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Alila Ubud 4.5

Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Picturesque and serene setting on a secluded rainforest hillside
  • Luxury boutique rooms and villas include plush beds, terraces or balconies, free Wi-Fi, and minibars
  • Some rooms and villas have outdoor bathtubs
  • A unique infinity pool gives the effect of disappearing into the surrounding rainforest
  • Excellent full-service spa offers Balinese and Asian-style treatments
  • Fine-dining restaurant serves authentic Balinese and modern French cuisines
  • Stylish cocktail lounge on-site
  • Art gallery, boutique gift shop, library and TV lounge available
  • Free shuttle service to central Ubud
  • Staff can arrange mountain bike rental, Balinese cooking classes, and various leisure and cultural activities

Cons

  • Resort is a bit far from central Ubud, at a 20-minute drive
  • Pool can get a little crowded at times
  • No on-site fitness center
  • Not all rooms have TV sets (but they are available upon request)
  • Not a great resort for children (a pro for some)

Bottom Line

Alila Ubud is an inviting resort in a secluded hillside setting a 20-minute drive north of central Ubud. Located in the lush Ayung River valley rainforest, the 68-room property offers luxury and serenity in equal measure, and its intimate feel makes it a particularly good choice for couples. The Alila blends traditional Balinese and contemporary design, and its rooms have an upscale yet understated feel with plush beds, balconies or terraces, and beautiful stone bathrooms -- some of which are open-air. The hotel's highlight is a fantastic infinity pool, which appears to "float" above the valley and forest below. Also on-site are a full-service spa, fine-dining restaurant with Balinese and French cuisine, cocktail lounge, and art gallery. 

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Scene

Contemporary Balinese feel in a tranquil rainforest setting

Offering a quiet location in the green Ayung River Valley, the Alila is set on lush grounds with courtyards, terraces, and gardens that blend well with the surrounding natural scenery. The resort mixes contemporary and traditional Balinese elements in its decor, with abundant use of wood, stone, terracotta tile, straw, and other local materials. The feel is of understated luxury, peace and serenity, with ample light and lots of air moving through the resort. Guests can hear nothing but chirping birds and rustling leaves here. 

Colored a rich emerald green and shaped like a rectangle, the spectacular infinity pool towers high above the valley, and gives the visual effect of disappearing into the surrounding greenery. Guests retreat to this enticing spot for a refreshing swim or some relaxation on the deck where there are sun beds and Balinese-style umbrellas. Guests also gather in the restaurant, a Balinese-style space with a thatched roof and coconut palm tree pillars. The open-air cocktail lounge has views of the valley and infinity pool, which in the evening has candles floating on its surface. The resort draws mostly tourists who appreciate the peaceful setting and immersion in nature -- monkeys are often spotted on the premises. Couples can take a soak in an outdoor bathtub strewn with flower petals, or enjoy a private romantic dinner in a wood bale (Balinese gazebo) with a canopy. 

Location

Secluded Ayung River valley location, a 20-minute drive from central Ubud    

The Alila is location in the hill village of Payangan on the banks of the Ayung River, surrounded by lush rainforest greenery. Near the resort are rice paddies and traditional villages. Central Ubud is about a 20-minute drive southeast of the resort. Ubud offers sights such as Pura Taman Saraswati temple; Ubud Palace, the former kingdom palace of the Ubud Empire and now an evening dance performance venue; the Museum Puri Lukisan, with Balinese art; galleries and craft workshops; and the Ubud Market with its wood carvings, batik shirts, and sarongs for sale. Located a 25-minute drive south is the area with the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and Agung Rai Museum of Art with its beautiful Balinese gardens and traditional Balinese and Indonesian paintings. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Goa Gajah and its ninth-century cave is a 35-minute drive southeast. The Kintamani village and Mount Batur volcano, with its scenic lake, are a 50-minute drive northeast. The Alila Ubud is a 90-minute drive north of Ngurah Rai International Airport. 

Rooms

Balinese-style luxury rooms and villas come with plush beds and terraces or balconies.

The Alila has 68 non-smoking rooms and villas. The feel of the rooms is of utter serenity and luxury. The 56 rooms are in 14 two-story buildings, while the 12 villas are in eight buildings perched on stilts. Rooms have a brown, white, and beige color palette, lots of natural wood, plush white cotton bedding, and largely understated decor in order to showcase the resort's surrounding greenery. Rooms are clean, and very quiet owing to the resort's secluded location. 

Rooms come in Superior and larger Deluxe configurations, while Villas come in Valley, Pool, and Terrace Tree configurations and range in size. All rooms come with private balconies or terraces with day beds, coffee/tea makers, minibars, in-room safes, and free Wi-Fi; Deluxe rooms have garden terraces, and some have open-air bathtubs and showers. Villas add 40-inch flat-screen TVs with satellite channels and entertainment systems. Regular rooms do not have televisions, but TVs can be requested from the front desk. Some rooms and villas have air-conditioning, canopy beds, and Ayung River valley views. The Valley Villa is perched right above the rainforest canopy, with views from the wraparound balcony. The Pool Villa has a pretty landscaped garden with a large private swimming pool, and an open-air bathtub set in the middle of a lotus pond. The hillside Terrace Tree Villa faces the sunrise and overlooks the jungle canopy, with views of the neighboring creek, rice paddies, and wildlife. The spacious bathrooms in the rooms and villas are decked out with natural stone and offer ample counter space. 

Features

Eye-catching infinity pool, full-service spa, fine dining, and cocktail lounge -- but no gym

The Alila's centerpiece feature is its striking infinity pool, perched on a terrace and "floating" above the Ayung River valley and jungle hillside. The deck has sun beds and Balinese-style umbrellas. The pool sometimes gets a bit crowded, so guests should get their spots early. There is no fitness center on-site, but the resort's superb full-service spa has Balinese treatments (for a fee) and ancient Asian healing techniques, plus products made from natural and local ingredients. 

The Alila's fine-dining Plantation Restaurant serves authentic Balinese and modern French cuisine with local and seasonal ingredients, and offers an extensive wine list. The Cabana Lounge offers pool and valley views and serves a drink menu of cold-pressed juices and innovative cocktails with local ingredients; food options include plates designed for sharing, with an emphasis on Southeast Asian street-style food and classic poolside dishes. Room service is available, and the resort can arrange specially designed breakfasts, picnic lunches, and romantic dinners at the resort or nearby under the stars, in rice fields, or at temples. The resort also offers free parking, a boutique gift shop, free shuttle service to central Ubud, an art gallery with contemporary Indonesian art and local artists, and a library and TV lounge with free Wi-Fi. The leisure concierge can arrange other activities (for a fee) like mountain biking around the neighboring countryside, Balinese cooking classes in an outdoor kitchen with a sculpture garden, visits to the Mount Batur volcano, and trekking through the Payangan countryside past rice terraces, rivers, and waterfalls. 

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Address

Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan 80572, Indonesia