Last updated on August 22nd, 2023
Ubud is truly the heart of Bali. This magical place exudes incomparable serenity and makes for the perfect getaway amidst Bali’s thriving jungle forest. There’s a reason why a strong artist community from Europe flocked to Ubud to capture its beauty, and folks like us today who want to experience and marvel in Ubud’s tranquility can do just that at resorts like Maya Ubud that bring out the best of the destination.
Set amidst the untouched natural beauty of Ubud made Maya the perfect retreat already, but what enhanced our stay to the max was every private experience that we got to enjoy with staff members that never ceased to put a smile on our faces.
The gorgeous infinity pools overlooking the vast scenery, our heavenly pool villa and the dreamiest spa experience that had never even crossed our imagination, were enough to call this a romantic stay of a lifetime. But the dream kept rolling while we picnicked above the forest valley, dined in our villa with a private BBQ dinner, and enjoyed a massive floating breakfast in our own pool.
Arrival & Check-In
Checking into Maya Ubud was a breeze. The bellhops were swift in grabbing our luggage once we arrived by Grab taxi and we were ushered down the walkway between the two shallow ponds which led up the grand wooden stairs into the open air lobby.
It was only a few moments before one of the front desk personnel came to where we plunked down on the couches in the reception. She checked us in at the coffee table while our refreshing welcome drinks arrived. As we were sipping on them and the check-in process was complete, she then brought various pamphlets and information sheets to help us enjoy our stay to the utmost. First, was our personalized itinerary for our two days and second was a detailed map of the resort so that we can get acquainted with all the available amenities.
Going through our personalized itinerary and the schedule for all complimentary experiences at the resort got us excited for what was in store for us for the next two days. We were soon off to settle into our own villa with a buggy driver to take us and our luggage. He gave us a brief lay of the land which helped us visualize our exploring of the property.
Heavenly Pool Villa Room
Walking in through the narrow and traditional gate doors, also known as angkul-angkul, we were taken by surprise by the large outdoor terrace that we had in front of our 360-sqm Heavenly Pool Villa. Stepping into this space felt like our own private slice of Bali’s jungle paradise. The plunge pool was much longer than I originally expected and the terrace was beautiful with a groomed green grass pad adjacent to our hedged fence Surrounding the pool were beautiful indigenous plants that also bordered the stone steps that led us up to our villa.
The spacious sundeck made for a great place to rest up in between dips at the pool or simply for relaxing outdoors on our own patio. The pool is absolutely stunning and spreads much larger than any private 1-bedroom villa would typically have! At 14 sqm, we certainly felt like there was more than enough space for us to float around and bask in the Bali sun.
A section of the sundeck is sheltered for shade where the comfy sun loungers and coffee table are placed. Around the corner is an outdoor shower with a bench for added support and its own dedicated shampoo and shower gel bottles if you wanted to freshen up right after the pool without tiptoeing in the villa all wet. A drying rack for swimsuits is placed right by it so you can leave your wet gear to dry before going back indoors.
The villa sliding doors – which have automatic AC shut-off when open – lead directly into the living space and bedroom. First impressions were fantastic and I’d say that what stood out to me the most was the wooden features and accents that were handcrafted and unique, making it feel like there was love poured into the space with the locals’ touch. The Balinese artwork and furniture gave Maya a more genuine and authentic feel. Some of our favourites were the wall-hung tapestry behind the couch, the ornamental chair that acted as a storage compartment which sits on the work desk, the weaved baskets that held the lighting and of course the stunning bed frame. Though the seating was more refined and modernized with little to no imperfections, the work desk and bed frame kept the natural grooves of the wood.
We were greeted with some lovely welcome desserts including chocolate dipped Madeleines, a chocolate cake and some delicious tropical fruit native to Bali. The living space was a great spot for us to enjoy these treats at the coffee table while catching up on some shows on the flatscreen. It was really easy for us to plug in our Roku device behind as the TV swivels easily to pivot towards the bed.
Under the TV is the coffee station and minibar. A capsule espresso machine allows you to enjoy unlimited complimentary coffees anytime you please. A kettle is found in the drawers as well for teas, which they provide in different varieties. Complimentary daily glass bottled mineral water is there for your taking and you can call for refills anytime. There’s a great amount of glassware and coffee & tea essentials in the semi-open drawers, and the mini-fridge had plenty of space to fit any leftover foods since there was actually no in-room chargeable minibar to worry about. I personally like it much better that way.
The king size bed met our comfort needs and I loved the fact that we had a mosquito net draped over the tall frame to enclose ourselves with for a peaceful sleep. On the night table where the landline phone is placed are USB and AC power plug outlets for added charging convenience. On the bed, the housekeeping team adorably decorated a welcome towel art piece which represented a cute Balinese welcomer in traditional attire with the iconic udeng on his head. So cute! A few keepsakes sat in front of our little guy, including a Maya branded wooden fan and another hand weaved and painted Balinese crafted figure.
Heading over to the bathroom, the entryway is where all the belonging storage is, with the closet on the left and a wide luggage rack on the right that fit both of our suitcases and backpacks. The closet was fully equipped with a security safe, an iron and ironing board, tons of hangers, and flip flops and yukatas (summer kimonos) to wear during your stay.
The bathroom, though not large, has a separate rainwater shower and bathtub, which makes the most out of the existing space. Quite a bit of natural light flows into the bathroom, coming through privacy glass windows in the shower, by the toilet and a clear glass window beside the bathtub. There is a single vanity for the sink and the textured metal basin is fully mounted on the handcrafted wood countertop.
The bathtub display was my absolute favourite part upon entering our room, as the housekeeping staff went above and beyond to provide us a gorgeous flower bath with our initials! On the surface of the water lay a ton of red rose petals, plumeria blooms and camellia petals to write out the letters. There were also alternating pink and red camellia blooms around the bath’s edge. It was easy to warm the water up by pulling the drain chain to get rid of the some of the cold water before hopping in. What a great way it was to end our first night at Maya Ubud!
Dining at Maya Ubud
Mayasari is the resort’s main restaurant and boasts a beautiful open-air space perfect for being in the midst of the jungle. It’s completely sheltered but you still feel in contact with the Ubud atmosphere when dining. Mayasari offers an extensive breakfast buffet which had Indonesian favourites, some Chinese and Japanese comfort foods like stir-fries and a sushi section, salads, some Western items, fresh fruits, and much more.
There’s even a full dessert bar around the corner that offers fresh pastries and a crêpe/waffle/pancake making station! It is sweets galore and definitely satiates a sweet tooth with an abundance of toppings and spreads to choose from. Some Balinese hot rice cake desserts are also always being cooked by the station attendant, which gives guests so many options to choose from, but at least there’s something for everybody! If you enjoy your fair share of sweets in the morning, make sure not to overlook this station.
Dinner at Mayasari also features an extensive buffet with delicious options for a themed evening. On top of all the various stations for fresh salads, Indonesian hot dishes, Western sides, and marvellous desserts (including a pineapple fritter made-to-order station), they also have a full grilling station with satay meats and seafood galore dressed with delicious Indonesian flavours. Every evening in the week is different, and some evenings, live performances will grace the stage. On the Saturday night we spent dining at Mayasari, we got to experience a Balinese dance for the first time.
From 4pm to 5pm daily, a small self-serve complimentary afternoon tea is held at the Tree Bar. There are two netted weave baskets on display that house a savoury and a sweet Indonesian snack. We had some coconut kuehs and a delicious chicken sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf. These light bites are great to enjoy in the late afternoon along with some hot or iced black tea. It isn’t much, but we certainly can’t complain about the extra free food the resort is willing to provide while we get to enjoy the atmosphere of the lush Ubud valley!
The Tree Bar also offers all-day à la carte dining from 12pm to 10pm in the al fresco pavilion with a variety of international dishes with a Mediterranean twist. They also serve beers and curated cocktails, which you can enjoy 50% off for selected drinks during Happy Hour from 5pm to 6pm.
We had a private picnic basket set up for us for our first lunch at Maya. Along with the massive spread of food placed in the basket, the staff also fully decorate the designated outdoor space situated on a large deck overlooking the valley just steps away from the grand outdoor amphitheatre that extends from Mayasari. I was so pleased to see the deck already set up with lined frangipani flowers, tassled umbrellas, a bamboo mat, pillow seats, and a low profile table dressed for our lunch. We in fact had two large picnic baskets that housed all of our food for two, drinks, cutlery, and plates.
For 500k++ IDR, I couldn’t believe how much we were fed! We were served the Countryside Picnic which came with tons of side dishes including olives, guacamole and tortilla chips, smoked quail eggs, pesto orrechiette pasta salad, summer salad rolls, mushroom mini quiches, a tropical fruit platter, chocolate cupcakes and cinnamon rolls. The menu is also supposed to include pan bagnat, a mini Niçoise salad sandwich, but the kitchen swapped it for the large mahi-mahi fish burger! You know we had a food coma after that. Thankfully our room had a mini-fridge to save some of those dishes we couldn’t finish!
In-Villa Private BBQ Dinner
On our final night at Maya Ubud, we enjoyed a private BBQ dinner on the deck of our villa, with the company of our own private grill master and server for the evening. It was one of the most wonderful dining experiences we’ve ever had, with tons of Indonesian dishes to try throughout our multi-course meal.
As soon as we came back to our villa late that afternoon, our entire terrace was already decorated with tiki torches on the other side of the pool, spaced out candles on the pool’s edge, a whole round dining table arrangement under the sheltered section of the deck where the sun loungers used to be, with a table place settings and a centrepiece perfectly placed on top. The grill was already set up around the corner of the villa with all additional necessities laid out on a servery.
Over the course of 2.5 hours, we were served the exquisite Balinese Bakar menu, which included Lumpia (Indonesian spring rolls), Balinese bumbu fish in banana leaf, Sate Campur (which was an assortment of satays), grilled chicken with Balinese spices, deep sea prawns, various sambals and krupuk with Nasi Kuning, and Lawar (a Balinese green bean salad), all to be shared between the two of us. On top of that, we had plentiful mouthwatering freshly baked bread and shrimp crackers to consume, and our dinner also came with these delicious freshly pressed juices. It was definitely way more food than our stomachs could handle, but we feasted on as much as we could and saved the rest for later!
To end the meal, we were served a whole roasted pineapple with coconut cream which was absolutely delightful. But what made it so memorable was that, even though it had started to pour under the night sky, our amazing server Angga made the journey under the rain to the kitchen to have it prepared and brought to our villa. To him, it didn’t matter if he got drenched in the process so long as we got to enjoy every bit of our private grill experience. This was definitely a top notch night, and for only 595k++ IDR per person, it’s well worth it for a romantic in-villa Balinese dinner.
On our final morning, we opted to have a floating breakfast in the comfort of our own villa pool. It was gigantic! One server came to bring the large heart-shaped basket followed by all of the foods and drinks that we selected the day prior based on our breakfast set options. It was an incredible spread that we couldn’t wait to scarf down – especially given that the sun was shining strong that morning.
For 500k++ IDR per couple, the Floating Journey is inclusive of an assorted bread & danish basket, a tropical fruit platter, fresh juices and coffee or tea of your choice, as well as mineral water. Our breakfast differed from the current menu, which is a choice between the Western take Lagoon Brunch and the Balinese take Asian Dreams. We had a mix of both, based on the breakfast options we had at the time of our stay, and they were delicious.
What I loved about the heart-shaped floating basket was the fact that it could hold so much and have our dishes spaced out, and our cappuccinos and juices fit perfectly in the four cupholders of the basket. One word of advice for your Floating Journey is to enjoy it earlier in the morning than we did. We tried to get some more time at the infinity pools that morning and pushed our breakfast to later at 9am, which was a mistake as the sun was rising high already. You can have your breakfast as early as 7am!
Maya Ubud Facilities & Amenities
There are two main swimming pools on the resort, plus a shallow kids’ pool by the Mayasari restaurant. Both of them are so perfectly set amidst the gorgeous natural landscape of Ubud and I couldn’t imagine them being built and placed any differently.
Infinity Forest Pool
The first of the main pools we checked out was the Infinity Forest Pool, which sits right beside the Mayasari restaurant and Tree Bar. The perfectly rectangular pool extends out with its infinity’s edge into the abundant Ubud forest and valley. It nestles within the lush landscapes of the valley and seamlessly blends into its surroundings, providing a tranquil and secluded atmosphere. There are sun beds and umbrellas on both long sides of the pool as well as cabanas carved out of the stone walls, which provide a more private and shaded space to enjoy the poolside.
The pool’s design emphasizes the use of natural materials, such as stone and wood, and earth tone colours to enhance the connection with the surrounding forest. Cascading gentle streams from wooden spouts add a touch of serenity and soothing ambiance to the pool area, creating a sense of harmony and relaxation.
Above the Infinity Forest Pool is a small and shallow pool with seating all around, and it’s a great spot for the kids to enjoy splashing around as both infinity poos can get quite deep.
Infinity Riverside Pool
To reach the Infinity Riverside Pool from the main building area, you’d need to take the Ceremonial Walk which is a property feature in itself. The open area that the path crosses is one of those things that gives Maya Ubud its blissful atmosphere. The walk path is lined with tall palm trees and leads all the way to the end at the Ceremonial Plaza, which is a large observation deck that overlooks into the valley and the riverside area.
In the riverside area of the resort, you’ll find the Spa at Maya, the River Café, the Infinity Riverside Pool and sheer natural tranquility that you wouldn’t think you’d find at a resort. To access the pool, you can either walk down the forest trail stairway that zigzags down the cliff, or take a right from the Ceremonial Plaza to grab the elevator.
Unlike the Infinitey Forest Pool, the Infinity Riverside Pool has asymmetrical curves along the infinity’s edge, and instead of extending out into deep valley and forest, this one overhangs the banks of the Petanu River. Because of its unique atmosphere, this sparkling pool actually gets more guest traffic than the other, in spite of it being much further away from the majority of the rooms, suites, villas and dining spots.
Maya Ubud has such an all-encompassing fitness area suited for all kinds of guests who want to get a good workout in while on vacation. As I’ll touch on later, yoga is very much a central part of rest and restoration in Ubud, and classes are held daily for yoga. The yoga pavilion is a large open space that sits on the second level of the fitness building and has a magnificent view of the neighbouring rice paddies and of the resort. Apart from the complimentary body workout and meditative classes you can take here, you can also visit the yoga pavilion during its opening hours of 7am to 7pm for your own workout. Mats are provided for your use and it’s truly one of the best partially outdoor spaces to get a sun salutation or Pilates workout in the beautiful environment of Ubud.
If you’re hoping to use gym equipment for your workout, the fitness centre is well equipped with free weights, bars, cables, cardio machines and other isolated muscle workout machines. It’s not the most equipped but has all the basics for any avid gym goer! We never struggled to look for what we needed at Maya Ubud. Just like the yoga pavilion, the gym is open from 7am to 7pm.
If yoga and weighted workouts aren’t enough for you, make sure to check out the resort’s tennis courts just behind the fitness centre building! Not many resorts can say they have that available, so we were ecstatic about having the ability to practice some tennis onsite. Tennis racks and balls are provided by the attendants for your use and you’ll just have to sign in when you use the courts just as required to use the indoor fitness facilities.
Free Shuttle to Ubud Centre
If you’re wanting to hop over from the resort to Ubud’s town centre and do some cultural sightseeing, there’s a complimentary daily shuttle bus that can take you there. The first one of the day departs Maya Ubud at 9am and the last departs at 5pm, and the return bus from Ubud Centre leaves 20 minutes thereafter. Ask the front desk for a shuttle timetable to be sure you can make the scheduled transfer!
Spa at Maya
The Spa at Maya is unbelievable. Straight out of a dream, this al fresco spa is likely the top highlight of our entire Maya Ubud experience. We came down from the Ceremonial Walk via the elevator which leads straight to the spa reception area. Every part of the spa is open to the outside, yet surprisingly no bugs were there to make a disturbance. I was honestly shocked that Ubud was lacking in mosquitoes compared to what I had always imagined prior. The shade from the dense forest and thee coolness from riverside also makes the spa perfectly conditioned in temperature.
While we sipped on our cold tea welcome refreshers, we filled out our forms regarding areas to focus on and avoid during our treatment, what pressure we prefer, and other health related questions while we sat in the reception. The seating is wrapped on the outside of the waiting area and at the centre is a beautiful display of the spa’s in-house products that you can purchase to take home. On it were also the choices of aromatherapy massage oil scents and body scrub fragrances we could choose for our treatment, each of which evokes a different sensation.
We were booked in for the Maya Escape treatment which includes a relaxing Balinese massage, a body scrub of choice and a fragrant flower bath overlooking the beautiful jungle and river. As we were doing the treatment as a couple, our hostess and two masseuses escorted us to the couple’s treatment room. The space is incredibly large, larger than any other massage room I had ever seen, with both massage tables placed in the centre with the heads facing out to the open side of the deck.
In one corner of the room sits a large cabana daybed draped with white privacy curtains and dressed with comfortable seating pillows and a portable wooden table. In the other corner is where the most massive round bathtub I had ever seen is situated. This is where they prepared our flower bath which we got to enjoy for a good half an hour with some hot ginger tea and cookies. Very romantic setting if I do say so myself!
Between the two exterior corners are the upholstered chairs where they conduct your foot bath before treatment. A common ritual in Balinese spa experiences, it’s important to have your feet cleansed prior to your massage or body scrub. They use these stunning copper basins filled with fragrant flower petals and use a salt scrub and an antiseptic spray to prep your feet. It’s definitely a great start to any spa treatment!
The room doesn’t end there. On both sides are private extensions of the space. On the right is the changing room which houses the wooden lockers that contain your vey own sarong to wear in between treatments, a pair of disposable underwear to change into, hangers for your clothes and pair of clean slippers. In the private facility is its own vanity and sink so you can freshen up before and after, and a pond feature that is naturally lit with no overhead ceiling that adds another touch of serenity to the experience.
On the left side of the massage room is a full dual rainwater shower space, again open to the outdoors so you can immerse yourself in the natural surroundings. Shampoo, conditioner and body wash are there for your use and the enclosed private hallway to the shower extends to two toilet enclaves on both sides. You can hang your towels and sarongs on the wall hangers and dispose of them after use in the laundry hamper before exiting back into the massage room.
Before our Maya Escape has already begun, we already felt so relaxed! But our 60-minute Balinese massage and 30-minute body scrub was about to take any lingering stress and tension away. My masseuse Ariani knew what she was doing. She felt incredibly experience and even the way that she would go about asking me how I felt throughout and helping me change positions for both treatments. I was on Cloud 9 throughout and may have even dosed off a little to the wonderful scents of my Bali Flower massage oil and Bengkuang (jicama) body scrub.
This experience will go down as the most romantic spa journey we’ve had yet! For 1,700k++ IDR per person, we found this to be the most valuable 2-hour spa time ever.
There are tons and tons of daily guest activities you can do on the resort, some that are fully complimentary and others that are chargeable, either in a group or private. We honestly never even left the resort – even with the free shuttle service to Ubud Centre – because we were kept busy in a great way all the days of our stay.
In the morning at 7:30am, there’s a daily complimentary Yoga for Beginners held at the Yoga Pavilion, and in the afternoon at 3pm, there’s another complimentary activity that they alternate every day. Depending on the day of the week, it can be an Introductory Pilates Class, Meditation, Tai Chi or Afternoon Yoga, all held in the yoga pavilion, or you can join a guided Forest Trail Walk along the property. For the kids, a complimentary activity that changes daily is held at 10am, which is fantastic to engage them in crafts, outdoor nature walks, taking care of little animals or learning a new skill.
One paid activity you can choose to do that is scheduled every day is a cooking class from 12pm to 2pm. It’s a fantastic way to learn an important piece of Balinese culture that you can take home with you, and for only 400k++ IDR, it’s actually quite affordable for a luxury resort activity.
Guided Rice Paddy Walk
We set out to do a private guided rice paddy walk of the neighbouring rice terraces to learn more about the planting, germinating and harvesting of rice in central Bali, as well as other plants that local rice paddy owners grow in conjunction with rice. Our guide Bawa dove in deep with storytelling and information of the growth of various kinds of rice grains, the harvesting cycles, and so much more, as we ventured the paths between the terraces that were just steps away from the resort.
The rice was just being planted in the paddies we visited at the time we stayed here. It was a muddy trek but fun nonetheless, and give it another couple of months, and the rice would be tall and bright green. Depending on the season, and where the rice is in its growth cycle, we definitely recommend taking a walk, guided or not, through the neighbouring rice paddies!
And with that, I just want to conclude that we have yet to find a 5-star hotel in a jaw-dropping scenery that provides its guests with value like this one. From each private dining experience to the absolute best spa experience we’ve had in Bali, the exquisite villa accommodations to the outstanding property amenities and facilities, hands down Maya Ubud gives 110% back on your vacation investment. If you guys like Maya Ubud, you’ll certainly also love their new sister property Maya Sanur!
This post is written in partnership with Maya Ubud after a PR stay. It goes without saying that all opinions are my own and I am beyond excited to share this experience with my readers!