Bali Hotels › Ubud Hotels
Updated: September 1, 2023
My Favorite Hotels in Bali
The Best Areas to Stay in Ubud
About an hour – yet a world away – from the malls of Kuta, surf at Legian, and mega-resorts around Nusa Dua, Ubud is often as close to the ‘real Bali’ that some tourists get. Most visit the island’s cultural and spiritual heartland for its overwhelming cultural vibe, especially at the numerous temples, traditional dances, and sprawling markets – and some stay far longer than initially expected.
Ubud also offers attractions rarely seen elsewhere across Bali, such as yoga retreats, art museums, and walks among rice-fields that still somehow survive the rampant construction. Others enjoy the cooler highland climate, range of outdoor activities (such as rafting, hiking, and mountain-biking), and classes in cooking, language, and art. What’s more, daytrips are easy to arrange to some of the country’s premier attractions: eg ancient rock sculptures at Gunung Kawi; UNESCO-listed rice terraces at Jatiluwih; and amazing crater lakes at Bratan and Batur.
Within the center of Ubud, visitors can stay at bungalows dotted among duck-filled padi fields or family-run ‘homestays’ in traditional compounds bursting with shrines and chickens. Most major resorts, however, are around 15 minutes from downtown by shuttlebus and far fewer hotels cater for families than along the southern beaches.
As the main street leading to the namesake sanctuary of macaques, Monkey Forest Road is crowded with places to eat, drink, shop, and stay. Running parallel to the east, Jalan Hanoman road offers a finer range of boutiques and bistros. (The Indonesian word for street/road is jalan.) Just across a creek from Monkey Forest Road (but rarely connected) is Jalan Bisma, still pleasingly undeveloped (so far) and, therefore, perfect for first-timers. And north of the major regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud) several dead-end paved lanes leading to the foothills are sprinkled with delightful family-owned guesthouses.
Ubud is, in fact, a collection of about a dozen villages, most based around a temple and many with separate identities. Despite busloads of day-trippers from the south, poor roads, and inadequate parking, some of the villages still maintain a loveable charm. These include Nyuhkuning, alongside Monkey Forest, and the hilltop Penestanan, renowned for yoga/meditation. Also within walking distance of the town center is Campuhan, alongside a river and valley, while Kedewatan and Sayan are also dotted with gorgeous riverside resorts, but more isolated from amenities.
The Best Places to Stay in Ubud
• Best Luxury Hotels in Ubud
Alaya Resort • Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan • Komaneka at Bisma • The Samaya • Pita Maha Resort & Spa • Tjampuhan Spa • Viceroy • Alam Jiwa • ARMA Resort • Kamandalu Ubud • KajaNe Mua • Royal Kamuela Villas & Suites at Monkey Forest • Ibah • Alam Indah • Gayatri • Ubud Inn Cottages • Meruhdani Boutique Hotel • Honeymoon Guesthouse • The Rice Joglo • Bali Bohemia Huts
• Best Hotels for Families in Ubud
Tanah Gajah • Wenara Bali Bungalows • Sarin Ubud Suites • The Samara Villas • Sari Bamboo Bungalows
• Best Cheap/Midrange Hotels in Ubud
Nick’s Pension Hotel Bali • Three Brothers Guest House • Nick’s Homestay • Puri Cantik • Padma Retreat • Umaya Villa • Ani’s Villas • Swan Inn • Pratama House • Mekenyem House • Recep Bungalow • Suwar Bungalows
• Best Region in Ubud for Sightseeing: Northern Ubud
Attractions around town are spread out, so it makes sense to stay somewhere central, especially because there’s no public transport. Paved lanes through village-style ‘suburbs’ head north from the main regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud) towards the foothills – but don’t stay too far from downtown. Within walking distance of numerous family-run guesthouses and boutique-style bungalows are the produce/souvenir markets, Ubud Palace, Puri Lukisan art museum, and temples offering traditional dances. A bonus is strolling along the vehicle-free paths and flourishing rice-fields.
• Best Region in Ubud for Art Galleries and Museums: Monkey Forest Road
The busy shopping area along Monkey Forest Road provides convenience to most of Ubud’s must-see art galleries and museums. Within walking distance are Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA), arguably, Ubud’s finest; and Puri Lukisan, which boasts a beautiful (and convenient) position. Both provide a delightful café or two, as well as engaging lessons in traditional arts and crafts. The private Antonio Blanco Museum is also within a 15-20 minute walk.
• Best Region in Ubud for Nightlife: Monkey Forest Road
Ubud offers a surprisingly sophisticated nightlife, but certainly not the sort of multi-level nightclubs found in Kuta/Legian. Along the northern part of this main shopping road and down a side-street (Jalan Dewisita) beside the obvious football field, several places provide live music to rival anywhere in Bali – from rock/pop at CP Lounge to classy jazz and R&B at Laughing Buddha and reggae at Bamboo Bar. And hip DJs do their stuff at XL Shisha Lounge.
• Best Region in Ubud for Food & Restaurants: Jalan Hanoman Road
In recent years, this thoroughfare through the town center has become steadily upmarket, especially along the southern section where chic bistros with names like KAFE have been established by expats. These provide a menu of western and Indonesian delights infinitely more enticing than just hamburgers and fried rice. Also very tempting are Earth Café & Market, which specializes in organic meals; and Bebek Bengil, hugely popular for its signature dish of crispy duck.
• Best Region in Ubud for Families: Nyuhkuning
Ubud can get quite crowded with minibuses from luxury hotels in the nearby countryside and day-trippers from the southern beaches. The spacious and tranquil village of Nyuhkuning is along a no-through road south of (and with a separate entrance to) the Monkey Forest. With flat roads and so little traffic, the village is ideal for walking and cycling, and shops there rent out bikes. Several hotels offer gardens and lawns not possible closer to the town center, yet Nyuhkuning is still less than 500m (via a shortcut) to all the amenities along Monkey Forest Road.
• Best Regions in Ubud for Outdoor Activities: Kedewatan and Sayan
Numerous adventure activities can be arranged in Ubud – whether white-water rafting along several rivers, cycling through serene villages in the volcanic foothills, or hiking across terraced rice-fields. All tours include transfers from most hotels in Ubud and southern Bali, but organizing these while in Ubud significantly reduces travelling times to starting and finishing points. Kedewatan and Sayan, both several kilometres from the center of Ubud, have the added advantage of facing Ayung, Bali’s longest and most voluminous river for rafting. The river and valley can be admired for the price of a drink at one of the magnificent riverside resorts.
• Best Region in Ubud for Vibe & Culture: Nyuhkuning
Ubud is losing its shine as a cultural hub as more bungalows are being built by expats seeking a cultural vibe. Nonetheless, Nyuhkuning maintains an adorable village charm, with a school, market, football field, and, of course, a temple or three. Admire woodcarvers at work, watch children kick around a plastic football, and devour a bowl of noodles at a kaki lima (mobile food stall) – Nyuhkuning offers the finest opportunity within Ubud to observe, and even be part of, a genuine Balinese village.
• Best Regions in Ubud for Walking & Cycling: Northern Ubud and Nyuhkuning
Ubud is seriously overcrowded with cars and buses, and roads are rarely flat, so cycling can be unpleasant and walking often tiring. In contrast are the dead-end lanes, such as Jalan Kajeng, which head north from the main regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud). These lanes are perfect for strolling, especially along adjacent rice-fields; less so, however, for cycling because of the stone paving and uphill slopes. The best place to explore on two wheels is the flat main street through Nyuhkuning village, where shops rent out bicycles.
• Best Region in Ubud for Traditional Dances: Monkey Forest Road
Attending a performance of traditional music and dance is a must. While these are offered at several temples, the finest for history, setting, and convenience are Ubud Palace and the majestic Taman Saraswati temple, surrounded by photogenic lotus ponds. Both are within 200m of the top (northern end) of Monkey Forest Road, the major precinct for shops and restaurants. Tickets are available at the temple entrances or from touts (often also performers) along Monkey Forest Road.
• Best Region in Ubud for Yoga and Meditation: Penestanan
Some visit Ubud solely for meditation, yoga, spiritual healing, and traditional medical therapies – and a few never leave, setting up their own retreat, organic café, or ecologically-aware guesthouse. And the epicentre for all of this is Penestanan, a lovely hilltop village where classes and courses in yoga and meditation are regularly held for locals and visitors.
• Best Region in Ubud for Cultural Classes: Jalan Hanoman Road
This major thoroughfare is packed with boutiques, some offering courses in silver-craft and jewellery-making, among other things. Other courses are advertised at fashionable eateries along this road, such as KAFE and the Earth Café & Market. Not too far away, the ARMA and Puri Lukisan art museums offer an extensive range of classes in language, cooking, and, in particular, arts and crafts. Best of all, the recently-renovated library-cum-cultural center, Pondok Pekak, along the side of the nearby football field, provides even more cultural classes.
• Best Region in Ubud for Shopping: Jalan Hanoman Road
While many only stroll up and down Monkey Forest Road, most shops there rarely offer anything other than mass-produced souvenirs and international-brand products. For a far more interesting range, Jalan Hanoman rivals parts of Seminyak for boutiques selling (and, sometimes, making) handmade jewellery, locally-produced clothes, and other fabulous souvenirs. Just around the corner from the northern top of the road, stalls at the Ubud Market sell fresh produce early mornings and all sorts of mementos throughout the day.
• Best Region in Ubud for Views: Kedewatan and Sayan
Some luxury resorts alongside the mighty Ayung River offer rooms only meters from the water which flows through a deep valley of tropical forests. Non-guests can relish the same superb views for the price of a drink or meal at a resort restaurant/bar overlooking the river and ravine, or walk down to a lookout point from a resort or public carpark.
• Best Region in Ubud for Serenity: Northern Ubud
Many visit Ubud simply for the tranquillity, but soon become agitated because so many others are seeking the same – thereby, exacerbating the relentless traffic and unrestrained construction. Several quiet, dead-end lanes heading north of the main regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud) offer serenity rarely found elsewhere in Ubud. With a genuine village vibe, these streets are packed with family-run guesthouses and inviting shops often selling locally-made products.
• Best Region in Ubud for Transport: Monkey Forest Road
As a collection of villages, the infrastructure and facilities in Ubud are inadequate for the thousands staying there and the many more day-tripping from the southern beaches. Traffic can be horrendous along the few roads in and out, car parking is very limited, metered taxis aren’t allowed to operate, and the infrequent public transport only heads to regional towns of no interest to tourists. Consequently, many visitors are forced to use local ‘taxis’ (unmetered private cars) which park all along Monkey Forest Road. To other regions (like Kuta), use the tourist shuttlebuses operated by Perama (which has an office just around from the eastern end of the road) and Kura-Kura, which stops along Monkey Forest Road.
• Best Region in Ubud for First-Timers: Jalan Bisma Road
Exploring Ubud can often be tiring because of the crowds, traffic, and poorly-paved footpaths along sloping roads. To minimise these hassles, stay on Jalan Bisma. As a dead-end street, it’s quiet and traffic is minimal, so ideal for exploring on foot or by bicycle. Remarkably, sections of the road are still lined with rice-fields which are dotted with enchanting family-run guesthouses. Yet Jalan Bisma is only a short stroll from Monkey Forest Road, the major precinct for cafés, bars, and shops.
• Best Region in Ubud for Romantic Holidays: Kedewatan and Sayan
With its highland setting, ancient temples, and traditional dances, Ubud is arguably the most romantic place in Bali. Avoiding the crowds and traffic of the town center, these two villages are alongside Ayung, the island’s mightiest river. Several opulent 5-star resorts built beside the river offer the sort of seclusion and views very rarely found elsewhere in Bali, as well as honeymoon suites and intimate dining.
• Safest Area in Ubud: Northern Ubud
Bali is quite probably far safer than the places tourists come from. Most possible dangers are self-inflicted, eg resulting from excessive drinking. The other major potential hazards – car accidents and physical assaults – are far less common than along the southern beaches because the traffic in Ubud is so slow and Ubud doesn’t attract the hard-drinking tourists who hang about Kuta and Legian. The lanes through the town’s northern ‘suburbs’ are quiet, devoid of traffic, and mostly inhabited by locals.
The 8 Best Regions in Ubud for Tourists
1. Monkey Forest Road
The main thoroughfare through the center of Ubud stretches from the major regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud) to the namesake sanctuary of macaques. The road is reasonably flat and crowded with cafés, bars, and shops – and there’s even a few excellent places with live music. Within walking distance of many hotels are some of Ubud’s major attractions, from the Ubud Market and ARMA art museum to temples with traditional dances, as well as boutiques, bistros, and cultural classes. Monkey Forest Road is also convenient for Ubud’s very limited transport options. Most hotels are family-run guesthouses and mid-priced bungalow complexes; there’s little room for major luxury resorts in the middle of downtown.
• Best Hotels: Cendana Resort & Spa • Ubud Village Hotel • Komaneka at Monkey Forest • Champlung Sari Hotel • Anumana Hotel • KajaNe Mua • Royal Kamuela Villas & Suites at Monkey Forest • Komaneka at Rasa Sayang • B&B Griya Jungutan Homestay • Gayatri • Adiwana Monkey Forest • Inn Cottages • Wenara Bali Bungalows • Sarin Suites • Sedana Homestay • Sri Bungalows • Happy Inn • Sadru House • Swan Inn • Pering Bungalow
2. Jalan Hanoman Road
Parallel to the east of Monkey Forest Road, this street runs from the main regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud) to the southern areas of Ubud (where the road changes names several times). Offering some of the finest shopping anywhere in Bali, Jalan Hanoman is lined with boutiques selling locally-made souvenirs and cafés serving organic meals. Also, within a short stroll are many of Ubud’s must-sees and several places offering cultural classes. Like Monkey Forest Road, most hotels are family-run homestays – some among rice-fields only 200m from the road – as well as more upmarket bungalows. Very few resorts or luxury villas are possible within this crowded downtown location.
• Best Hotels: Alaya Resort • Villa Puriartha • Purana Suite • Boge House • Kunang Kunang Guest House • Yarama Cottages • Plataran Hotel & Spa • Jani’s Place Cottage • Sumantra House • Ratna Guest House • Amoya Inn • Rumah Kultur • Three Brothers Guest House • Nick’s Homestay • Sapta House • Teja Homestay • Jangkrik Homestay • Murdhasari
3. Jalan Bisma Road
This delightful street runs parallel to the west of Monkey Forest Road, but is separated by a creek (which is often hard to cross). As a no-through road, it’s remarkably quiet and traffic is minimal, so ideal for families and first-time visitors. With pockets of rice-fields still surviving, Jalan Bisma is also perfect for those seeking tranquillity, yet the area is still convenient to all the amenities and attractions around the town center. Most hotels are family-owned guesthouses rather than mid-range bungalows, but a few resorts are dotted along the southern section which is less developed (so far).
• Best Hotels: Komaneka at Bisma • Goya Boutique Resort • Sama’s Cottages & Villas • Bisma Eight • Meruhdani Boutique Hotel • Samhita Garden Hotel • Bali Moon Guest House • Honeymoon Guesthouse • Pondok Tamiu • Rouge Private Villas • Nick’s Pension Hotel Bali • Puri Cantik • Rena House • Puri Bisma • Nick’s Hidden Cottages • Warjihouse Bisma • Semujan Bungalow • Sari Bungalow
4. Northern Ubud
From the main regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud), several vehicle streets and pedestrian-friendly lanes head north, often petering out among the foothills. This area offers a genuine village feel often lacking elsewhere these days in Ubud, although the southern sections of the streets are still handy to the sights and amenities across the town center. Some shops cater more for locals than tourists, which makes a pleasant change, and cafés are quaint and quiet. For many, the main attraction is simply strolling along the side-streets and rice-fields. Most hotels are family-run guesthouses and boutique-style bungalows among tropical gardens, while a few luxurious hotels and health resorts (with spas and yoga classes) are scattered along the more isolated northern areas.
• Best Hotels: Parvati Retreat Villas • Sari Health Resort • Kano Sari Villas • Baruna Sari Villa • Origin Ubud • Graha Sandat Villas • Capung Cottages • Green Taman • Puri Anyar Heritage • Prashanti Yoga Retreat • The Rice Joglo • Ashanti Villa • Alas Petulu Cottages • Aria Villas Ubud • The Samara Villas • Umah San • Swahita • Odi Ode House • Kubu Loris Residence • Griya Sriwedari • Padma Retreat • Jiwa’s House • Muka House • Pratama House
From near the main entrance to Monkey Forest, a path less than 500m long meanders to Nyuhkuning, a charismatic village with a school, market, football field. and several temples. The main street is flat and a dead-end, so devoid of traffic and ideal for walking and cycling. Shops – many selling woodcarvings for which the village is renowned – also rent out bikes, while many cafés are open-air and tranquil. Most hotels are moderately-priced and boutique-style, and several are ecologically-focussed. So serene, yet reasonably convenient on foot, Nyuhkuning is ideal for families.
• Best Hotels: Alam Jiwa • Saren Indah Hotel • Garden View • Alam Shanti • Villa Beji Indah • Alam Indah • ZEN Premium Nyuh Bojog • Bali Bohemia Huts • Puri Asri Villa • Umaya Villa • Mawa House • Chili Ubud Cottage • Villa Sonia • Flamboyant Villa • Mekenyem House • Mano House
About 15 minutes’ walk west along the main regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud), steps lead up to this divine hilltop village. Despite rampant construction of bungalows among diminishing rice-fields, Penestanan is still the place for yoga classes in open-air shalas (studios) and meditation retreats. Lanes, some only accessible on foot, are also scattered with organic cafés and mid-priced guesthouses. The backstreets to the west are accessible by vehicle (but too far to walk from downtown) and meander through a genuine village, also with expat bungalows and hip bistros. The layout and terrain ensure that no large resorts are possible, so most accommodation is boutique-style hotels and small complexes of luxury villas.
Past the steps up to Penestanan, the main regional road (Jalan Raya Ubud), which changes names several times) heads north through Campuhan. There is no village feel and the main road is busy, but the setting facing the Wos River is breathtaking. Views can be enjoyed at classy restaurants clustered around the bridge (1km from Ubud Market) or from luxury hotels – some boasting a genuine history – that directly face the river and forested valley. The road passes the useful Bintang shopping center, which is close to most hotels, and continues to the excellent but rarely-visited Neka Art Museum. Almost no budget-priced or mid-range accommodation and few places to eat, and the road to/from downtown is steep in places.
• Best Hotels: Pita Maha Resort & Spa • Tjampuhan Spa • Ananda Cottages • Sunrise Villa • Bliss Ubud Spa Retreat • The Shala Bali • COMO Uma • Ibah • Munari Resort and Spa • Ani’s Villas • Abangan Bungalow • Sari Villa • Villa Unique • Ubud Sky • Suwar Bungalows
8. Kedewatan and Sayan
The main regional road (which starts as Raya Ubud) heads through Campuhan and finishes at a T-junction. From there, another major arterial road heads immediately north to Kedewatan and a little further south to Sayan, which is handy by vehicle to the backstreets of Penestanan. The overwhelming appeal is that most resorts face the mighty Ayung River and provide some of Bali’s premier views – and the seclusion also makes the area particularly romantic. Very few other amenities outside the hotels, however, and access to the town center are only possible by hotel shuttlebuses or ‘taxis’ (unmetered private cars). No budget-priced hotels and only a handful of midrange options.
• Best Hotels: Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan • The Samaya • Jungle Retreat by Kupu Kupu Barong • Kupu Kupu Barong Villas and Tree Spa by L’Occitane • Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve • Ayuterra Resort • Green Spirit Villa • Rumah Semanggi