find a small-scale, stylish retreat set in 1 hector of tropical gardens offering a quiet jungle respite beyond the center of Ubud.
The villas are fitted out with unique features and accessorised with hand-made furniture and artifacts from all over the Indonesian archipelagos. We stayed in the Jungle Pool Villa, a spacious and secluded home away from home complete with a lavish four-poster bed (covered in fresh rose petals for our first night), luxurious bathroom and pebble-stoned flooring.
The Purist: The Food
Mostly sourced from the Ubud market and prepared by a talented chef, the food is local, seasonal, all fresh ingredients and cooked to order.
Breakfast is endlessly delicious, with a good selection of light dishes. You can choose from a super-food breakfast bowl of chai soy milk, Mangosteen and coconut, or a more traditional brown rice porridge of wilted greens, steamed vegetables, gomisio and spirulina. We also had fresh tropical fruit salad to finish, served with tasty homemade granola and yogurt. For the more euro-centric traveler there are also eggs and a bakers basket of croissant, pain au chocolate, danish and fresh breads to choose from. All this, downed with amazing fresh milk, banana and cinnamon juice or a beetroot, orange, carrot and ginger smoothie.
Complimentary tea is served by the pool at 4pm, where fresh mint tea and chocolate banana pancakes can be enjoyed while soaking up the afternoon sun. All meals can be taken in the living room, at the pool bar or in the intimacy of your own villa. We opted to take our dinner in the hotel’s dinning area; a recycled, candlelit open air Japanese joglo house which has been tastefully restored, and where food can be enjoyed facing the pool looking onto the jungle under the stars.
The evening set menu changes daily. We enjoyed a tuna sashimi salad with fresh and vibrant lemon basil pesto, avocado, cucumber and pickled baby beetroot; Indonesian tapas of beef and chicken, minced fish and a selection of pickled vegetables and then shared Pepes Ikan – steamed fish wrapped in banana leaves with Balinese spices served with a moreish bean sprout and cucumber salad, and a grated coconut dressing. For dessert we shared a fiery ginger chocolate mouse with vanilla ice cream – the perfect end to a perfect meal.
The Purist: The Facilities
Allow time to spend a serious chunk of your stay in the Purist’s intimate, minimalist spa. The hotel’s welcoming team really came into their own here as they made us instantly feel at home. We opted for a private massage (The Purist spa package) within our villa where two massage beds were set up and we laid down to relax to the natural soundtrack emanating from the tropical gardens beyond – flowing water from the pool’s fountain and chirping crickets from the garden. We enjoyed a one hour long massage, followed by a coffee scrub, finished with a facial. The staff took care to ensure that we were constantly at ease and comfortable. The treatment was followed by fresh jasmine tea and tropical fruits – served in our private outdoor dining area… pure bliss.
If you’re after an experience of a lifetime (forgive the cliché), we urge you to choose The Purist.