Tranquility with Monkeys in the Jungle: Alila Ubud

the scoop

If you were to ask me what the most spectacular resorts are in the world, I would answer Aman Resorts. If you were to ask me what the second most spectacular resorts are in the world, I would answer Alila.

The two happen to be related too. Mark Edleson, the President of Alila Hotels and Resorts, spent twelve years learning how to intersect hospitality and local culture from Adrian Zecha of Aman Resorts. It paid off.

The Alila Ubud, just one of many properties in Asia by Alila, intersects innovative design and luxury with natural beauty and culture.

Being surrounded by the jungle in Ubud, I felt a sense of calm wash over me. The neutral tones of the lobby were warm and inviting. As we checked in we received a favorite local juice, packed with fresh ginger. The staff was incredibly friendly, and greeted us everywhere we ventured!

Alila Ubud uses a minimal approach to their outdoor space around the pool, so as to empower guests experience of viewing the Ayung River Valley. The pool lounge is open air, as is the fine dining restaurant above it, and it’s thoroughly enjoyable to dine amongst the monkeys in the jungle.

They pop out around sunset, and if you’re not carefully they will steal your detox juice. A fierce monkey jumped onto my pool chair one afternoon, grabbed the juice, took one sip and tossed it.

Apparently he didn’t fancy a detox cleanse.

He also didn’t fancy my coconut sugar cookie. Every afternoon the Alila staff lays out a spread of native treats and tea. They are delicious, as is the authentic Balinese cuisine at the Alila restaurant above the pool.  

The superior rooms are luxurious and also pay tribute to the unobstructed view of the Ayung River Valley and Ubud jungle. They boast a private balcony and daybeds, so you never have to leave your room. We lazed away the hours with some homemade ice cream, and a good book.

A spa treatment is an absolute must at the Alila Ubud! Perched on a hill the spa is a tranquil hideaway with locally sourced products. We received massages, and a treatment common to Ubud spas, a hair masque made from avocado and coconut oils.

Alila prides themselves on their local excursions. Unfortunately, we only had forty-eight hours and chose to enjoy the resort (mostly the infinity pool), but when we return we’ll be sure to take advantage of the retreats. They offer trips to destinations  like the mountain village of Kintamani, the rice terraces at Tegalalang and the natural springs at Tampaksiring.

The stillness of the Alila Ubud will take your breath away, and the culture of the local people will inspire you.


The sunset is stunning in Ubud, but the sunrise is out-of-this-world. Wake up and enjoy the peacefulness of the vibrant colors in the sky. 


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