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“A very special place with quirks” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Alam Shanti

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Alam Shanti
3.0 of 5 Resort   |   P.O. Box 165 | Nyuhkuning, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #34 of 133 Hotels in Ubud
Manila, Philippines
Top Contributor
67 reviews 67 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“A very special place with quirks”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2013

My more precise rating would be a 4.5 but since that's not possible, it would be closer to a 5 than a 4. First, I would recommend this place especially for stays with a family or group. Because of the generous room sizes and ample grounds, you can really make good use of the space--the verandahs, the covered seating/breakfast areas, the bathroom suite which includes a tub, sink/vanity, closet/dressing area and in some rooms a separate shower, the huge bed and some rooms with additional beds and writing table, plenty of big and small tables, niches and nooks to park your things on. They have several room categories and I would daresay (as a sincere compliment) that the owners/managers are astute enough to price them precisely according to their value, meaning with each price increment, you get a corresponding benefit. You will get what you pay for here in Alam Shanti, IMO. So, if your budget (and their availability) allows you to get the higher category rooms, by all means, pay the extra bucks.
We took the Dewi and Narmada rooms (Up and down would have been ideal for a family but unfortunately, this was not available. Instead, these were about 20 meters away in adjacent structures separated by lovely gardens and ponds.) Dewi was a superior room on the first floor while Narmada was a deluxe on the ground floor. We billeted our four kids in the Narmada which had one king bed and two single beds (the second was upon request and I was pleasantly surprised that they had put in another proper single bed complete with its own ceiling-hung mosquito netting and not just a roll-away or pull-out.) The room had just enough space for this. The hubby and I took the Dewi which had one king bed in a room that was just ample enough for that. Apart from the size, main differences between the two: a) Narmada had a separate shower area alongside the tub in its bigger bathroom while Dewi had an equally oversized marble tub (would easily fit 2 bigger adults or 4 Asian children LOL) but with the built-in shower hanging at waist level which meant you had to stand on the tub holding the shower head if you wanted to shower properly. Both bathrooms had a single but adequate sink and separate dressing/closet area. b) Narmada has a spacious verandah with two side tables and a low tatami table perfectly seating the six of us for breakfast. It also shared a kitchenette with a 5ft fridge and a dining table for 6 with the room upstairs (the Indus) although I saw neither rooms ever use this space as there was absolutely no need. On the other hand, Dewi had a round marble table top on its balcony seating 4 at most. Both rooms had daybeds on their respective verandah/balcony.
PROS:
1) Traditional Balinese design and setting with exquisite detail on the houses themselves (doors, ceilings, beams, walls, even the garden tiling pointed and lead you through your walking paths separate for each room) and furniture pieces that looked and felt like they were individually handcrafted (different tables and chairs, lamp designs, etc.). I enjoyed most this part of it that there was absolutely no mistaking where you are when you stay in Alam Shanti. You're in Bali, alright. (Such a treat for someone like me who does sometimes wake up in a hotel room disoriented and not immediately remembering what city you're in.)
2) Lovely and natural-feeling tropical garden that so cleverly affords privacy. When seated on the verandah at Narmada or the balcony at Dewi, there are no other structures in your line of sight but only foliage. You know the next house is there but somehow this is so cleverly concealed and besides, the gardens are really expansive enough that I only occasionally heard my children squealing at play in the next villa (and no complaints from the people upstairs either thanks to solid walls and floors and large airy spaces!) I say "natural-feeling" because the gardens, although looking well-tended did not have the artificial air of manicured hotel lawns. Plants were allowed to grow relatively wild and there was no symmetry or area looking exactly like another. The garden was truly alive because it had animals including squirrels, geckos, colorful birds and yes, creepy crawlies too.
3) The common pool--shared by about 8 units was never crowded and it had a spa cabana adjacent. I had the cabana all to myself and was very satisfied with my Javanese lulur (which included a massage, scrub and flower bath). The price was not cheap but reasonable for the quality and convenience of the service.
4) Service was prompt and genuinely friendly. Their English was also good and the staff were well-trained with familiarity with most of the things that guests would need--reservations, pick-up, info and maps, etc.
5) Breakfast inclusive with the room was big and had a good selection. It included breads, fruit and yogurt, fruit juice and coffee or tea and a main which was either rice, crepes, eggs or porridge.
6) The location is on the quiet side of Ubud walking across the monkey forest (although it seems they charge each time you walk through which was 90K rupiah for the 6 of us so not so ideal to do several times!) but the hotel shuttle was prompt and efficient. (I wonder if it's the same on high season as the driver told me that during December, the 15 min drive becomes an hour and a half because of traffic along Monkey Forest Road). There is Laka Leke Restaurant nearby though which I liked even better than their Cafe Wayan so I was quite content to be on this side. There are also small stores selling basic knick-knacks, a couple of cheaper and more basic massage places along the road, a few other restaurants as well as a motorbike/bicycle rental just nearby.
CONS:
1) If you're looking for 5-star, club room style luxury, this may not fit the bill. Although there is room service, I believe they source their food from their restaurant/kitchen nearby and walk them covered through the expansive property so expect a longer waiting time and no warm plate service or such. The mini-bar is basic with bottled water, beer and soda. The only common area apart from your own suite accomodation is a 3 or 4 table reception that doubles as the "dining/breakfast" area for those who don't care to eat in-room. There are also a couple of tables beside the pool. This is pretty much all the facilities there are.
2) The place is a nature retreat so expect the indoors and outdoors to blend in. As such, along with the colorful birds and cute squirrels, expect insects including ants in and outside the room. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't make good use of the tub at the Dewi because some red ants were crawling about which made it impossible for me to actually lean back and enjoy the tub. Our breakfast at the Narmada verandah also had to be taken out promptly as it would otherwise attract insects around.
3) I'm actually giving one or half a star rating less not for any reason above but for this last reason as it seems in their busy-ness, the standard of cleaning is also slipping a little. I could even forgive the red ants crawling around the tub because there was a small plot of earth with plants and flowers decorating the head of the tub but what I could not let pass was the overlooked lizard droppings underneath the curtains. This obviously pointed to a hurried cleaning job that missed some not so obvious nooks and crannies (but I could see a few days worth of droppings while using the tub). In the Narmada, there was a petrified lizard stuck inside the fridge behind the soda bottles. I saw this as I was trying to make room for my milk carton. I'm not squeamish and can imagine how the lizard slipped in there but it would have been a little grotesque for my kids to see this. Again, this was obviously overlooked by housekeeping. Again, in the Narmada, the water closet flush ran continuously and when I pointed this out to them, they told me that they knew of the problem but still had to buy replacement parts from town. Although this did not affect the hygiene or function of the toilet, still, this made my kids uneasy since they are conscious of never leaving the water running or the lights or ac on inside a room when not in use.
Overall, I would love to come back to Alam Shanti when travelling with family or friends. For a spotless, posh and completely pampered getaway for two however, we have our special place 10 minutes north of Ubud that this place has yet to beat.

Room Tip: The Dewi is closest to reception and also the staff house at the back. Unfortunately, this meant I c...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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499 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (85)
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Tokyo
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

We stayed in the Laksmi room, the ground level of the Garden House (I think). Everything was really great. The staff was very helpful, from arranging drivers, scheduling tours and cooking classes, bringing tea and breakfast and poolside drinks. They also have a complimentary shuttle to and from the central market area of Ubud.

Breakfast had many options, but I really enjoyed the muesli and the black rice pudding. The fresh juice is also delicious.

I think one of our favorite things about Alam Shanti was how quiet it was. It's so lose to several restaurants, spas, shops, and the Monkey Forest, but still it was peacefully quiet. And so beautiful! Very lush, green, but full of flowers!

We really loved being so close to the Monkey Forest. Hanging out with the monkeys was probably the highlight of our trip. They stay mostly in the park area, but they're completely free to wander wherever. I didn't see any on the grounds of Alam Shanti, but there were many walking around on the walk to many of restaurants and shops.

If we were ever lucky enough to return to Ubud, we would certainly hope to stay at Alam Shanti again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bowral, Australia
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

This was our 5th stay at Alam Shanti. We keep coming back because the place is fantastic. The staff are friendly and always helpful. We stay in Yamuna, which is a large room and has the most beautiful outlook and private pool, which we love. We will always come back to Alam Shanti it feels like a part of us and a home away from home. Big thanks to all the wonderful staff.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
toronto
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

We stayed here one night in the Garden House Saraswati ( upper floor) room. Check in was quick and we were escorted to our little oasis. There was a large sitting room with windows throughout and a separate bedroom and washroom which had AC. We didn't have a chance to enjoy afternoon tea as we were rushing to tour around with our wonderful driver Wayan Lia. The room had all the amenities you needed but as others have noted don't leave food around due to the ants.
We phoned in our breakfast request which was delivered to our room and the table set nicely for breakfast (you can also eat in the reception area). We didn't have time to use the pool but it was very nice and refreshing looking.
The hotel is down a long laneway removed from the busy street and there is an air of serenity in the setting.
There is lots to do in Ubud, monkey forest, shops, Bali dance show (we went to an evening show)
We would definitely return if we are in the Ubud area again.

Room Tip: We stayed in an upper floor which had a nice view...if someone had mobility problems they would be b...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NSW
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2013

My girlfriends and i stayed here for 6 nights & it definately lived up to its 'Travellers choice' Reputation and the well deserved wraps on Tripadvisor.
Everything, location just out of the hussle & noice, with a very easily organised free shuttle in and out. Although, it is an easy walk along side the Monkey forest if you want to brave them jumping at you.. twice !!
The grounds are just beautiful, we stayed in the Gangga Room with the Private Pool, which was awesome & the staff are beautiful. Having had to rearrange our travels the reception were on and off the phone for us helping out, no problem. The balcony, comfy lounges and open air bathrooms are cool & add that wonderful special 'im on holidays' feel. Overlooking the rice paddies, this is BALI !!!
Breaky delivered to our room was great and if your around afternoon tea as well, which we had around our pool. My girldfriends used the spa on site as well & loved the massage.
Would go back in a heartbeat.... this is a real gem !!!

Room Tip: Gangga with Private Pool, large & we slept 5 no problem.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turku
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2013

We have just come back from 10 days holiday in Bali. We stayed in 3 different hotels during our holiday and Alam Shanti is my best hotel. We stayed in Narmada room. Although there somebody stayed on the second floor room, we almost always had the garden to ourselves.
It is a little way from the centre of Ubud but the hotel shuttle bus provided rides whenever we asked for it. I asked the suttle bus to a dance performance at the Ubud palace and the driver came to pick me up after the performance, pronto.

We enjoyed the quietness (well, except the roosters in the mornings). The property was gorgeous and breakfast was fantastic. They had water-bottle refill service, which is a big plus. If we had a chance, we will come back. This is such a precious little hotel. Thank you Alam Shanti and the staff!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Perth, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 21, 2013

I visit Bali three or four times a year and am always looking for somewhere new to stay. I found Alam Shanti on Trip Advisor and decided to join my daughter on an impromptu 6 night holiday to Ubud at the beginning of February. We were very lucky to get accommodation at the last minute, I understand the Alam group of hotels in Ubud are booked out for months in advance. We had to split our stay into two bookings, 3 nights in Gayatri; the house in the rice fields, and the following 3 days in Narmada.

They were both excellent and both so different. We preferred our stay in Gayatri, the room was smaller and more cosy, and we loved the balcony and view out to the rice fields. Having said that, we were also ambushed by monkeys one morning and lost most of our breakfast! The staff however responded very quickly to our cries of help and continued to patrol the area until they felt the monkeys had all move away. The Namarda room was much larger, with a huge verandah, huge bathroom, an outside kitchen and a separate dressing room....we felt like we should have invited all our friends to come and stay!

The staff and service were outstanding, and they had the best shuttle arrangement in and around Ubud that I have ever come across. The pool area was beautiful and even though the hotel was apparently full, each time we swam there we never saw anyone else, so we felt like we were in our own private villa. The hotel is close enough to walk to the centre of Ubud, and far enough away to feel like you're not with all the other tourists. Take a good torch with you if you intend to walk back to the hotel at night around the monkey forest....it's dark but safe, the monkeys are all asleep.

We enjoyed this hotel so much I booked two more stays in the near future.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Alam Shanti

Address: P.O. Box 165 | Nyuhkuning, Ubud, Bali 80571, Indonesia
Location: Indonesia > Bali > Ubud
Amenities:
Free Parking Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Ubud
#13 Top resorts Hotel in Ubud
#14 Romantic Hotel in Ubud
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Alam Shanti 3*
Number of rooms: 8
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Also Known As:
Alam Shanti Ubud, Bali
Alam Shanti Hotel Ubud

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