Serving as the base camp for our Ubud Food Festival activities is the charming hotel Alaya Ubud. Looks narrow and unassuming from the front, the hotel is actually big, just that it's stretched a couple of hundred meters deep.
Located next to the Yoga Barn, Alaya is easy to spot, and ample of parking spaces are available. There are three main attraction at this beautiful resort hotel: The room (definitely), Dala Spa, and Petani Restaurant with live music performance featuring Bali's best talents. During the day, Petani also serves as a good meeting ground with its elegant chic interior.
Around Alaya Ubud, there's a lot of attraction you can visit by walking, eliminating the need of a cab. A major supermarket sits almost right next to the hotel, 15 minutes walk to the Monkey Forest, and a lot of interesting restaurants and shops only a walking distance away.
First, service is awesome, loosely structured and feels genuine, no cliche. With only 60 rooms capacity, this is among the luxury you can experience from the staff in Alaya Ubud. For example, when I got back from my talk in Ubud Food Festival, the guest relation staff recognized me almost immediately, even though I'm sure that was the first time we met. Wanting to quickly get out of my sweat ridden t-shirt from the earlier activity, I was then accompanied by a younger male staff, who's also already know me by name, all the way to my room where my wife and kids are waiting.
On the down side the walk to our room on the third floor was unexpectedly long, given the narrow-deep hotel layout and our room was located quite to the rear end of the resort. There's also no elevator or ramps available meaning we can't carry the baby stroller either.
The view was amazing though. While I'm no stranger to rice fields, since I grew up with rice fields surrounding my house and treat them as my playground, the view is soothing nonetheless. I heard that the hotel bought those rice fields around the hotel, just so it can be preserved as is.
The room itself was simply beautiful. I love how the design makes the room felt cultured, with the texture, colors, and artworks, but not bare traditional, as the in-room facilities and the honeycomb patterned door nicely adds the contemporary feels.
The bowl shaped bathtub with natural lighting was surely gained my 6 years old kid attention, who's favourite hotel activity includes either swimming, or bubble bath, or both. Both the shower and the bathtub occupied an open space though, divided only by curtain with the rest of the room. Suitable for couples and families with little kids, it might feels a bit awkward for those not used to open space bathrooms.
The room was spacious, and its bed was enough to fit the whole crew of 2 3/4 people (2 adults, 1 kid, 1 baby). And what begun as a joke to address the daybed as "kid's bed" ends up with our kid actually slept on it, believing that joke to be true.
Outside of the room (literally), the other wonderful feature of Alaya Ubud's rooms are the balconies. Facing the lush green rice fields, it's equipped with comfy couch perfect to snuggle with your loved one(s), while enjoying the fresh air of Ubud.
While Alaya also have afternoon tea down at Petani as complimentary of our stay, we skipped it as our agenda for the rest of the afternoon was to enjoy the luxury treatment of Dala Spa.
Mesmerizing Dala Spa
Located at the at the hotel's farthest end, Dala Spa's lobby is at the second floor and the treatment room downstairs at the ground floor. What's special with Dala Spa is that each room have different themes, all were elegant and mesmerizing in their own ways.
Surprisingly, Dala Spa also has their own Spa menu which includes a nice set of high tea, with array of unique tea blends.
As we took quite a lot of beautiful shots here, it's only proper to put the Dala Spa experience in its own article. Stay tuned.
Dinner time at Petani Restaurant
For the evening, I heads down to Petani Restaurant. The view turned into dramatic with the lights turned on.
As Mrs. Epicurina suddenly experiencing a terrible headache, I have to enjoy the dinner alone. A pity, but still enjoyable nonetheless, especially with the live entertainment by Bali's own prodigy music artist Balawan.
Known for his double necked guitar and his unique tapping method, Balawan performance that night was both joyful and stunning. Combining intricate tunes with Balinese elements, Balawan combine technical prowess with ethnicity nuance beautifully blend it. This is for sure not your usual dinner band.
Later during the end of his performance, Balawan was also joined by one of his audience in a three way "battle" of scatting, Djembe drum playing, and Balawan mimicking gamelan on his guitar!
To accompany the evening, I ordered Grilled Jimbaran Bay Tuna. Two slabs of thick and juicy tuna, stacked on top of purple potato puree and edamame beans. The tuna was marinated with Kintamani lime and soy sauce, lightly grilled to create the firm surface, while at the same time maintaining the pinky juicy tuna meat inside. Well done!
I did find the dressing of spiced orange reduction a bit challenging though, since the purple potato is already sweet, and the dressing was even sweeter.
Breakfast in Alaya UbudSeveral options are available for breakfast in Alaya Ubud, you can pick from the Indonesian Nasi Kuning Komplit, Eggs, or Pancake. I certainly went for the poached eggs, on top of toasted baguette, perfected by a layer of smoked salmon. Delish! I always love the moment I sliced the poached eggs open and let the runny egg yolks melted out.
We find the Nasi Kuning a bit too mellow for our local tastebuds though, while our kid certainly enjoyed his freshly made choco chips pancake.
All of the breakfast choices includes a set of sliced fresh fruits, juices, homemade yogurt, bread basket with homemade jams, and a choice of coffee or tea. While it's not a buffet breakfast, it's surely fulfilling.
Conclusion and feedbacksOn overall our stay was awesome, the staffs were attentive, their Dala Spa's High Tea has definitely one of the best savory snacks among all the high teas in Bali. We love the bedroom and the bowl shaped bathtub, and the balcony was relaxing.
I would love to see flavor enhancement on some of their food, and there should be a better way to address family traveling with babies, or with elders, as for both cases the long walk might be an issue.
Where's your favorite place to stay in Ubud? Share with us!
Thank you Alaya Ubud for introducing your lovely resort to our Epicurina readers. As usual, all opinions are of my own. (byms)