Yes, it has that #instafamous hotel pool, ringed by wild jungle canopies and occasional tufts of valley mist. But a stay at Alila Ubud, a visually dramatic hotel in Bali’s lush tropical heart, is about more than its photo opps. Wellness seekers will welcome complimentary morning yoga and the restorative spa that seamlessly merges with the natural surrounds. But for all guests, the real drawcard is the incredible setting that soothes as soon as you turn into its grounds. Read on for the full review.
The property’s structures are dramatic, with both villas and common areas jutting out over the landscape. They’re also purposefully simple, giving nature its spotlight: it’s the same in the on-site eateries, where open pavilions invite the verdant greenery in. The true attraction of Ubud is its verdant terrain.
Where is Alila Ubud?
You’ll find Alila Ubud alongside the Ayung River, at the end of a deviation from Jalan Raya Kedewatan. It’s about an hour and a half from Ngurah Rai International Airport by car.
What’s near Alila Ubud?
Despite its remote feel and tropical forest, Alila is close to the sights of Ubud. Central Ubud, with its palace, monkey forest and yoga studios, is about 20 minutes’ drive south, while the rice terraces of Tegallalang are a 30-minute drive north.
While the architecture is striking, rooms are simply furnished, with teak furniture and canopy-style beds in the villas. The Superior rooms have showers only, while all other rooms have open-air bathtubs made for two (with lots of room to spare). The most impressive? The villas on stilts, which have some of the property’s best views.
All room types have balconies with comfy seating, along with complimentary morning yoga and tai chi sessions, poolside afternoon tea and shuttles into Ubud town.
Restaurants and bars
Plantation Restaurant, a member of the Slow Food Bali group, serves up the Balinese classics: delicate sate lilit (fish sate), rich rendang sapi and bubur injin, a black rice porridge spiked with sweet local palm sugar and grated coconut. Dine under a traditional alang alang grass roof, with an open pavilion overlooking the trees.
The Cabana Lounge is the hotel’s relaxed option, serving cocktails with local flavours, such as lemongrass syrup, pandan-infused bianco vermouth and kemangi, a Balinese lemon basil. Soak up the drinks with hearty plates of Bintang-battered fish or a margherita pizza.
Travel for work
All room types include desks for remote working as well as complimentary wi-fi.
Spa, gym and pool
The hotel’s infinity pool appears to hang over the Ayung Valley. It’s truly a thing of beauty but it can get crowded, for obvious reasons. Get there early to nab the lounge of your choice.
Spa pavilions are, like many spaces on the property, gloriously open to the elements, allowing the sounds and scents of nature to be part of your spa experience. Choose from hour-long to full-day treatments of facials, massages and scrubs — the Shirodhara, an Ayurvedic treatment that drips hot oil on your forehead, along with a pressure massage, is transportive.
Don’t settle for a standard treadmill session; at Alila, exercise comes in various shapes and forms, most notably the free yoga and tai chi sessions that operate daily for guests. (If you’re more of a machine person, the small, enclosed gym is open 24 hours.)
There’s an extensive sustainability effort across all Alila’s resorts. Its Ubud outpost scored ‘Gold’ on the wide-reaching EarthCheck certification, which ranks initiatives across areas such as emissions, water usage, waste production and pesticide use. In practical terms, guests can see the result of these projects in the hotel’s zero-waste cocktails and permaculture organic garden.
What you need to know
Unfortunately, there’s very limited accessibility for disabled guests. Similarly, for families with small children, it would be a struggle to relax while herding kids down steep steps and around the property sans pram.
Best for: Couples
Number of rooms: 66, including 10 villas
Rates: From $280
Wi-fi: Free for guests
Parking: Free uncovered parking on-site for guests
Address: Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Gianyar, Bali
Phone: +62 361 975963
Earn 3 Qantas Points per $1 when you book your next stay at qantas.com/hotels