Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
The boutique resort is set amid tropical jungles and rice paddies, and offers complimentary yoga classes. Courtesy Como Hotels and Resorts
The boutique resort is set amid tropical jungles and rice paddies, and offers complimentary yoga classes. Courtesy Como Hotels and Resorts

Hotel Insider: the Uma by Como, Ubud in Bali

Clare Dight finds a hotel that is a sanctuary in the jungle.

The welcome

I check in to the Uma by Como almost 10 years to the day that Bali fell victim to a series of terrorist attacks, and security is obviously still a concern; the underside of our car is checked for explosives as we pull off the main road and into the hotel's private driveway. I'm greeted with courtesy and an ice-cold towel at reception and escorted to lunch while my luggage takes another route to the room.

The neighbourhood

The hotel is a 30-minute walk from the cultural hub that is central Ubud - a motley collection of shops selling artworks, antiques, cotton clothing and touristy knick-knacks. It's either a shopper's paradise or hell on Earth, depending on personal taste. Just outside the confines of the hotel is a collection of boutiques, discreet hotels and Mozaic, one of the region's top restaurants and a destination in itself.

The room

Behind a locked door, across a pool jumping with frogs and circling carp, I find my garden room. To the right, a rather romantic bedroom hides behind whitewashed plantation shutters. The black stone bathroom is entirely separate and open to the elements, with a large oval bathtub, a powerful shower supplied with plenty of hot water and Como Shambhala's own range of beauty products made with essential oils.

The two rooms are linked by a short, covered walkway skirting the pond. There's a burbling water feature that, thankfully, I can turn off at night. The four-poster bed festooned with mosquito nets, the flatscreen TV, complimentary Wi-Fi and elegant furnishings ensure that it is both well appointed and memorable.

The service

Attentive with no obvious mistakes. When I ask a waiter to send someone to my room to light the mosquito coil, it is smoking away on my return from dinner.

The scene

Como has a number of resorts around the world offering a mix of luxury accommodation, fitness programmes and guided cultural activities. The Uma Ubud is frequented by couples either lazing by the swimming pool or looking into each other's eyes at dinner. With only 29 rooms, suites and villas, the Uma Ubud has an atmosphere of discreet privacy. A couple of rather ostentatiously dressed honeymooners from the UAE are waiting for treatments in the spa, neatly underlining the fact that the Uma Ubud enjoys a wealthy clientele.

The food

The restaurant, Kemiri, serves a wide selection of Asian and western dishes and is outstanding thanks to locally sourced, fresh produce. I tried the Chinese roast duck soup with sago, shiitake mushrooms, kale and white pepper (181,500 Indonesian rupiah; Dh70) followed by grilled jumbo prawns with chilli, pineapple and tamarind sauce with torch ginger for 229,900 rupiah (Dh88). There is also a delicious raw-food menu.

Loved

The hour-long yoga class looking out across the tropical jungle foliage of Tjampuhan Valley.

Hated

While undeniably beautiful, I find the resort's pebbled pathways, different levels and private enclaves rather a pain to negotiate. The A/C in my room is on an energy-saving setting that turns on and off and I sleep badly, aware of the noise.

The bottom line

A terrace room at the Uma Ubud costs from US$333 (Dh1,223) per night, including breakfast, a complimentary group yoga class and group morning walk, and taxes. Uma by Como, Ubud, Jalan Raya Sanggingan, Ubud, Bali (www.comohotels.com; 00 62 361 972448).

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 This four-bedroom villa covers 4,790 square feet and is part of a new compound in Umm Suqeim.

In photos: Beachside villa in Umm Suqeim, Dubai for Dh800,000

Taking a closer look at a four-bedroom villa in Umm Seqeim, Dubai.

 Suresh Raina is part of the the IPL's Chennai Super Kings team, which take on Kings XI Punjab on April 18 in Abu Dhabi. Photo by Duif du Toit / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Chennai Super Kings cricketer Suresh Raina spotted at Ferrari World

One of the top batsmen and bowlers of the Indian Premier League’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Raina spent a day at Ferrari World with some of his team mates, and seemed to particularly enjoy the world’s fastest roller-coaster.

 Shah Rukh Khan plays a shot during a friendly match between the members of the support and administrative staff of Royal Challengers Bangalore and his Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team. Dibyangshu Sarkar / AFP

When the worlds of Bollywood and cricket collide

With the first game of the Indian Premier League beginning today in the UAE, we explore the league’s Bollywood connections, which are as glitzy as they are controversial.

 A rendering of People Abu Dhabi by Crystal. Courtesy People Abu Dhabi by Crystal

People Abu Dhabi by Crystal to open on Saadiyat Island

Abu Dhabi’s nightlife scene just gets better and better. After venues such as O1NE Yas Island and Iris in Yas Marina opening last year, it’s Saadiyat’s turn with the launch of the glamorous People Abu Dhabi by Crystal.

 Dumyé Dolls’s fashionable rag dolls. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane / The National

Top takeaways from Fashion Forward and where to find them

The ideas and designs that caught our attention and where you can learn more

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National