My second stay at Alam Jiwa confirmed that it's the perfect place for those seeking peace and quiet in beautiful natural surroundings, yet a short drive away from frenetic Ubud central. Located well off the main road in Nyuhkuning village (south of Monkey Forest), this thoughtfully designed, smallish hotel is a series of villas full of Balinese character, which are set on a ridge above a stream with a stunning outlook over rice fields. Most of the villas are two storeys with single rooms on each level, and are surrounded by luxuriant gardens that ensure privacy. The extremely spacious rooms have enormous bathrooms both indoor and outdoor, air conditioning or fans. Lower level rooms have large balconies facing the rice fields where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast or free afternoon tea to the sound of birds and running water. Upper level rooms have outdoor seating areas with garden views. Although Alam Jiwa is not at the upper end of luxury, it's location, character and wonderful staff set it apart from other Bali hotels I've stayed in. Service is clearly something the Alam hotels take great pride in. The staff are unfailingly charming and helpful, managers even remember your name. The hotel provides a free shuttle service to and from central Ubud, and will organise reliable drivers for trips further afield. There are a number of good restaurants close by and an excellent spa service is offered at Jiwa's sister resort Alam Shanti, 5 minutes walk away. I will return to this place again and again.