Although located just over an hour from the beaches of Southern
Bali, we wholeheartedly recommend spending a few days in Ubud, and
holing up in a charming boutique hotel or luxury spa resort on the
outskirts of town. Day trippers from the larger hotels in Southern
Bali can often take over the centre of town during the day, and so
this is the ideal time to escape, and explore the beautiful
countryside by foot or bicycle, visit artisans in their village
workshops as they carve wood, stone and silver, and perhaps chance
upon a temple ceremony in local villages.
After a late afternoon spa session, or a few lazy laps of the
pool, venturing out for dinner you will find that Ubud is a
completely different place. Many of the colourful boutiques that
line Jalan Monkey Forest and Jalan Hanuman will still be open and
blissfully shopper free, the soft tones of Jazz will float out from
roadside cafes, and a handful of candlelit restaurants will be
serving up some of the finest Balinese cuisine on the island.
Due to its central location, Ubud also makes a great base from
which to explore many of Bali's sights, including the beautiful
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple, which seemingly floats on Lake
Bratan, and the impending peaks of Mount Agung and Mount Bratan in
the East. Though for those who really want to get away from it all,
there are some wonderful hotels opening up in lesser known spots.
Our favourite is the hilltop town of Munduk, which offers stunning
views over Bali's north coast on a clear day, one of the most
picturesque infinity pools at Munduk Moding Plantation, and some
seriously impressive waterfalls to trek to.