Boutique-style hotels are the norm in Bali, not the exception. These 13 resorts are the very best of the many boutique resorts in Ubud — Bali’s cultural core — and its surrounding areas.
Near Nagi village, the secluded, 25-room Viceroy Bali overlooks the Petanu River Valley. A sleek infinity pool features a fountain, lounge chairs, and umbrellas on a floating deck, plus cabanas and a swim-up bar. The thatched-roof CasCades Restaurant -- with traditional Balinese designs and a pond running through the middle -- serves French/Asian fusion cuisine, while the Viceroy Bar is located poolside, with views of the valley. Spacious Balinese villas have private pools, flat-screen TVs, safes, and indoor/outdoor sitting areas; some have thatched-roof gazebos. There’s golf cart transportation on-site, but the grounds are often sloped so getting around can be tricky. Another luxurious option is the Chedi Club Tanah Gajah. Wi-Fi, breakfast, and parking are all free at the Viceroy (but expect sky-high rates).
This five-pearl boutique resort in the green hills of the artsy Ubud area has 20 separate villas, each providing guests with their own butler; many have private pools. The rooms are individually designed and make abundant use of teakwood and Balinese art, giving the spaces an authentic Balinese feel; the indoor/outdoor bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and rainfall showers are a highlight. Rooms come with flat-screen TVs, DVD players, free Wi-Fi, and stocked minibars (with free items). A fresh made-to-order breakfast, daily high tea, and happy hour are all included; the on-site restaurant also serves Western and Asian specialties for lunch and dinner, and room service is available almost all day. There is a lovely outdoor infinity pool with a poolside bar, a full-service spa with a variety of treatments, and a fitness center that offers yoga classes. While there isn't much within walking distance except rice paddies, the hotel offers free car service into town.
This beautiful upper-middle-range 32-room boutique hotel in central Ubud is surrounded by nature but is still within walking distance to the heart of town. With a gorgeous infinity lap pool and wading pool, as well as a full-service spa, fitness center, and on-site restaurant, guests need not ever leave the property, but should they want to, Komaneka at Bisma does offer free shuttle service to town and to its sister Komaneka resorts, and Bisma guests can use the facilities at each. Rooms at are spacious with balconies, separate living areas, and large bathrooms (with both deep soaking tubs and rainfall showers). Amenities include flat-screen TVs with Apple TV, free Wi-Fi, DVD players, minibars, and air-conditioning. Service and staff are top-notch, and many guests return to this hotel year after year. Travelers wanting a more remote location could try the Komaneka at Tanggayuda.
The secluded location of Kedewatan village makes the 38-room Kupu Kupu Barong Villas & Tree Spa a peaceful retreat. There aren't many off-site dining options nearby, but there are three on-site restaurants (all rooftop), as well as a thatched-roof outdoor bar, two pools, an open-air gym, and a spa with bamboo treatment rooms that overlook Ayung River. Balinese cooking classes, guided tours, free bicycle rentals, free yoga classes, and dance lessons are also offered. Balinese-style villas are luxurious with flat-screen TVs, minibars, and furnished balconies or patios that have gorgeous views of the river and forest.
Tucked in the jungle on the outskirts of Ubud, the Bidadari Private Villas & Retreat - Ubud offers a tranquil and luxurious refuge on a small property that allows staff to provide each guest with personal attention. Six charming villas feature a private pool, kitchen, indoor/outdoor bathroom, and balcony or terrace. The resort offers a range of services, including a free round-trip Ubud shuttle, butler service, in-room dining, a 24-hour front desk, and guided bike tours. There’s also a spa, lava rock terrace, and an open-air nail salon.
Situated on a hill overlooking the Campuhan River, this wellness resort was built on one of the most sacred spots in Ubud, the ruins of a local temple. Almost everything on offer is geared toward re-centering and relaxing, including a free-form outdoor pool, full-service spa, a vegetarian restaurant, and classes in yoga, martial arts, cooking, and Balinese handicrafts. Furnished balconies or terraces come standard with the 44 modern-feeling rooms, and some of these are truly spacious. The Svarga Loka also offers meditation rituals, sacred music, sound healing, and walks at nearby Campuhan Ridge, through villages and rice fields.
The 15-room Tanah Merah Resort and Gallery is a wonderfully eclectic and eccentric complex in the Melayang village, a 15-minute drive from Ubud that draws most of its charm and color from its Danish designer and owner. Individually styled villas, cottages, and studios in this four-pearl property are full of character with striking art objects and a generous splash of color as well as genuine antiques and good amenities including flat-screen TVs; some have private plunge pools. Two lovely pools and stunning valley views are also a real draw, although a shortage of shade might be a problem for some. The location too might feel a little far from Ubud, but for a secluded jungle resort with more personality than most -- and at reasonable rates -- this place is definitely worth considering.
Set on lush tropical grounds, Fivelements Puri Ahimsa Retreat is a holistic, upscale wellness getaway with nine villas on the Ayung River in Mambal village, about a 20-minute drive from central Ubud. The hotel has a large free-form pool, therapy pool, Balinese spa, herbal remedies laboratory, and vegetarian restaurant that gets rave reviews. Constructed in bamboo, the spacious villas are breezy and rustic, with river-facing terraces, free Wi-Fi, stereos with iPod docks, and bathrooms with outdoor soaking tubs and showers. For a simpler, less pricey option with an eco-friendly commitment, travelers should consider Swasti Eco Cottages, which is a five-minute walk from the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, though it lacks Fivelements' wellness programs.
Kenanga Boutique Hotel is a 21-room, four-pearl property located in the rice fields north of Ubud. The rustic-chic rooms and bungalows feature a blend of contemporary and traditional features with private terraces or patios overlooking rice fields. The hotel has an excellent restaurant that can serve a romantic, private dinner in the rice fields, and basic spa services are available. The drive to Ubud takes 10 minutes, but there isn't much in the immediate vicinity beyond a few similar boutique properties and restaurants. Peace-seeking couples and honeymooners flock to Kengana, but those seeking an equally intimate choice closer to town should consider The Samara, though rooms have slightly less character.
The 60-room Alaya Resort Ubud is an upscale tropical hideaway overlooking picturesque rice paddies from its downtown location near the Yoga Barn and Sacred Monkey Forest. Sleek rooms have Balinese designs, polished stone floors, flat-screen TVs, luxurious terrarium showers or bathtubs, and furnished balconies with scenic views. There’s a peaceful outdoor pool and bar, a six-room spa, a stylish restaurant, and a yoga pavilion that also offers cooking and dance classes. One downfall: the busy location does get noisy, particularly at the restaurant. To find a quieter Ubud property, try the Puri Sunia Resort. Wi-Fi is free.
Villa Awang Awang began as a family home that expanded into a romantic getaway, with the construction of several other villas nestled on the cliff overlooking the Petanu River below. Local craftsmen built the five villas with stone, teak, and terra-cotta tiles; each one has a kitchenette and private infinity pool. The outdoor pavilion provides a place for included afternoon tea and a free Western breakfast, but there's no full restaurant or bar. Other meals can be arranged ahead of time (two hours minimum) to give the on-site chef and staff ample time to visit the local market.
The Samara is a family-run, upper-middle-range hotel with just a handful of rooms (six rooms and one villa) within walking distance of Ubud's center. It's set in lush countryside, surrounded by paddy fields, but guests have to walk a quarter mile from the road to the entrance. There is a peaceful outdoor pool with lounge chairs and both bikes and scooters are available for rent. Though rooms can be small and have little or no Wi-Fi signal, they are smart, clean, and modern and have fun roofless showers.
Guests are welcomed to this 28-room rustic-chic resort with a refreshing lemongrass drink before being shown around the lush yet perfectly manicured tropical gardens dotted with Hindu statues. Rooms are particularly smart and spacious and have a traditional Balinese flavor and furnished balconies or terraces, though views aren't especially impressive from most. Excellent food and an attractive -- albeit small -- pool area gives this hotel some real polish, with the only major drawbacks being lack of shuttle service and poor Wi-Fi. Overall, it's certainly one of the more stylish and affordable resorts of its kind.