THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
Your passport must have at least 6 months left before date of expiration. If you do not have this amount of time left, you will not be allowed in the country.
A must! It’s really not worth the risk on so many levels, so don’t forget this part.
Bali is Central Indonesian Time. Bali shares the same time zone with Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, but Jakarta is one hour ahead of Bali.
HEALTH AND MEDICATION
If necessary, please make sure to bring extra medication with you.
VISA ON ARRIVAL
Surprisingly, this process has become very easy the last few months. The lines at immigration are not as long as they used to be and you no longer have to pre-fill the immigration card on the airplane.
If you plan on staying longer than 30 days, you will need to pay upon arrival in a different line. This allows you to extend another 30 days but you will have to go to immigration for fingerprints at the end of your first month.
You are allowed 1 liter of alcohol per person. If you would like a bottle of wine or liquor during your holiday in Bali, it is highly recommended to buy it at duty free since it is very expensive in Bali (due to extremely high duty.
Lastly, depending upon the time of day you arrive, the lines can immigration can sometimes be quite long. Sometimes the airport offers ‘fast track’, which allows you to skip the visa lines. If you are interested in this service, please let us know and we will arrange for someone to meet you at your arrival gate. Please note, sometimes this service is not offered, as the airport sometimes changes their rules without informing us. If you don’t book in advance and the service is operating, the representatives are located just before you enter the immigration hall. It costs US$25 per person to use the expedited service.
A service charge (usually between 5-10%) is usually added at larger establishments. Smaller restaurants often do not include a service charge. However, if you feel that the service was quite good, a little goes a long way here.
Please do not drink the water from the tap. If you want to avoid contracting Bali Belly while you’re enjoying your stay in Ubud, please take note: We provide our guests with a glass water bottle for use during their stay with us. Please feel free to refill at your leisure, or ask the staff to assist you with safe (reverse-osmosis) drinking water. Bali has a huge plastic and recycling problem. Restaurants provide bottled water…. please remember, it’s hot in Bali, so please stay hydrated throughout your visit.
Our beautiful tropical island is Bali is in the tropics. The temperature here can range from a moderately cool evening (in July or August), to full blown monsoon rains, to very hot and humid weather. All of the bedrooms (except Treehouse) are air conditioned and our Great Room is open-air. Please note, most restaurants around Ubud are also open-air. We recommend you packing for warm weather; light and breathable clothes.
Ubud is an extremely casual town. Jackets and ties are not needed. You can visit most places in shorts and flip-flops!
Bali is not the peaceful Eat, Pray, Love remote island people may think. Please expect lots of cars, motorbikes and traffic on the roads, crowds in certain tourist destinations. This can be quite frustrating during the peak season.
Galore; Bali is known for having more ceremonies than days in the week. Should your street get blocked off because of a procession, take a deep breath and relax. The Balinese ceremonies are extraordinary…..stretch your legs, savor the moment and enjoy the magic of Bali.
Respectfully….you can bargain for many items in Bali. Just remember to do so with a smile on your face. Take it lightheartedly and know that when the vendor does respond to a lower price, they have reached their limit.
Should you rent a motorbike, please be safe and always wear a helmet. You can be the most seasoned of drivers, but the other person behind the wheel may not. Play it safe and be respectful of other drivers. Keep in mind, there are no rules of the road, so be careful!
Avoid stray animals…although they are adorable, those mischievous monkeys are known for their thievery…hold onto your glasses and hats! Both the dogs in Bali and the monkeys carry diseases. Should you want to help, you can always make a donation to BAWA, or one of the other many dog rescue associations.
Learn some basic Indonesian, the Balinese will love it! Selamat pagi: good morning, selamat siang: good afternoon 11-3pm, selamat sore: good late afternoon 3pm – 6pm, selamat malam: good evening, terima kasih: thank you, tolong: please, and kamar kecil: bathroom (all c’s in Indonesia are pronounced ch).
JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS
Under no circumstances should anyone feel the need to dabble in drugs in Indonesia. The country has a zero tolerance policy and it’s either life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Our currency is called the Indonesian Rupiah…currently, the exchange rate is approximately 13,900 to US$1.
If you want to be connected and have 4G while you are here, it’s super easy to buy when you arrive.
Bring lots of swimsuits!
The sun is quite strong here, please bring sunscreen with a high SPF.
It’s always a good idea to pack your own medical kit and plenty of extra antihistamines, medication or ointments just to be on the safe side.
More and more places are starting to take Visa and MasterCard. Be prepared for the smaller mom and pop places to only accept cash. There are plenty of ATM’s and money changers scattered around Ubud. In case there is a problem with an ATM machine, it is highly recommended to bring extra cash with you and change money. We have had a few instances where guests were not able to use their ATM card.
Is 220V, so you will need adaptors here. In case you forget one, we do provide two adaptors in each room.
UBUD’S CRAZY NEW PARKING RULES
Due to the onset of heavy traffic and oversized buses, Ubud has recently changed the traffic flow direction and parking rules for all cars and motorbikes into and around Ubud. Please note, should you go to shop, have lunch or dinner around town, kindly give your driver a several minute warning prior to your preferred pickup time in order to give driver ample time to get to your location. These rules are constantly changing and the police could potentially change traffic patterns while you are here.
Bring an extra bag or an extra duffel bag for all the goodies you will buy here!
BALI’S RELIGION AND CULTURE
Bali is the only predominantly Hindu island in the world’s largest Muslim nation, Indonesian.
Hinduism was introduced from Java in the eighth century and then intensified in the 15th century as the Brahman priests fled the Islamic encroachment on Java. From these early days, Bali has developed its’ own unique system of Hindu beliefs, officially called ‘Agama Tritha’, which literally means ‘religion of the holy water’.
The Balinese strongly believe in the seen and unseen worlds. Life is a battle between the demons and dark forces that live in the sea and the gods who inhabit the mountains and the volcanos of the island’s mysterious interior.
Village life is a core element of Balinese culture, a cohesive religious community (banjar) organized around a group of temples. Each banjar member is duty-bound to take part in rituals and assist in ceremonies involving art, music, theater and elaborate offerings. These ceremonies constitute the island’s heartbeat.
Indeed, the very soul of Bali is rooted in religion and expressed in art forms that have been passionately preserved through the centuries. For example, dance dramas are based on the age-old Hindu epics of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, but contain elements of local folklore peculiar to the island.
Although the ancient regencies of the ‘Rajas’ and princes of Bali were dismantled by colonial governments in the early 20th century, many of the royal descendants, who still own traditional palaces, are very much respected as patrons of the arts. More importantly, they are regarded as keepers of the religion and culture.
Even today, it seems that almost everyone is a painter, carpenter, weaver, carver, with beauty found in the smallest decorations made for the myriad of shrines found across the island, from temples shrines to the rice paddies.
In the Gianyar regency, in which Ubud lies, the local people take meticulous care in maintaining the many traditions of the Agama Hindu Bali. This can means disruptions to roads, local ceremonies always take priority over traffic, although it also represents the opportunity for guests to witness the rituals, dances and celebrations practiced daily by the Balinese. As you will discover, the beautiful people of Bali are always welcoming. We encourage you not to abuse their unusual hospitality. In respect, we ask all guests to read this basic guide to cultural etiquette.
You will notice canan, the small offerings that are placed in specific locations throughout Bali. They are made of banana leaf and flowers have incense and sometimes have sweets, biscuits and fruit in them.
Often, they are placed in front of stores, temples, and strategic locations around the home and hotels. Try not to step on them while the incense is burning, as the Balinese believe that the offering to the ‘Gods’ is still taking place while it is burning.
Please dress conservatively in skirts or pants and tops with sleeves. Many temples require visitors to use scarves or sarongs. We recommend taking one with you when taking trips around Ubud. Should you find yourself at a temple without one, don’t worry because most of the larger temples have them available for rent.
Visitors are welcome to join locals in prayer and offer incense flowers.
There are no restrictions when taking photographs, but please request permission to do so. This also means for all photos, not just close-ups. Some of the elders do not like to have their photo taken.
Ladies who are menstruating are strictly not allowed to enter temples
Occasionally there will be a ‘Do Not Enter’ sign. Should you encounter this, please respect this.
If you attend a ceremony during of the big festivals, it is important to know that women must cover their shoulders, not wear t-shirts and tie their hair back.
When the locals are in prayer during a ceremony, please talk softly and do not walk around.
AROUND STONE HOUSE
Although we do not have televisions or radios in our rooms, we thoroughly enjoy the natural sounds of our nearby jungle; geckos, roosters in the distance, an occasional dog barking, ducks in the nearby rice paddies or the bells a ceremony across the valley. Should you be sound sensitive, we recommend bringing earplugs.
CHECK IN AND CHECK OUT TIMES
Check-in time is at 2pm. Check-out time is 12pm.
To reduce our water and energy usage, we change our bed linens and towels every three days. If you would like more often, please let the staff know.
Since we are in the tropics, we have mosquitos. We provide natural insect repellent in the rooms. Should you require additional repellent, we suggest you bring some from your home.
To reduce Bali’s plastic problem, we provide complimentary drinking water in all the rooms. Should you run out, the water cooler is in the Great Room and the staff will be happy to replenish for you. We provide glass water bottles for our guest’s outings during their stay with us. If you have one already, it’s a good idea to bring it with you.
The pool is not fenced…please keep this in mind with your children.
This is the land of Bali where we live amongst nature and get to experience lots of critters first hand. Here, we embrace the life that lives around us, albeit small insects, larger geckos that welcome you everyday by the sound of “uh-oh, uh-oh”, and even the sound of roosters nearby. Hope you don’t mind them and that you too, will soon love the sounds of life all around you. Also, we can never control what goes on beyond our walls, so you will hear motorbikes, dog barking, truck passing by, or the occasional sound of construction. We hope this doesn’t bother you too much, but we are on the outskirts of the village, so there are bound to have other sounds.
We have a large permaculture garden, known as the farm, located just across the river. Whenever we have fruit and vegetables, we serve fresh from our garden.
If have a special celebration, please let us know. We can arrange for birthday cakes or decorations.
Our security guard arrives at 9pm. Should you head out for a late dinner, upon your arrival back at Stone House, he will let you in.
Please note, in order to cut down on the noise pollution and our carbon footprint, we do not have a generator. We hope you are understand the fragile environment that Bali is and how unpredictable the electricity can be.
If the electricity turns off, it is usually a few minutes to an hour or two Thank you for your understanding.
If you run out of drinking water in your room or bathroom, please tell one of the staff to replenish your drinking water. It is recommended to use this water when you brush your teeth. The water refill is located in the kitchen of the Great Room. Please feel free to replenish yourself.
Should you require a car and driver during your visit, please let us know. Kindly give us at least a 30-minute advance notice of when you would like a departure from Stone House. Please note, Ubud does not have metered taxis, nor do we have Uber. The locals prefer that you support the community which is why no transportation apps work in Ubud.
Should you require motorbike or bicycles, we can easily arrange to have one of the staff drop for a minimal fee, which covers their petrol. Sometimes it is a lot easier and quicker to get motorbike transportation.A full day of sightseeing up to eight hours is 750,000 IDR, while a half day is 450,000 IDR. A taxi into central Ubud is 60,000 IDR, all prices are listed during main working hours. Please note, depending upon your location in Bali; Sekumpul, Lempuyung, Pemuteran, etc., sometimes the full day rate increases because of the distance. Thank you for your understanding.
Since we do not have telephones in our rooms, we provide all of our guests with a mobile telephone for use during your stay with us. It is pre-programmed with all of our numbers including the staff on duty. Also, feel free to take it out with you during your time in Ubud. It’s perfect for making reservations, calling drivers or letting us know if you need assistance with anything during your stay.
Once in a while, the electricity does shut off due to a local outage or a surge in electricity. Sometimes this can easily remedied with the flick of a switch. At other times, or it could be that the entire village has lost power. Should it be the first, please let us know as it could just be your villa.
Lulu and Bella are our beloved dogs. They get their own section because they are our Property Mascots. Please don’t mind Lulu (our poodle) wagging her tail and following you around with a ball in her mouth. She could easily spend her days chasing balls and will often drop a ball in your lap. Bella is our latest addition….you’ll usually find her lazing in the sun or chasing Lulu around.
One of the nicest things about being in Bali is being able to have so many massages and enjoy getting pampered. We have a massage beds for personal visits. Please make your appointments as early as possible because many are quite busy and it’s best to schedule right away. We recommend the following therapists:
Tino is a truly exceptional masseuse. His vast anatomical, skeletal and muscular knowledge, enables him to give deep tissue massages that release muscular tension, re-storing balance to the muscular-skeletal system. Please note, his treatments can be quite painful and therapeutic. 450,000 IDR per hour
Dewa, a soft-spoken Balinese masseuse, he gives exceptional massages with/without oil. Although he speaks little English, he consistently gives rewarding massages. 350,000 IDR per hour
Rini, a lovely Balinese woman who worked at one of the five-star properties in Ubud (names not be mentioned) for almost 20 years. She recently left to have more free time and gives a gorgeous, Balinese massage. 350,000 IDR per hour
Ketut, Dewi, Agung and Lastri are lovely women with hands made of steel. She provides a variety of excellent massages; traditional Balinese with oil, Thai and therapeutic without oil. Please let her know your preferred massage. A senior therapist, she has also studied also reflexology and gives an excellent foot treatment. Not for the faint (or foot) hearted…. 350,000 IDR per hour
Oke, wowza…his massage encompasses all of the above techniques and is top-notch…not only does he target all your problem areas, he can be incredibly firm and relaxing at the same time. Probably one of the best massages you will have in your lifetime. He is only available in the mornings and early evenings and will need to book a few days in advance. 550,000 IDR per hour
DINING AT STONEHOUSE
We are flexible with our serving times and are happy to accommodate you for breakfast when you wake up, even if you decide to sleep until the afternoon.
You have your choice of fresh coconut water, fresh fruit, rustic bread served with our signature homemade pineapple/mango jam and butter, a fruit plate and one of the following:
Banana or plain pancakes served with honey and lime
Eggs any style scrambled, poached, fried egg (sunnyside up), omelette either with spinach and feta, or tomato and cheese, and lastly our signature eggs made with chilis, spinach, tomatoes and feta cheese. If you have a preferred style, please let us know.
Granola and yogurt delicious fresh made granola served with local yogurt.
Dragon bowl, a smoothie in a bowl topped with fruit and other yummies; shredded coconut, either pumpkin, sunflower or chia seeds and granola.
Tofu scramble is a delicious breakfast alternative if you are vegan or just want something different.
If you would like, our staff can make fresh juice or green smoothies for an additional charge.
LUNCH AND DINNER
Many of our guests discover that our in-house chefs are fabulous and decide to enjoy lunches and dinners here. Should you decide to dine-in, we request that you place your lunch and dinner order by 11am because our chefs shop daily to purchase fresh ingredients at 12pm.
Please note, dinner will be served at 7pm, latest 7:30pm. In order to be respectful of the culture differences, we ask this time as the latest because our cooks are both women and it is preferred that they do not travel home late in the evenings by themselves. Thank you in advance for understanding our position and we hope that 7 – 7:30pm is a suitable time for you.
Please check our menu when you arrive at Stone House, as our dishes vary from time to time. We prefer to serve our guests family style, so whenever you choose a dish, we request a minimum order of two portions (unless of course, you are a solo traveler).
Kindly let us know in advance if you let us know if you have any dietary restrictions; vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free or carnivore. We are happy to provide dishes catered to your taste.
If you prefer to have Western food, please discuss with our chefs and she will let you know some of their specialties; chicken fajitas, stuffed mushrooms, an oversized salad with all the fixings/feta cheese and a delicious vinaigrette, creamy mushroom soup, Indian samosas, chocolate chip cookies…..the list goes on and on.
ADVENTURES AND ACTIVITIES AROUND UBUD
We have river rafting (don’t worry, even the kids can enjoy this), mountain biking from Kintamani along undiscovered backroads of Bali, take an early morning sunrise trek to Mount Batur.. If you feel like chasing waterfalls, we have many. .…Tegenungan Waterfall is the closest, but go early in the morning because the crowds come late morning and stay all day. Tukad Cepung is unusual with its’ the cave-like rock that you walk through to get to it. The word is out and it is starting to get crowded. Sekumpul is the largest which is about two hours away.
Goa Gajah, built in the eleventh century, it is an archaeological site that is home to the elephant cave that houses ancient stone carvings.
Tirta Empul, one of the most sacred places in Bali, this holy water springs is revered for its water and Balinese go here for self purification. , and the lesser known one called Sebatu is a much more intimate experience.
Gunung Kawi, located at the bottom of a lush river valley is the sacred temple and funerary complex built into the face of a rock cliff.
Sacred Monkey Forest for monkeys, monkeys and more monkeys. It is a beautiful forest with lots of tall trees filled with what else…monkeys! They are not fed anymore so they are not as aggressive as they used to be. However, we recommend that you do not wear anything that the little scavengers can pull or take off of you during your visit there.
We recommend if you want to visit either the Campuan Ridge Walk or the Tegallalang Rice Terraces to go early in the morning.
Also, we like to tell our guests to literally, get lost. Some of the best experiences are had when you get off-the-beaten path and discover small lanes that are less inhabited or a path that leads you through a forest.
Green School, a visit to a coffee plantation (we would prefer you don’t support Kopi Luwak – the world’s most expensive coffee because the animals are caged and often force fed).
For those interested, there are cooking classes around Ubud and beyond Should you be interested, we recommend either Paon or daily classes through Casa Luna, which has a detailed listing on their website.
Visit Petulu, every evening the white herons return to their home in the trees at sunset.
On Wednesday, join Har as he tends to his organic garden. There is wood carving in Mas, traditional Balinese painting in Batuan.
Batubalan is home to stone sculptures and Celuk is land of all things jewelry and silver, there are two stores we recommend which have a beautiful selection; Rama Sita and Prapen. If you want something fun and different, see the sites beyond Ubud in a vintage VW convertible. We need advance notice if you are interested in this activity.
SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL PURSUITS
Some guests enjoy yoga, reiki, visiting healers, meditation classes, Ayurvedic treatments and sound healing during their stay with us. We can arrange for a private yoga instructor to visit Stone House, or suggest Radiantly Alive for an excellent range of classes with incredible teachers. If you enjoy HOT classes, head to Ubud Yoga Centre for HOT pilates, yoga, barre, TRX and more. The new Titibatu Club just south of Ubud has an extensive line up of classes ranging from Zumba and Boxfit and HIIT classes.
If there is something that you are interested in, please let us know. Ubud is ground zero for all things wellness.
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
As Ubud is the cultural heartland of Bali, there are a multitude of classes and performances available for those interested in the arts. There are silver jewelry classes, batik painting, and if you’re interested in some of the dances, there is the mystical Kecak dance, or the traditional Legong or Barong. Listen to the sounds of gamelan or bamboo jegog. There are so many around town, you are bound to find one that interests you and fits in with your schedule.
There are too many to mention! Just ask us when you’re here! Whatever your interest is, please let us know. We can custom design a tour that suits your style.
MUSEUMS AND OTHER THINGS TO DO
Antonio Blanco Museum is the Dali of Bali. If you enjoy whimsical art, then you will love this quirky museum.
ARMA, Agung Rai Museum of Art has one of the biggest collections of Balinese, Indonesian and foreign artists comprised within two Balinese styled buildings set amongst beautiful gardens.
Bali Bird and Reptile Park is not your ordinary bird park….there are oversized aviaries that you walk through and monitor lizards that lie in the grass
Chez Monique Silver Jewelry Class, located in the back of a family compound, it has excellent hands-on teaching for beginners and advanced creative kids and adults.
Elephant Safari Park for a ride on elephant back. This can be somewhat controversial as some people do not like to support anything that involves caged animals. That said, the elephants are treated well, but keep in mind that they are tethered when not in use.
Neka Museum is the private collection of local philanthropist, Suteja Neka, son of one of Bali’s most renowned carvers. His interest in collecting art was influenced by friendship with Dutch artists, Rudolf Bonnet and Arie Smit. The museum was opened in 1982 and continues to inspire and educate visitors.
Pyramids of Chi, within two built-to-scale pyramids, the space turns into a wondrous center for sound healing and breath meditation workshops. Certain sound frequencies are generated from ancient instruments played inside the pyramid such as enormous gongs, large pow wow drums, Himalayan singing bowls and the didgeridoo.
Studio Perak is also a silver jewelry making class located behind their small jewelry store. It’s a great class for kids and adults…you won’t believe how many pieces you can make in one class!
Widya’s Batik class is a wonderful batik class for those wanting to create something special during their time in Bali. Please anticipate about 3-4 hours, you can have a simple lunch there, or you can brings snacks with you.
If there is something that you have set your heart on, please let us know and we will try to make it happen during your stay with us.
SPA AND BEAUTY
When in doubt, have a spa day! Bali is a haven for spas from budget to high end. offering a multitude a beauty and body treatments; massages, mandi lulur (body scrub) and cream-bath (an hour-long hair treatment that includes a head and neck massage. You should take advantage of these amazing treatments and try various places around town to discover the many potions, lotions and exotic treatments Bali has to offer.
Five Elements and COMO Shambhala are at the high end of the spectrum, while Karsa Spa (needs to be booked a few days in advance) is lovely after the Campuan Ridge Walk. Cocoon Medical Spa is your go-to for all the latest in lasers and fillers. Starchild has basic, inexpensive but decent massages, Yoga Barn’s Kush has an amazing array of Ayurveda treatments, Taksu has a great array of treatments.Cantika Zest in Penestanen has oils and masks made of natural ingredients from their garden They also have a class that teaches how to make your own masks and scrubs.
OR, we have a massage table and can arrange for a masseuse to come to Stone House. Please scroll back up to see the list of masseuses who come to Stone House.
Please let us know in advance if you are interested in a masseuse and we can forward you the list of therapists. Fresh Spa is perfect for waxing, manicures and pedicures, while Milano is an ‘old school’ style salon that has decent haircuts and lots of other treatments.
Vive is also a newcomer in Ubud and recommended.
WHERE TO EAT
This list is Ubud-centric:
Ubud’s original organic restaurant. Downstairs is a fully-stocked store with soaps, massage oils, vegetables, raw desserts, bagels (rather good for Bali) and drinks. Around the corner is their restaurant that serves a wide variety of dishes; tacos, pizza, minestrone, chicken curry sandwiches and has a large vegan selections. Jl. Raya Ubud. $
Who would have thought an Argentinian steak house would open in Ubud? Well, let me tell you….this place is super cool, has a chill vibe and delicious steak. The chef/owner is usually around to chat and give recommendations, but you can’t go wrong with anything here! Even the truffle mash potatoes are to die for! Jl. Raya Pengosekan. $$.
As the raw and healthy food wave continues to evolve, Clear Cafe has taken the lead here in Ubud. They now have a large variety of foods including French fries for the non-vegan/raw fan and and seafood dishes. Check out the fireman’s pole in the back of the restaurant. $$
One of Ubud’s newest restaurants featuring a stunning wood fire-burning pizza oven. The menu is modern Italian with a twist and the decor is utterly cool with a beautiful terrazzo bar downstairs. Jl. Raya Sanginggan. $$
This has become a bit of an Ubud institution over the last few years with the healthy set. Located in Sanggigan with great views of the Campuan Ridge, they have lots of great vegetarian choices including salads, juices and smoothies. Not recommended if you’re looking for meat and potatoes. $.
Folk Pool & Gardens
Ubud’s first swim-up bar and twilight poolside cinema located right in the heart of town…tucked off of Monkey Forest Road. It has private day beds, teepees and offer a variety of vegetarian to grilled foods. The younger folk prefer this hip, new hangout. Jl. Monkey Forest. $$
Beautifully presented raw and vegan food in a lovely, quiet setting near the post office. The restaurant is open air on the three sides and it’s recommended for breakfast or lunch. $$
Just steps off the main road (Jl. Sri Widari), this lovely cafe can now be considered to be one of, if not the best restaurant in Ubud. What I love about this restaurant, is that the chef is not afraid to use spices and the food is bursting with the most exotic flavors, sometimes with a lot of fire!. The portions are large which is perfect for sharing with friends. The menu changes every few months always offers an amazing array of dishes. Jl. Sri Widar in Taman. $$$ (need reservation)
Located in the former home of renowned Dutch artist Hans Snel, Il Giardino is one of the most romantic restaurants in the evening. It is tucked away at the end of a small lane with its’ own lotus pond and small gallery featuring the late painter’s work. As you can imagine from the name, the food is Italian and they have a wood-burning oven to cook pizzas. Jl. Kajeng. $$
Indus has a fabulous views upstairs at sunset (though slather the mosquito repellent before you leave the house!). There is a wide variety of international and local foods. Jl Raya Ubud in Sanggingan. $$
Owned by a savvy ex-New Yorker, Kafe is ground zero for all things wellness in Ubud. The food is all organic, locally sourced and offer Megan’s big salad bowl, Madras tuny curry sandwich on a croissant and wheatgrass shots. Also, the source of balispirit.com, for all your yoga, reiki and spiritual needs. Jl. Hanuman in Padang Tegal. $
In this day and age, it’s all about locally sourced food. Locavore does this best. It serves gourmet, beautifully prepared and artisanal food. Highly recommend but needs reservations several weeks in advance. Jl. Dewi Sita. $$$$. (need to book reservations a few months in advance)
Open everyday for lunch (and set dinners on Friday and Saturday), this small restaurant serves a small selection of locally sourced and deliciously prepared sandwiches and salads. We personally love the pulled pork sandwich! Jl Dewi Sita. $$
Our personal favorite…this tiny eight-table restaurant has become one of Ubud’s most sought after establishments. Reservations are a must in the evening. Fresh, innovative local cuisine with scrumptious daily specials. Highly recommend the banana fondue for dessert! Jl. Goutama, $
The Balinese chef who runs this plant based garden restaurant, is a master of raw food. He built this lovely open-air restaurant which sits amongst the rice paddies adjacent to some of his gardens. Highly recommended for raw foodies at lunch where you can enjoy the great outdoors. Puskesmas Ubud, Sayan. $$
This is perhaps Bali’s most talked about restaurant. Legendary chef and owner, Chris Salans, is sure to provide a gastronomic affair. Often touted as one of Asia’s best restaurants, Mozaic is mentioned almost every time there is a Bali story in the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveller and various other publications. Reservations a must. Tel 975768. Jl. Raya Ubud in Sangiggan. $$$$ (need advance reservations)
As plant placed restaurants are popping up all over Ubud, this tiny one serves consistently delicious food in a hip, polished cement venue. It’s perfect for breakfast and lunch serving fresh juices and inventive salads. Jl. Goutama. $
Ubud’s local watering hole. Nuri’s is an open-air steak and rib joint, complete with barbeque smoke wafting throughout. The oversized, communal tables allow you to meet fellow travelers and expats spewing lots of colorful stories. Jl. Raya Ubud in Sangiggan. $
New on the scene and making waves around town, Pica has about eight tables and is usually full in the evenings. Serving inventive, South American food, it is now one of Ubud’s not-so-best-kept-secrets! Try the seviche! Jl. Dewi Sita. $$
Not to be missed during your visit to Ubud. After being featured on Chef’s Table, Room4Dessert is hard to get into. Make sure to book early via their website and get ready to spend an evening sample the most unusual desserts. Try the pairing menu and whoa, you’re in for a treat. $$$$ (new advance reservations via their website)
This place is relatively new and Ubud’s one and only Korean restaurant! We are thrilled to have new cuisines opening around town. Roots offers simple, delicious food in a relaxed restaurant with friendly wait staff. Jl. Raya Campuan. $
Ryoshi recently moved to a new location next to the legendary Dirty Duck. Year after year, Ryoshi consistently serves simple Japanese food including a limited sushi menu. We enjoy it because we get a craving every now-and-then. Don’t expect exquisite Japanese, but if you really have a hankering, then it’s for you. $$
Delicious and stylish vegan restaurant located in Nyuh Kuning, south of the Monkey Forest. This is probably some of the most tasty vegan food we have ever tasted! You can’t go wrong with anything here. Try the jackfruit tacos and the spicy cauliflower…yum! $$
As Ubud’s restaurants grow, this one is worth mentioning….Sambal Matah is best described as gourmet, Balinese food. The chef has created an eclectic menu that includes deconstructed cakes….taking local tastes to a new level. One of the few Balinese owned restaurants in Ubud that consistently gets high marks. Jl. Goutama. $$
It’s a short 15-minute from the main road (Jl. Raya Ubud), but if you are not feeling up to the walk, you can call ahead and have them pick you up on a motorbike in the parking lot just off the road.. Once you are here, there’s a cool breeze here and the view amidst the fields is unforgettable. Everything is organic from the surrounding gardens. Make sure to bring a great book and wear a hat for the walk. Since this is a short walk, I recommend a late breakfast or lunch, as opposed to walking back in the dark. Abangan. $
The Sayan House
Located on the stunning Sayan Ridge, Sayan House is Asian fusion combining Japanese with intense Latin flavors. If the weather is nice, sit outside and enjoy the views as the sun begins to set. Jl. Raya Sayan. $$
Sayuri Healing Food Cafe
Created by a woman, hence her namesake, anything produced by Sayuri’s hands is legendary. Her expertise is raw food, all done very well. This space is airy, lively and a wonderful place to pass the time. Jl. Raya Tebesaya. $
Seeds of Life
If raw food is your thing, then you can’t go wrong at this tiny restaurant. All the dishes are delicious and it’s smack dab in the middle of town. Jl. Goutama. $
Ubud’s answer to all things Thai. A split level, beautifully designed restaurant, Siam Sally has an extensive menu to satisfy any Thai craving! Jl. Raya Hanuman. $$
Chris Salans, famously of Mozaic, recently opened this lower priced eatery. He still manages to come up with unusual flavors, using exotic spices while using locally sourced foods whenever possible. Jl. Raya Ubud. $$$
Swept Away at the Samaya
If you’re looking for the most romantic evening, then book in advance and order the 100 candle experience. Situated alongside the river, it’s bound to be a night to remember. $$$$
Tony Raka Art Lounge and Gallery
If you happen to be in Mas shopping, then this is your go-to for lunch or dinner. The lounge is effortlessly cool and the food is a blend of modern Balinese and innovative western. Adjacent to the restaurant is a gallery featuring modern and traditional art, sculptures and antiques from around the archipelago. $$
Uma Cucina at Uma Ubud
If you’re in the mood for delicious Italian, then Uma Cucina is for you. The food is excellent, the restaurant is beautiful and the service is perfect Try the Sunday brunch….it’s fabulous…not your ordinary brunch. $$$
Warung Fair Bale
This charming restaurant is situated upstairs on Sri Widari, about 50 yards off the main road heading north. The atmosphere is lively, the food is fresh and the staff are super helpful. It serves a variety of local foods that are quite good. You will love the kitschy stones glued to the pillars and walls for a bit of funky decor. One of the best things about the place is they a portion of their proceeds to various charities in Bali. Jl. Sri Widar, Taman. $
Although new to Ubud, they’ve been feeding many folks by the beach for years. Watercress serves delicious salads, sandwiches, decadent desserts and savory dinners. Jl. Monkey Forest. $$
WHERE TO SHOP
Ubud is the artistic center of Bali and there are a plethora of hand-crafted items here that you might enjoy taking back home with you. Home accessories ranging from hand-dyed fabrics and blankets, traditional and modern paintings, kites, silver jewelry, sarongs, baskets, sculptures, stunning ceramics, natural soaps, drums and other wooden musical instruments, Balinese coffee, wood and bone carvings of all shapes and sizes, cloth bags, ikat and batik from the archipelago, woven homewares made from a rattan like fiber. The choices are many…..
Above the Clouds
Finally a store that men will get excited about. This all natural clothing store has a few branches around Ubud.
Ashitaba For beautifully made basketry ranging from placemats, bags, tissue boxes and more.
Bali Zen for linens, housewares and children’s soft toys in beautifully colored and designed textiles.
Biasa for wispy cotton clothing arranged by color.
Ganesha Bookshop for a great selection of books on Bali and Indonesia, as well as cards and postcards.
Erika Pena Designs Bring out your inner gypsy with these amazing boho, flowy dresses that can be worn year round.
Gaya Ceramics Has an selection of amazing Raku ceramics and other stunning homewares. It’s hard to walk out without purchasing a few goodies.
Ikat Batik has an amazing selection of beautiful textiles and ikat, as well as a fine selection of beautiful sarongs and IOU features a small selection of textiles and beautiful, vintage beaded jewelry.
JF Jean Francois Fichot for the most unique and one-of-a-kind jewelry and homewares design that are museum quality.
John Hardy Jewelry Wowza, plan on bringing the credit card for fabulous silver, gold and shiny baubles.
Kou for delicious jams made from local fruits and spices.
Paul Ropp for outrageous clothing made from Indian textiles.
Pourquois Pas is home to a stunning collection of antique furniture, sculptures and art objects from the archipelago and beyond.
Pithecanthropus for traditional batik clothes and accessories, vintage sarongs and nice Bali t-shirts.
Sensatia Botanicals for delicious soaps, shampoos and lotions.
Sari Api for one-of-a-kind studio made ceramics.
Shivaloka for soulful jewelry with meaning. Each piece has a different stone with a strong meaning.
Studio Perak has a few locations around town and features silver jewelry with thoughtful ‘words of wisdom’ and horoscope pieces.
Tenganen Located in east Bali, it’s where the natural basketry that Bali is known for is made, Should you plan on buying lots, head east.
Threads of Life has a beautiful array of textiles from the archipelago. This non-profit organization and store supports women’s development in Indonesia.
It can be quite hectic as it is teeming with sellers with a variety of inexpensive souvenirs and crafts. It is still fun to browse through the maze of stalls. Here is a wide variety of items ranging from batiks, wooden masks, silver jewelry on the upper floors. It’s always busy and crowded, but it is usually good fun to get into the heart of shopping here. Remember to bargain for everything here!
Also, we recommend an early morning visit to the market around 6am when the farmers are there to sell their daily fruit, vegetables produce and flowers to all the local Balinese.