Maya Ubud is a Herculean resort compared with the modest Kenanga boutique hotel we just came from. I arrived on my rented Scoopy, a scooter brand in Bali, followed by the taxi with our luggage. Two smartly dressed security guards saluted and we entered the private kingdom of Maya Ubud, a land of plenty and perfection. The asphalt between the gate and the reception was so smooth that I could hear myself thinking. Nothing was out of place, trees were aligned impeccably, furniture perfectly straightened, and outdoor pathways were cleaner than my kitchen floor will ever be. Hundred and eight private residences and huts, a golf course, yoga space, meditation areas and a list of never-ending green awards. The gym’s panoramic view over the vast and perfect trimmed grass was hypnotising and the nonstop smiles of staff elevated even the grumpiest guests, including myself, to feeling pure ecstatic happiness.
I flicked on the air-conditioner in my room. The silent sound of cool air was refreshing. This may sound strange but I live in an old Hong Kong building and my air-conditioning sounds like a 680 horse-powered diesel engine. After I was completely re-energised, which involved putting down my bag, I decided to explore my surroundings and like a missile with a purpose I walked straight to the nearest resort bar. The bars were literally left and right from my room. This was a perfect 4pm paradise moment. All by myself I stood at the bar and glanced over the drinks collection. The choice of exotic whiskeys was limited – there was no choice – but that made my life a lot easier and picked the only local beer that was available. Sipping my chilled beer with the golden winter sun behind me I wandered off to one of the many swimming pools.
A Russian couple in the swimming pool greeted me as I passed by. I nodded politely back and mumbled something that sounded like a greeting. The walk from the bar to the swimming pool in the blistering afternoon sun had made me thirsty again so I needed another vodka tonic. Making sure my drink stayed cool I made myself comfortable in one of the pool sofa cocoons and started to think about my busy week ahead. Cooking classes, free afternoon tea, various happy hours, dinner buffets, dance performances and intense spa treatments were a few of the choices. Making a decision was tough. After thinking long and hard I decided to get another vodka tonic and strolled back to the bar to think about this life-changing decision I had to make.
Back at the bar but a different one, I reflected on the day. Maya Ubud is a very imposing place. A resort covering 10 acres of private and unspoilt rainforest with more shades of green than the latest Pantone colour chart. It is amazing how much travel is needed to finally end up doing absolutely nothing. It is easy to escape at May Ubud, vanish in their garden of Eden and forget about all your first world problems. Everything about this resort is about greatness and grandeur. Including the humongous final hotel bill.