Chasing a Plate paid a media rate during its stay at the Alaya and received a complimentary upgrade to an Alaya Room.
But we only blog about hotels that we genuinely wish to stay at and for which we would pay full rates to do so.
The Alaya is a resort that gracefully blends in with its surrounding community. It faces out onto busy Jalan Hanoman where a constant stream of scooters and cars rush by, but step one foot into the resort and the calm of the bordering rice paddies, the gentle swoosh of the giant fans overhead and the welcoming smiles of the staff soon take over. We arrive from Seminyak, after a two hour drive and are immediately ushered into plush chairs and brought iced guava juice and cold towels as the staff check us in.
The hotel has utilised natural materials where possible in its design- think bamboo balconies, soaring wooden ceilings, thatched roofs and stone pathways. We are escorted to our room past Petani, (Alaya’s restaurant) fishponds and shrines and you can’t help but feel a little more relaxed with each step you take.
We are lucky enough to have been upgraded to an Alaya Room, located on the first level. All rooms have a private balcony which face the rice paddies which border the resort- a large part of the appeal of Alaya when we booked. The room is generously sized with a king-size bed, flat screen TV, wi-fi (available throughout the whole resort), bathtub, shower, ample wardrobe space and the balcony which contains a table and chairs for two and a daybed. In keeping with the resort’s natural theme, the rooms are decorated with art by local artists but it’s the view that you can’t stop gazing at.
Throughout our stay, the room is extremely comfortable. Complimentary water is replenished twice daily, the bed is heavenly, the air-conditioning is faultless and the bath and shower facilities perfectly adequate. We did however find the vanity area quite small given the size of the room and most of our toiletries had to stay in our toilet bags on the floor.
It’s late afternoon but still steamy so we head to the pool for a dip. It’s an oasis- single and double sun-loungers are dotted around the lagoon-like pool complete with bamboo bridge which crosses the centre. Staff are on hand to provide guests with towels and a hop, step and a jump away is DaLa Spa if you’re in need of massage to relax even more- if that is possible!
The Alaya treat their guests to complimentary afternoon tea at Petani restaurant from 3:00pm to 5:00pm everyday and we head in that direction after our swim to enjoy some Balinese sweets. We order an iced coffee and an iced tea (both arrive with sugar syrup on the side which is a genius idea) and nibble on sweet glutinous rice, a banana jelly pudding and crispy sweet fried dough.
Come morning, after a blissed out sleep we bound down to Petani for breakfast (served between 7:00am and 11:00am). Opening out onto the road at one end and looking out towards the rice paddies at the other, Petani is Balinese vintage chic. The staff in the restaurant are helpful, efficient and full of smiles.
The a la carte menu is impressive, offering breakfast sets including a Continental, American, Balinese and even a Silhouette option for the health conscious. All sets come with tea or coffee, freshly squeezed juice, a fruit platter, yoghurt and a bread basket containing croissants, danishes and toast. Depending on the set, guests can choose from the likes of mie goreng, eggs benedict, bircher muesli, french toast and nasi goreng.
Over the course of our stay we sample soursop juice which is tart, refreshing and tastes pear-like, slather watermelon jam onto our croissants and enjoy a sprinkle of bee pollen over our french toast. The choice available and the quality of the food is brilliant. Needless to say, breakfast sets us up for our days of exploring.
You don’t want for anything at the Alaya. The resort runs like a well oiled machine. The staff greet guests with enthusiasm and every request is attended to immediately. Attention to detail can make the difference between a good hotel stay and a great one and the Alaya have detail down pat. I was particularly impressed during check-out where the staff radioed housekeeping to check our room to ensure we hadn’t left anything behind before sending us on our way. If you’re in Ubud to relax, unwind and take in a bit of the serenity, then the Alaya is the place to do it.
Good to know:
The hotel is located just outside of the main centre and is next to a supermarket. It’s about a 15-20 minute walk to Ubud market and to the main shopping strip on Monkey Forest Road. The Alaya have a complimentary shuttle service which takes guests to nearby locations. However, there isn’t always a driver available- we weren’t able to use the shuttle at all over our three day stay. If you’re heading slightly further afield there are drivers located across the street who offer a taxi service. You need to bargain for a price before hopping in. We found transport to be quite a bit more expensive in comparison to other parts of Bali, akin to Melbourne taxi prices. For tips on where to eat in Ubud, check out our Top 3 Must Eats…
Telephone: +62 361 972200
Rates: at the time of writing the Deluxe Room (which we originally booked) is $139USD per night for the room only or $164 per night including breakfast. The Alaya Room is $160USD per night for the room only or $185USD including breakfast. There are a range of packages available also.
Images: Thomas Southam