Ibah is pretty stunning – we went to the Four Seasons for a drink one evening and while that was really impressive, I have to say I much preferred the Ibah with its gorgeous Balinese architecture and great location. It was an excellent place to stay and I’d recommend it, couple of small niggles aside.
Booking - I booked using their Internet site and although I had an issue, someone got back to me quickly and it was sorted.
Grounds and the room -The hotel is strung along the side of a steep valley with the Treetops suites at the far end which is where we stayed. The grounds are lush and like something from a fairytale, all carved stone and ponds and greenery and little gateways everywhere although you have to be careful not to tread on the frogs at night! Apparently it was originally built by an Ubud prince for his guests, and it became a hotel about 15 years ago. It certainly matches the images that come to mind when you think of a Balinese palace!
It was a little bit of a walk to our room but I’m not sure why other people have mentioned the stairs as being steep - apart from one flight of very shallow wide ones that’s it. Certainly if you’ve got mobility problems they might be tricky but they shouldn’t prove a problem for anyone with even medium fitness. If you were in one of the suites closer to the restaurant you wouldn’t need to use them at all.
There are six Treetops suites rooms in the one building, two per level. We were in the Orchid room which was in the middle level and we had a lovely view into the trees and the valley. We loved watching the squirrels running around in the branches. Also being on the western side of the hill the room was almost cool in the mornings as the sun was still behind the hill. BTW don’t believe anyone who says Ubud is cooler than the coast – they’re either just repeating what they’ve heard or trying to sell you a fan cooled room!
The other Treetops rooms were Bouganvillea next to us with Jasmine and Cempaka upstairs which I think would be the pick (although ours was still great). Kanna and Ylang-Ylang are downstairs and while still having a good outlook (it’s a very steep hill) possibly would not see so much of the trees – still a good valley view though.
Ours and Bouganvillea had an interlinking door so it would work well for a family.
The castlelike sandstone entrance to the rooms was rather grand, felt oddly like an English stately home!
In our room, there was an entrance area, open to the elements then the bedroom next to that. The bedroom was not small by any means but no larger than the much cheaper place we had just stayed in. This was balanced by the large verandah (which had a fan too, very nice in the evening air) which had a day bed, a low table and two chairs from which to enjoy the valley view.
It was decorated nicely in cool beige tiles with teak bedside tables and TV unit. All very tasteful and luxurious.
The bed was a little hard on the first night but after that I didn’t notice it so obviously not a real problem. There was only a slatted door leading out to the entrance area that wasn’t sealed but we didn’t seem to have too many problems with mossies ( a concern as we got eaten alive on the coast). However this being Bali we did use the mosquito netting and sprayed the room before going out to dinner - spray and mossie coils were provided (a nice touch I thought). The door did let a little noise in at night (note that I am a very light sleeper and really notice things like this) – even though we had the airconditioning and the fan going, I heard the rain on the few nights it did rain, and some noise from frogs and crickets but this was easily remedied by ear plugs, unlike the frogs at Komaneka – that was like a percussion band all night, I could never stay at that place again!
The bathroom was big and nicely tiled with a large shower and a separate bath. The hot water took ages to come through. The vanity was large with plenty of storage for bits and pieces. Towels were changed daily. We had a problem with the sink blocking and they fixed it straight away.
The cupboard also had lots of storage and a good sized safe that fitted two small laptops, a Kindle, an iPad and various phones and purses easily.
No full length mirror but I think I’m baying for the moon with that – no one ever seems to!
Food – we only ate breakfast there as there was so much choice for lunch and dinner outside in Ubud. Breakfast was nice – if there’s enough people, it’s buffet but otherwise it’s alacarte. Cereal, pastries, toast, fruit, yoghurt, eggs (free range with bright yellow yolds), tomatoes, bacon, tea, coffee - as much as you want. For a special meal, Bridges down the road has a great ambience and excellent food – in fact I’d say it has the best food in Bali that I’ve tried.
Pool – far away from the Treetops rooms but a really stunning pool – well, pools really, the larger one overflows into a smaller, more private one below. The water was not really cold but enough to cool you down after a hard day shopping. It was crowded the first day we arrived but almost deserted after that.
Laundry – the price was reasonable for a hotel but washing in Bali is so cheap we preferred to go outside. We paid 57000 ($5.70!) for a smallish load at the Ganesha laundry which was up the hill towards the centre of Ubud – go left at the top of the cutting. They did good job in 24 hours.
Business centre – it’s really just two PCs in the open foyer. Wifi extends from the pool area through the foyer to the restaurant but there’s nowhere really to connect to the internet that’s airconditioned.
Location – Really excellent. I’ve read a lot of reviews of places right in Ubud that are really noisy due to cockerals, music in cafes and generally having people around. Ibah is only about 5-10 mins from the Ubud main drag (through a cutting which is shady with treacherous footing) and yet it’s really really quiet as it goes along the valley back from the road so no noise.
Afternoon tea – we got a really nice mango cake for arvo tea on the first day – after that we got strong and resisted it – well with all the great meals we were eating, the last thing we needed was more food!
The free Ubud shuttle – funnily enough this really appealed to me – we didn’t know about it till another guest mentioned it. It’s a hotel driver and van and they will take you and pick you up anywhere in Ubud (take an Ibah card and find a shop with a phone to ring for you when you need to be picked up). I thought at first it was only for lazy people but when I’d been shopping down Monkey Forest Road all morning in the heat, I ate my words! They’ll also take you further afield for a minimal price, much cheaper than a taxi. For instance we went to the Four Seasons as mentioned and I think it cost about $5 and it’s quite a long way (taxi would have been $10 easily, probably more). Excellent for when it’s raining too.
Cons - There’s only a few minor niggles for me:
1) The lack of Internet connection in the room was a pain. Even if you want to get away from it all, it’s still handy to be able to check out what there is to do and eat locally, plus I like to keep an eye on the bank account and make sure no-one’s hacked my credit card. While all you have to do is walk down to the restaurant, Wifi is still standard in almost every cheaper place and I was surprised the Ibah didn’t have this. I had asked a year ago when I was planning the holiday and they said it was on the way but still doesn’t seem to have arrived...
2) We stayed at a small place in Seminyak before this with only three rooms and a pool at our doorstep so having to walk the length of the property to have a swim was somewhat irksome. Yes, we could have got a pool villa but the budget didn’t stretch quite that far! So not something the Ibah can do anything about, certainly it’s a fabulous pool once you get there!
3) I also liked that we met a lot more people when staying in a smaller place – having said that, Ibah is certainly excellent for a quiet private holiday so this might recommend it to some people!
But they’re my only gripes - overall I have lovely memories of the place and I think it is really worth staying there, even if just for a few days, it’s really rather enchanting.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.