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Ananda Cottages 3.0

Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Sprawling, natural grounds with jungle and private rice fields
  • Family-run property with charming and tranquil old-Ubud atmosphere
  • Simple, spacious, and clean rooms with air-conditioning and flat-screen TVs
  • Rooms have furnished terraces or balconies, many overlooking the rice fields
  • Three popular spaces for yoga retreats, plus special retreat menus
  • Three outdoor pools and a tennis court
  • Restaurant serves international fare in multiple open-air dining areas
  • Free laughter yoga classes twice per week
  • Free scheduled shuttle into central Ubud
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Reaching the center of town requires long walks on busy roads
  • Natural grounds mean some insects, spiders, and birdlife (pro for some)
  • Shuttle schedule is limited

Bottom Line

Ubud is no longer an idyllic village, but the vibe at three-pearl Ananda Cottages convincingly preserves that once-tranquil past. Situated a five-minute drive from the traffic-clogged heart of town, there are just a few shops and restaurants nearby. The tradeoff? Peace and quiet across the hotel's grounds, which are laced with jungle and rice fields. The 83 rooms are humble and rustic, but spacious and clean, outfitted with air-conditioning, terraces, free Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs. There are free laughter yoga classes twice a week, multiple pools, and several yoga studios that are popular with visiting groups. The restaurant serves Indonesian and international fare, as well as a breakfast buffet. Travelers wanting to be closer to Ubud's center might consider Ketut's Place instead, though it lacks a full-service restaurant and in-room TVs.

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Scene

Charming and authentic hotel with old-Ubud style that's a haven for nature lovers and yogis

This hotel was one of the most pleasant surprises that we found on a recent trip to Ubud. It's a bit far from the busy center of town, but the rewards include jaw-dropping grounds that stretch across rice fields and the jungle, for a taste of what Ubud was once like. Within these stunning surroundings are one- and two-story buildings done in authentic Balinese style. Expect to see lots of carved details and hardwood accents, and all common areas are open to the natural landscape. The vibe is tranquil throughout, with groups of yogis being served healthy meals in the breezy dining areas, as well as making their sun salutations in the jungle-shrouded yoga studios. Elsewhere, families gingerly step across the paths that cut between the rice fields. The hotel has been in the same family since 1978 and is one of the older properties in town. In fact, many of the family members still live on-site and daily offerings to Hindu deities are made, fostering the homey atmosphere. As the surroundings are natural, expect to encounter birdlife and a few vibrantly colored, but totally harmless, spiders or insects during your time here. It's tropical Bali, after all.

Location

On a busy road outside of central Ubud, a five-minute drive into town

The location here has its pluses and minuses. As noted above, being outside of town means that the hotel's grounds are made up of old-growth forest and placid rice fields, which add lots of atmosphere. On the other hand, a walk to the center of town will take nearly 30 minutes along busy roads and in Ubud's heat. There are several restaurants, shops, and other hotels nearby, but the glut of the town's offerings are a five-minute drive away (though, that travel time depends on traffic, which is awful in Ubud). A few destinations of note are closer, including the quirky Blanco Museum (a 15-minute walk) and the trailhead for the Campuhan Ridge Walk (also about a 15-minute walk). Budget 10 to 20 minutes to reach the Sacred Monkey Forest by cab, depending on traffic. The hotel does run a shuttle to the town center, but timings are limited. It's a 25-minute taxi ride to the Tegallalang Rice Fields. Travelers heading to Bali's airport need to allot at least 90 minutes to get there, though again, that figure can shift up and down depending on road conditions. 

Rooms

Simple and spacious, with traditional Balinese style and balconies or terraces

With its focus on the body, mind, and spirit -- three key pieces of Balinese Hinduism -- it's perhaps no surprise that the focus of the hotel is on its lovely grounds. As such, rooms are simple, but clean and spacious. They do have touches of Balinese style, with variable details like pagoda ceilings, heavy hardwood furniture, live-edge pieces, and elegantly carved accents, but overall the style consists of white tile and hardwood. There are three categories available, though the look is similar across the board and all include romantic four-poster beds. Bungalows are stand-alone units and have a little more privacy -- they're also right next to the rice fields. Otherwise, all rooms have furnished balconies or terraces that open to garden, rice field, or jungle views. Standard features include air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, basic minibars, electric kettles, and ceiling fans. Connecting rooms are available for families. Bathrooms include fully indoor and partially indoor options, and either shower/tub combos or separate showers and tubs. Some bathrooms are a little worn. Toiletries, towels, and hairdryers are provided. Given the construction, you may hear neighboring guests on occasion, but otherwise expect only the sounds of the jungle.

Features

Yoga-centric extras including free sessions, three pools, a tennis court, and pleasant international restaurant

For a three-pearl hotel, Ananda Cottages manages to pack in an array of features. Most of the best are geared toward yogis -- serious or amateur. Up to five groups are on-site during any month, using the three studios, all of which open to jungle or rice field views. Even the locker rooms for the studios smell like flowers -- a remarkable feat in steamy Bali. The hotel has its own yoga-friendly cooks for groups that bed-down on-site. Laughter yoga classes are offered for free for guests and hotel staff twice per week. The restaurant is spread across several open-air dining areas and serves an international menu that features a great selection of fresh juices. A breakfast buffet can be added to bookings as well. There are three pools on-site, tucked away in quieter corners of the property, and some of these look out onto the rice fields (though poolside seating can be limited). The tennis court is an unexpected extra, and rackets are available. A shuttle runs to Ubud just a few times a day, and the limited schedule means taxis are likely the best way to get in and out of town. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. 

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Address

Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Ubud 80571, Indonesia

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