Ubud is a magical place. Lush tropical jungles, vibrant rice paddies and stunning landscapes sprawl in every direction. Jungle swings and monkey forests are just a few of the Instagram-worthy attractions, and the yogi culture is as vibrant as the tiered green rice paddies adorning the hills. If you've heard of Bali, you've heard of Ubud. (It's also the location in Bali where Eat, Pray, Love was set!) In our opinion, no trip to this Indonesian Island paradise is complete with a stay in Ubud.
Ubud is located in Bali's forested interior, approximately an hour and a half from Denpasar's Ngurah Rai International airport. If you're coming from Canggu, another popular destination for the Millennial crowd frequenting Bali (and where we live), it'll take you around an hour on a motorbike if you can beat rush hour traffic. It's a hotspot for digital nomads and has a thriving foodie scene, and the incredible artistry of the local Balinese Hindus translates into shop after shop of stunning art, wood carving and decor.
Last week, we spent a few days in Ubud at the brand new Samsara Ubud resort- and we're excited to share our experience with you. Samsara officially opened just a few months ago, and the property is a fully functioning luxury resort. Samsara is located about 30 minutes north of Ubud's center in a perfectly tropical setting away from the hustle and bustle of the city. In fact, it the location is so private and tranquil that you feel you've taken a few wrong turns as you make your way through the lush, winding roads that lead to Samsara. It's perfect! A quiet jungle road leads to the entrance, and as soon as you pull into the driveway you are greeted with the most grandiose view of the jungle from atop Samsara's hill. The lobby itself is perched at the top of the property, and the facilities cascade down the hill into the jungle below. First the lobby, then the restaurant, then the villas and the stunning infinity pool, followed by the spa and culminating with a rushing waterfall far down into the river below.
Balinese hospitality is some of the finest and warmest hospitality in the world and you feel that from the moment you step foot on property. The spectacular team of butlers don't miss a beat when you arrive, and as soon as you've begun to check in a refreshing welcome drink arrives with some local snacks. It's the perfect touch after a muggy ride through the jungle! Once we got checked in, our lovely butler Harry had loaded our bags and was ready to bring us down to our villa. The descent to the villas is a bit steep, so if you don't want to take the stairs or the path, they'll escort you on golf carts to and from your room.
The Villas themselves are amazing. You enter through a beautiful wooded door and a tropical walkway before it opens up to your deck and front door. The perfect level of design, taste and luxury make every detail feel like home- We never wanted to leave! The villa layout is an open concept with every aspect meticulously thought out. The wardrobe, double vanity, toilet, shower (2 actually- one inside and one outside!) and gorgeous stone soaking tub complete the back of the villa, while the front is comprised of a luxurious canopy bed, desk, television and sitting area. Through a set of gigantic sliding glass doors is the deck with lounge chairs and an umbrella and private pool that looks out over the jungle and the massive infinity pool below. The floorpan is open and intimate, but if you want to create some privacy between the bedroom and the bathroom, 2 sliding wooden doors emerge from the wall and quickly separate the rooms from one another. No finishing is spared, and each detail from the surfaces and the furniture to the linens and bathroom amenities are luxurious and beautiful!
Another level down the hill from the villas sits the amazing infinity pool. There’s a gorgeous pool bar and lounge chairs with umbrellas, and the end of the pool seems to stretch straight out into the jungle. Swimming to the edge of the pool and looking down over the edge, however, you’ll find a rushing waterfall cascading to a river below creating the most magical sound. Combined with the birds and the sounds of the jungle, the entire property sounds like you’re in a stock sound created to emulate the rainforest- but it’s real life!
Okay- one of our absolute favorite parts about Samsara Ubud (which is saying a lot since we pretty well loved everything)- is their on-property restaurant The Kelusa. Breakfast is included, which of course is our favorite. Their signature breakfast, eggs and lobster, is a non-negotiable. The coffee is excellent (Tara always goes for a long black and Zach a flat white), and the fresh juices are delicious. Try the mango juice if they have it, as the selections change from day to day- and in Bali, we have a fresh coconut with breakfast at every chance we get. Eat lunch in the restaurant or order to your villa- we loved the chicken club sandwich and the nasi goreng. For dinner, the setting is perfectly romantic on the balcony overlooking the jungle. The pork ribs and the fish were both superb and the cocktails were on par. Sometimes on-property restaurants leave room to be desired- The Kelusa, however, is not one of those places. We’d recommend it for every meal!
Our stay at Samsara Ubud was perfection from start to finish. Our only regret is that we didn’t stay longer! Check this place out and book a villa for your next visit to Ubud!
Zach + Tara
**Our stay was sponsored by Samsara Ubud- but our opinions, as always, are our own!