The 7 Best Luxury Resorts in Ubud, Bali’s Booming Spiritual Center

Bali has been a fixation of the Western imagination since the early 20th century. But blame Elizabeth Gilbert’s 2006 Eat Pray Love memoir and the subsequent movie adaptation starring Julia Roberts for the crowds.

The “Eat Pray Love effect” caused a massive influx of visitors that has only compounded over time. While this rapid growth can be felt all across the island, it’s especially apparent in Ubud, the lush, artsy and spiritually minded inland center where Gilbert stayed. Once a peaceful haven for locals and spiritual seekers across the globe, the town—whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word for “medicine” (ubad)—is now filled with more of everything: more hotels, more art galleries, more cultural events, more expats, and much, more traffic.

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“Like many places around Bali, Ubud has seen significant changes in the past decade, with increased tourism and infrastructure development and a shift in its cultural and environmental landscape,” says Bali-based Ravi Singh Shekhawat, general manager of Indonesia travel at the small-group tour company Intrepid Travel. “And while these changes have brought economic benefits to the area, they have also raised concerns about preserving the essence of Ubud and managing the challenges that come with rapid tourism growth.”

To escape the crowds (sorry, the traffic is unavoidable) a reservation at a top hotel is essential. Most are located within the lush jungles and rice paddies right outside town, and that means no Bintang boozehounds within earshot. But better still, these resorts offer incredible cultural programming that will give you the fast track to the area’s true spiritual essence. Here is a look at seven of Ubud’s best luxury resorts.

1. Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape

A villa at Buahan, a Banyan Tree Escape
The Banyan Tree resort stands out for its “no walls, no doors” concept.

Located about 40 minutes north of Ubud’s city center, surrounded by rice paddies and a lush jungle, Buahan feels like a true tropical sanctuary. Opened in June 2022, it’s the first of Banyan Tree’s new Escape properties, the brand’s collection of adults-only hotels specifically designed to connect guests to nature through a “no walls, no doors” concept. Each of the property’s 16 bales (villas) features a 180-degree view of the lush tropical jungle from bed, not to mention serene private pools, copper bathtubs, locally designed robes, and an open kitchen with a zero-waste menu and a botanist bar featuring ingredients from the property’s farm. The cultural programming at Buahan is also incredible, with offerings such as the soul freedom journey (a traditional Balinese spiritual purification ceremony along the Ayung River), and tri hita karana, a journey that introduces you to the three sources of happiness in Balinese life.

Rates: $1,242 per night

2. COMO Uma Ubud

A room at COMO Uma Ubud
COMO Uma leans elegant, with an aim at ultimate relaxation.

COMO Uma is located right in the heart of Ubud, and you can easily walk to town or take a five-minute shuttle. But despite its proximity to the hustle and bustle, the property—which overlooks the Tjampuhan Valley and River Oos—still feels like a true sanctuary. There are 46 rooms, a combo of suites and villas, with interiors designed to feel like local mountain homes (think huge windows that let the light in, traditional Balinese materials, and tropical plants). The experiences are also curated to help you relax and connect with nature, with offerings ranging from rafting on the Ayung River to a traditional Balinese water purification ceremony to a guided climb up to the top of Mount Batur to complimentary daily yoga. Don’t miss the themed dinners, with options such as Balinese “ribs ‘n bibs” (featuring Balinese-spiced ribs and more) every Monday to Street Eats, a selection of Indonesian street foods, every Friday.

Rates: $350 per night.

3. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan

A villa at Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan
Spa and spirituality are center stage at the Four Seasons.

Checking into the Four Seasons Sayan is quite literally like crossing over into paradise: You enter via a dramatic suspension bridge that towers over the trees below. And while the hotel, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year, is just a 15-minute drive from Ubud proper, chances are high you may not want to cross the bridge again until checkout. Located in the flourishing Sayan Valley between two rivers, the 60-room hotel (with 42 pool villas and 18 suites) is the epitome of a relaxing riverside retreat, with on-site activities such as riverside Balinese cooking classes, private rafting experiences, and a sacred river spa with chakra ceremonies and river stone massages. You can also meet and learn from wise local experts, including a former Buddhist nun and resident wellness mentor and a born-and-bred Sayan Valley guide who leads guided hikes and cycling trips around his home turf.

Rates: from $680 per night; $1,050 per night in a one-bedroom villa.

4. Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

A room at Mandapa, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Dedicated butlers at Mandapa do the thinking for you.

Mandapa means “temple” in Sanskrit, and the hotel certainly lives up to its name. Located along the Ayung River, about a 15-minute drive from the heart of Ubud, Mandapa feels like a sacred space—with a luxurious twist. Each of its two to three-bedroom villas has gorgeous views of the surrounding tropical oasis and is serviced by a dedicated personal patih (butler), who can help arrange everything from a private barbecue by the rice fields to a trip to Tirta Empul Temple, Ubud’s famous Hindu Balinese water temple known for its purifying holy water. The property also offers tours of town, the rice fields, and the local villages in vintage VW convertibles. What truly sets Mandapa apart, though, is its incredible wellness programming. The spa is set along the river and offers all sorts of unique treatments, including a newly launched “Disconnect to Reconnect” program with complimentary daily classes and experiences centered around mindfulness and inner tranquility.

Rates: $1,480 per night

5. Capella Ubud

A suite at Capella Ubud
Capella Ubud is known for its signature Bill Bensley design.

If you’re looking for an extra unique Ubud hotel stay, Capella may be the spot for you. The property is a good 30-minute drive from town, set by the sacred Wos River in a Balinese artist village called Keliki, and all 23 villas and eating/drinking areas are actually luxury, Bill Bensley–designed tents, giving the whole property a “safari in Ubud” feel. There are five different categories of tents (including rainforest tents, river tents, and terrace tents near the rice paddy fields), and each one comes with its own scenic deck and saltwater pool. All tents are individually styled, too, with eclectic furniture and antique decor that’s meant to evoke a sense of adventure and pay tribute to the storied cultural heritage of Indonesia. Don’t sleep on the campfire experience, where you can chat with a local storyteller over hot chocolate and marshmallows, or the complimentary daily afternoon tea, cocktails, and canapés.

Rates: $887 per night, plus a 21 percent tax and service charge.

6. Amandari

A valley Suite at Amandari, Indonesia
Valley Suites come with private a living room and terrace.

Like all Aman properties, Amandari oozes luxury while still maintaining its local cultural spirit. Set on a hillside in the village of Kadewatan in the Ayung Valley, about a 10-minute drive from the center of Ubud, the resort gives you a feel for traditional daily life in Bali by connecting locals with guests. Each of the 31 thatched-roof suites is framed by a traditional Balinese stone archway and surrounded by colorful tropical gardens; most of them have private tiled pools as well. Another standout aspect: The spa has lots of interesting practitioners, including joy coaches, traditional numerology shamans and dance teachers, and a resident Balinese spiritual healer who can guide you in a customary practice in the privacy of his own home. Don’t miss the open-air bar and restaurant, which offer Indonesian, Balinese, and international cuisine—not to mention spectacular views of the mountains below.

Rates: $968 per night.

7. Viceroy Bali

The pool at Viceroy Bali
The Viceroy is an independent resort with an ambitious culinary program.

Many of the top luxury hotels in Ubud have quite a rustic wooden vibe, but if you like your hotels to feel a bit more sleek, this one’s for you. Set on top of a remote ridge above Pura Gunung Kawi, a lush temple complex also known as Bali’s Valley of the Kings, the family-owned-and-operated resort does not shy away from marble floors, white tablecloths, and fine china—yet it still incorporates many distinctly Balinese elements, too. Viceroy offers 40 villas and four suites, all with their own heated plunge pools and many with typical grass-thatched roofs and Balinese pavilions. But the hotel is perhaps most known for its food, with an all-day dining restaurant and bar that overlooks the magical valley below and a grand fine-dining restaurant and bar, Apéritif, that’s inspired by 1930s glamour and may just be the speakeasy vibe in Ubud you didn’t know you needed.

Rates: pool suites start at $850; the Viceroy Villa starts $2,500 per night.

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