Villa Semana Resort & Spa Review – Ubud, Bali
After leaving the bustling Seminyak area, we headed by shuttle car to Ubud, in central Bali — about 1 hour and 20 minutes away. No sign tells you you’re in Ubud, you just sort of… arrive. Nothing changes between the countryside and the city- just sparse bits of human life followed by trees and vacant land.
Finally, we turned down a little lane and came up to our picturesque hotel – it couldn’t have been a sweeter hotel.
The hotel, just like the town, is set among the mountains – and the back of the hotel actually looks out over a cliff. There’s not just one building but the villas are spread out and there aren’t but 30 villas, so it is a small, tranquil hotel. The hotel advertises itself as the perfect honeymoon and it truly was. The small staff was welcoming and very friendly — we had the same waiter for lunch and dinner each day and it made you feel like you were visiting someone’s home rather than staying in a hotel.
Our hotel room was the Villa Pool Garden View. We had our own cute little pool as well as a huge suite that was beautiful and calming.
The hotel grounds were just perfectly peaceful – with the infinity pool overlooking the river down below and tons of greenery, you really felt the slow speed of life. As soon as we arrived, I could feel the Balinese way of life was much more prevalent at this hotel (and town) rather than at the bustling W filled with foreigners.
All three meals of the day were served on the terrace overlooking the infinity pool overlooking the mountains/jungle. Indonesian, Thai and Western foods were offered and it was fun to try new things. It seemed that each dish was cooked to order so, while it took a little extra time, it was always very fresh and extra tasty with interesting spices and unique flavors. The best part about the family feel of the hotel was that we were able to eat dinner, then walk back two hours or so later when we were ready for dessert. No matter where we were or who we saw, the hotel service was always A+++.
The hotel gift shop was a jackpot of perfect Balinese souvenirs that were authentic rather than just cheap tchotchkes found on the side of the road peddled only to foreigners. We brought back the traditional “wedding couple” wood carvings – a perfect souvenir from our honeymoon. While we were in the gift shop, we ran into the owner, Jurg, who was originally from Switzerland but has been living in Bali for years. He knew a lot of history and culture and was eager to share what he knew with us. He was very hospitable and even offered to organize a bike ride for the two of us the next morning (more on that later).
The owner, Jurg, said the spa was the “best spa in Asia” and I think I’d have to agree. In addition to our bike ride, he offered / insisted to also plan our spa afternoon. Because of the small size of the hotel, we were able to enjoy the spa in complete privacy. The spa is located down the mountain from the rest of the hotel and overlooks the flowing river. It is peaceful and ever so calm. We decided on the “Harmony Package” – $155 USD for a 2 hour couples treatment and bottle of champagne. They are sure to advertise that, when they’re finished, “the room is yours to do whatever you like.” Awkward.
Additionally, the hotel’s location in the town of Ubud was fantastic. We felt safe walking around the streets by ourselves (and the hotel graciously gave us umbrellas when it was raining) and it was so fun to see how the Balinese in Ubud lived and worked (much differently than Seminyak tourists!). The rice fields were just stunning – words can’t describe the picturesque beauty of these fields – and were just steps away from our hotel.
BOTTOM LINE: Ubud is truly one of my favorite destinations and it wouldn’t have been the same without Villa Semana!