From the moment I set foot in Uma by COMO, Ubud reception I felt like the personal house guest of a (very wealthy) friend.
A hotel experience can make or break a holiday. Those who know me well, know that I love personal attention and luxurious boutique accommodations, hence the reason I adopt the flashpacker travel philosophy. Well, it didn’t take long for Uma Ubud to escalated to the top of the ranks of my most favourite hotels around the world. Never have I stayed at a resort where I was treated like royalty!
Upon arrival we took a seat in the reception area and were offered cool face towels and iced hibiscus tea – I love these personal touches and knew already that our stay would be pretty special. The Guest Services Manager, Sika introduced himself and made us feel instantly welcome at Uma. Sika and his staff took wonderful care of us during our entire stay. So wonderful in fact that my beloved didn’t hesitate when given an opportunity to return to Uma for lunch during a day trip to Ubud the following week.
It didn’t take long for us to learn that at Uma no request was too difficult to accommodate. It was like we had our own personal genie and all our wishes were Uma’s command. All we had to do was ask and at the snap of the finger, whatever we desired was served up to us on a silver platter within seconds (well maybe not seconds but you get my point). One day I needed my laundry returned earlier than normal – no problem! Another day we were on a tour and wanted to be back in time for afternoon yoga – done! Then we decided to alter our dinner plans last minute one night and the Uma staff called our room within 2 minutes to confirm that our reservation had been changed – our wish was their command!
It became apparent that we were being constantly watched, but not in a creepy way. Uma kept tabs on our every move. Every staff member in the resort knew where we were going and what we were doing at all times. And they were prepared for everything. We ate dinner at the restaurant, Kemiri on the first night of our stay and chatted with a very friendly waiter. On our second night we were particularly impressed when the waiter knew we had plans to go on a tour of some Balinese temples the next day.
The resort is set around a beautiful infinity pool where we spent most of our time lazing under the white umbrellas. Within minutes of lying down on the pool beds, iced water was served up to us by another very friendly waiter.
The resort walkways and gardens feature beautiful balinese style finishings with intricate teak doors, tropical plants and ponds filled with gold fish. There was a very serene and relaxing air about the place.
We stayed in the Water Garden room. Upon entering, our immediate impressions were that of tranquility and relaxation. We walked through the doors into a courtyard surrounded by another fish pond with huge gold fish and lily pads. The bedroom was on the left and a separate open air bathroom on the right. The decor was modern and romantic with Balinese accents and beautiful attention to detail. I loved the white cotton curtains draped over the massive stone bathtub.
Kemiri restaurant was not very busy during our stay. It is located at the back of the resort which might explain why it doesn’t attract many outside guests. But don’t let this fool you. The light contemporary Asian cuisine was the best food I experienced during my entire two week stay in Bali. The staff were politely attentive (not over attentive), extremely friendly and eager to please. Once again, we felt like we were dining at a (wealthy) friends home.
My favourite dish was the spicy chicken salad. The breakfast menu had so much variety (Western and Balinese options) and we were disappointed that we weren’t staying long enough to sample everything on the menu. There were also healthy options available on the menu from Uma’s sister resort COMO Shambhala. A new Italian restaurant was being built at the front of the resort during our stay, which would attract more outside guests and I cannot wait to try it out next time I return to Ubud.
The spa is surrounded by another massive gold fish pond, which lended to a very tranquil environment – perfect design for a spa. In my opinion the spa was slightly on the expensive side by Balinese standards but once again the staff were amazing and they used premium products and offered a unique and luxurious experience that was well worth it. There is a spa specials menu in the room which offers selected services at a reduced price.
The Yoga Room
The moment we stepped into the yoga room our jaws dropped. The room is located at the rear of the resort with a breathtaking view of the river and mountains surrounding Ubud. The only sounds that could be heard was rushing water from the river and birds singing. It really feels like your miles away from the craziness of the civilised world and is the perfect environment to focus during your yoga practice. There are daily yoga classes in the afternoon and morning classes twice a week, inclusive in the nightly rate. Even if you have never tried yoga, I would recommend taking advantage of these classes. The teachers are extremely helpful and personalise the class to suit your needs.
Rooms at Uma Ubud start from US$270 per night. This price includes a range of activities like daily yoga and morning walks through the rice paddies. This price is current as of November 2013.
Uma Resort did not sponsor me during my stay. All opinions are my own.
All photographs in this article are my own, photographed and edited solely by me.