Opting for a UK honeymoon over an exotic destination, Kate and William have had little influence on couples planning their place in the sun this summer, according to the prestigious Viceroy Bali (www.viceroybali.com) resort.
The up-market hideaway, renowned for its regal history and synonymous as a post-nuptial hotspot, has witnessed a 30% spike in honeymoon bookings from 2010. Even without the never-ending scrutiny as to which luxurious destination the royal couple would find themselves, Bali regularly ranks in the top 10 celebrity honeymoon destinations worldwide.
Given what is seen as the wedding event of the century, Viceroy Bali management raised the bar with their own honeymoon package underscoring several lofty items in the mix including a helicopter tour that would leave the most willful paparazzi at odds.
“The property here is equipped with the enviable bonus of the only onsite helipad in Ubud, only meters from reception. The air-tour options are numerous although we selected a few romantic flights with our partner Air Bali that take in dramatic volcanoes and sweeping coastlines,” said general manager Anthony Syrowatka.
Whether it’s a safari lodge in Kenya or a beach house in the Seychelles, there would be a butler. In a manner considered discreet even for royals, Viceroy butlers are on call 24-hours a day for in-room dining including bespoke menus designed by couples themselves and private picnic lunches to destinations only a helicopter could reach.
“Royal wedding watchers would give an approving nod to this level of service although it’s intended for any couple with a desire to live life to the fullest,” said guest service manager, Jonathan Sweeney-Lowe. “A flying butler serving lunch, pouring champagne and most importantly taking the hint when it’s time for privacy, well, that pretty much speaks the ultimate in extravagant picnics.”
While spa treatments designed for two are considered a de rigueur offering on Bali, it is the Viceroy mini spa “course” for honeymooners that has gained quick interest.
The idea is simple: couples learn the art of rubbing and kneading techniques from Lembah spa staff and how to blend essential oils that go into a great massage. “When the ‘honeymoon’ is over that doesn’t mean the bonding should be. We thought it would be interesting to give up a few massage secrets, a little gift from us that could last a lifetime,” said Sweeney-Lowe.
Couples will also appreciate the fast-track immigration service to avoid queuing hassle at the airport and other tantalizing extras but it’s likely the authentic Balinese blessing ceremony that will make for decent dinnertime conversation.
Balinese are recognized for staging elaborate ceremonies for couples ushering in good luck and longevity. Ceremonies typically begin with the burning of purifying incense and the sprinkling of blessed water along with rice carefully placed on the forehead for prosperity.
“I can tell you firsthand the blessing ceremony led by a noted Balinese priest is nothing short of ethereal,” said Syrowatka. “We’ve combined this genuine experience with nature and health pursuits as well as sumptuous food and wine all wrapped neatly in privacy and fine service standards. And there’s no crazy pace, it’s all very leisurely.”
ABOUT VICEROY BALI
The Viceroy Bali is an ultra-luxury all-villa resort majestically situated on a secluded ridge of the Petanu River gorge along Bali’s “Valley of the Kings,” an appellation given by locals for the generations of Balinese royalty who have resided in nearby villages. The resort is regarded by sophisticated international travelers as one of the world’s most respected tropical hideaways for its beautiful valley views, impeccable service and standards and peerless facilities including the feted restaurant and bar Cascades, and the opulent spa and beauty center, Lembah. To complement its 25-luxury pool villas, restaurant, spa and gym and onsite helipad, a tennis facility and a yoga pavilion are currently under construction and due for completion in 2011. The owning company, P.T. Lembah Maharaja, has designated several prime locations for the development of further luxury properties including an ocean-side destination in the Bukit Peninsula of Bali. The Viceroy Bali is a member of Small Luxury Hotels (SLH).