If you’re looking for a place to unwind and chill, and get a your fix of shopping, food porn and nerve calming massages, then please do head out to Ubud. You will not regret it, I promise you!
Our intention was to stay for 4 nights, but we loved the energy of the town so much, and above all, we fell in love with our hotel and it’s staff at Sankara Ubud Resort, that we extended our stay with 3 more nights. If you take a look at the pictures, you can probably see why.
So how to plan your stay at Ubud? First of all, make a decision if you want to stay in Ubud or if you want to head out for day trips. Day trips can include sight seeing of the beautiful rice terraces or paddies, or religious places such as the Elephant Cave. We decided to head up the mountain and cycle down hill with Happy Biking company. Great to get a view of the surroundings of Ubud! Unfortunately all cycle tours seem to include a visit to a coffee farm, which was way too touristy for us. The home-made lunch at the tour guide’s house made up for it though! The table was filled with the yummiest sates, peanut sauce, tempeh and the like for a delightful Indonesian rijstafel.
The next decision you will have to make is to which Spa you will be heading out. The spa offer is enormous: there are so many spa locations and then so many spa treatments to chose from. We decided to book a Spa at our hotel for convenience sake, which was lovely. The second Spa experience we had was really mind blowing! We did the Campuhan Ridge Walk (beautiful and serene scenery, really easy hike, total hiking time 1,5 hours, NO need to bring hiking shoes, but do bring a bottle of water as it can get hot), and ended up at Karsa Cafe for a fresh juice. We decided on the spot to have their signature Spa treatment: deep tissue massage and boy were we up for something! It was literally the best massage ever and we were completely Zen afterwards. So highly recommended, and though we were lucky enough to be able to book a massage on the spot it might be safer to book in advance.
From my experience, shopping is easier when you’re completely Zen. So head out to Jalan Raya (Monkey Forest Road), Jalan Hanoman, Jalan Dewi Sita and Jalan Gootama for your fix of yoga clothes, Ikat, wood crafted home ware, dresses, sarongs, kimono’s and the likes. Look at the pictures to see the logos of the stores that I especially liked. These were:
Maan: wood crafted home ware and children’s clothes.
Ubdy: beautiful wood crafted home ware.
Bali spirit: nice yoga clothes and accessories and spiritual books.
Sisi Nanan: nice bags, wallets and jewelry.
Anjaly Bali: nice basic yoga clothes
Lem Viet Bali: nice basic dresses, leather bags, shoes and wallets.
Nava: beautiful home ware
Asterisk and Toko Beads: two stores next to each other that both have lovely jewelry.
Vor: hip clothes for men and hip unisex bags
Polette Bali: probably the little sister of Colette at Paris. Hip concept store, though really expensive for Bali standards.
Leolle: Balinese home ware and home accessoiries.
Shopping in a Zen way does however not prevent one from getting hungry. Which is a good thing, because it would be a shame if you didn’t try at least one of the good eating and drinking places Ubud has. Here’s a list of my favorites:
The Melting Wok: have a daily specials menu and deserts to die for.
Kafe: lovely raw food, vegan and vegetarian options, but also hamburgers on the menu
Cafe Clear: to die for shakes and salads, also raw and vegan options.
Warung Saya: tiny restaurant with only a few dining options on the menu, but your in for a treat. Please do take your time as the cook will prepare your meal on the spot. Our curry therefore took an hour to be prepared, but it is worth to wait for.
Sari Organik: to be honest, the food was so, so, as was the service. But the walk through the rice paddies to the venue is amazing, as is the view of the restaurant once you’re there. So drop by for a drink or 2.
Enjoy your spa, shop, eat and sleep till you can’t no more at Ubud!