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Monday 5 June 2023

Ubud resort offers a different slice of Bali


Ubud sits in the highlands of Bali, away from the maddening crowds of Kuta.

The town is known for its arts and crafts and its beautiful terraced rice paddies.

There are many temples, annual food and literary festivals, fine dining establishments, spas (you can find hour-long massages starting from $15 per hour) and several art museums.

One of the major attractions, or pests, depending on your point of view, are the denizens of the Mandala Suci Wenara Wana, known to westerners as the Ubud Monkey Forest - home to around 1000 macaques, who also venture into the town.

Visitors need to keep their wits about them, as these cheeky monkeys are known to steal handbags, glasses and anything else that you do not hold on to tightly.

Keep your eyes peeled for them, and also for local women gracefully balancing piles of fruit offerings on their way to the temple, or to sell to the tourists.

Many of the largely Hindu local population still live traditionally.

A local speciality is luwak coffee, made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by civets and been pooped out. Not in a million years, your honour.

Our Ubud base on a recent media trip hosted by airasia Superapp and Archipelago International was the Royal Kamuela, situated just off one the town's major thoroughfares but in lovely, leafy gardens.

Royal Kamuela Villas & Suites at Monkey Forest (to give the hotel its full, grandoise, name), has 12 pool villas, three suites with pool access and 15 suites with a balcony overlooking the gardens and pool.

The hotel features everything you need in a luxury property including a full-service wellness centre/spa, extremely comfortable rooms and excellent staff.

The breakfasts here (below) are outstanding with a choice of western and Asian dishes, and there are private butlers for each separate villa.

The resort is very close to the main attractions of Ubud with dozens of restaurants within walking distance, and boutiques and art galleries aplenty.

The hotel can be booked through the airasia Superapp, or at

The hotel is operated by Archipelago International, largely unknown for most Australian travellers but south-east Asia's largest privately owned hospitality group, with more than 40,000 rooms and residences in over 200 locations.

Archipelago International brands include Aston, Collection by Aston, Alana, Huxley, Kamuela, Harper, Quest, Hotel NEO, fave, Nordic and Powered by Archipelago.

Check out their website for more info:

The writer was hosted by airasia Superapp and Archipelago International

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