An Oasis Just Off Monkey Forest Road, Ubud
The Alaya Resort Ubud is one of The Bali Family Guide’s favourite places to stay in Bali. If you’ve made it to Ubud, you’re not looking for beaches or your typical resort style holiday. Ubud is the cultural and spiritual heart of Bali. Balinese culture is very strong here, and although there are lots of tourists, the mix is different (less Australians, more Europeans). Lots of museums, temples, ceremonies to see and of course the famous Sacred Monkey Forest. Alaya Resort is located right in the hub of Ubud – just a few minutes walk from the Sacred Monkey Forest and just off the main Monkey Forest Road. The streets are a bustle of scooters, tourists, cafes, shops and more, but what is amazing about the Alaya Resort Ubud is that is a true oasis despite its location in the central part of Ubud. As soon as I walk in I feel relaxed. Step in off the busy street into Alaya Resort and literally within meters you are transported into a different Bali, one of peaceful ricefields and calm. On arrival you will be treated to fresh towels and traditional icy cool drinks to refresh you. Already as you checkin you will feel the bustle of the streets fading and the serenity of Alaya overtaking you. The Petani restaurant is right on site, and you will be offered a complimentary afternoon tea. Breakfast is also served in mornings in the restaurant. Right after the restaurant is a small pool just for toddlers. Fine to take a paddle around in, but it’s close to the restaurant so not somewhere for the whole family to take a dip. The Alaya Resort extends a long way from the street, into the ricefields and jungle of an older Ubud. From your room you will be able to watch ducks, birds and farmers working the rice fields. Alaya can organise a tour of the nearby ricefields you if you wish, as well as massages and spa treatments and other tours. I have stayed in the Alaya Resort many times, and walking into the rooms I always feel a great sense of wellbeing come over me straightaway. Decor is a perfect blend of Balinese style with western convenience. If you are on the first floor you will be able to open the doors of your balcony and walk out to the pool. On the second floor you will have a large comfortable balcony with daybed to stretch out on and gaze out over the ricefields. Waking up and then ordering an American breakfast (eggs, bacon, with freshly baked croissants, fresh fruit & yoghurt and coffee) and enjoying on the balcony overlooking the ricefields is a truly indulgent experience. Staff (as is usual in Bali) are always very fond (and tolerant, lol) of kids and your kids will attract many beaming smiles from the staff of Alaya. The food is to a very high standard and the menu offers good choices for kids. My kids usually get the pizza which is nice – nice crispy base and quality ingredients. There are lots of different western options as well as traditional Indonesian choices. The dessert menu is quite sophisticated and probably wasted on kids (lol), though they will certainly still very much enjoy! Only in Bali can so much peace lie nearby so much bustle. The pool is fabulous for kids. There’s a large shallow end and steps for small kids, and my kids love exploring the bridges and gardens. Although you will obviously need to keep an eye on kids around the pool, there’s lots of green area for them to explore. There is so much greenery around the pool that you are able to enjoy it any time of day and still be protected from the sun. Definitely one of the most usable and peaceful pools I’ve used in Bali. Premium rooms have an enormous spa bath. All rooms have a great shower with ‘rainhead’ style showerhead, great water pressure (something to check in Bali!) and lots of room. Something that I always think about when traveling with my littlest child (age 2) is safety – he is very active and so I always watch for anything he could hurt himself on or break. The only thing to be concerned about at Alaya Resort Ubud is the balcony on the upper floors – you would need to watch that toddlers don’t climb up onto the daybed and be able to pull themselves over the balcony. The rooms themselves are very safe, with no hard corners, breakable surfaces or fragile lamps etc for toddlers to destroy! A toddler-safe room is always a joy to find! Internet is good and is included complimentary with your stay. There are lots of channels to choose from on the flatscreen TV. There are also international power points in the room, so if you don’t have an international travel adaptor you won’t have a problem. There are only 2 bottles of water provided in the room, so make sure that you request more water from housekeeping. This is easily done by calling reception. There are lots of snacks, treats and soft drinks in the minibar, so if you prefer your kids not to indulge in these then put them up on a high shelf. This is one of the first things I do when entering any hotel room! If you do need to buy snacks, panadol, nappies, fruit or anything of the sort, Coco Supermarket is right next door, which caters to tourists with a wide range where you will be able to find anything you need. Very handy when traveling with kids. Prices will vary depending on room choice and the season – I have paid between $110 and $200 depending on the season and availability. Babysitting can be organised on request. If you do end up looking for childcare while in Ubud, there are several kids clubs in Ubud now with drop-in options. From Alaya Resort you can easily access Ubud and surrounds. Walk straight down Monkey Forest Road to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest, or keep walking and explore all the hundreds of shops, cafes, restaurants and markets around the Monkey Forest Road. It’s extremely easy to get a taxi anywhere in this area and $5 (50,000 rupiah) should take you anywhere in Ubud that you wish to go. The Alaya Resort Ubud is definitely a fabulous, central and family-friendly choice for you if you’re exploring Ubud. If you end up visiting, don’t forget to tell us what you thought! We would love to hear – it’s truly one of my personal favourites.