Like most other resorts in Ubud, Alila Ubud is a resort perched in a magically serene and magnificent setting. But there is without a doubt that it is its stunning infinity pool overlooking the lush Ayung River Valley, daily activities, and amazing service staff that takes this property to the five-star level.
I stayed at the Alila Ubud resort in late June 2018 and was completely blown away by the view when I stepped on the property and then was almost brought to tears upon departure by the overwhelming humble level of service and care that I received from its staff.
The booking process was pretty easy — I was sent a prompt email request to pay through their third-party online payment processor after booking the 4-night stay for their Superior Valley View Room on Booking.com.
As I mentioned, the grounds of the resort was spectacular and I was pleasantly greeted with a fast check-in process. However, I was a bit disappointed by the room accommodations — which were quite basic compared to not only what I was expecting, but also were a poor comparison to the private luxury pool villa that I had just departed LOL.
Fun Daily Activities for Guests and Somewhat-Reliable WiFi Across the Property
What really stood out for me about Alila were the daily activities available to guests. Since the resort is about 20 minutes outside of downtown Ubud, this is a welcome feature and couples, in particular, could easily never leave the resort and enjoy their vacation. During my stay, the resort hosted an evening movie screening of Cast Away at the infinity pool, a Balinese dance show, a PHENOMENAL local live band, and a spice festival. Also, if guests wanted to tour downtown Ubud, there were regular complimentary shuttles midday to and from the resort.
For those guests looking for health and fitness activities, there are weekly yoga and tai chi classes by the pool (weather permitting). I took the yoga class, which happened to be filled with intermediate to advanced yogis (I think I was the most inflexible of the guests in the class), and because it was pouring at the time, we enjoyed the class in the attractive art gallery beneath the spa.
One minor issue I encountered during my stay was the strength of wi-fi. I didn’t experience any long outages, but the availability and signal strength varied across the resort. The resort has an open network that should generally work by the pool, in the restaurant, etc.
Of all of the daily activities, my absolute favorite was the performance by a local live band, Siji Band, who played a range of American pop tunes and sensual latin songs (like the opening credits soundtrack for Netflix’s Narcos series). The band took requests in addition to their playlist and were class acts. The singer had an amazing voice!
Check out my video on Instagram for a sample of the band’s performance here.
Where do I start with this infinity pool? It’s simply perfection and no photo I have seen does it justice. Perhaps the video at the top of this post is the closest you can get to an accurate depiction of its awesomeness. It is so refreshing and you feel like you are swimming right out to the edge of the jungle. Although you don’t see the river from this location you can hear the rapids. The pool attendants at the cabana lounger are always waiting to assist — bringing you towels, reserving a lounge chair, or taking an order from the poolside menu. There are happy hour specials and your typical light fare like pizza and burgers to choose from.
Outdated Room Decor Lacking in Amenities, but Comfortable Bedding
The resort has several different types of rooms — from private pool multi-room villas to apartment-style rooms in duplexes. I stayed in the latter with a private balcony overlooking the Ayung River Valley. My small room only had a stone shower and no television or radio, but the bed was large and comfortable. Once I realized that there was no television, I mentioned this to one of the staff and they had a television set up in my room. So, I can’t complain.
I felt the desk was on the small side and it would have been great to have easy charging available for computers and phones. It seemed that I always needed to unplug something to plug up another electronic device. Also, the room was rather dark throughout the day. So, this could be an issue for someone that likes a lot of natural or artificial light in their room to read or apply makeup, etc (which doesn’t matter much to me). Lastly, the room lacked hooks and storage space to hang robes, towels or even folded clothing.
Overall, the decor was a bit outdated and the furnishings looked worn, but I believe the wood paneling, stone, and rich fabrics reflected what I saw across Bali.
Lush, Rich Setting in the Ayung River Valley
Geckos and monkeys are at Alila in abundance. There was no need to visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud as the resort had daily visits from the local monkey colony that lives in the valley surrounding the pool. They showed up like clockwork every day during afternoon tea and will help themselves to whatever you have on offer (or not)
Wonderful Poolside Bar and Great Complimentary Breakfast & Afternoon Tea
There are no walkable restaurants near the resort, so unless you already have planned to venture out that day to explore, you will eat breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner at the resort’s restaurant, The Plantation, or it’s poolside bar. The food portions are acceptable, sometimes really generous, and I was always satisfied after a meal. Although the quality and portions were great, the food was a little on the pricey side.
The complimentary unlimited breakfast at Alila Ubud was out of this world! The four-course menu is different every day and you can order and everything you want — in other words, multiple courses and drinks. And the options weren’t even limited to what was on the daily menu! If you wanted something you loved the day before, they always had it on request! The croissants and bread seemed to be made daily. And the fruit smoothies and fresh fruit juices were surely made-to-order. On top of the freshness and options, the presentation and service were fabulous as well. There is no doubt this was the best complimentary breakfast that I have had at any hotel/resort.
Each afternoon, the Alila Ubud hosted an afternoon tea in the poolside bar — guests could choose herbal tea, coffee, or even make their own herbal teas from a made-to-order concoction of the fresh accompaniments, like ginger, mint, lemon, and cinnamon. As a tea lover, this was something I watched the clock for every day during my stay. I fell in love with a ginger, lemon, cinnamon stick mixture with honey steeped with boiling water.
On my last evening at Alila Ubud, I asked for the most photographable main course and the Dutch-Indonesian Rijsttafel was suggested. Rijsttafel (translation: “rice table”) offers a harmonious dining experience where sweet, sour, bitter, and salty flavors are balanced with varying temperatures and textures and served with rice. This elaborate Dutch-Indonesian meal was adopted by the Dutch following the Hidang presentation of Nasi Padang from the Padang region of West Sumatra. The Rijsttafel at Alila was delicious and really awakened my palate. My favorite part was the fish dish.
Affordable Romantic Luxury Hotel for Honeymooners in Ubud, Bali
Throughout my stay, I was acutely aware that I was the only single traveler visiting the resort, as I was surrounded by families and couples. I even had one staff member ask to take away my extra chairs and settings during breakfast one morning to give to a larger party, which didn’t make me feel too good, even though I graciously obliged. So, I would say that this resort, as lovely as it is, is best for couples — particularly honeymooners.
Five-Star Service Staff
The level of service and attention to detail at Alila Ubud was outstanding. Every staff person was always smiling and ready to help in any way… even in the pouring rain. It seems like they can never do enough for you to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. On the last day of my stay in Alila, I was alerted to an emergency with my child back at home and the staff was so supportive, helpful and understanding that I was almost brought to tears. The staff alone could easily bring me back to this resort and have definitely earned this resort my full blessing.
The Final Word: Hotel Review for Alila Ubud
Thanks for reading and sharing,
P.S. Would you like to stay at a romantic resort for honeymooners if you are a solo traveler? Leave your answer in the comments below!