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10 of the Best Villas in Ubud, Bali

Ubud is Bali’s cultural hub, a royal village situated at the confluence of two rivers on the southern edge of the Balinese heartland. A haven for local and foreign artists since the 1930s, it is now a conglomeration of villages and the island’s centre for fine arts and cultural performances, attracting art collectors, connoisseurs, writers, mystics, and people who are actively involved in art, anthropology, music, dance, architecture, environmentalism and alternative healing.

Ubud is the seat of the Sukawati Royal Family; the palace is centrally located and open to the public, while in the surrounding villages visitors can watch the island’s most accomplished painters, stonemasons, woodcarvers, mask makers and silversmiths at work. As well as numerous shops, galleries, studios and a market, Ubud even has its own sacred monkey forest. Restaurants are plentiful, but nightlife is limited with the majority of places closing around midnight.

Ubud is the perfect area to use as a base when visiting Bali, the town is surrounded by most of the attributes that entice people to this exceptionally beautiful island – emerald rice terraces, traditional art and craft communities, ancient temples, palaces, and breathtaking river gorges. In fact, the Sayan Ridge is home to some of the best hotels in the world. Ubud’s central location makes it very easy to get to the mountains and all of the major tourist attractions. It also has a cooler, fresher and generally more pleasant climate than the southern coastal regions.


Villa San

Villa San

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Ubud

To be this close to the centre of vibrant Ubud but be surrounded by so much space, peace and comfort is a rare treat. Returning to the sanctuary of Villa San’s impressively long lap pool, lovely lawn and big comfy bedrooms and bathrooms after a hard day’s shopping or sight-seeing in and around Ubud was a delight. We were royally looked after by the lovely staff, who were keen to make sure that we enjoyed our stay and equally keen to share their knowledge of the area and the culture and customs of this lovely part of the island.

The master suite gets top marks for luxury, comfort and sheer quality. There are no TVs in the bedrooms (they get points for that, from us) but there are excellent TV/DVD/music systems in the two entertainment rooms and a smaller set, plus electronic games console , in the playroom. Bring your own DVDs though, as the owner’s collection is pretty small. Ditto iPods for the docks in every bedroom.

The villa is well-equipped for young children and extended families with three twin-bedded rooms and a great playroom. Having all the accommodation on one level is also be a big plus for guests that have trouble with steps.

The cool shady balé at the top end of the swimming pool is big enough to seat everyone, even where there’s a full house, and with Bose speakers installed in the rafters it makes the perfect place to chill out, enjoy the tropical scene and thank your lucky stars that you are staying at Villa San.

Oh yes, and we couldn’t help but imagine what an absolutely lovely place Villa San would be – marquee on the lawn, glass of Champagne in the hand, music drifting through the balmy evening air – for a casual wedding reception or other special celebration!
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Villa San

Villa San

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Ubud

To be this close to the centre of vibrant Ubud but be surrounded by so much space, peace and comfort is a rare treat. Returning to the sanctuary of Villa San’s impressively long lap pool, lovely lawn and big comfy bedrooms and bathrooms after a hard day’s shopping or sight-seeing in and around Ubud was a delight. We were royally looked after by the lovely staff, who were keen to make sure that we enjoyed our stay and equally keen to share their knowledge of the area and the culture and customs of this lovely part of the island.

The master suite gets top marks for luxury, comfort and sheer quality. There are no TVs in the bedrooms (they get points for that, from us) but there are excellent TV/DVD/music systems in the two entertainment rooms and a smaller set, plus electronic games console , in the playroom. Bring your own DVDs though, as the owner’s collection is pretty small. Ditto iPods for the docks in every bedroom.

The villa is well-equipped for young children and extended families with three twin-bedded rooms and a great playroom. Having all the accommodation on one level is also be a big plus for guests that have trouble with steps.

The cool shady balé at the top end of the swimming pool is big enough to seat everyone, even where there’s a full house, and with Bose speakers installed in the rafters it makes the perfect place to chill out, enjoy the tropical scene and thank your lucky stars that you are staying at Villa San.

Oh yes, and we couldn’t help but imagine what an absolutely lovely place Villa San would be – marquee on the lawn, glass of Champagne in the hand, music drifting through the balmy evening air – for a casual wedding reception or other special celebration!
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Villa Alamanda

Villa Alamanda

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Ubud

This out-of-town villa is a little gem that offers the best of both worlds. On the one hand you will find all the serenity and peace that you would expect from a countryside location, together with the enchantment of a Balinese village, yet you are only five kilometres from the centre of Ubud, where there is plenty to do, including shopping, sightseeing, trekking, river rafting and eating out. The villa itself is romantic, charming and furnished with love, but don’t expect anything too high-tech or lots of fancy facilities because that’s not what Villa Alamanda is about. It’s more about rustic charm than funky architecture, and yes there might be one or two things that could be better maintained, but this is reflected in a very reasonable price. We found the staff to be efficient and friendly, and the chef’s cooking is excellent.
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Villa Shinta Dewi Ubud

Villa Shinta Dewi Ubud

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Ubud

Villa Shinta Dewi is a gem.  With Ubud’s high-season influx of day-trippers and consequent increase in traffic chaos, we were happy to head northwards through the rice fields a couple of kilometres out of town to discover a delightfully private villa tucked away behind a small village.  Birdsong, the mature trees rustling in the breeze and the river rushing deep in the ravine were the only sounds to vie with Shinta Dewi’s multi-zone Sonos sound system…..topped only by our appreciative ‘Oooohs’ and ‘Ahhhhs’ as we tucked into Pak Putu’s fabulously presented dinner.  We were delighted to find such an accomplished chef here; Ubud is awash with great restaurants and cafes but, with his talent, we think many guests will be reluctant to eat out (despite the complimentary shuttle service).

We appreciated the choice of living areas – too many for us to enjoy in our short 24-hour trip.  After a divinely comfortable night’s sleep (top range mattresses dressed in crisp cotton linen), it was glorious listening to the dawn chorus from the comfort of the upper level lounge before heading down to the poolside balé for breakfast. 

The charming staff managed to pull off a fine balancing act by being on hand when needed, but otherwise discreetly in the background.  Villa manager Nong and supervisor Wayan are very knowledgeable about the area and can organise all sorts of trips, from cycling through the rice fields to a sunrise hike up a volcano.
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Villa Shinta Dewi Ubud

Villa Shinta Dewi Ubud

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Ubud

Villa Shinta Dewi is a gem.  With Ubud’s high-season influx of day-trippers and consequent increase in traffic chaos, we were happy to head northwards through the rice fields a couple of kilometres out of town to discover a delightfully private villa tucked away behind a small village.  Birdsong, the mature trees rustling in the breeze and the river rushing deep in the ravine were the only sounds to vie with Shinta Dewi’s multi-zone Sonos sound system…..topped only by our appreciative ‘Oooohs’ and ‘Ahhhhs’ as we tucked into Pak Putu’s fabulously presented dinner.  We were delighted to find such an accomplished chef here; Ubud is awash with great restaurants and cafes but, with his talent, we think many guests will be reluctant to eat out (despite the complimentary shuttle service).

We appreciated the choice of living areas – too many for us to enjoy in our short 24-hour trip.  After a divinely comfortable night’s sleep (top range mattresses dressed in crisp cotton linen), it was glorious listening to the dawn chorus from the comfort of the upper level lounge before heading down to the poolside balé for breakfast. 

The charming staff managed to pull off a fine balancing act by being on hand when needed, but otherwise discreetly in the background.  Villa manager Nong and supervisor Wayan are very knowledgeable about the area and can organise all sorts of trips, from cycling through the rice fields to a sunrise hike up a volcano.
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Villa Ria Sayan

Villa Ria Sayan

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Ubud

Wow…the view from Villa Ria Sayan eclipses that from the Four Seasons and Amandari! How on earth did the owner of this delightfully cosy (but by no means small) villa manage to snap up such a fantastic ravine-edge spot in Bali’s most coveted location? We were told that ‘ria’ means ‘happy’ in Indonesian…and that’s quite an understatement for our response to this hidden gem; even the unseasonal rain that accompanied our stay couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm. This is a lovely, comfortable home full of fascinating furniture and artefacts that each have a story to tell of the owner’s travels and love of Bali… such a delightful contrast to those holiday rental villas that mask an owner’s personality with an interior designer’s heavy-handed influence. Our favourite place was the upstairs ‘study’ where the best vista in Bali was welcome distraction from my computer. And even the tropical downpour couldn’t keep us from the poolside balé perched at the edge of the ridge, from where we could hear the rush of the Ayung river a hundred metres below.

We found the staff warm and friendly – Nengah’s home cooking garners enthusiastic compliments in the guest book – but also appreciated having the place to ourselves a lot of the time.
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