When one thinks of Bali, what comes to mind almost immediately is the crowded Kuta beach. However, there is a lot more to Bali than what Seminyak has to offer. Ubud, it's more low-profile sibling, is home to a booming arts culture and is a nest of boutique hotels, unique stores and art galleries.

Over the Chinese New year public holiday this year I went on a family trip to Ubud and thoroughly enjoyed the laid-back vibe we experienced there. 

How to go and cost: Many low cost airlines such as AirAsia, Tiger Airways and Jetstar fly frequently from Singapore to bali. From Bali airport, the best way to get into Ubud is via hired taxi. If you want to take a taxi to Ubud from South Bali, it is best to charter the vehicle for a return trip to get a more reasonable rate. Rates range from Rp 150,000 to Rp 200,000 one way depending on where you're coming from. 

Accomodation: Ubud has a wide variety of hotels and bed and breakfasts. We chose to stay at Junjungan hotel and Spa, a small, intimate boutique hotel with only 10 rooms. Room rates range from $80-$100+, book directly through the hotel website or through agoda.com

Review: Ubud is not for everyone- If you're looking for a beach holiday that consists of your spending your time sunbathing, learning to surf, picking up girls (or getting picked up, for that matter) at the beach, then Ubud shouldn't be your top choice. If however, you're looking to get a bit of alone time from the crowds, like to cycle around to explore the countryside  like a bit of culture (cooking classes, art galleries, crafts, etc) and enjoy unspoilt views of padi fields from your room balcony, then Ubud is your dream come true.

A picture speaks a thousand words so let the photos of sunset over our balcony do the talking:

The relic at Ubud town and Ubud market are worth a visit and can be easily explored on foot within a couple of hours. 

There are also plenty of historical sites worth a visit that are easy day trips from Ubud, such as 
Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Gunung Kawi (Poet Mountain), Puri Saren Agung (Royal Palace, Water Palace), and the hot springs at Tirta Empul, Tampaksiring. 

The resort we stayed in was small but well-maintained, with large beautifully decorated rooms consisting of a dressing table, mirror, and two four poster beds. Bathroom was spacious with a bathtub and all the necessities e.g. toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. 

 The staff were also polite and tended to our every single need. More photos of the hotel grounds, including the lobby, dining area and swimming pool can be found below: 

at night

pool area at the hotel 

The hotel also offers a free shuttle service to and back from Ubud city center, so you can explore Ubud market town and the temple. There are also free bicycles for rent so you can cycle around the area. 

Meals are a special affair- breakfast can be selected from a list of a la carte options that come with complimentary fruits and a hot and cold drink and guests are to take their pick the night before and specify the time they would like breakfast to be served. I had the standard breakfast and gardener's breakfast on separate mornings and both were great. 

If you're looking for an alternative kind of Bali holiday and haven't tried Ubud yet, consider staying here on your next trip- it will change your perspective of Bali entirely.