I plucked the Alaya Resort Ubud from Booking.com on a whim but my goodness it was a right result. This authentic and stylish boutique hotel is flanked on one side by the natural beauty of a rice field and nestled in indigenous plants and exotic flowers. It ranks as both of our all round favourite accommodation from the five we experienced on our trip. With only sixty rooms, this luxurious narrow little hideyhole offers guests warm hospitality and a real personal service.
From the minute we arrived we felt relaxed. A warm greeting, a cold towel and a refreshing juice were offered as the seamless check-in procedure was completed. Our late afternoon arrival was just in time for the unexpected complimentary daily afternoon tea, a good old cup of English breakfast and tiny Balinese treats were very welcome after our trip from Jimbaran. First impressions are important and the large room had oodles of wow factor with an open bathroom, enormous circular stone bathtub and a private terrace that led straight to the pool.
Alaya Resort Ubud is located right in the heart of Ubud within easy walking distant of restaurants, shops and traditional attractions via the higgledy-piggledy pavements. It’s right next door to the popular Yoga Barn facility and Monkey Forest is just a short ten minute walk down Monkey Forest Road. As the sun started to set on the first night the faint strain of men chanting floated across the air from a nearby Kecak display, as we set off to explore Ubud on foot.
Designed exclusively by Grounds Kent Architects, this smart boutique hotel has many artistic and design features that are testament to its Balinese heritage and location in Ubud, Bali’s cultural centre. The overall design incorporates lots of natural resources such as bamboo, wood, stone and local art, I loved the conical rice worker bamboo hats used as light fixtures along the lobby wall.
We stayed in a signature Alaya room that was stylish, well furnished and enormous. The large comfortable bed had a backdrop of original artwork depicting a rice worker scene which was a nice touch. The deluxe bathroom had a massive stone bathtub which was the perfect indulgence after a long day of sight seeing (start running it as soon as you get back to your room as it takes forever to fill), you can also order a special spa bath to be prepared for you in your room if you so desire. The bathroom is open to the rest of the room which is fine for couples but it does have a modesty curtain for those travelling as a family or friends.
It’s not hard to see why this hotel has won a plethora of boutique hotel awards over the last few years including more recently the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards 2015. The hotel’s award winning DaLa Spa looked like a great place to relax but unfortunately relaxation wasn’t on the agenda on the Ubud leg of our Bali tour. Six private treatment rooms are set in lush gardens next to a river. Spa treatments and beauty practices are available using local products designed to leave guests revitalised. The spa is open daily from 9am-9pm.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Alaya Resort Ubud and I would absolutely recommend it to anyone without hesitation. Attention to detail is evident in the hotel’s design, comfort, service and quality of dining. My top tip would be not to plan your departure by car around 4pm as the Ubud roads experience crazy traffic at this hour.
The Nitty Gritty
Alaya Resort Ubud, Bali
Jl. Hanoman, Ubud, Bali 80571 Indonesia
Telephone: +62 (0)361 972200
All rooms have a rice field view (those on an elevated floors enjoy the best views)
Large comfy bed and fabulous massive stone bath
Pool area was stunning and peaceful
The Not so Good….
They allegedly lost my booking two days before we arrived (a telephone call from the Balinese speaking concierge at our previous hotel put things right)
The internet kept logging out so you needed to constantly re-enter the username and password
Rooms nearer the pool are the longest away from the lobby
Something in the wardrobe leaked on my smart jacket
During our stay at the Alaya hotel we used Dewa Bagia as our driver to visit all the sights mentioned in my Discover Bali – Ubud post. Contact Dewa on 087 760 084 777 if you require reliable transport and guide.
Read previous Bali posts In Pictures – A Postcard From Bali, Discover Bali – Jimbaran, Beachside Beauty: Intercontinental Bali Resort Review, Rumah Desa: A Balinese Home and Cooking studio and Discover Bali – Ubud. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2015. All rights reserved. Last two photos used courtesy of alayahotels.com