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Hotel Highlights

  • Astonishing award-winning pool with jaw-plummeting valley views
  • Eco-conscious village-style living in a peaceful hilltop forest
  • Expert Balinese massage at the Alila Spa

Overview

A winding mile from the village below, the hilltop boutique resort of Alila Ubud owes its inspiration to traditional Balinese village life. 14 two-storey wood-and-stone-made blocks house just 56 rooms. Each one offers panoramic views of the valley below, the River Ayung that runs through it and the ring of volcanoes surrounding the hotel.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Alila Ubud with us:

Early check-in and 3pm late check-out (subject to availability), plus a 60-minute Balinese massage for two

Facilities

View Gallery
Alila Ubud hotel – Bali – Indonesia

Need To Know

Rooms

64, including eight villas.

Check–out

Midday, later check-out can be arranged if the room is still available. Earliest check-in, 2pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $256.37 (IDR3,256,552), excluding tax at 21 per cent.

More details

Rates include breakfast.

Also

Alila Ubud’s spa is one of it’s biggest assets: the massages are out of this world, and all products are made bespoke from natural, local ingredients. Mountain bikes are freely available to borrow and offer a great way of exploring the forest.

Hotel closed

No check-ins or check-outs are allowed on 21 March 2015, when Bali observes Nyepi Day (Day of Silence), although stays are still possible. Bali’s airport also closes for the day.

At the hotel

Spa, library, TV lounge, WiFi in lobby and restaurant, boutique, art gallery, sculpture garden, free shuttle to Ubud. In rooms: iPod sound system (in Deluxe rooms and Villas), minibar.

Our favourite rooms

The Ayung River Villas have wrap-around decking perched over the gorge, making them ideal for honeymooners wanting a breathtaking backdrop, as well as huge bath tubs sunk into lotus ponds. The Deluxe Rooms on the ground floor have outdoor showers.

Poolside

The pool at Alila Ubud has a global reputation, and no wonder: it’s a watery sliver of infinity that seems to overhang the valley plunging beneath it. Secure your lounger early – it can get busy surprisingly quickly.

Packing tips

If you plan on trekking or cycling – the area’s perfect for both – then some suitably sporty shoes are essential. The Alila Living Boutique sells appropriately floaty tai chi/yoga gear.

Children

Alila is more orientated towards couples seeking seclusion.

Eco‐friendly

The resort is Green Globe certified, recycles extensively and is closely involved with green initiative and community support programmes.

Food & Drink

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Alila Ubud hotel – Bali – Indonesia

Hotel Restaurant

Beneath a thatched, coconut-palm-pillared canopy, open-air restaurant Plantation cooks up a combination on health-conscious cuisine naturelle, Western and Balinese dishes – all locally sourced where possible.

Hotel Bar

The chilled-out Cabana Lounge overlooks the pool and offers soaring valley views; at night, you can sip sundowners while watching the candles floating on the pool’s surface.

Last orders

Plantation closes at 10.30pm, as does the bar.

Room service

You can arrange in-room dining around the clock.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Freestyle chic.

Top table

Arrange to eat in a private bale – you can have a tailor-made seven-course dinner served with lashings of romance.

Local Guide

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Alila Ubud hotel – Bali – Indonesia
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

If Ubud is Bali’s cultural heart, then the gangs (alleys) are its veins and art is its lifeblood. You can lose a day just wandering around the town, pootling between art galleries and craftsmen’s workshops. Bali’s growing generation of female painters exhibit at the Seniwati Gallery (+62 (0)361 975 485), which you can stroll around for free.

Local restaurants

It may be a bit rough around the edges, but don’t let that put you off – Naughty Nura's Warung on Jalan Raya Sanggingan in Ubud town is the best barbecue in Ubud. Residents converge here for homey, cheap and cheerful fare such as hearty pork ribs (+62 (0)361 977 547). Nobody knows in advance what they’ll be eating at Mozaic (on the same street) but rest assured, nobody ever comes away disappointed. Chef Salans’ modern French tasting menu is an ever-changing revelation and the wine list is similarly inspired (+62 (0)361 975 768).

+ Enlarge
Sweet valley high

Alila Ubud

Desa Melinggih Kelod, Payangan, Bali, 80572

Planes

Fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport, near Denpasar, served by carriers including Garuda, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar and JAL. Ngurah Rai is a 45-minute drive south of the hotel. If you need one, visas can be bought on arrival, so have cash with you if necessary.

Automobiles

The hotel is a 10-minute drive (5km) out of Ubud, the island’s artistic centre, and an hour’s drive away from the capital.

Reviews

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Alila Ubud hotel – Bali – Indonesia

Anonymous review

by Sophie Barton , Showbiz scribe

I’m lazing on a bamboo bed, sipping a lychee martini and absorbing the last of the day’s sun. Bali’s vast Ayung Gorge stretches away below me, and I can hear the water trickling over the edge of the Alila’s infinity pool. Then, in my peripheral vision, I notice a hairy, grey figure skulking behind me. He creeps past and is swiftly joined by six others. It’s a large fa…
Read more

Alila Ubud

Anonymous review by Sophie Barton, Showbiz scribe

I’m lazing on a bamboo bed, sipping a lychee martini and absorbing the last of the day’s sun. Bali’s vast Ayung Gorge stretches away below me, and I can hear the water trickling over the edge of the Alila’s infinity pool. Then, in my peripheral vision, I notice a hairy, grey figure skulking behind me. He creeps past and is swiftly joined by six others. It’s a large family of monkeys. One promptly appropriates a bottle of Nivea Sun (from his excitable chattering it’s clearly a good steal) and another nonchalantly helps himself to my watermelon chunks. I’m usually protective when it comes to food, but I’m not about to pick a fight with these guys, cuddly as they look. As I settle back into my martini I realise that’s one of the joys of Bali: just when you think it’s becoming a little too Westernised, a little too predictable, you experience an unexpected thrill.

We’d arrived at Alila Ubud in the middle of the previous night. Despite the inky darkness it was obvious we’d reached a rural idyll – our taxi cut its way through terraced rice paddies and, on emerging from the car, we were greeted by the chorus of geckos.
 
With its fresh white linen, frothy duvet and garland of scarlet roses, our king-size bed was a welcome relief. But first we showered in our outdoor bathroom, using Alila’s organic exfoliating rice soap. As bathing experiences go it’s pretty unique – you shower in the shadow of a banana tree with a heavy bamboo screen protecting your modesty. Glass doors strategically placed beside the bed meant, however, that I could sneak a peek at my newly hitched Mr Smith while he washed (yes, we were on our honeymoon).
 
The next morning we slid back vast transparent doors at the foot of the bed and absorbed the view across the valley below. On our way to breakfast we passed delicately scented frangipani and huge white orchids, and yellow-bellied lizards scuttled across our path. After refuelling with eggs Benedict (yolks cooked to runny perfection), croissants, freshly squeezed papaya juice and earthy Balinese coffee we took up residence by the sublime pool. It’s said to be one of the top 50 in the world but that surely has to be doing it an injustice. It’s a glorious jade green infinity number raised over the gorge – when you swim towards the drop it’s easy to imagine you’re being pulled magnetically towards the edge of a waterfall. It’s both exhilarating and incredibly peaceful.

That afternoon we took one of the hotel’s three daily shuttles into the small, rural town of Ubud, Bali’s arts and crafts centre. It’s a 15-minute drive but I lost count of the number of motorbikes that zipped past us en route. And I could have sworn that several of the drivers were children. When we later mentioned it to a local taxi driver, he sheepishly confessed that his 10-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son often pinch his bike. ‘It’s OK,’ he assured us, ‘the police don’t come this far out of town.’ Once in Ubud we drifted around the covered market, picking our way through stalls selling hand-painted silk sarongs, jewellery, paintings and dodgy looking phallic bottle openers. I felt somewhat smug when I bartered a woman down from 75,000 Indonesian rupiah to 45,000 for a packet of saffron and vanilla pods, but judging by her chuckle as I left, my negotiation skills weren’t so great. Later, we snacked on chicken satay at a nearby restaurant, while watching green hummingbirds dart around the hibiscus.

On our return to Alila we took the hotel’s bicycles and pedalled through the vivid green paddies dotted with scarecrows. We explored local villages, dodging children, chickens and numerous stray dogs. They’re quick to gobble up the many Hindu offerings that the Balinese leave on the streets, which can include rice, banana and, on a dog’s lucky day, duck. It’s fortuitous the Balinese don’t mind their offerings being eaten; they believe it’s the act of making them and praying over them that’s important, not who – or what – gets its paws on them afterwards.

That night we ate at the Alila’s restaurant, overlooking clusters of floating lanterns twinkling in the pool. We started with vegetable spring rolls with chilli sauce, followed by a Balinese coconut curry with tofu and quail’s egg, then banana fritters and creamy vanilla ice-cream. My mojito was the ideal sweet and tangy combination; Mr Smith enjoyed a Bintang, the local beer. We recovered from our food frenzy in the poolside bar, where we played chess on an enormous glass set and sat on sofas so deep our feet couldn’t touch the ground. It was like we’d entered the land of the giants.

The next day we swaddled ourselves in luxury, indulging in a 90-minute massage. Spa Alila is a slick operation. After choosing our oils (there’s one for relaxing, a headier scent for couples, and a minty energising potion), we were led to a glass-fronted room where we could hear the birds and geckos outside. Much to Mr Smith’s horror we were presented with paper pants. He point blank refused to suffer the ‘indignity’, ironically insisting on wearing his Speedos instead. The treatment, though, was sheer bliss. Perfect pressure was applied in firm strokes and our limbs were gently stretched – even our toes were wiggled. Once we managed to rouse ourselves, we were led outside and given dishes of delicate strawberry sorbet, a heavenly wake-up for dazed patients. All that remained was for us to head back to the pool, feeling invigorated and refreshed. In just two days this quiet retreat had soothed our stresses and left us feeling remarkably peaceful. I just hope we can return. They say your first wedding anniversary present should be made from paper. Does a plane ticket count?
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Alila Ubud's Guestbook below.

 

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The complementary afternoon tea. Traditional desserts teamed with design your own tea, including heavenly spices and herbs.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We loved the Terrace Tree Villa, quiet with a gorgeous view, and the pool for the breathtaking view over the valley. Arrangement by the concierge for dinner at Mozaic restaurant was perfect (a surprise for my wife's 30th birthday during our honeymoon).

Don’t expect

People were reserving seats at the pool early in the morning and then showed up three hours later. Since there are not many seats available, this should not be tolerated.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Highlights for me were the amazing outdoor massages, afternoon tea, secluded location, understated helpfulness of staff, and gardens. All-in-all a great hotel.

Don’t expect

There wasn't much of an atmosphere in the restaurant when we were there so we went out each night. I don't think there was enough space by the pool for the number of rooms.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The setting of Alila Ubud, above a lush valley, the breezy cabana-style restaurant and the beautiful pool are the hotel's best features. The rooms were reasonably small but felt high-quality in terms of fittings and furnishings. The outdoor shower and bath add to the sense of tropical-living. The breakfasts were out of this world – absolutely the best breakfasts I have ever had, with local specialities like coconut pancakes and black coconut rice as well as French toast, scrambled eggs with mushrooms, fresh cakes and pastries, juices and fruit, etc. Have the ribs for dinner and don't miss afternoon tea by the pool!

Don’t expect

Check-in and check-out were very slow procedures, testing my husband's patience in light of the heavy traffic and impending flight! And the cost of the food seemed high in relation to other places we stayed in Bali.

Rating: 8/10 stars