We have a special fondness for soft openings of new hotels and resorts, primarily because they offer the tranquility of brand new holiday accommodation without many guests. The staff-to-guest ratio is notably high during this phase meaning you’re given extra attention.
Returning to Bali after the Covid pandemic, we were curious to see if Ubud had undergone any changes. Were the traffic woes as terrible as depicted on social media? Was the peace and spirit of Ubud still there, or had it been overrun with tourists?
The pleasant surprise was that it was even better than our expectations, and a significant part of the credit goes to the extraordinary resort we chose to spend four delectable nights.
Cicada Resort had only opened its doors on August 23, so it exuded that fresh, new resort scent – or was it the subtle fragrance of incense? The staff were exceptionally attentive and eager to showcase everything the resort had to offer. The accommodations were spacious, and we chose the Valley Suite With Pool View, which left us thoroughly impressed. The suite featured a generously-sized Suite with large bathtub overlooking the jungle, almost at treetop level. There was a substantial king-size bed, a work area tucked behind the bed’s headboard, and a separate sitting area with its own TV, and a spacious balcony.
We are aficionados of a well-made gin and tonic, and to our delight, the resort provided tonic water, gin and ice to craft our own concoctions daily. Coupled with complimentary snacks, fresh fruit, and daily replenished drinking water, it contributed to an incredibly comfortable stay.
After settling in, we were eager to explore, and we made a beeline for the infinity pool that overlooked the breathtaking valley – a truly mesmerizing sight! You could even order drinks and food by the pool, and between 4 and 5 pm, they treated us to a complimentary afternoon tea. Imagine this: after a refreshing swim, you’re seated by the pool, presented with a choice of six fresh teas, and offered a delightful assortment of savory and sweet bites. We made sure not to miss this daily indulgence!
Following this delightful interlude, it was time for a quick shower so we could ascend to the resort’s highest point for a complimentary sundowner drink, all before relishing the culinary delights of their signature restaurant, Tangelo. The food exceeded our highest expectations and easily earned a 5-star rating. Tangelo is also where you have breakfast, and we couldn’t find a single fault in the service or the diverse range of food offerings.
Each day, the resort offers a variety of free morning activities, from yoga sessions to exploring the Gunung Kawi temple and even trying your hand at morning work in the Sevatu rice paddies.
Cicada Resort is situated a 30-minute drive north of Ubud in the Gianyar Regency, adjacent to Tegalalang. To reach Ubud, you have two options: 1) Take advantage of the free shuttle service at 9 am with a return pickup at 3 pm, or 2) opt for a GoJek car ride at a cost of 100,000 Indonesian Rupiah, which is roughly equivalent to $10 AUD.
Our stay lasted four nights, and on one of those days, we decided to embark on a Bali Bike Baik Cycling Tour. It was a wonderful morning that took us through villages, mainly downhill, allowing us to learn more about the rich Balinese culture. The tour concluded with a visit to the owner’s compound, where we were treated to a lunch prepared by his wife, who also happens to be a Balinese cooking instructor. It was a fantastic way to wrap up our trip.