Once a small village surrounded by rice fields, Ubud has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Some blame it on the Eat, Pray, Love phenomena, but the truth is Ubud has always attracted artists, dreamers, and spiritual seekers. We love Bali for its beaches, but when we’re in need of cooler temperatures and a bit of culture, Ubud makes for a great escape. Stroll the main streets for eclectic art galleries, chic boutiques, yoga studios, and world-class restaurants, then head out to gorgeous rice terraces and dramatic river gorges that house some of the islands most unique luxury villas, hotels, and resorts. If Ubud is in your travel plans (and it should be, given it’s only a few hours away from Singapore!), these are the best places to eat, drink, stay, and play.
Luxe: Hanging Gardens of Bali
You’ve probably seen photos of Hanging Gardens’ stunning multi-tiered pool that juts out into lush jungle, and we can tell you it’s just as sensational in real life. This luxury boutique hotel is a favourite with honeymooners for its secluded locale and gobsmackingly gorgeous villas and suites carved into the hillside. Throw in a few al fresco restaurants and a spectacular spa perched over the ravine, and you’ve got an unforgettable Ubud experience.
Hanging Gardens of Bali, Payangan, Bali. +62 0361 982 700
Boutique: Bisma 8
Tucked away at the end of a charming lane just off Ubud’s main road, Bisma 8 is a unique Bali bolthole that combines contemporary architecture with traditional Balinese accents. Each of the suites features polished wooden floors, large living areas, and bathrooms with wooden onsen tubs. For the best views over the jungle, book one of the canopy or forest suites. Copper Kitchen & Bar is also a destination in itself for craft cocktails and earth-to-table cuisine.
Bisma 8, Jalan Bisma, Ubud, Bali. +62 0361 479 2888
Wellness Retreat: COMO Shambhala Estate
Get back to nature and back to yourself at COMO Shambhala Estate, a world-renowned wellness retreat popular with celebrities (John Legend and Chrissy Teigen to name a few) and regular folk alike. The team of resident experts here include an Ayurvedic doctor, dietician, and pilates instructor, and they’ll put together a personalised plan to help you achieve optimum health while you luxuriate in a serene and scenic setting.
COMO Shambhala Estate, Payangan, Bali. +62 0361 302 2218
Asia’s 50 Best: Locavore
Immerse yourself in local Indonesian ingredients, sustainably sourced and artfully prepared at Locavore, a unique fine dining spot that continues to climb Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Chef-owners Ray Adriansyah and Eelke Plasmeijer scour the country for the best produce and change up the menus depending on what’s fresh and in season, so your meal could include anything from coffee cured hamachi to Balinese pork leg with heritage rice.
Locavore, 10 Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, Bali. +62 0361 977 733
Go vegan: Moksa
Located down a winding pathway that curves past rice paddies and a stream, Moksa is a raw food and vegan restaurant where nearly all the ingredients come from the huge permaculture garden that spreads out in front of the tables. Chef Made Runatha works magic with his raw produce, transforming each dish into a riot of colours and vibrant flavours. It also runs a twice-weekly farmer’s market and offer aikido and capoeira classes in the on-site dojo.
Moksa, Gang Damai, Sayan, Ubud, Bali. +62 0813 3977 4787
An Ubud icon: Naughty Nuri’s
If all those yoga classes, green juices, and plant-based meals have you craving something more carnivorous, make your way to Naughty Nuri’s. Follow the scent of succulent grilled pork ribs and keep an eye out for the smoke billowing off of the streetside grill out front. Once seated on one of the wooden benches, you can dig into plates of ribs slathered in Nuri’s secret sauce accompanied by one of its dangerously generous martinis.
Naughty Nuri’s, No 88X Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud, Bali. +62 0361 977 547
Craft cocktails: Night Rooster
Brought to us by the Locavore team, Night Rooster is a trendy little spot where mixologists use local fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices to whip up dreamy concoctions with more than a touch of flair. Think Bulleit bourbon and Sailor Jerry spiced rum with burnt cassia leaves, basil blossoms, tamarillo, and raw honey. It also has great gourmet bar bites like charcuterie and cheese made in Bali and bitterballen filled with sweet and sour braised rabbit leg.
Night Rooster, 10B Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud, Bali. +62 0361 977 733
Viva la vino: Divine Wine Bar
Located in the beautiful Bridges Bali building, Divine Wine Bar offers front row seats to the jungle-clad Wos River valley along with Old and New World wines from its extensive cellar. Join the sommelier in the cellar every Friday for wine tasting masterclasses where you can try superb sips with food pairing tips. Then head to the bar for a special happy hour with complimentary canapes, live acoustic music, and special prices on select vinos.
Divine Wine Bar, Bridges Bali, Jalan Raya Campuhan, Ubud, Bali. +62 0361 970 095
Late night shenanigans: CP Lounge
As the only true nightclub in town, CP Lounge attracts a diverse mix of locals, expats, and tourists alike who come to groove to live bands in the outdoor courtyard, play a few rounds of pool, and dance until dawn in the lounge inside. Grab a group of friends and order up some passionfruit mojitos or espresso martinis along with tapas to share. And if you really want to get the party started, go for the buy-1-get-12 rainbow shots. Cheers!
Work those asanas: The Yoga Barn
Creatively crafted out of bamboo and offering views of rippling rice fields from its open-sided studios, The Yoga Barn is Ubud’s most popular yoga centre offering up to 15 classes and workshops a day. These include everything from Hatha to Vinyasa yoga, sound healing, meditation, kirtan, and ecstatic dance. They also have an Ayurvedic healing centre and spa on site, as well as a health-conscious juice bar and cafe.
The Yoga Barn, Jalan Raya Pengosekan, Ubud, Bali. +62 0361 971 236
Climb a volcano: Bali Sunrise Tours
One of the great things about Ubud is how centrally located it is, which means you’re close to some of Bali’s most incredible sites like the dramatic Batur volcano, which features two cones and a massive caldera lake. The best way to experience Batur is on a sunrise trek with Bali Sunrise Tours where you reach the top of Batur just as the sun starts to creep over the tops of Mount Abang and Mount Agung in the distance, lighting up the lake below. Mind. Blowing.
Bali Sunrise Tours, Songan, Kintamani, Bali. +62 877 3066 4336
Get pampered: Ubud Sari Health Resort
Total rejuvenation is the goal at Ubud Sari Health Resort, a beautiful spa and wellness centre surrounded by lush greenery. Day trippers can indulge in divine Balinese massages, purifying body wraps, body scrubs, herbal compresses, and beauty treatments like manis and pedis. Those in need of a total body overhaul can sign up for their week-long detox and cleansing programmes that include juice fasting, reiki, herbal steam baths, and more.
Ubud Sari Health Resort, Jalan Kajeng, Ubud, Bali. +62 0361 974 393