We arrived at the Alila in Ubud on the second leg of our Indonesian adventure. The hotel is nestled away between paddy fields far away from main roads and the noise and bustle of Ubud town centre. We had booked the hotel through Mr and Mrs Smith online for bed and breakfast with a complimentary half hour massage. I then called to add on the Airport transfer, I would recommend you do this through the hotel. The Taxi they sent was extremely comfortable, air conditioned, cool bottles of water and the driver was friendly and chatty throughout.
The hotel is about an hour and a half away from the main airport in Bali so the drive is long, but you do get to see a lot of Balinese life on your way there. Even though we arrived during the evening there was still stuff to see, stalls, paddy fields, temples and we even witnessed a funeral ceremony procession.
The hotel is stunning. The lobby is an open space, open on three sides and when we walked in it was beautifully lit by candle-light. You are welcomed with a fresh drink and a cool towel. We had a slight initial glitch following check-in. When we booked our stay we were not made aware of the two different types of Superior Room. The hotel has Superior rooms both with and without balconies. We were expecting one with a balcony overlooking the rainforest, so when we were initially shown to a room without one, we explained to the hotel that the room was not to our satisfaction and they were quick to resolve our issue with a smile.
Our second room was perfect. The balcony had a daybed with a table and chairs. There is a rain shower bathroom suite inside and the bedroom area is generous. At night, all you can hear are the crickets in the grass outside and it really is pitch black – an oasis of peace.
During the day, you can enjoy the large, stunning infinity pool with views all the way down into the valley, which is thick with forest. In the distance, you can see a temple and there is a walking trail for you to follow should you wish. The majority of the clientele are couples though there were families there with children…. I can’t say that the presence of children was a negative, though I would suggest that this is definitely a hotel better-suited to couples. Ideal for honeymooners, in fact.
The food is delicious. We had breakfast included, but the breakfast is not your ordinary croissants and coffee (though you can have that if you wish). You are provided with an Artisan menu that has a fantastic selection made up of fresh and local produce. The dinner menu is equally as good and there is a cabana near the pool area that serves more casual type food till late in the night. The quality of Indonesian and International cuisine is top-notch and we tried both during our stay.
The spa area is incredible. The day after we arrived we booked our half hour complimentary massage, which ended up lasting a full hour and was easily one of the best massages we have ever experienced (and we are both seasoned spa-goers). It was so good that we booked a second massage for the following day – a 90 minute hot stone massage which we were given in a secluded outdoor area specifically designed for couples. A stunning surprise. The spa should have a separate 5 star rating in its own right!
Unfortunately, during our time there, Mo was struck with a bout of laryngitis. He could barely speak and even though we tend to pack medication with us on long haul trips, we had nothing suitable. At breakfast on our first morning, we were greeted by one of the managers of the restaurant area – a lovely lady by the name of Widiasih, a jewel in the crown of the Alila, Ubud. She immediately noticed that Mo had ‘throat problems’ and sent for warm water to drink, followed by hot ginger, honey and lemongrass tea – on the house. The next morning she asked how he was and sent for more warm drinks for him. It is this level of customer service that makes a holiday truly special. She also spent some time answering our questions about Balinese culture and talking about her life and family, reciprocating with questions about ours in the UK, but never in an intrusive way.
All of the staff at the Alila are gracious and kind on a level rarely experienced. Upon our departure, the hotel manger came to say goodbye and apologised for not being there to greet us when we arrived. We were humbled. All of the above made our stay in Ubud and in Bali truly special. They are 3 nights we will not forget in a hurry….
A sincere thank you to all the staff at the Alila, Ubud and an extra-special thank you to Widiasih for going the extra mile… We hope to be back soon.