Bali, Indonesia – Ubud Review

[ 0 ] June 2, 2012 |

If you’re planning a trip to Ubud, Bali Indonesia here is a collection of our personal reviews on some of the spots we checked out. There are so many intriguing places to try; it was impossible to experience them all. Ubud will not dissapoint!

Restaurants and Cafes

Generally speaking all of the restaurants in Ubud are very affordable. Most of our meals at these restaurants cost between $3 and $7 per person.  Fresh juice, smoothies and shakes cost between $1 and $3 and became a staple in our diet.

Clear Cafe– Contemporary environment. Organic, raw, vegan, fresh and delicious food. Good anytime of day. Amazing mixed juices and blended drinks. Delivery. Alison’s favorite. *Try the indo spring rolls, Cajun blackened fish filet, and a chaka maca to drink.

Bali Buddah– Health food shop and restaurant. Salads, sandwiches, Indonesian food, fresh breads and snacks. Delivery. Pat’s favorite. *Try the macrobiotic plate, tofu pot pie, and famous carrot cake.

Bali Buddha

Kafe– Fresh locally grown ingredients. Yogis everywhere.  Warm café environment. Good food.  Associated with the Yoga Barn.

Wild Ginger– Most authentic Indonesian dining experience in Ubud. Small restaurant, only 4 tables, our order was taken by the cook Putu herself.  Homestyle Indonesian food. So tasty! On a side road just off of the main road. Clean and inviting. *Try Pork with Putu’s special sauce and the fried bananas for dessert.

Wild Ginger

Melting Wok Warung- Simple menu- curry rice, curry noodle and daily special. Lovely view across the street to Balinese rooftops. Owned and operated by a French lady- but managed with local charm. We ate here twice. Great food. *Try the curry noodles with tofu and a ginger lemongrass tea.

Taco Casa ‘n Grill– Unexpected in Bali- delicious tex-mex food. Homemade chips. Delivery. *Try the soft tacos and enchiladas.

Mojo’s Flying Burritos– Giant burritos, but the homemade tortillas were too thick (more like chapati). Delivery.

Mojo's Burritos

Ryoshi Fresh sushi and Japanese food. You can eat inside the air-conditioned area or outside at low tables under pavilions. Service was really slow. The specialty roll pieces were too large for one bite making them awkward to eat. Standard rolls were priced well and tasty. Delivery.

Bridges– Fine dining. We just went for drinks and the view one night. Would be a good spot for a special occasion.


There are women offering spa services on every corner in Ubud as well as most of Indonesia and SE Asia. I opted not to just walk in to random places or accept solicitation from the street. I made appointments at all of these and had at least walked by or read reviews on them prior to arrival. If price is your only concern, there are cheaper options available. There are also plenty of luxury spas with high western prices. These are all local midrange Indonesian spas.

Sara Spa Beginner basic spa. I went for a pedicure and had a foot reflexology massage added on. I sat in a wooden sling chair close to the ground in an open-air porch like room. Very basic but relaxing enough. They also do massages. Located down the alley next to Lois Lane Pizza off of Monkey Forest Road. Super cheap. $5.

Sara Spa

Verona Spa- I read reviews that this was a “western style” pedicure place. Wrong. Very basic again- cleaned feet and polished nails with thick coats of paint. No ambiance and uncomfortable hair-cut style chair. $10.

Skin– Waxing specialists. Let’s just say I got the works- it was good. Great music playing while you’re enduring the pain. Not your typical Indo string elevator music. Obviously I was focusing on anything but the procedures. I remember some geckos on the ceiling. They put 2 girls on me at once so it went twice as fast. I was impressed that after a full leg wax they also went back and did threading on my legs to get any tiny remaining hairs. The towels, sheets and wax sticks were all fresh and clean.

Ketut– We had a lady named Ketut come to our house one day for private massage sessions in our tree house. Was pretty surreal overlooking the rice fields from the balcony. $10/hr.

reflexology map

Shangri La Spa– Our favorite! It’s not over the top luxury but you feel special here. Inside the space are Indonesian wooden (4 post bed) platforms divided into rooms by bright fabric curtains.  I went alone for a manicure one day and loved it. For a manicure I laid down on a really comfy reclining chaise lounge type seat. The therapist brought a large wooden bowl of warm water and flower petals to me and lapped it on my hands. It was so much more therapeutic than a mechanical chair situation like in American. The hand scrub and massage was amazing.  As a last hurrah in Ubud, we booked a spa package for two. I must admit 4 1/2 hours of spa time is a lot. But it was interesting to do once and very very relaxing. Our package included some of everything: 1.  A sound table session- there are strings under a teak table and while laying on top the person goes underneath and plays these strings causing the table to vibrate on your back. 2. Foot soak and foot reflexology 3. Head, neck and shoulder massage 4. Oil Massage 5. Full body salt scrub (shower) 6. Facial 7. Manicure/pedicure. Not knowing what was really coming next, I think the funniest moment was when I realized a man was playing a bowl gong on my back up and down my spine. Relaxing, maybe. First time experience, for sure. Located down the alley next to Lois Lane pizza off of Monkey Forest Road (next to Sara Spa).  Ginger tea and fruit plate at the end of all sessions. $40/ spa package for 4 ½ hours.

Shangrila Spa

Grocery Stores

Delta– This is a chain of grocery stores targeting the local market. The pries are fair and the selection is pretty good. Most of the packaged products labeled are only in Indonesian. There is a small section of “western” name brand products available if you must have them. True locals buy fresh ingredients in the markets and don’t bother with the grocery store at all.

Coco– The tourist and expat grocery store. Targets people who want a bit more familiarity while shopping. Decent prices, but higher than Delta.  Larger selection of western products. This store also includes a bakery.


Gego– This is a store specializing in hand woven batik. They also provide tailoring services for very fair prices. Custom pieces can also be made. Located on Monkey Forest Road.

Gego Tailoring and Weaving


Highway Printing and Wifi Services. They also provide assistance for long term transitions to Bali: visas, property, etc.


All over town there are places where you can drop off your laundry and pay based on the weight. When I got my clothes back, I realized they had “labeled” all of my pieces with a permanent ink pen.  Everything gets washed and dried on hot- so watch out.  You should also be sure to indicate if you want things ironed or not. They will iron everything (not good for wicking fabrics, delicates, etc.

Water Delivery

We had a guy stop by the house once a week to offer sealed 5 gallon bottles of drinking water for our water cooler. We’d stock up and return the refillable containers when he stopped by the next week.  Water deliveries are often done on motorbikes- so they can only bring a few at a time. We paid $1 per 5 gallon container.

Motorbike Rental

Panda Motorbike Rental- These guys were great. They brought 2 bikes to our house for us to choose from, both were new models and in good condition. We had a flat tire once and we simply called them, told them where we were, they came and got the bike, left us another one had our bike repaired and returned to us in 30 minutes. In Ubud, if something happens to the bike besides the engine you pay for repairs. If the engine fails- they take responsibility. When we were leaving town, they came back to our house to pick up the bike. Because we rented it for a month, our price was $3/day.



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Category: Alison's Blog, Blog, Featured Posts, Indonesia

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