Bright, large gym with modern equipment and free weights
Yoga studio with free classes
Meeting rooms and an amphitheater for events and live performances
Free Wi-Fi, parking, and shuttle to Ubud
Location is somewhat removed from downtown Ubud
Hillside property has many steps and slopes
Forest location comes with the expected bugs
Nearby river rafting can be noisy
The 53-room Ayung Resort Ubud is an affordable jungle getaway on the Ayung River with a temple-inspired design and an extensive collection of Indonesian art. Romantic and extravagant, with an impressively carved rock wall and lush grounds, the luxury property offers two large pools, a spa with cabanas, two great restaurants, and free morning yoga. It's about a 25-minute drive from downtown Ubud, and offers free shuttle service a few times daily. Accommodations range from standard rooms with large balconies to villas with private pools; all have marble bathrooms and espresso machines. Guest that want to stay in walking distance to Ubud's sights should look at the higher-priced Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa.
Riverside luxury property with stone carvings and an impressive Indonesian art collection
Situated on 20 acres along the Ayung River, this resort has beautiful riverfront surroundings. Carved stone walkways, which are inspired by the Borobudur Temple and took five years for local artisans to complete, lead to lush tropical gardens throughout the grounds. The hillside location has many steps and hills, but golf-cart transportation is provided. Two large pools with shallow areas overlook the forest landscape and rice terraces; simple wooden lounge chairs shaded by bright pink umbrellas line the stone decks, which don't absorb heat for easy barefoot walking. Interiors are filled with wood and stone sculptures, part of the Ayung founder's private collection. The lobby -- with its stone carved entrance flanked by Ganesha statues -- has a menagerie of stone lions, gold dragons, and wood carvings. (And live monkeys are sometimes spotted swinging from trees.) Opening its doors in 2012, the three-floor resort is well-maintained, but note that there isn’t an elevator. Among the airy, elegant common areas is a library lounge, with marble floors and a spiral staircase, and books on loan. Guests tend to be couples, as the atmosphere is quiet and the property feels removed from the outside world.
In the village of Payangan on the Ayung River, 25 minutes from central Ubud
Situated in Ubud’s foothills, this resort sits on a 20-acre property overlooking the Ayung River, with a few other hotels in the area and some restaurants in close driving distance. It’s a 25-minute drive via the hotel’s free shuttle to downtown Ubud, with markets, restaurants, the Ubud Palace, the Museum Puri Lukisan, and the Blanco Renaissance Museum. Excursions for nature-lovers are within reasonable driving distance: Bali Bird Park is a 40-minute car trip; the Campuhan Ridge Walk is a 20-minute drive; and the Sacred Monkey Forest is a 30-minute drive. The Ngurah Rai International Airport takes an hour and 30 minutes by car.
Balinese rooms with intricate carvings and balconies; villas with private pools available
Granite floors, traditional Balinese furnishings, and balconies with forest or pool views create a luxurious yet natural atmosphere in rooms, which are inspired by the Hindu legend the Ramayana. All rooms have air-conditioning, safes, bathrobes and slippers, minibars, espresso machines, electric kettles, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi and bottled water. Irons and rollaway beds are available on request. Marble bathrooms have hairdryers, and either showers, shower/tub combos, or bathtubs set against windows. Superior Laksmana Wing rooms are the smallest and most basic options. Deluxe Sita Wing rooms offer sitting/dining areas with neutral couches and wood tables. One-Bedroom Residences have astonishingly carved walls in the sitting/dining areas. Villas have open living/dining areas, hand-carved details, Javanese architecture, teak wood, and vaulted ceilings; many have private pools and beautiful canopy beds.
International dining, cocktail lounge, excellent spa and gym, event space, and concierge service
The resort's Terrazzo Napolitano restaurant serves Italian fare -- including stone-fired pizza -- and offers patio seating overlooking the valley and river. Another option, the fine dining Wijaya Kusuma Restaurant cooks up Asian cuisine in a dining room with a grand piano and a terrace. For snacks and drinks, the open-air lounge bar serves selections from the wine cellar, beer, coffee and tea, plus light, gourmet snacks available from the Ayung Resort Deli.
A large gym, which overlooks the forest, is well equipped with modern cardio machines and free weights. And a separate yoga studio, offering free classes, also overlooks the valley. The Dewi Sri Spa provides indoor treatment rooms, a hair/nail salon, and cabana beds with valley views. Gatherings can be accommodated in the 250-capacity amphitheater that hosts Balinese dance performances. Other meeting/conference facilities are available, including a boardroom and ballroom, with space for up to 200 people. In terms of activities, the resort's concierge can assist with arranging rafting trips, elephant safaris, cooking classes, and nature treks.
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