Shannon Did What / Travel + Lifestyle Blog

ubud bali

Where to Stay in Ubud, Bali

TravelShannon Guerrero2 Comments

Ubud, first off, is a dreamy place.  I can't speak highly enough about it.  I would go back to Ubud in a heart beat.  Just being in the middle of the jungle is cool enough, but all that Ubud has to offer is even better.  I think part of the reason why I look back at Ubud so highly is because of the amazing hotel I stayed at.  This is not a sponsored post, just throwing out some high praise for an great place.

FIRST VIEWS

The first thing you see when you’re driving into the Alila Ubud are the endless rows of rice terraces.  You feel like you’ve just entered heaven on Earth.  You weave back and forth through the lush green landscape until you arrive at the lobby turnaround where you get your first glimpse of the infamous infinity pool just in the distance.  Looking around further, you quickly realize your smack dab in the middle of thriving jungle, loud jungle sounds and all.

CHECKING-IN

When you first arrive at the Alila, they are so welcoming the second your car door opens with a huge amount of Balinese hospitality.  Instead of standing at the counter, as you would do at most hotels, they offer you a seat in their beautiful open lobby, hand you a cool hand towel (which was amazing after traveling for 24 hours), hot tea and take care of the entire check-in process with you comfortably seated.  They then escort you to your room while carrying your luggage.  We were even given a full tour of our room amenities.

ROOMS

The rooms are a good size.  Each room has a large front porch (if on the first floor) that is open and looks out into the vastness of the jungle.  The jungle sounds are so loud throughout the day and night, you literally feel that you’re in deep in the jungle which, well, you are.  The bathroom is one thing that you’ll remember.  It seems like a perfectly normal bathroom until you open the back door and realize the shower and bathtub are outside.  Yes, literally outside.  Let me just tell you, showering with a frog sitting on the bathtub is an experience for the books.  Other than the bathroom, the room is really well equipped with things you may need.  The hotel provides a few power outlet converters and adapters, a flashlight, umbrellas and slippers to name a few.  They also provide the drinking water you need to brush your teeth.

FOOD

The food here was really amazing.  Granted if you do eat here it is much more expensive than eating out in Ubud city.  It’s affordable for US standards but in terms of Bali costs, it is on the more expensive side.  The breakfast menu was full of so many great choices and was constantly changing from day to day.  It also included a few traditional Balinese options.  Best part is breakfast is all you can eat!  You literally can order any and all of the dishes that you want.  So if I wanted one of the traditional dishes, an egg dish, a smoothie and the fruit - it was all included (at least my breakfasts were included)!  The dinner menu was also delicious.  It stayed the same but there are so many options you can get something different every night.  Also, can I just take a minute and say how amazing the wait staff was?  The service was amazing.  Sometimes, it did take a while to get our food or we were just really starving those times, but the people were always so wonderful.

AMENITIES

  • Wifi throughout the resort

  • Shuttle service to Ubud (15 mins away)

  • Morning Tai Chi

  • Morning Yoga

  • Balinese Dancing

  • Poolside Afternoon Tea

  • Walking and biking maps

  • Hourly car rental for $20/hr


STAFF

The people working at the Alila Ubud were all incredible.  I have to say the Balinese people are some of the most hospitable people I’ve ever come across.  It seemed they always knew what we were doing or where we were coming from.  I guess it’s a small property so the staff is really attentive to the guests.  

If and when I return to Bali, I will definitely be staying at the Alila Ubud again.  It is just the right about of jungle oasis and secluded getaway you need.  But really, you'll have to see for yourself, especially that infinity pool.  It is breathtaking.

Check the Alila Ubud, here.

Yours Truly // Shannon
 

Also, check out my other posts on my time in Ubud:

Visiting the Ubud Monkey Forest

TravelShannon GuerreroComment

There are about 600 monkeys that live in the Monkey Forest.  It can be an intimidating place.  But it was such an awesome experience.  I read about these rules beforehand, and at the sanctuary, so I thought I'd share.  There are definitely some things you should know before going to the Monkey Forest.  Don’t use them as rough guidelines, just follow them - trust me:

REMOVE ALL LOOSE ITEMS & JEWELRY
Make sure to take off and put away your earrings, rings, necklaces, sunglasses, hats and so on.  The monkeys can be very quick to steal loose items.  I’d just remove them before going there just to save yourself the heartache.

DON’T BRING IN ANY FOOD
Don’t even try to hide it, mints included.  The monkeys will smell it even if it’s in your purse and go to great lengths to get it.  I saw a monkey search this guy and didn’t stop until it found the snack in the guys front pocket.

DON’T PANIC
If a monkey jumps on you, don’t push it off.  Calmly keep walking and it will eventually leave you alone.  (That is if you don’t have any food on you).  If you push it off, you might piss it off.  Remember, these are wild animals, so tread lightly.

DON’T TOUCH
Really don’t try your luck at trying to pet the monkeys.  They’re wild animals and they can and probably will react in an unexpected way.  The signs say to not make eye contact with the monkeys.  Apparently, that’s a sign of aggression to the monkeys.

FIRMLY HOLD ONTO BELONGINGS
As recommended, remove all loose items as you can.  It’s probably best to have a cross body bag just so you don’t have to worry about the Monkeys trying to get ahold on it.  Don’t bring in any plastic bags or water bottles.  The monkeys will steal them and not give them back.

I know these rules sound super intense, but don’t let them discourage you from visiting.  I was definitely pretty worried and excited to go to see the monkeys.  It was a bit scary having wild animals running free around you with the fear they could attack you, but really if you respect them and leave them alone, they will leave you alone.  The fear quickly wore off!  It is still a sacred place and respecting the rules of the sanctuary is important.

If you decide to buy a bundle of bananas, I’d recommend you do it towards the end of your explorations in the forest and with one of the workers to help you.  I’ve heard some horror stories of people getting attached and bitten by teasing the monkeys or giving out too many bananas and the monkeys following them.  I had one of the guys hold a banana over my shoulder and then a monkey jumped up and proceeded to just use my shoulder as a perch to eat his snack on.  I had a perfectly safe experience feeding the monkeys.  Granted I had my fists clenched at first because I was so scared and I think the monkey thought I had food in them and tried to open my hands with his hands and teeth.  Don’t worry he didn’t really bite me, no blood was drawn!  My friend at one point had 3 monkeys hanging on her with the assistance of one of the workers.  She had a great experience, as well, only leaving with a few scratches here and there.  Just don’t have any food or mints on you and you will be totally fine.  

Point is, add the Sacred Monkey Forest to your must do Bali list.  You won’t regret it!

Yours Truly // Shannon

View all my posts about Bali:

Bali: Ultimate Guide to Ubud

TravelShannon Guerrero2 Comments
Bali: Ultimate Guide to Ubud - Shannon Did What?

It's only been a week and a half since I got back from my trip to the beautiful island of Bali.  I had the time of my life, literally loving every second of being in such an incredible place.  My absolute favorite part of my trip to Bali was my time spent in Ubud.  Granted, this includes so many things.  Since I can’t actually pick just one favorite memory, I thought I could walk you through my Ubud highlights - what to see, where to eat, where to shop and what to do.  Ubud is a huge area with so many things to do.  I still didn't feel like I got to see all that it offers, but this was definitely a great start.  Be warned, I took so many pictures during this trip, I just could not find it possible to cut down the number of photos in this post.  They're all just too good.  Enjoy!

SEE

RICE TERRACES
Almost everywhere you look you can see rice terraces and fields in Ubud.  And every single time, I literally had to pinch myself that I was actually seeing these beautiful scenes in person.  I had dreamed of visiting Rice fields every time I thought about traveling and trust me I think about traveling multiple times a day.  Taking a walk through the picturesque fields is an absolute must.  The Tegallalang Rice Terraces are the most famous.  They have that steep tiered look.

COFFEE PLANTATIONS
Taking a tea break in the middle of the rainforest is something that everyone should do once in their life.  Sitting there just listening to the sounds of the jungle is crazy.  The jungle is a very noisy, loud place which is oddly soothing.  You basically are hearing thousands of animals, if not more, at once - insects, frogs, monkeys and so many more.  Also, you’ll get to taste some of the best coffee (so I’m told - I’m not a coffee drinker) and great teas that you’ve never heard of before.  I was obsessed with a tea called Rosella.  Not sure what it is but boy was it delicious.  You can also learn the whole process of them growing the coffee beans, their brew process and even a unique kind of coffee made from crazy animal digestion (don’t ask).

EAT

IBU OKA
I had done a little bit of research about food to eat in Bali and Ibu Oka came up so many times.  Our tour guides even confirmed this was the place to go to get suckling pig.  Ibu Oka is the best when it comes to this dish as it literally was the only thing to get here (at least that I can remember).  They basically gut out a whole pig jam pack it with spices and roast it on a spit all day.  Since it is made before hand, once you order, it literally comes on in two minutes.  I think I had pork 5 different ways on my plate.  There is no describing it, you just have to experience it for yourself.  Don’t forget the Bintang!

CAFE WAYAN
Fun fact the Balinese have a system of nicknames for their families based on the birth order.  The typical amount of children is 4.  The first born is called Wayan, the second is called Made (pronounced ma-day), the third is Komang and the fourth Ketut.  So, Cafe Wayan, is the restaurant of a first born child.  Cafe Wayan is a great place to stop for a bite to eat, or just grab some water which is what we did since it was so humid that day.  They have a delicious menu and even the bathrooms are filled with colorful flowers and look like they could be part of a temple.

SHOP

UBUD MARKET
Ubud Market is the place to be if you want to shop while in Bali.  It is filled with the best kind of chaos in the form of bargaining.  You’ll find everything you could ever want from Bali at the Ubud Market.  You want a colorful sarong?  They have thousands.  You want a beautiful wood carving to take home?  They have wood carvings galore.  You want a penis shaped bottle opener?  Literally all the bottle openers were that shape.  No joke, they’re at almost every stall.  Just kidding do you really want a penis bottle opener?  Anyway, come here to get your souvenirs and goods and be ready to strike up a deal.  Always offer less than what you want to pay so there’s room to go up in price.  And always be ready to walk away.  They’ll run after you and give it to you at the price you want.  We loved this place so much that even after we left Ubud, we hired a car on our last day just to drive us back to shop more.

MONKEY FOREST DRIVE
If you visit the Monkey Forest first thing in the morning and then intend to shop the rest of the day - that's what we did - you'll have to head down Monkey Forest Drive to get to the Ubud Market.  It's a pretty long street with a good amount of uphill but if you're shopping along the way, it's not so bad.  Or you have the option to hop in a taxi to head up the street to maybe Cafe Wayan (on Monkey Forest Drive) or Ibu Oka near the temple for some food.  Regardless, there are a ton of cute shops and boutiques to hit up on this street.  Just know most of these places, the prices are fixed, so you'll have to hold onto your bargaining skills until you go to the marketplace.

DO

MONKEY FOREST
I will probably go further into detail on the Monkey Forest Sanctuary in a later post (here) because really I need to tell you in detail about the Monkey Forest.  But point is, add this to your must do list.  Those monkey are equal parts terrifying wild animals and so cute you just want to cuddle them at the same time that you have to see them for yourself.  Maybe you’ll make a new friend.  Also, please note how funny it was that my friend and I are literally matching in the photo above.  Out of all the different types of stripes that exist, we had on the EXACT same type on the same day on accident.

ELEPHANT RIDE
I’ve always wanted to take a ride on an elephant.  They are one of my two favorite animals.  Dolphins and Elephants, they’re just the cutest.  I feel like riding an elephant in Thailand is probably something you hear about more, but I think this is still something to add to the list while you’re in Bali.

 

I don't think you could find anything in Ubud that isn't super picturesque and awesome.  If this post makes you want to go to Bali asap, we're on the same page.  Sorting through my pictures made me miss this beautiful country so much.  If only I could have spent longer than a week there.  C'est la vie.

Yours truly // Shannon

 

View all my posts about Bali: