It is said that 30% of all tourists traveling to Bali will visit Ubud. And it shows. I have visited Ubud three times now with intervals of several years and every time I’m amazed by the expansions of new shops, hotels and restaurants.
But Ubud is standing strong as a special place. It remains the most charming village, the little gems are still there and are able to beat the competition of global brands. You will have to spend a few days there to roam the streets, visit the sites, do a bicycle tour, go to yoga and finish off with cocktails at one of the posh hotels around town with amazing views.
One temple I need to recommend before going into town is the Gunung Kawi one. Situated along a small river in between rice paddies it has the most breathtaking views. There is an abundance of restaurants in town and my recommendation is to go to Clear Cafe, which serves organic foods. The juices are great and food is amazing. Another one I was recommended is Locavore, which has a modern yet authentic touch as the food has.
For cafes, most of them are organic and have a great athmosphere to hang around after your yoga session(!). My special favorites are KAFE and Juicy Ja cafe, which is vegetarian. The Yogabarn is the place to be for your yoga session(s). It is the most famous one in town and probably the most commercial, but they have wonderful studios overlooking rice paddies and good teachers. If into yoga, check some of the smaller studios also as they might give you a bit more charm and personal attention.
I’m always into that little bit of ‘over the top’, so in Ubud I checked out The Viceroy. This five star hotel 10 minutes out of town, has a breathtaking view over one of the valleys, service you expect from a five star hotel, a great infinity pool, and the most amazing cocktails. It was a good break after a day full of new impressions.
The hotel I had the best experience in in Ubud was Honeymoon Guesthouse. It was not too big, nice rooms in an Indonesian setting, affordable and a great host.