On our trip to Bali, we had kept the last few nights open and not booked a hotel. We were hoping to find a nice hotel near Ubud, with views of the rice paddies, maybe an outdoor shower or some of the other upscale, unique touches available at Bali hotels without the price tags you’d have to pay on Bora Bora or the Maldives. On a walk along the Campuhan Ridge outside Ubud, we saw the Lokha Resort & Spa overlooking a steep, narrow river valley and forest, decided to check out the rooms, loved it and booked a “Pool Villa” on the spot as the highlight of our Bali trip!
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Location: The Lokha is located on a ridge outside Ubud, overlooking forest and a river, surrounded by fields. The location is one of the great benefits of the hotel – and at the same time its only downside: The views from the hotel and the rooms are stunning and you have the feeling of being away from the world. In the case of the pool villas, you have complete privacy, seeing only forest and river, but no people or buildings – and nobody can see into your room our garden! That privacy and place in nature comes at the price of being away from Ubud and all it has to offer. You can reach town in about 30 minutes via a footpath, including stairs, making bikes difficult. Or via the shuttle bus or a taxi from town, also approximately 30 minutes on a roundabout way.
Service: The staff at The Lokha Ubud is friendly and attentive throughout. They were responsive to requests we had, for example insect spray, and generally professional. Housekeeping was thorough and quick each day and the restaurant staff kept the breakfast buffet well stocked, and brought any special orders without delay. The front desk needs a little work though: they were not willing to match the best online-rate when we are inspecting the rooms – even though that meant even less revenue for them when we booked via smartphone from their lobby. And they refused a late check-out even though the pool villas were mostly empty during our stay. The service was good, but not up to the luxury level you would expect at a property that only has villas!
Room: The pool villa is the reason why we booked the Lokha and it is spectacular! There are two rows of villas, valley villas with views of the forest and river villas, with views of the forest and river below (the better choice in my opinion!). Each has a private entry with a gate you can close from the inside, leading to a courtyard with a private, infinity pool with two sun loungers and a small pagoda with a daybed and table with two chairs.
You enter the villa via a large, sliding glass door, stepping into the bedroom. You have a king-size, four-poster bed facing the glass doors as well as a couch to one side and a desk to the other. Going around the bed, you’ll find plenty of closet space and racks to store your luggage out of sight. There is a large (laptop-size) safe as well as coffee/tea facilities, a minibar/fridge and a TV (which we never turned on). We liked the great-sounding Harmon bluetooth speaker, which we used inside and outdoors! Next to the bedroom is an open bathroom, with a toilet separated by glass doors, a double vanity and a separate, deep soaking bathtub and rainfall shower. You can exit from the shower directly to the outside pool – very handy!
The rooms are nicely designed and well kept. But what makes these villas a great choice for a romantic stay is the generous outdoor space that allows you to sun on the loungers, dip in the pool, have a meal outside or just relax or read on the day bed in perfect privacy! Add 24h room service and you never have to leave your villa, if you don’t want to!
Restaurant/Amenities: We did leave our villa after all, starting with the buffet breakfast in the morning. The selection was nice, somewhere between the overwhelming choice at the pullman Legian and the limited choice at the Ubud Wana: You had a good selection of fresh fruit and multiple yogurts, as well as cereal. There were pastries and bread, as well as a make-to-order station for eggs and pancakes as well as a few hot dishes. Unfortunately, the taste and quality of the food was not as good as either of our other hotels on Bali – good for the category of the regular rooms, but below expectations for the category of the pool villas.
The hotel has a nice, small infinity pool next to the restaurant and bar, for all guests with a few loungers around the pool. They would fill up during our stay, despite the hotel not being full. If you are planning a destination wedding, you can make use of the wedding chapel overlooking the forest for about 25 guests.
For your workout, there is a small gym. The best offering at the hotel is their spa – it has regular treatment rooms, as well as beautiful, open air spa villas. They have two massage tables for couples massages, separate shower and toilet cubicles, a couch and a large, deep soaking tub overlooking the forest and river. It’s one of the most luxurious and exotic massage environments you can find. We booked a massage and the therapists were very good, making for the best massage we had on Bali. Unfortunately, there was no hot water during our spa visit, so the scheduled “flower bath” didn’t happen and the shower was short and cold! The prices at the spa are steep, many times higher than the spa across the street or the many massage shops in Ubud – you be the judge if the open air spa villa is worth that price premium. It sure is a unique experience.
Bottomline: What really makes the Lokha stand out are the location and the pool villas: we paid $200/night, making them exceptional value. The service is friendly and food is good even though they are more in line with the price of the regular rooms than the luxury the pool villas project. If you are planning a romantic getaway to Bali, the Lokha Ubud is a great place to spend a part of it – the pool villas are a great treat without the price tag. You can check the current prices here!