... we booked the Ibah because they did a package with Bali Villas in Seminyak, and we booked via BV. Much of the villa-with-private-pool accommodation in Ubud is highly-rated on this site and other places, so it was hard to choose between them. Therefore convenience was the basis of our choice. But it was a fortunate choice.
We had a week at Ibah in the Oleander villa, which is a one-bedroom villa with its own pool. The villas with pools seem to be on the elevated part of the Ibah compound with views across the valley. The villas without pools are lower down, but near the gurgling river, which is also a delight. Most of the 18 or so suites/villas are different, with varying layouts and fitouts, which adds to the low-key and personal atmosphere. If you want a pool villa make sure you specify this. We met some people who had assumed all villas had pools and didn't get one, and were disappointed.
Anyway, our villa was lovely. You could get up in the morning - from the lovely firm kingsize bed with good cotton linen and mozzie net (although we didn't see any mozzies) - and jump into the pool. It was a real indulgence to enjoy the (non artificially heated) lightly-chlorinated water - cool but not cold - just steps away.
The villa itself was dark (my husband thought too dark but it was OK with me) and furnished with teak colonial-style furniture. But the marble bathroom and TV cabinet, among other things, had a 15-20 yo style look, which makes sense given the complex opened in 1996.
We didn't mind the slightly dated and frayed look/condition of the place - it was more than adequately compensated for by the gorgeous gardens, mossy stone walls, water features, statues, higgledy-piggledy layout and serene atmosphere of the place. One reviewer has said it was like staying in a museum - I would say almost a temple. In fact, the compound is owned by the Ubud royal family and some of the structures on it date from before the villas were developed. Warwick has assumed the running of the enterprise.
Yes, there were gecko droppings in the room, but I had read about them and the porter warned us about them when we arrived. I also didn't mind the two frogs who took ownership of our outdoor area after dark, or the spider suspended above the (50) stone stairs up to our villa, or the odd worm in the bath. I'm from Australia - such creatures don't usually upset me.
We found the staff friendly, helpful and courteous. One/two turned up the solicitude a bit high on our final day (tipping time) but that's hardly a crime when you work in a service industry in a developing country.
I used the spa A LOT and the staff were good. Again it's based in a villa like the one we stayed in, and the quiet, dark atmosphere was perfect for me. The quality of the treatments was good, but perhaps not great, and quite pricey by Bali standards, but then again so is Ibah.
The villa pool was well maintained and a decent size for "plunging". The central pool was larger and pretty with its nooks in the stone wall in which you can lounge and sip a cool drink.
We took a half day trip with a hotel driver, which was OK. There was a range on offer, but again you could do better hiring your own driver in town. There's a great list of drivers in the Bali forums section of this site.
Ibah is well located for the town - we didn't find it "out of town" at all. It's a ten minute stroll from Ubud central, and in my view it's better to be out of the very centre, although Ubud does close down after 11pm, so it's not raucous.
We ate in town except for breakfast and two other meals - the first was a lunch, which was pretty ordinary (USD10 for a salad, which was basically leaves and carrot, and missing the avocado advertised on the menu); and a very good dinner from a set menu on the last night (part of our package).
Ibah is a special place - accommodation built around a landscape and some pre-exisiting structures. It's not cutting-edge designer top-of-the-tree accommodation in Bali anymore, but it is lovely and would be impossible for others to emulate.
- 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