In 2014 after a mammoth four-week tour of New Zealand and then a 10-day action packed stay in Sydney, I decided to book us into Uma by Como in Ubud, Bali for four days. The aim being to recharge our batteries before finishing off our epic seven-week holiday with a ten day adventure tour of Java.
I knew I’d called it wrong as soon as I arrived.
Ubud in Bali is simply beautiful. I cannot describe how excited I felt when I entered our poolroom villa. We had our own fishpond, complete with koi carp that connected our bedroom area to bathroom, and we had an outdoor rain shower.
The smells of the place are still vivid to this day, which is one of the reasons we’re returning, this time for 10 days in October despite my preference to always travel somewhere new.
I thought Bali was for honeymooners, or ravers who’d read Alex Garland’s The Beach. I didn’t realise how beautiful it would be or how cultural.
It’s a fabulous place to visit either on your own or with the family. We chose Uma by Como because it’s a bit more contemporary than it’s better-know big sister Como Shambala (and less expensive, had I been travelling without my daughter I would have upgraded us), but you can use their facilities and being a yoga bunny I jumped at the chance.
I have to say it was the hardest yoga I have ever tried. My aim was to attend classes daily but I only managed three days out of four days, and I’m a person who normally does yoga daily and attends three one hour classes a week. I was tested to my limits and had to book in for a deep tissue massage after each class. But goodness, did I feel good when we left and I have to be honest, I’d kill to do yoga in that environment on a daily basis.
What else can I say about Ubud? Well, there’s plenty to do. The hotel itself organises excursions and activities from bike riding, to walking tours of the rice terraces, to cultural tours of the temples. We took our small daughter white water rafting because she’s a bit of an adrenalin junkie and whilst not in the same vein as white water rafting in New Zealand, it was a thoroughly thrilling afternoon.
Como by Ubud is a short walk from the main town where there are shops and restaurants aplenty. If you don’t want to walk then there’s a complimentary minibus.
The food in the hotel is fabulous and very competitively priced and if you’re lazy like me, it’s the easier option. But if you do visit Ubud explore some of the amazing restaurants – the cuisine in that area is to die for.
I can’t wait to return in October. Having just scanned the website I can see that they’ve added tonnes more trips to their experience section, I’ll definitely be signing up for a water purification ceremony, a trip to the Bedugul Highland and the market tour definitely a white water rafting re-run.
And of course I’ll be bracing my core and gritting my teeth and attempting to do yoga daily with the exceptional Balinese yoga masters that teach there.
If you want to find spiritual enlightenment, or just laze around in the sun, Ubud is definitely the place to go.