Alila Ubud @ Bali

I have really been neglecting my blog! I have so many posts to write so lets get some banged out, and here is one from earlier this year, Alila Ubud in Bali. We actually had 5 nights booked here but only stayed the one night. Our room, a tree top villa was really beautiful and recently built, but the absence of a private pool in the room and the crazy situation at the hotels pool made the stay untenable.

The pool is extremely busy and too small an area for the size of the hotel. All the sun beds were occupied when we tried to use it. We were offered a towel on the grass by the pool attendant. We exclaimed 'no way!', we were paying over $500 a night for a room, surely for that rate one should be able to expect a comfortable spot by the pool?

The pool attendant then suggested he would get some cushions for the floor for us. I'm not slumming it on the floor, why should we? It's been a long time since I've experienced having to fight for a bed at the pool, and I am way passed that point in my life and never going back! I went to the reception and we arranged an early departure. 

This is how the hotel pool looks like without people and clutter. The pool really pictures well I think but in real life I found the space and view much more cramped and less awe inspiring, with a fair amount of buildings and construction spoiling the view. It is a good looking look, but it's not as nice as the pictures imply. 

This is what it really looks like ...

The pool has actually been voted by Forbes as one of the 'World's 20 Coolest Hotel Pools', and Asiarooms voted it the best hotel pool. Whatever!

The resort overall is a somewhat run down, our newly constructed room was a bit of a contrast to the rest of the resort. It felt like we were going from 5 star luxury to 3 star mediocricy when we stepped out of its confines. The food was decent, the dining experience was relatively unstylish and unsophisticated. The spa was reasonable, although I was bitten several times during my massage by mosquitos and there was a lot of noise from outside disturbing the peace. The service and attitude and friendliness of the staff was not on par with the Alila Villa resorts. 

Ubud itself was extremely disappointing, it was very commercial with shop after shop selling the same crappy tourist memorabilia. Up until visiting Ubud I had only experienced the nicer side of Bali and the Balinese people. So Ubud was a bit of a shock to the system. 

We took a driver arranged by the hotel and we asked him to take us to an area with a large and varied collection of shops for us to wander through. He took us to one shop far away from all the other shops that he obviously had a relationship with. The vendors were extremely pushy and kept saying 'you buy, you buy', and huffing and sighing at me for taking too long to chose. When I didn't want to buy anything, the prices were more expensive than Sydney, the vendor tutted at me and gave me a dirty look and spat on the floor. I noticed the driver look at the vendor, and the vendor shrugged as though to say 'they didn't buy anything'. the driver was probably checking if he was getting his commission. The driver was really chatty to us on the way to Ubud but said no more than a few words to us when he drove us back and he seemed pissed off with us. 

We did stop off at a nice little cafe for some lunch and they were very nice to us, restoring our fondness for the Balinese people, and the meal was really good value and tasty. 

The treetop villa at the resort was high quality but the resort did not match the room. It was like 2 different worlds. Here are some images of the room.

Alila Ubud Tree top villa

So would I go again? I think they would have to undertake a complete resort renovation for me to consider returning. However, even with a face lift, the location left me cold, I failed to see what all the fuss was about. I prefer coastal locations, especially in this kind of climate, it was very humid in Ubud and there were a heck of a lot of mosquitos, and no sea breeze to cool and freshen. So I'd say I think it's an overall resounding no I wouldn't!