After leaving the hotel in Kuala Lumpur relatively early in the morning, it seemed like forever until we actually made it to Bali (a 4 hour flight away). We had transfers booked from the airport to our hotel in Ubud – we were told it would take around an hour, but the traffic happened to be rush hour and particularly bad, so it was closer to two hours by the time we actually arrived. We had a driver, as well as a guide type man who worked for a company called EXO, and we quizzed them about where they would go to eat in Ubud and what things to do during our journey, which turned out to be really helpful for picking places to eat.
Arriving to our hotel it was getting close to 7pm, and from the moment we arrived it was clear we were going to love this hotel. So spoiler, this is by far the best hotel that I’ve ever stayed in. The hotel is relatively small, with only 46 rooms and whilst we were there it was especially quiet. A lot of the rooms are currently being renovated, something we wasn’t warned about prior to arrival, but you wouldn’t have guessed there was any work happening at the hotel at all, it was blissfully quiet.
The hotel is located on the outskirts of the bustling town of Ubud (of Eat, Pray, Love fame), and backs onto the Campuhan Ridge. Many of the rooms and Villas look out onto the ridge, as I was hoping we would too, it just so happened that was the side of the hotel that was being renovated whilst we were there. Although I did go exploring early evening and sneaked into some of the villas, and I 100% want to go back to one of those when finished, the views were incredible.
We had booked a Garden Pool Villa, and the pictures online, whilst beautiful didn’t give the space we had justice at all. You’ll remember that I said that the suite we had in Kuala Lumpur was maybe bigger than our first flat, well this one definitely was. I’ve looked up the prices of this (as like I said with KL, it was booked as a package and couldn’t see the individual breakdown), but a similar dates for next year for the same villa are $440 per night inc breakfast (£335 approx).
Walking through the entrance of the villa, we were greeted with a pond with stepping stones to walk over. With goldfish swimming, lily pads twinkling in the sun, fountains bubbling and two frogs croaking (which they did turn out to be rather annoying in the evening of the first night – we had to evacuate them!) it was such an unexpected entrance. This area was all open air and let so much light into the rooms which bordered onto it. The other side of our pond there were some chairs and a table, a peaceful spot to read, enjoy a coffee and unwind.
To the left of the pond room (I don’t know what to call it), was the bathroom. The room was light and bright with ceiling to floor glass panels that overlooked the pond area, which even opened up if desired. There was a large double sink with lots of storage areas to the side and underneath. There was a large freestanding bath near the windows which had a perfect view over the tranquil pond. The shower was a mini wet room style shower and separated off to the side, as was the toilet. One of the really good areas of this villa was the wardrobe space. There was plenty of drawers, hanging room and shelves which enabled us to get really organised after everything got shoved in the case after our emergency exit from our hotel in KL!
To the right of the pond room, was the bedroom, again this room had ceiling to floor windows both looking out over the pond, as well as private outdoor area at the back. The room was actually quite dark despite the fact it had two out of four walls as pure glass- I think the way the room was facing just meant that light wasn’t coming in as much. Actually that was quite nice as there were times where we just wanted to relax on the bed and it was quite nice that there wasn’t a bright beam of light coming through.
Central in the room was the large four poster bed with tulle curtains, which both looked pretty and helped keep the insects away at night. At the end of the bed there was a long stool, as well some more chairs and a little table (I don’t think I’ve been in a hotel with some many different areas to sit in). In the corner there was a sideboard, housing the mini bar, glasses and some more storage space, with a large flatscreen TV on the wall – which was on a mount which twisted out to position itself perfectly in front of one of the many areas you could choose to lounge.
The doors opened up to the private garden area, complete with an outdoor shower, sun loungers and a private pool. many of the garden villas overlook the Ridge and have an infinity pool kind of vibe, which is what I was hoping for, but like I said that side of the hotel was being renovated. Sadly the weather was unseasonably rainy whilst we were there and we got so little use out of the pool it genuinely made me have a tantrum at one point that we’d spent ‘all this money on a private pool that we couldn’t use’. On reflection, yes I am still very annoyed, but we did get a couple of hours out of it, it wouldn’t stop be booking a private pool again as it would have been fab if we could have used it more, we were just very unlucky. We’d planned a pool afternoon after doing the ridge walk early in the morning, but we ended up camping out in our room watching movies and reading instead as it was raining so heavily that day!
The room itself was fantastic, bright white walls everywhere kept it feeling very fresh and there were lots of areas to relax and not feel like we were on top of each other through lack of space. Beyond the walls of our Villa, there hotel was immaculately kept, the gardens were stunning throughout and it was clear everything was so well maintained and looked after. Theres a larger main pool, which I didn’t even end up dipping my toe into with sun loungers and seating around. The hotel isn’t large so it was a very quiet area, we were close to the main pool and bar and we couldn’t really hear any loud noise from our room.
We ate in the bar on our first night thanks to our late arrival, we just wanted to unpack and relax for a day of exploring the next day. We opted for a 5 course tasting ‘street’ menu – they had a little cabin aside the pool which was cooking dishes up fresh, the menu was limited with only two or three options for each course, but even me as a quite a picky eater managed to find something that sounded amazing for every course, and it did taste amazing too. This was our most expensive meal of our whole trip which with cocktails was around £55, but for 5 courses each and a few cocktails, I think you’ll probably agree that’s very reasonable.
In addition to pools the hotel also has a gym, which I didn’t know was there until I was walking around on our penultimate day – don’t worry I would 100% not have used it. There’s also a spa, which is a little bit overpriced, we ended up going to one just opposite our hotel and got 8 treatments for the price of what one would have been at the hotel. They also offer free daily yoga sessions, which again we didn’t go to.
The Breakfast area is down a set of stairs and overlooks a gorgeous pond filled with fish, with a waterfall at the side. It was quite often raining heavily during our breakfast, but it was a peaceful place to watch the rain and enjoy a lovely view. Breakfast was table serviced for anything hot, including toast – which was quite nice, there was an array of fruits, juices, yoghurts and pastries aside, with a gorgeous a la carte breakfast menu, which had everything from pancakes and french toast, to their own ‘Como’ Full English – which saw traditional bacon swapped out for pork belly! It was a daily dilemma to decide just what we wanted to have.
As part of our stay as a honeymoon offer, we had a free meal at the attached Italian Restaurant which we went to one lunch time after we had done the Campurhan Ridge Walk (pre planned pool afternoon). I’ll admit I wasn’t expecting much – free meal, and Italian restaurant in Indonesia, sounds dubious right. But my gosh that meal rivalled meals we had in Italy in Milan last year. We had Three Courses each and ended up having, to take some of our main away with us (which made a great leftovers camped out in our room in the evening), for fear we wouldn’t have made it through our pudding.
Staff at this hotel couldn’t do enough for you, they were helpful in helping us plan the best way to go for our ridge walk, free shuttles to the centre of Ubud – and when we asked if they could call us a taxi to somewhere out the way they would offer to take us themselves in the shuttle.
So would I stay there again? Despite the fact it’s super pricey, I actually would stay there again – everything about this hotel was flawless, service, food, rooms all were perfection. I loved the fact that this was a small hotel and it wasn’t very busy, there were children around, but the fact it’s not got a ‘fun’ pool and kids entertainment on tap meant it was a peaceful place for adults.