The Element by Westin Bali Ubud offers a Heavenly bed, some of the fastest internet on Bali and the opportunity to earn or redeem Marriott Rewards points. The service is friendly and professional, the restaurants serves a nice breakfast and you have a pool, spa and even yoga classes to stay active. The location outside town at a major road and the design without any Balinese touches are the only downside. Check out my detailed review and photos of the Element by Westin Bali Ubud to see if it’ll work for you!
Location: The Element Ubud is located one of the major roads leading North from the city and about 2.5km (1.5m) from Ubud Palace (a 30-45min walk) and 3.9km (2.1m) to the Monkey Forest. The ride from the airport is 1h30min to 2h, depending on traffic. While the road is lined with businesses, there are few restaurants in walking distance from the hotel. The walk into town is unpleasant as the sidewalk is in bad condition (or non-existent) and you have to step into traffic to make your way. Across the hotel is a small road that leads into the rice fields, giving you a chance to explore the countryside by bike or on foot.
The hotel operates a shuttle to the Monkey Forest six times a day. When I tried to use it, it was delayed by 45 minutes and got promptly stuck in traffic, so I abandoned it and walked instead to save some time. Ride hailing cars/motorbikes or taxis are difficult to get in Ubud or expensive and also get stuck on the major road.
I consider the location the biggest downside of the Element Hotel. It doesn’t really feel like being in Ubud. It works best for anybody using Ubud as the base to explore the island with day trips around Bali by car. For anybody wanting to explore Ubud town and the nature around it, the location is a hassle.
Service: I was welcomed to the hotel by the bell staff in the elaborate drive-up. The reception only has two desks, so there was a line to check-in. Staff worked hard to move things along and was friendly. They took my information and asked me to take a seat in the impressive lobby, while they processed the information. My room wasn’t ready (1h prior to official check-in time), so I was asked to wait and was provided with the WiFi code to make use of the time. Staff was very professional and after about 30 minutes, walked me through the information and handed over the keys. They were careful to explain the credit card deposit, request my choice of Welcome Amenity as an SPG Gold member and offered information on breakfast and resort facilities.
Housekeeping staff was on top of their task and cleaned the room each day quickly and thoroughly. Supplies and towels were replaced appropriately and everything in the room was in good working order.
The restaurant staff was just as friendly and professional, welcoming guests and answering questions as needed. Management went around the restaurant to check in on guests and chat – that’s a nice touch I haven’s seen much in Asia!
Staff at the pool and spa are equally friendly and helpful, offering smiles & welcomes, explaining services and answering requests politely and quickly.
Overall, the service at the Element stood out by being very well trained and attuned to the needs of Western guests. I didn’t encounter any of the “lost in translation” situations you sometimes find yourself in at local hotels.
Room: I had booked and received a Deluxe King room in the central of three buildings, facing the large pool. The room has wood floors, and uses a mix of wood furniture and paneling for a very Scandinavian look. The accent wall behind the bed is painted in a blue-green color. Other than the very nice lamps, there is no artwork or decoration in the room and no local flavor. It’s very contemporary, but feels more like arriving in Seattle than in Ubud!
My favorite feature is the “Heavenly Bed” made famous by Westin. The King bed with a soft mattress topper, high quality linen, great comforter and pillows is one of the most comfortable beds in the industry and a very upscale feature in a midscale hotel! There are universal power outlets and one USB port (now, now, no fighting) next to the bed as well as a nice bluetooth speaker & alarm clock!
Facing the bed are a wall mounted TV, cupboards with tea/coffee facilities and an (empty) mini fridge, a luggage bench as well as a desk with chair. In the corner is a padded chair.
Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows and doors to the balcony. It is the width of the room and deep enough for a small table with two chairs, all overlooking the pool below and the forest beyond! The balcony is covered, protecting it from rain and the room from direct sunlight. The windows are covered with sheers as well as blackout blinds, keeping the room perfectly dark in the morning!
The bathroom is separated from the bedroom with a glass window, making the room feel larger and the bathroom open and bright. It has blinds for privacy on the inside. The sink on a large countertop faces the room window, so you can brush your teeth with a view, but will have to turn akwardly to the mirror on the side to shave. There is lots of room for toiletries on the countertop and on shelves below.
On the opposite wall is a fully glass enclosed walk-in shower. It’s outfitted with two shower heads, one handheld with a movable mount and one rainfall shower head. Soap and shampoo are provided in ecofriendly dispensers. The toilet is next to it and features a bidet seat, a feature increasingly common in hotels across Asia.
The wardrobe is also in the bathroom, with plenty of space for your stuff. A hairdryer, laptop size safe and iron/ironboard and very handy umbrella are found inside. I find the wardrobe in the bathroom inconvenient when you travel with two people as access is inconvenient when one person is using the bathroom.
The WiFi internet was reliable and consistently fast at an average speed of 17.5Mbps – some of the fastest on Bali – and great for work or streaming video.
If you are an Element brand fan, please note that the Element Ubud is not an extended stay hotel, the breakfast is not included and there is no afternoon happy hour, like at other properties of this brand!
Restaurant & Amenities: The Element by Westin Ubud offers a large resort style pool with lots of loungers around it. It conforms with the grounds and drops over a waterfall to a small secondary pool on a lower level, making for a more secluded second area of loungers with more privacy. A pool bar serves drinks and food to you on your lounger.
On that lower level you’ll also find a small gym with cardio equipment and free weights for a basic workout. They also offer classes, including yoga and zumba, so you can stick with your workout routine!
Next to it is the spa offering a full menu of treatments, including massages. The prices are significantly higher than in town, but they do offer discounts during the morning. I didn’t try it out during my stay.
The restaurant is located on the lower level of the main building and has open-air seating overlooking the pool area.
Breakfast is served buffet style and offers a huge variety like many upscale hotels in Asia. You have several juices and coffee or espresso drinks from a machine, as well as a good selection of pastries and breads, cut fruits and cold cuts. There are hot Asian and Western dishes, including breakfast meats, waffles and eggs. You can also order make-to-order eggs from a station and they will be delivered to your table. The breakfast restaurant with its good selection, quality and service was another plus for the hotel and reasonably priced at $7pP.
The restaurant serves lunch and dinner a-la-carte and also delivers as room service.
There is a small business center with two desktop computers at the lobby level. To my surprise, you’ll also find a dive shop on premises, offering scuba diving excursions and daily dive trips. It’s actually not a bad idea as the good dive sites are on the East Coast of Bali and about the same distance from Ubud as from Seminyak or Kuta.
For land adventures, you can borrow mountain bikes from the bell desk. They are in good shape and you can get a lock and helmet for a longer (or more adventurous) outing. There is an old Willy’s Jeep displayed next to the bike, but unfortunately, you can’t borrow that for a 4×4 adventure!
Value & Rewards: The room was $95/night during my stay, but I booked two weekend nights at the Element for only 2,000 SPG points/night (worth $48). That’s exceptional points value received and a great deal! Starting in August 18, 2018, the Element Ubud will require 12,500 points (worth $100), making it a lot less interesting on points. I’d consider this the best bed and internet for your money in Ubud, but the value is tempered by the bad location outside town. You can find current prices at the Element Ubud here!
As an SPG Gold member, I received 125 welcome points and a fruit plate as a welcome amenity and was also granted a late check-out at 2pm. I was not offered an upgrade to a preferred room, although my assigned room was on a higher floor and away from the elevator, as I like it.
Bottomline: The Element by Westin Ubud offers a Heavenly Bed, fast internet, points opportunities and a big resort pool combined with friendly service and a good breakfast. The bland room decor lacks any Balinese touches and the location on the major road far out of town are the major downsides. The Element by Westin Ubud works best for SPG/Marriott fans and first-time visitors to Indonesia who expect the comforts they are used to from home and plan on exploring the island on day-trips with a driver.
But if you want to soak up the zen atmosphere of Ubud and pursue your personal Eat.Pray.Love, you won’t find it here and are better off in local hotels with similar prices like the Ubud Wana or The Lokha! Check out my Destination Guide Ubud for more tips!
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