Alam Jiwa Hotel in Ubud, Bali

by Santorini Dave • Updated: May 6, 2019

Review of Alam Jiwa in Ubud, Bali.

Alam Jiwa – Opulent villas in a divine setting with a village vibe.

One in a chain of adorable hotels so different from resorts, this hotel is based in Nyuhkuning, an arty village at the edge of central Ubud. Within a serene jungle-like setting, the sumptuous villas are very bright, airy, and spacious, and feature traditional décor such as lofty arched ceilings crafted from rattan. Rooms feature super-king-sized beds and massive open-air bathrooms. No TVs, but that doesn’t matter – just stare at the flourishing rice fields from the balconies/verandas, or splash about the substantial pool. Unlike rivals elsewhere in Ubud, the hotel is conveniently located within a village, with a school, temple, football ground, a number of classy bistros, and downtown Ubud just a short stroll away.

Alam Jiwa – The Location

  • Address: 200m along a narrow lane from the main street through Nyuhkuning. This is one of many villages within the area known as Ubud, the most popular tourist area in central Bali.
  • Area: A quiet area within an adorable and tranquil village. School, temple, and football ground right at the start of the access lane to the hotel. Enough places to eat and drink within walking distance, and not too far on foot from downtown Ubud.
  • How to Get There: Best to arrange an airport pickup with the hotel, which is about an hour (36km) away, depending on traffic. See other options under “Local Transport” below. To reach the facilities on Monkey Forest Road, either (1) cut through Monkey Forest (10 minutes), but the entrance fee must be paid, or (2) walk along the short-cut that skirts the outside fence of Monkey Forest (20 minutes).
  • Handy to: Monkey Forest. Museum Pendet.

Alam Jiwa – The Basics

  • Guests: Caters almost exclusively for couples. Most seem to be over 40 and appreciate the seclusion and serenity.
  • Views: All villas face rice fields, some of which are being slowly built on by other hotels (a sad occurrence all over Ubud).
  • Private Pools/Jacuzzis: Not expected or provided given the design of the hotel.
  • Extras: Free transfers to central Ubud. Tea and coffee all day.
  • Wi-Fi: Available free for all guests, but access is less reliable further away from the reception area.
  • Parking: Limited free and secure parking spots at reception, but think long and hard before driving anywhere in Bali.
  • How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
  • Phone: (0)361 974 629
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Website: alamindahbali.com

Alam Jiwa – Amenities

  • Pool: Lovely pool, and a really good size considering the limited number of guests.
  • Spa: No spa on-site but guests are encouraged to use the Alam Wangi Spa, attached to the associated Alam Shanti hotel, 400m (5-minute walk) up the street towards Monkey Forest.
  • Fitness Center: Not expected or provided at this type of boutique hotel.

Alam Jiwa – Food and Drink

  • Restaurant & Bar: Not expected or provided in a very small boutique hotel like this. Meals can be ordered and delivered to the room from local restaurants. Ask at reception.
  • Breakfast: Included and served on the villa balcony/veranda, in the guest lounge, or by the pool.
  • Room Service: Not available, with no restaurant onsite, except at breakfast.

Alam Jiwa – Rooms

  • Room Types: Individually-named villas with views of the gardens and/or rice fields. The Cendrawasih Suite has 2 bedrooms.
  • Smoking Rooms: Permitted anywhere except inside the rooms.
  • Best Room: All similar inside, but those on the upper floors of the 2-level buildings offer views of the rice fields.
  • For Families: All villas are large enough for 2 extra single beds, and the Cendrawasih Suite has 2 bedrooms. However, the hotel is not that well set up for families.

Alam Jiwa – Local Transport

  • Walking & Cycling: Ubud is surprisingly spread out, and distances can be deceivingly long. A few hardy expats ride bicycles, but traffic in central Ubud and hilly roads elsewhere ensure that cycling is rarely enjoyable. However, the streets around Nyuhkuning are perfect for cycling, but few places provide rentals.
  • Public Transport: There is no reliable public transport anywhere in or around Ubud.
  • Cars, Motorbikes, & Taxis: Renting a car is possible at agencies all over Ubud, but driving anywhere in Bali is not recommended. Motorbikes are easy to rent and popular for visiting local attractions without the traffic of southern Bali. Metered taxis from southern Bali can drop passengers off in Ubud but are forbidden to operate here. So the best (and really, only) option for day trips is to charter a car with a driver. This should be organized through the hotel.
  • Shuttle Bus: For towns popular with tourists (e.g. Kuta and Lovina), shuttle buses are comfortable and cheap, if a little overcrowded at times. Local operators, as well as the major island-wide company, Perama, will pick up (but not drop off) guests from hotels. The Kura-Kura Bus company links Ubud with southern Bali, but schedules are convoluted and routes, confusing.

Alam Jiwa – What’s Nearby?

Restaurants & Bars

    Places listed below are within 500m along the street that heads towards Monkey Forest.

  • Warung (Waroeng) Pojok – Directly opposite the turn-off. Cozy and welcoming for inexpensive Indonesian food. 2-minute walk (130m).
  • Ibu Bakery – Coffee and home-baked croissants, pies, and pastries. Eat-in or takeaway. Minimart inside. 3-minute walk (210m).
  • Trattoria Ubud (0)822 4735 4708 – Classy bistro headed by an Italian chef, serving pasta, risotto, pizzas, salads, soups, and grills. The set-priced lunches are excellent value. 3-minute walk (260m).
  • Warung Coconut – Typical family-run café with a range of simple but tasty, healthy, and inexpensive food. 4-minute walk (350m).
  • Old Friends Coffee – Friendly hangout with possibly the finest Balinese coffee in Ubud. Also, a range of pastries. 5-minute walk (350m).
  • Swasti Eco Café – Gorgeous garden setting and a wide variety of healthy food and drinks using home-grown ingredients, including vegan and gluten-free options. Inside a complex of cottages, almost opposite the Trattoria. 6-minute walk (450m).

Shops

  • Minimart at the corner of the lane to the hotel, and another within Ibu Bakery. Along the main street in Nyuhkuning are a few arty shops, but more variety can be found along Monkey Forest Road in central Ubud.

Attractions

  • Museum Pendet – 300m down the street. Offers a modest collection of Balinese artifacts and a shady garden. 4-minute walk.
  • Monkey Forest – May seem a little touristy, and is certainly crowded, but worth visiting (early) for the eerie setting, ancient temples, and mischievous inhabitants. (Hang on to everything!) One of the 2 entrances is about 9-minutes’ walk (700m) down the street from the hotel.

Alam Jiwa – The Hotel

The hotel is located in Nyuhkuning village of Ubud.

The hotel is in Nyuhkuning, one of many villages that make up the region known as Ubud, a very popular tourist area in central Bali.

There is a minimart at the corner of the lane to the hotel.

The access lane to the hotel is along the main street through Nyuhkuning, with a minimart on the corner.

The hotel is located away from the main street.

The hotel is about 200m along a lane from the main street.

The petite boutique hotel has a guest lounge at the reception.

Alam Jiwa is a petite boutique hotel with a guest lounge at the reception.

A very tasty breakfast is included in the rates.

Breakfast is included in the rates, and is very tasty.

Guests can enjoy their breakfast in the villas, in the guest lounge, or by the pool.

Breakfast can be served at the villas, in the guest lounge, or alongside the attractive pool.

Stone paths alongside a canal lead to the villas.

Villas are accessible along stone paths parallel to a subak canal used to irrigate local rice fields.

Cendrawasih Suite comes with 2 bedrooms.

The sole Cendrawasih Suite contains 2 bedrooms.

The 1-bedroom villas are either on the ground or first floor.

All villas (except the Cendrawaish Suite) contain 1 bedroom, and are on the ground floor or upstairs within 2-level buildings.

The huge villas have several windows the maximize light, air, and views.

Villas are absolutely huge, with several windows offering so much light, breeze, and views.

The villas come with massive, double-sized king beds.

The bed in the villas is massive – twice the size of a normal king-sized bed.

Each villa features a beautiful and unique decor.

Villas are beautifully and individually decorated.

Villa bathrooms are larger than bedrooms in rival hotels.

The bathrooms in the villas are larger than many bedrooms in rival hotels.

Upper-floor villas offer excellent views of the rice fields.

Better villas are upstairs, providing exquisite views of the rice fields.

The upper-floor villas offer amazing sunrise views.

Sunrise is a magical time to be on the upstairs balcony.

Warung Pojok at the entrance of the access lane is very cozy and friendly.

Directly opposite the corner of the main street and access lane to the hotel, Warung Pojok is cozy and friendly.

Ibu Bakery nearby serves coffee, ice-cream, cakes, and juices.

Only a 2-minute stroll down from Warung Pojok, Ibu Bakery offers coffee, ice-cream, cakes, and juices.

Old Friends Coffee within walking distance is a friendly place to hangout.

Old Friends Coffee, a short walk down the street from the hotel towards Monkey Forest, is an affable hangout.

Trattoria Ubud within walking distance is an authentic Italian bistro.

Trattoria Ubud is an authentic Italian bistro along the main street in the village, also within a few minutes’ walk of the hotel.

Friendly Warung Coconut cafe serves healthy drinks and meals.

Warung Coconut is a friendly, family-run café focusing on healthy drinks and meals.

The Monkey Forest sanctuary entrance is within walking distance of the hotel.

At the end of the village street, about 700m away, is an entrance to the renowned Monkey Forest.

Monkey Forest is worth visiting.

Monkey Forest is certainly worth visiting for the eerie setting, but come early to avoid the crowds.

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