Indonesian Adventure Part 2: Ubud, Bali

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Bali, Ubud
After a short flight from Yogyakarta, we arrived in Bali excited for the next chapter of our trip. We wanted our honeymoon to include both adventure and relaxation in surroundings we had never experienced. Bali ticked all the boxes. We split our time between Ubud, in the centre of the island and Seminyak on the southern coast, with a short trip to Flores in between.

WHERE TO STAY

Being our Honeymoon we were very much in a luxury mind set when booking the trip and thought it was a great excuse to indulge ourselves!

When we came across the Alila Ubud Hotel describing its private villas as terrace tree villas in the jungle. we. were. sold. Our villa is the one on the left in the photo below. Now do you see why we had to stay there!

Alila, Ubud Tree Terrace Villa

The Alila Ubud hotel is a quite and secluded hillside haven that sits high up on the edge of the Ayung River valley in the Balinese hill village of Payangan. The resort is only a 15-minute drive from Ubud. The hotel runs a shuttle bus during the day and it’s very easy to get taxis back in the evening. Let me show you around….

Just look at the view from our balcony.

Alila Ubud Hotel
The villa was huge – it had three rooms!

Alila Ubud Hotel
I loved the bathroom – as well as a huge shower there was this gorgeous bath. All the windows open so you feel like you’re in the jungle. Also a really nice touch was his and hers bottles of insect repellent amongst a great selection of toiletries. They were little bottles which were so handy to take out in the evening.

Alila Ubud Hotel
It was pretty magical in the evening too.

Alila Ubud Hotel
The jungle was alive with the sounds of insects and cheeky little monkeys who would come and say hello from time to time.

Alila Ubud Hotel

You can organise a number of activities through the hotel and also there is an incredible spa here too. I spent my last morning having the best massage I’ve ever had for 1.5 hours whilst the husband went white water rafting. I was very happy with the split in activity for the morning!

This is definitely a luxury hotel and the price reflects that and if you are on more of a budget there are some great bungalows on offer closer to the centre of Ubud. Most have pools and there really is an option for every price range.

This was such an incredible place to stay. It’s in a beautiful location and the staff were some of the most accommodating and friendliest on our trip. My only complaint would be the space around the pool. Looking at the hotel website it looks like the most tranquil place, but in reality the beds are always full unless you are an early bird because it does not reflect the size of the hotel. But we weren’t just here for the pool so it was not a big problem. But just be aware if that is of interest to you.

WHERE TO EAT

I know I’ve have already gushed about the Alila but the restaurant here is really very good. Lets address the breakfast first. There is a changing daily menu where you can order a selection over two courses. Everything is fresh, locally made and with a healthy focus. As you can imagine there was always a great selection of exotic fruit, yoghurt and freshly made juices. There were hot items like eggs and pancakes.

We also ate here on two of the three evenings we had in Ubud. We weren’t planning on doing this but on the first night we had such a great meal and when we heard on our last night they were holding an evening of dance and an array of local food we couldn’t say no!

The restaurant offers a range of seasonal and local cuisine, there is the option of a tasting menu too. Because everything looked so good we ordered the tasting menu. You can order 5 or 7 courses. Highlights for me were the Soup Daging and Ayem Betutu.

In Ubud there is a variety of cafes and restaurants with many vegetarian and health focused places to eat and drink. We actually only ate two meals in Ubud. After going to see the very cheeky monkeys in the Sacred Monkey Forest we headed to Bebek Bengil, meaning the Dirty Duck Diner. Unsurprisingly, the menu is focused around duck, their speciality being smoked duck. Smothered in Balinese spices and wrapped in betel leaves, it is slowly smoked for a whole day.

Bebek Bengil, Ubud
We ordered a crispy fried duck and also a Nasi Campur which I love because you get to try a bit of everything! If you are lucky you can sit in one of the bamboo pondoks which are raised huts with long tables and cushions looking out over the rice fields. And of course, you have to order an ice cold Bingtang to help cool down in the humid heat!

Bebek Bengil, Ubud

That evening we headed to Three Monkeys which is on one of the main roads that goes through Ubud up to the Sacred Monkey Forest. We had stopped here earlier in the day for passionfruit crush cocktails and with a fusion menu we decided we needed a night away from traditional Indonesian food. By day there are sandwiches and salads on offer.

We ordered the lamb kofte with moroccan bread and the red snapper served with crushed potatoes. The lamb needs a special mention as it held such a flavour, the blend of spices used worked really well with the mint and tomato salad. It was a great meal and offered a little break from local dishes, which we were loving but didn’t want to get sick of!

After our meal we could hear reggae coming out of a roof top bar across the street. The noise was coming from One Love. We love reggae so headed over to see what was going on. This is definitely a travellers bar and we loved it! We ordered two large Bintangs and settled in. Fredi Kayaman was performing with a band and it was great to listen to live music. This spot was a great find, cheap beers and a wicked atmosphere.

THE DETAILS

Alila Ubud Hotel: Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Gianyar, Bali 80572, Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 975963

Bebek Bengil – Dirty Duck Diner: Jalan Hanoman, Padangtegal, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571 Indonesia
Tel: +62 361 975489

Three Monkeys: Jalan Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali
Tel: +62 361 975 554

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