If you are looking for a place to stay in Ubud, you will find many small independent hotels around town – or beautiful resorts among the rice paddies. If you are looking for a thoroughly modern hotel that can handle larger groups in the center of town, your choices are few. The evitel is addressing that need – read my review to find out if it should be your choice for a stay in Ubud!
Location: The evitel resort ubud is located in the center of Ubud, a five minute walk to the Monkey Forest. It’s a 20 minute walk to the Ubud Palace on the other side of town and about a 1h30minute drive from the Bali airport. One of the best features is that one side of the hotel is facing rice paddies, making for a calm environment and nice views to give you the Bali feeling. While the hotel is set back from the main road circling Ubud, one side is facing a main road leading into town.
Service: Staff at check-in was friendly and polite, yet seemed to be trained to follow strict rules. Despite the hotel being around half-full, an early check in was not possible and I had to check my luggage for two hours until the official check-in time.
Housekeeping was equally friendly and did a good job cleaning my room quickly when requested. They did change sheets and towels on request, similar to most larger hotels these days and replace toiletries and coffee appropriately.
Restaurant staff was also friendly, welcoming me with big smiles, yet seemed short-staffed and overwhelmed by a tour group having breakfast when I visited. They struggled to keep the buffet stocked, tables cleaned and delivering make-to-order eggs.
Room: The room is one of the highlights of the hotel, providing new and modern rooms that are very well laid out, if compact. The room is held in white and light woods, with a grey accent wall and a purple bet throw (the evitel color). There is a very comfortable queen bed, with a nice comforter and sheets. A narrow desk is mounted against the wall, has a simple chair and also holds the coffee/tea kettle. There is a small fridge under the desk. You get a small, wall-mounted TV opposite the bed with a narrow shelf for the remote and smaller items. My room was facing the rice paddies and had a small balcony with a single chair and small table to enjoy the views. There is a bench for luggage with an open clothes rack and hangers above it and a laptop size safe below it. The safe wasn’t working on arrival, but the batteries were replaced quickly for it to work. Oddly, it wasn’t screwed into the furniture, somewhat defeating the purpose of a “safe”. Next to the luggage bench is a floor to ceiling window to the bathroom, giving you extra light and a view from the shower. It has shades on the inside for privacy. The bathroom is equally compact with a small shower with curtain, the toilet and a small sink with useful countertop for your toiletries. The tiles were held in beige/brown, continuing with the modern, Scandinavian look & feel. While the room design is close to perfect for this size and looks great in pictures and in real life, closer inspection shows that some corners were cut during construction. There is hot water in the shower, but only cold at the sink. There are splashes of paint/sealant on the tiles and the mirror is already starting to go “blind” after a few months. There were only two large towels and a bath mat, but no hand towels. The air-conditioner is under-sized for the room and needs several hours to cool the room down. Combine that with the key-card controlled power and poor insulation, and you enter a hot room that stays too warm for too long and even at the end of the night was not “cold”. The noise insulation is not much better and despite no street noise making it to the room, the noise from the hallway and other rooms was loud and irritating. The wooden blinds add a touch of local decor, but also let in a lot of light in the morning, making it difficult to sleep past sunrise. The free wifi internet was not very reliable, with a few hick-ups throughout my stay. It maxed out at speeds of 2 Mbps and dropped to 0 at some times, averaging 1.5Mbps throughout my stay.
Restaurant/Amenities: The evitel just opened a few months prior to my stay and wasn’t quite finished. Next to the lobby is a business center with two desktop computers. It also acts as a temporary gym with a cardio bike and treadmill, until the gym and spa on the 3rd floor are finished, no completion date was available. The pool on the rooftop is finished and it’s a stunner. It’s an infinity edge pool overlooking the rice paddies next door, making it a beautiful place to hang out. There are 6 loungers with three umbrellas and a few bean bags and chairs. It was enough during my visit, but is little for a hotel with 88 rooms and will fill quickly during busy days.
The restaurant is also located on the rooftop, with a roof and open to the sides. It also looked unfinished: In addition to the simple wooden chairs and tables, there were some white, folding tables that didn’t match at all, giving the feel of a temporary cafeteria, rather than a nice rooftop restaurant. The breakfast is served buffet style, with a limited selection targeting mostly local taste buds. There were some fruits and toast, as well as coffee and tea, as well as some local hot dishes and some sausages. My favorite feature is the egg-station, making fresh scrambled eggs on request. Compared to other hotels in this price category on Bali, both the selection and the quality were less than I expected.
Recommendation: For a rate of $48/night without breakfast, the evitel rooms have a great layout, an open bathroom and a nice, modern decor. Add the killer pool and nice views of the rice paddies and you have a good value hotel for anybody looking for a modern hotel in a town with mostly local-style guest houses. If you usually stay in large chain hotels, the evitel is the closest you’ll in this price range in Ubud. The poor air conditioning and noise issues can be make-or-break issues for some. There are many independent hotels and guesthouses that offer more for the same money, if you are willing to accept the quirks of smaller hotels, and provide more of a local feel. The Padma Retreat Ubud is one of those local hotels and worth checking out as a lovely alternative!