I wish Aria Villas Ubud had been around before I became a travel journalist. Back then I probably travelled almost as much as I do now but it was definitely a case of ‘champagne tastes on a beer budget’. Most of my weekend was spent scouring the internet for hotels and resorts that looked like they offered good value with a hefty dash of luxury (but without the hefty price tag). Most of my weekend was spent scouring the internet for hotels and resorts that looked like they offered good value with a hefty dash of luxury (but without the hefty price tag). We would usually budget around $250 per night for these ‘special stays’ and sandwich them between budget hotels.
Most of our accommodation provided plenty of inspiration for us to get out and sightsee as the last thing we wanted to do was spend time in our room. Aria Villas Ubud would have been our dream ‘special stay’ back then. The boutique property comprised of just eight private pool villas overlooking a verdant green valley was in our price range and there were luxurious touches galore. Think in-villa check-in, high-end toiletries, a welcome shoulder massage on arrival and nightly turn down treats.
You can book a villa with 1 or 3 bedrooms or a combination of 2 adjoining villas to create a 4 bedroom unit with two pools. Our one bedroom villa had a main living area which flowed through into a walk-in robe hanging space and the bathroom. We noticed a multi-generational family travelling together who had booked adjoining villas and it looked perfect for this kind of holiday. It’s nice to spend time together but also good to have your own space sometimes when you are travelling with family or friends.
We split our stay between two villa types: the first night was in a Terrace Pool Villa and the second night was in a Valley Pool Villa. The photo below shows the view from the Terrace Pool Villa. The only real disadvantage with this room category is it has a view over the concrete roof of the villas below and is perhaps not quite as private as the Terrace Pool Villa. There is a pretty flowering creeper that has been planted to cover the top of the lower villa but this still has a bit of growing to do.
The interiors of the Terrace Pool Villa and Valley Pool Villa are exactly the same. However, if you can afford to splash out, I would recommend the Valley Pool Villa. It feels a little more luxe somehow, perhaps because of the secluded feel. Because these are on a lower level you don’t see anything in front of you except for lush greenery. The accommodation feels high end but is more minimalist than overtly flashy. Decorative polished concrete has been used extensively throughout giving the villas a modern, sophisticated look.
There is an outdoor bathroom with a shower and large tub and his and hers toiletries which we enjoyed using although the hot water disappeared a few times in both villas. Fortunately it was warm outside so this wasn’t a major issue. Each villa is surrounded by a landscaped garden with an outside relaxation area that is also used as a dining spot for breakfast each morning. Rather than having an on-site restaurant, breakfast is available to pre-order each day for delivery at a time of your choosing.
This is included in the room rate which we thought was a lovely luxury. The menu changes daily so guests who stay for more than a few days don’t get tired of eating the same thing. As you can see from the photos below, it was delicious. Room service meals for lunch and dinner are also available with a mix of Indonesian and western options. Expect to pay around A$13 for a dish such as nasi goreng which we thought was more than reasonable given the high quality of the meals.
While room service is priced in Rupiah, other services such as in-house massages and transport are charged in US dollars. This was the only thing we didn’t like about Aria Villas Ubud. While we understand that some big US chain hotels charge in US dollars in Bali, this lovely villa property isn’t affiliated with a United States brand. Charging exclusively in the local currency would seem to make a lot more sense at this small boutique hotel. While Aria Villas is located just 500 metres away from main street of Ubud, you could be forgiven for never leaving your villa, especially if you have already seen the local attractions on prior visits.
One evening we sat outside listening to rain fall on the roof of our outdoor seating area as we enjoyed room service dinner; in the morning we were treated to a chorus of distant roosters across the valley. Being surrounded by nature made us slow down and appreciate the almost spiritual beauty that Ubud is famous for. Whether you are looking for a convenient base for sightseeing or somewhere beautiful to recharge your batteries, you will find it here. But be warned: you might be reluctant to tear yourself away from Aria Villas Bali to see the sights.
Disclosure: The writer stayed as a guest of Aria Villas Bali.
We’ve got plenty of hints and tips for travelling in Bali and also some great hotel and resort suggestions. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, we’ve reviewed the Ritz-Carlton Bali Resort, Peppers Seminyak Resort, Apurva Kempinski Bali, Bulgari Resort Bali, Aria Villas Ubud, Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort, The Mulia Bali, Merusaka Nusa Dua, Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort, Anantara Seminyak Bali, the InterContinental Bali for couples and those travelling with kids. We’ve compared the Singaraja and Club rooms at the InterContinental Bali and found the best luxury family hotels in Bali and the best honeymoon hotels in Bali.