We discovered this hotel on Trip Advisor when looking for a room with a view in Ubud, but the deciding factor to stay in Tanah Merah was its private gallery and museum, and yes we did get rooms with the most fantastic views. On arrival, we were upgraded to a new huge standalone deluxe suite on the first floor with huge windows overlooking an expanse of ‘jungle’ and the valley. Thank you Herman! We spent four nights in Tanah Merah, the first two in the deluxe suite and the last two in the Mads Lange villa. There are no views of rice paddies, so if that’s what you want then this hotel might not be for you. I preferred the river and gorge.
Our deluxe suite was on the first floor. For a larger group I think you can book the ground floor villa as well with its private swimming pool, although I'm not sure about the views from the groundfloor suite. Our suite consisted of one large, well-appointed sitting room, a large bedroom and a long bathroom with a bathtub, shower and toilet. The tea and coffee-making facilities were in the bathroom, which I found odd even though everything was very clean. We slept very well in our four-poster bed, and our son was comfortable in his single bed. Given the large windows, the bedroom was a bit hot, perhaps because it takes long for the air-conditioner to cool down the large rooms with the large glass windows. When I mentioned this in passing to the manager the next day, and they immediately set up a fan which helped the night. I then wished I had also mentioned the very dim reading light as they might have changed that too.
There are many very beautiful paintings and ceramics and all the doors are antique (they creak a bit, sounding very loud at night when it is so quiet and peaceful, but I wouldn't have the courage to complain about anything so very beautiful). Thankfully, my son is a teenager as I would have been very nervous about a young child accidently breaking a vase or damaging a painting. Peter, the owner, is obviously a very generous man to share his treasures with his guests.
The Mads Lange suite is very beautiful. Another standalone cottage it has a small private pool with a gazebo and a jacuzzi. Again the sitting room and the bedroom are very large, very well appointed. There is also a little dressing/luggage room attached to the bathroom and it was really nice not having to see our ungainly bags in the beautiful rooms. A large four-poster bed, turndown service (in both suites), a powerful enough light to read a good book in a cool room, was the perfect end to a great day. The bedroom has photographs and paintings of Mads Lange and his descendents, a small history lesson (more on that later). Having portraits of political figures in the bedroom might not be to everyone’s taste but for me brought back memories of staying in the old colonial guesthouses in India (different people and very different levels of comfort). Again the rooms had beautiful doors, paintings and ceramics. Although we could see only bits of the river, we could hear it when sitting out on the private patio. Sitting out at night listening to the sounds of the jungle, watching the fireflies was beautiful and I’d love to do it again.
The hotel has rooms and suites at different prices, built around the property at different levels. There are two pools and towels for the pool are provided in each room. There is enough privacy especially in the two suites we stayed in. The steps are steep, and older people and families with very young might find it difficult to go to the restaurant where breakfast is served or the pools, or explore the very beautiful grounds, which are unique with statues, old walls and flowers. If you want to swim in the river, I suggest you go with a hotel guide; we went on our own for a swim but chickened out partly because two of us found the water too cold and two were scared of critter encounters. Again some of the steps are steep and some are slippery so take care. The grounds are dotted with small shrines that have daily offerings and statues, and just beyond you have the gorge and the wildness of the hills and the river. There are mosquitoes but the hotel provides coils. We also carried our sprays, and these were handy especially in the restaurant.
Except for one lunch and two dinners that we had in Ubud, we had all our meals in the hotel restaurant, as we had done most of our sightseeing and wanted to chill out in Tanah Merah. The menu is limited and the food is good. Service is a bit slow but we were on holiday and so we relaxed and waited. We found the prices reasonable for a hotel of this standard. I think most guests had their meals in Ubud.
Booking through the hotel website is easy and Herman was very prompt in responding to all our questions. The young staff are extremely accommodating, pleasant and courteous. They carry all your bags up and own those stairs and so deserve a good tip! As the hotel discourages individual tipping, I wish they would have a have a locked tip box, instead of asking guests to give their tips in an envelope to the manager.
Save a morning to see the gallery and the museum and you might even get lucky, as we were, and have Peter give you a brief history lesson on Bali before guiding you through his precious and beautiful museum. An unique privilege to see some amazing artefacts.
The hotel is about a 10-15 minute drive from the centre of Ubud. The hotel provides free transport into Ubud until 6pm every day.We had an unfortunate incident regarding the hotel transport on our last night, which almost ruined what would have been a perfect holiday. If we stay here again, we will organise our own transport or have any arrangements with the hotel written down by the mananger to avoid misunderstandings.
I would not hesitate to recommend Tanah Merah, which for me was a unique and beautiful experience. It is so very different from the big large impersonal resorts and hotels. So thank you all at Tanah Merah for a wonderful and relaxing holiday.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Unique Tanah Merah Art resort is located only 4 km (4000 m) from the center of busy Ubud. The short scenic route from Ubud winds thru rice terraces with view of the big volcanoes until you arrive at the hotel with the only access in Ubud to the Petanu river in the jungle, where you can swim up to the waterfall. The 18 villas and rooms are decorated with art and antiques. The unique museum and gallery here take you thru 2000 years of Indonesian and Balinese history. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Tanah Merah Resort & Gallery Hotel Ubud
- Tanah Merah Resort And Gallery
- Tanah Merah Hotel Gallery
- Tanah Merah Art Resort Ubud, Bali