Why is this place so great?
Follow Julia Robert’s character, Liz Gilbert, in her adventures in Ubud from the critically acclaimed book and movie “Eat, Pray, Love”. Its serene landscapes of rice fields, waterfalls, and forests make Ubud ideal for hiking and taking in the gorgeous surroundings on the Bali Swing. Despite its beauty, the town is most well known for its strong culture.
Visitors can see it all from Hindu temples, markets, and the local royal family’s palace. With the town’s large influx of holistic medicinal practitioners now residing in Ubud, people can easily find all sorts of healing for the mind and body from the likes of Reiki Masters, Eastern and Western Spas, Herbal Medicinal Stores, Acupuncture Practitioners, and Local Yoga Classes for people of all levels.
Where Should I Stay?
For Luxury Choose: Viceroy Bali
The Viceroy Bali is located on a secluded haven of cliffs offering its guests beautiful accommodation overlooking gorgeous views across the sprawling jungles of Ubud.
Its 25 suites and villas all feature Bower & Wilkins Speakers, marble terraces, and a private heated plunge pool. Splurge a little more for a Terrace Villa to obtain a traditional balé bungalow that rests over your private pool for that added extra for your romantic getaway.
Only available to in-house guests, the hotel’s CasCades restaurant serves an all-inclusive à la carte breakfast where guests are encouraged to order starters and mains for their hearty first meal. Enjoy freshly squeezed juice mixes of your choice, starters ranging from Fresh fruit to yogurt parfaits, and mains consisting of Balinese Eggs Benedict served on corn fritters, Nasi or Mie Goreng, omelets, crepes, and waffles. Don’t forget to save room for their special Coconut Rice Pudding!
This award-winning fine dining restaurant is open to the public for lunch and dinner, serving European dishes with Asian influences. The menu features some of the finest ingredients, including Australian Wagyu Beef, Canadian Lobster, and French Fois Gras.
The hotel offers an array of activities including private sessions with their yoga master, Balinese cooking classes, and personalized tours based on your interest. With their own helicopter and helipad on the property, guests can book tours to receive aerial views of Mount Batur and its Kintamani Volcano and Ubud’s neighboring towns and islands directly from the hotel concierge.
For Lifestyle Choose: Bambu Indah
Bambu Indah is the perfect hotel for our eco lifestyle travelers looking for an authentic Balinese lodging experience. Guests will have the opportunity to stay in a historic traditional Javanese teak wood bridal house owned by previous Javanese noblemen that were built by native Indonesians over 100 years ago.
Each of these houses was handpicked by Founder, John Hardy, and was then carefully deconstructed, relocated, and restored in the hotel grounds for people to enjoy the beauty of historic Javanese culture. To continue the hotel’s environmentally friendly theme, newer structures have been built with sustainable bamboo and were architecturally designed to promote the use of natural light and cross-breeze throughout the space.
Since the hotel is incredibly popular for retreats, it has the capability of catering to both individual travelers seeking a single bed (in its Kuda or Sri House) and couples looking for a larger space containing a double bed. Families looking for shared space can book the Elora & Orin, Sumba, or River Bend Houses to receive the comfort of two bedrooms within their accommodation. Despite Bambu Indah’s eco-nature, it does also feature some luxurious aspects. All houses contain their own private outdoor bathroom complete with toilets and outdoor showers, with copper soaking tubs available in their Afrika, Moon, and Copper Houses.
Each of these private bathrooms is accompanied by organic bath products and sinks fitted with hospital standard triple filter water systems which makes their water safe to drink from the tap. Since rooms were built in an open-air format, the hotel offers organic mosquito repellent in each bedroom and has air conditioning units and fans equipped for the sweltering nights when the natural ventilation does not suffice. In case you decide to stay connected, Bambu Indah also offers complimentary Wi-Fi services.
There are endless activities to appreciate on the property as well. In addition to complimentary daily breakfast and afternoon tea services, guests can also swim in their natural swimming pond filled with lava stones and natural vegetation that keeps the water clean, visit the resort’s Sound Architecture zone to play the hotel’s unique Minang Harp that has been built along a bamboo structure, or relax in their spa whilst enjoying a Balinese Massage. The hotel also arranges a number of bespoke experiences to participate in ranging from daily walks to the village to spear stray garbage, be blessed in a traditional Balinese ceremony, or learn to cook in their fully organic kitchen using produce from their organic gardens.
For Boutique Choose: Bisma Eight
Bisma Eight is a small boutique hotel featuring 38 suites in the heart of Ubud. Each room is tastefully decorated with dark wood floors and décor that blends the old with the new from the delicate woven leather on chairs, reclaimed carved wooden doors, and black and white photos of historic Bali.
All guests will enjoy grand features including a large living room, wooden Japanese Goemon soaking tubs, separate shower stalls, and a private garden or balcony space.
This hotel is perfect for travelers who enjoy being on the go since it offers plenty of complimentary workshops and classes. The hotel’s organic earth-to-table restaurant, Copper Kitchen & Bar, hosts daily sessions of yoga on their rooftop space, as well as weekly sessions of traditional crafts, trips to the hotel’s organic farm, cooking classes, Balinese dancing classes, and guided cycling trips.
Copper Kitchen is a restaurant that guests should not miss! With their exquisite à la carte breakfast options, travelers looking to stay at Bisma Eight should book a room that is inclusive of breakfast to enjoy local fresh juices accompanied by traditional Balinese breakfasts or western style breakfasts from fluffy waffles to avocado on sourdough toast.
Its all-day dining options offer similar menus featuring pizza, farm-to-table salads, and Indonesian staples, while the dinner menu is fancier with menu options like curry, braised wagyu short ribs, and blue swimmer crab pappardelle.
Despite its boutique nature, the hotel does not skimp out on the luxury. Guests can take a dip in the hotel’s communal infinity pool overlooking Ubud’s lush jungles and arrange a romantic dinner through the hotel.
Although the property does not have a spa, Saka Energy Healing is just a two-minute walk away from the hotel and offers massages as well as mani-pedis.
What Should I Do?
For Luxury Choose: Riverside Spa at Maya Ubud
Can we please look for one that’s a little more luxurious, please? You may find that this is actually the right choice, but then give me pointers on why.
For Lifestyle Choose: Monkey Forest ** At your own risk **
Please look for a yoga studio instead? Don’t want any of our travelers getting rabies ;). I know that there are certain studios that do package deals for travelers as well. Raki can also be an option. There’s also Laughing Yoga – a happiness retreat.
For Boutique Choose: Taste Some of the World’s Most Expensive Coffee
Coffee lovers and fans of Box Office Hit “The Bucket List”, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, will have heard about the infamous Kopi Luwak and its unconventional brew. Although the coffee is now commonly made in Vietnam, Philippines, and Indonesia, it is speculated that Kopi Luwak was originally discovered in the Indonesian islands of Sumatra or Java, during the 1800s, by local farmers who were curious about the coffee beans they harvested but could not taste. The natives’ curiosity eventually won out and they decided to finally try the coffee through unusual methods – by roasting the unwanted coffee beans found in the droppings of indigenous civet cats, and found it to be tasty. Dutch owners of the plantations caught word of the hype and eventually decided to try it for themselves. Needless to say, they loved it and the rest is history.
During your time in Ubud, we highly recommend visiting the Teba Sari coffee and tea plantation and enjoy a free tasting of their produce. The flight of complimentary beverages ranges vastly from lemongrass tea to traditional Balinese coffee. Since the plantation also houses a spice garden, the establishment is also able to make flavored caffeinated drinks like vanilla coffee, cinnamon coffee and mangosteen tea which are included in the tray. The only beverage that costs extra to try is the Luwak Coffee which is a little more than $3 USD per cup. Teba Sari also has a souvenir shop where visitors can purchase their flavored tea leaves and ground coffee beans. Confirm the brewing method before you make a purchase, or it may taste differently once you’re home!
Where Should I Eat?
For Luxury Choose: Kubu at Mandapa (Ritz-Carlton)
Kubu at Mandapa creates a unique atmosphere that provides patrons the opportunity to dine in their own private Kubu shelter (an invention used by Balinese farmers to store their rice harvests) that overlooks Ubud’s Ayung river. The restaurant serves a European menu featuring Lobster Ravioli, Wagyu Beef Short Ribs, and Black Cod as some of their stars. To try the best of what the Kubu at Mandapa has to offer, we recommend ordering the dégustation menu for the entire table. Those with dietary requirements do not have to fret, as they’ll do their best to cater to your needs with advanced notice. The restaurant has an entirely vegetarian menu readily available for such guests as well.
Although the restaurant is capable of seating 52 guests at a time, it only has 9 Kubu pods available. Consequently, we recommend booking a table with them around a month in advance to secure your cocoon.
For Lifestyle Choose: Padi Fine Dining
You won’t regret dining at Padi Fine Dining for its impeccable views, service, and food. Their Executive Chef, Mandif Warokka, is highly recognized as one of the best chefs in Indonesia who won multiple medals in culinary competitions throughout Indonesia and the Middle East. The restaurant is only open for dinner and is dedicated to serving purely pescatarian and vegetarian degustation menus with Asian influences. Offering choices between 3, 5 and 7-course menus, patrons will have the opportunity to try their Butter Poached Bay Rock Lobster, Crusted Day Caught Snapper, and Tsukiji Hotatei Carpaccio on their pescatarian menu, or Sweet Corn Truffle Agnolotti, Rice Skin covered Smoked Aubergine, and Sugar Crusted Organic Beets on their vegetarian menu.
If weather permits, request for a table on the balcony to receive views overlooking the river.
For Boutique Chose: Blaco par Mandif
Change the restaurant to something a little more local, please.