“Bad traffic jams nowadays in Ubud,” announces the driver cheerfully as it takes him a full minute to cover the 500 meters from the royal palace, past the market, to the turn-off to Hanoman Road – well, that’s still an average speed of 30 kph in Ubud’s only area where such a “bad traffic jam” could occur.
Bali tourism is booming, and especially Ubud has seen rapid growth since it was firmly planted on the world map by Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Eat, Pray, Love” and the subsequent film featuring Julia Roberts. Ubud is now a primary Bali destination, no longer an excursion for day trippers staying at Kuta, Sanur, or other seaside areas.
Ubud has weathered this boom remarkably well. It has kept its traditional village character: there are no high-rise buildings or mega shopping complexes. Many shops have now more modern fronts and interiors than a few years ago, but, most importantly, the people haven’t changed: their grace and courtesy is in their genes.
Accommodation choices have widened, especially in the high-end segment where the gorgeous Maya Ubud Resort & Spa is firmly established. The resort is big, covering 10 hectares of lush rainforest and tropical gardens. But with only 108 villas and rooms on its vast land area, it guarantees privacy and exclusivity for the guests.
Each private villa is a roomy 50 square meters in size, set in a large, secluded garden; deluxe villas have an individual plunge pool. For even more luxurious indulgence, there are duplex pool villas and the presidential villa, each with a private swimming pool and jacuzzi.
The facilities surpass what one would normally expect from such a top resort. There are three restaurants, including the exquisite dinner venue Asiatique which serves superb specialities from Indonesia, India, China, Thailand, and Japan and boasts an authentic teppanyaki counter. In addition, there is a bar, which also offers complimentary afternoon tea including delicious finger food.
Two large swimming pools, a tennis court, a putting green, a yoga studio, and a fitness center are beckoning the physically-active guests.
And then there is the Spa at Maya, a riverside haven of peace and tranquility. Nestled in the Petanu River valley and surrounded by luxuriant tropical vegetation, it offers private double or single treatment pavilions for more than 20 programs of relaxation; refreshment; and renewal of body, mind and soul. The Spa at Maya has won numerous international awards and is truly of a very high standard. All its therapists are certified professionals, fully conversant with international spa standard practices. To preserve the tranquility of the spa, including the River Café and the spa pool, children are not permitted in this part of the resort.
The overall, but not dominating emphasis at Maya Ubud is a holistic approach to wellness. There are classes on yoga and pilates, meditation sessions, and guided nature walks, all complimentary. Guided village treks and cycling tours take guests out of the resort to rural Ubud: stunning rice terraces, high ridges between deep river valleys, sacred temples, and small villages with gracious Balinese people.
The impressions from these activities and the overall ambience of the resort all add up to a satisfying feeling of mental and spiritual rejuvenation once one leaves Maya Ubud.
For more information, email email@example.com or visit www.mayaubud.com .