It sounds crazy but bits of the Ibah are seriously Indian Jones filmic. Mysterious pathways, water features everywhere, moss covered walls, ancient looking stone carvings. On an island that knocks out consistently impressive hotels, the attention to detail at the Ibah is no exception. The whole place looks absolutely historic; as though the gardens have been there for thousands of years (and then someone in the modern age decided to put a pool in!).
The Ibah is very much a private hotel and it really is more suited to the intimate couples retreat segment of the market. It is a hotel in which you grab a book, sit in the astonishing gardens and just chill out. Whilst I’m sure it is child friendly this really isn’t the kind of hotel where I’d take kids. There, quite simply, isn’t enough to keep them occupied and negotiating the slippery and uneven paths could be a problem for the little ones. Beyond kids, if you have any form of mobility issue then the Ibah may not be for you. I couldn’t imagine negotiating the uneven paths if I wasn’t 100% solid on my feet.
For me the Ibah wasn’t quite what I expected. I generally love the big Bali resorts with a great pool vibe and a bit of a pulse going on. The Ibah doesn’t have this –at all. The pool and broader grounds are a landscaping master stroke But..... the place is very, very quiet, the pool tends to be a bit too chilly and there definitely isn’t a resort vibe. For many potential guests, I can appreciate that this would be a major drawcard for the Ibah. For me, it was almost too quiet.
Comprising a number of villas and some apartment style suites (the Treetop Suites) at the furthermost point, the Ibah really did feel empty. In the four days we were there the only time you ever actually saw other guests was at the breakfast restaurant. Breakfast itself was OK but probably the one thing that I found disappointing. I’d kind of expected a buffet but, on reflection, this wouldn’t be all that feasible in a place the size of the Ibah. Whilst the made to order breakfast was nice enough, after day four the lack of variety became tiresome.
On check-in we were upgraded to a one bedroom villa from the Treetop Suite we had booked. The villa was outright gorgeous. Traditional Balinese furnishings, great bathroom, excellent private garden; really above the 4 star rating that the property carries. For those who have booked the entry level room (Treetop Suites) and don’t get an upgrade I wouldn’t worry. These looked fantastic too.
Bali being Bali, the bar on service is always raised high and the Ibah definitely kicked a goal. The staff were amazing . Nothing was ever a problem. The on-call complimentary pick-up service was excellent and a completely unexpected bonus. So nice to not have to deal with the Bali transport touts. They can ruin a whole trip! At the Ibah all you needed to do was call the hotel and, voila, five minutes later the hotel shuttle rocks up. Absolutely brilliant. If you wanted to go for a walk then the Ibah is literally a few minutes stroll down the road from Ubud town centre. Great to be so close (our last Ubud hotel was in the middle of nowhere!) yet removed enough to be psychologically divorced from the panic that ensues outside the gates.
Room for improvement? Not a whole lot. Given that we stayed for several days and had one or two rainy afternoons, I was a little surprised that there were no fitness facilities. Whilst I’d read good reviews on the spa service the pricing will probably have most guests looking elsewhere. It really did seem empty for most of the time which, if it is as good as the menu looked, is a bit of a shame. Beyond these two minor points it really is pretty much amazing as a total couples escape and the kind of over the top thematic landscaping that you thought only existed on film.
If you want solace then the Ibah is for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Warwick Ibah is a prime example of classic and up-to-date Balinese hospitality and style. Exteriors reflect traditional Bali, with thatched roofs and stone walls carved with exuberant sculptures, making it the perfect place to discover the culture and spirit of Bali. The resort is situated on Royal grounds handed down through generations, alongside Holy springs discovered by a Hindu priest over four hundred years ago. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas Hotel Ubud
- Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas And Spa
- Warwick Ubud
- Ubud Warwick
- Warwick Ibah Luxury Villas & Spa Ubud, Bali