Posted by: tonkatsudelights | September 4, 2007

Rest and Relax in Bali (Part 2) – Alila Ubud

Out of so many times I have been in Bali, I have never stayed in Ubud or the higher plains. It has always been the beach. Whether it’s Kuta or Nusa Dua or other beaches. Ubud has always been a destination of a day trip only.

This time I tried something different. I chose to stay one night in Ubud. Not that easy to find an available place, but I managed to snatch a Deluxe room at Alila Ubud (internet rate US$205++). Not exactly the thing that I wanted, as I was going for the cheaper Superior room (US$180++). Cheaper, but it has the feature that I like. Better view from the balcony.

You see, Alila Ubud rooms come in pairs — each pair consists of two unit, Superior room above and Deluxe room below. Go figure. Superior room actually has a better view as it is higher and it has a balcony where you can view the surroundings. The selling point for the Deluxe room, on the other hand, is the open air shower at the back of the room.

–> What we see from our bed in the morning…

The open air shower is quite nice, actually. But the drawback is… it can get pretty cold at night, especially if it is windy. And while you bathe you can never be sure that the people from the Superior room above will not suddenly open the windows and look down. Hehe… anyway, that’s what the blinds are for.

–> The look of the open air bathroom at different angle.

The room itself is fairly standard. Nicely done, but not extremely so. The room does not have carpets, which might be a problem for some people. But soon enough you will figure out that in countries like Indonesia, sometimes even fine five star establishments do not have carpets. Not so much about different standard. Just the weather. The maintenance. And in a tropical resort, what good does carpet do?

As expected, rooms like these do not have TV. Their idea for the people who come to the resort is pure relaxation. No TV. But if people need TV they have it and they can install one in the room. Oh, but they do have iPod nano to play some music in the room. The songs you can download from the library. Cool eh? I was wondering, how can they ensure that nobody will take the iPod home?

Alila Ubud has only one restaurant. There we had our dinner and then our breakfast the next day. I kinda expect not too much anyway from the restaurant as I know that most of the times hotel restaurants like that a lot of times are overcharging customers. They do not really provide the best value. A lot of Indonesian food are better bought from the streetside stalls or restaurants.

Anyway… when we arrived it was late. It was time for dinner already. So we decided to just eat there, no need to go out of the resort. At the least, I satisfied my cravings for soto ayam(Indonesian-style chicken soup).

–> My soto! Nothing spectacular. Not quite as nice as the ones I had in Jakarta, by the streetside or at some restaurants. But in the absence of the more authentic ones, this will do.

We also ordered mie goreng, which is basically Indonesian fried noodle. Indonesian indeed, for it came with kerupuk (prawn cracker), acar (which is not in curry like most Malay-style has), and sambal bali (Balinese chilli sauce). As appetizer I also ordered a dish called ‘The 3 Forks’, which basically consists of 3 forks (yeah, what else) of squid ink spaghetti, mango, and some meat that I forget what. And the taste? Forgettable.

Besides soto for dinner, I got the chance to satisfy my cravings for bubur ayam (Indonesian-style chicken congee) during breakfast time. You see… chicken congee bought from the street peddlers were my favorite breakfast when I was a teenager…

After breakfast, we took some time to walk around the resort while we were waiting for the car to bring us to Ubud. One of the feature of Alila Ubud is its award-winning infinity pool. It is gorgeous indeed! And the view of the surrounding is just beautiful. However, these days, infinity pool has become a very common feature in a tropical resort. Probably during the time they started it was a novel idea. But not now. Alila Ubud has been there for some time. It was formerly known as The Chedi Ubud.

–> The award-winning infinity pool.

–> The view of the valley from the pool area. That was another gorgeous resort complex. I wonder what that is…

Walking further away from the pool area we found some steps down leading to a gazebo structure, or what we call as the bale. That is the place that they use for private massage session and also for the romantic dinner for two in the evening. Hmmm…. can you imagine how the steps and the bale look like in the evening with candles and tealights and fire to light up your way?

Well… unless you are not into the idea of a very private romantic candle light dinner for two in a secluded place.

Another experience that foreigners might enjoy from Alila Ubud, or other resorts nearby, are the drive along the rice paddy fields from the main street to the resort itself. It was like you are in the middle of nowhere. All around you are just paddy fields. At night that particular road was just lighted up using some torches that they put along the road. The feeling can be magical. Unless you are afraid of the dark, that is. Hehe. You can also rent the bicycles from the resort and cycle around the area during the day.

All in all, we didn’t stay long enough in Alila to enjoy the facility such as the swimming pool, spa, massage, dinner, cycling etc etc. It is quite a nice place and affordably priced. The service is also quite prompt and attentive. I called up housekeeping to clean up the desk off the ants that were crawling on the snacks that were provided in the room. And the guy showed up pretty fast. Really nothing much to complain about the service itself.

But…. will I come and stay there again?

Well… the answer most probably will be… no. That’s all there is to Alila Ubud for me.

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