Ubud is Bali’s artistic heart and a tranquil hideaway amongst the serene rice paddy fields. Situated away from Bali’s bustling beach towns, it’s the perfect honeymoon or holiday location for couples who enjoy a touch of spirituality and plenty of serenity on a romantic getaway.
Spend a few days or more in Ubud and you will be able to wind down with long spa treatments and leisurely walks. Or, you might try a hands-on Balinese cooking lesson (after shopping for produce at the local market), or bliss out in a yoga class which cost as little as 110,000 rupiah (about $10). Other activities to keep couples entertained in Ubud include village excursions, nature walks and bike rides.
Ubud is the place where Elizabeth Gilbert (in her 2006 bestseller and Hollywood movie Eat Pray Love) found peace and love. You can take a cycling tour of the locations in the movie and even visit palm reader, Ketut Liyer.
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Spas in Ubud
Ubud is a haven for spa lovers. From budget to luxury, from fish-nibbling foot treatments to volcanic ash mud baths, there’s an option for every couple’s fancy. Ubud is one of the best places in Bali to be pampered, for the quality of the treatments and sheer atmosphere of this romantic locale.
Many of the resorts in Ubud are luxury villa retreats designed to blend into the tranquil mountain and riverside landscape. A lot have private plunge pools and butlers. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a hotel or villa in Ubud without a spa of some sort.
Relax at Wapa di Ume Resort’s tri-level modern spa, which has a whirlpool, beauty centre and rainforest views. The Sutra Massage is a heavenly mixture of aromatherapy and a Balinese technique focused on face and scalp massage.
The scent of tropical flowers fills the air at Puri Wulandari, where villas have traditional thatched roofs with Balinese doors, private swimming pools and garden ponds. The hotel’s Lila Ulangan Spa has a huge menu of traditional Indonesian treatments as well as other popular western therapies such as hydrotherapy, massotherapy and thermotherapy.
Maya Ubud’s Spa at Maya Ubud is a multi award-winning destination and has a magical riverside setting in the Petanu River Valley, while at Samaya Ubud in the Ayung Valley, you don’t even need to leave your villa as you can opt for an in-villa massage.
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For those who want to get active, there’s plenty of opportunity to keep fit in Ubud. Ubud’s mountains and rivers provide the perfect landscape for cycling, rafting and walking.
Bali’s highest peak, Mount Agung, is a challenging hike. At 3031m, the trek is a good workout for serious hikers but there are plenty of shorter walks in Ubud for the less daring.
A half-day river rafting trip on the Ayung River is a guaranteed thrill, or alternatively you might want to book an all-day cycling tour that stops at temples, local homes and farms to discover the cultural countryside.
Of course, after a hard day of exercise, you won’t need to travel far to sink into your Jacuzzi with a glass of champagne.
Kayumanis Private Villas & Spa is tucked away in a forest setting along the Ayung River. You’ll catch intriguing glimpses of the villas while on a river rafting trip.
Twenty kilometres southwest of Ubud’s centre in Bajar Bindu, FuramaXclusive is a serene villa resort, set in two hectares and surrounded by rice fields. The boutique resort has 18 villas built around an impressive 70m lagoon.
Book a room for two at Bisma Eight and relish in an absolute boutique hotel experience. There are Forest, Garden or Canopy suites, with romantic balconies that have bamboo railings and cascading ivy.
One very special serene spot in Ubud is not a spa or villa. The Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave) is a World Heritage-listed 11th-century Hindu and Buddhist cave itself. Visitors enter the cave through a demon’s gaping mouth into a labyrinth of temples, trees and a forest track that leads down to the Elephant River.
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