Katie Truman cruises up the hill to find a beach club in the jungle.
Even Ubud has got in on the act, with a new beach club – at least in spirit. True, there’s no beach here, but with Jungle Fish – “The no beach beach club” – launched 2015, you can still have your upscale beach club vibe, albeit surrounded by rainforest and wildlife of a different variety.
Part of Chapung Se Bali Resort, a boutique villa retreat up in Ubud’s jade-green hills overlooking the Osh River Valley, Jungle Fish restaurant-lounge-bar is now the place to diffuse, especially for those not holed-up at any of Sayan’s five-star cliff-hugging resorts. This stylish fish-out-of-water is essentially an open-air, split-level restaurant with a lower level pool, deck and bar, immersed in jungle above a gushing river.
As Ubud sunsets aren’t worth the Snapchat-upload (they still however, offer Sunset Happy Hours) and cool mists roll-in by dusk, daytime is optimum time here and the 35-metre-long pool and pool bar is where it all happens from 7.30am to 10.30pm.
Simply fork-out the set entrance fee of IDR100,000 (half-price for kids aged six to 12, under six years, free); booking ahead is optional, but as weekends get mega-busy, best reserve the cabanas and hanging beds.
Indulge in divine breakfasts and lazy, leisurely poolside lunches (from 11am to 6pm); the pool bar menu, operating until 9.30pm, is handy for those lingering-on for nibbles under the stars (alternatively, the resort’s newly-launched Di Abing fine-dining restaurant, perched above Jungle Fish, offers ultra-romantic dining post-6pm).
All washed down with cocktails like Seasonal Mojito Flavours. Jungle Fish’s modern Mediterranean cuisine bursts with bold, fresh Asian flavours and Greek overtones, with signature dishes like Grilled Haloumi Cheese, sandwiched between eggplant slivers. Much of the kitchen’s fresh veggies, basmati rice and herbs are grown in the resort’s organic gardens and working rice paddies … well, this is Ubud!