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Ayung Resort Ubud Review: Tropical Luxury and Art in Bali

We gape, amazed.

Oversize golden serpents hang from the ceiling.

A wood-carved Komodo dragon clings to the wall. Marble sculptures of lions roar at us. Painted-wood winged beings and other fantastical creatures stand like sentries. 

Many are larger-than life.

It looks like a large art gallery. But we’re actually in the breezy reception lobby of Ayung Resort Ubud.

It’s a 5-star hotel in Ubud on the romantic island of Bali. (You may remember Ubud from the Eat Pray Love flick, starring Julia Roberts).

Ayung Resort is one of the most romantic places to stay in Bali. And this lobby is stuffed with an eclectic collection of original art and sculptures from Indonesia and across Asia.

Ayung Resort Ubud is a delightful place to stay in Bali.
Ayung Resort Ubud is a delightful place to stay in Bali

Ayung Resort Ubud: A tropical hideaway

Ayung Resort Ubud, Bali
Welcome to the artsy Ayung Resort Ubud!

Ayung Resort Ubud garners great reviews on TripAdvisor (with a 2023 “Travelers’ Choice” award). It was also a “World Luxury Hotel Awards” winner as well.

And we can see why.

For one thing, the resort’s private and lush rainforest setting is ideal.

Villas and one wing of the Ayung Ubud hotel look out over the lush Ayung River gorge.
Villas and one wing of the hotel look out over the lush Ayung River gorge

It is serene and quiet, yet just a 10- to 15-minute drive away from Ubud, with its bustling daytime shopping and art gallery exploration and its nightly traditional Balinese dance performances.

To get to Ubud, the resort offers free transfers by luxury SUV three times a day. (Luxury transport to the resort from Bali’s international airport in Denpasar, some 90 minutes away, is also offered.)

You can choose a hotel room

Reached by a winding road, the resort entrance is flanked by two rearing horse statues; Ayung’s art-filled lobby sits near the top of the resort.

Two separate hotel buildings (one with 18 guestrooms and the other with 20 guestrooms) and 18 luxury villas are strewn along a sloping hillside.

best luxury hotels in Bali - Ayung Resort Ubud
Each hotel wing has its own large swimming pool

All the villas (and the Sita hotel building or wing) overlook the Ayung River gorge and have panoramic views of the emerald-green tropical rainforest opposite.

The two hotel wings (Sita and family-favored Laksmana) have their own large swimming pools.

Carved wood villas

We stayed in one of the villas (called Rumah Kudus) – a fabulous 100-foot long, one-level vacation home done in traditional Indonesian style.

The Rumah Kudus interiors and exteriors were built from lovingly restored, hand-carved, dark wood panels imported from Java.

Our villa was very private, with its own pool (big enough to swim a few laps), wrap-around outdoor decking and solid teak outside lounge furniture.

Our villa's living room looked like this - photo Ayung Resort Ubud
Our villa living room looked like this

Inside, there was a beautiful large living-and-dining room with a gleaming granite floor.

It came fully furnished with polished mahogany and rosewood furniture, a fridge filled with complimentary juices, and an excellent Malongo coffee/cappuccino maker for all-day espressos or cappuccinos.

The separate bedroom, also traditional dark wood, invited rest and relaxation.

Bedrooms in the wood-carved villas have huge four-poster king beds and lots of ornate carved wood details

The huge, super-modern bathroom – with a tub, separate glass shower and two well-lit sinks and spacious vanity/make-up areas – was a treat (no jockeying for mirror space needed).

Facade of Borobudur

Indonesian stone carvings and statues decorate a garden fountain

Outside, a winding brick path leads down past carved stone faces and even a detailed, carved facade of Borobudur, Yogyakarta’s most famous Buddhist temple monument.

The path leads down further to an enclosure holding small deer, well-fed and looked after.

A lotus pond at Ayung Resort Ubud

You can actually walk down a serpentine footpath with stairs all the way to the river bank below.

All the moss-covered carvings look ancient, though the stone was actually carved by 250 master artisans four or five years before the resort opened.

Moss-covered stone carvings at Ayung Resort, Ubud
Moss-covered stone carvings at Ayung Resort

Top-notch dining

We thoroughly enjoyed the food at Ayung Resort Ubud – some of the best fine dining in Ubud.

The restaurant at Ayung Resort Ubud serves up creatively-plated and delicious dishes.
The restaurant at Ayung Resort Ubud serves up creatively-plated and delicious dishes

The restaurant is beautiful.

At breakfast and afternoon tea, we’d sit by the railing looking out over the thick rainforest, keeping our eyes peeled for monkeys swinging in the treetops.

Sometimes we could see helmeted thrill-seekers in colorful whitewater rafts, cheerfully bouncing along the Ayung River way below.

Thrill-seekers like to go whitewater rafting down the Ayung River

There’s also a more casual dining rooftop space offering Italian food and oven-baked pizza, which we wish we’d had time to try out.

Ayung Resort Ubud review: If you go

What we especially liked

Apart from the hideaway setting and carved villas, it was the food, the glorious food that we really liked! Other guests also rave about the food.

What to know

Don’t book to stay when an incentive group meeting or conference is taking place (because you won’t get the peace and quiet you otherwise experience here). Ayung Resort Ubud has conference facilities, and groups make use of them.

But you’ll likely be told if there’s going to be an overlap between your planned stay and a conference.


We stayed at several hotels in Ubud (including Kayumanis Ubud and the Four Seasons Resort at Sayan), and Ayung Resort Ubud is hands-down one of the best-priced luxury options around. Rates are super reasonable.

You can get a hotel room which includes full breakfast (eggs, crepes, you name it), a lovely afternoon tea, Ubud transfers and of course, WiFi.

The best deals, though, are the private-pool villas (like the one we stayed in), which start at very low prices, compared to the competition.

Ayung Resort Ubud, Bali: Check rates and availability here

Experience more of Bali!

Another beautiful Bali hotel: Mix it up and stay at another fab place too. See our Alila Villas Uluwatu review. (It’s possibly the most luxurious hotel in Bali.)

Monkey sanctuary: There’s a lot of monkey business going on at the Ubud Monkey Forest. But the babies sure are cute!

Seminyak: Seminyak is Bali’s trendiest district, and pool villas in Seminyak are all the rage.

Our top travel tips and resources

Hotels: is great for scoring a “wow” hotel – or at least a decent one. (We especially like their flexible cancellation policy!)

Vacation homes, condos and rentals: We prefer and use Vrbo (Vacation Rentals by Owner).

Tours: For the best local food, walking and other guided tours, plus skip-the-line tickets to attractions, check out Viator (a TripAdvisor company) and GetYourGuide.

Car rental: Renting a car is often one of the best ways to explore off the beaten path. Discover Cars searches car rental companies so you get the best rates.

Travel insurance: SafetyWing is designed for frequent travelers, long-term adventurers and digital nomads. It covers medical expenses, lost checked luggage, trip interruption and more. We also have and recommend Medjet for global air medical transportation and travel security.

Travel gear: See our travel shop to find the best luggage, accessories and other travel gear. (We suggest these comfy travel sandals for city walking, the beach and kicking about.)

Need more help planning your trip? Check out our travel tips and resources guide for airline booking tips, ways to save money, how to find great hotels and other crazy useful trip planning info.

Pssst! If you make a booking or purchase through our site, we may earn a small commission (at no cost to you). Thanks!

Photo credits: 2, 3, 9 to 14, 16, 18, 19 © Janice and George Mucalov, SandInMySuitcase | Remaining photos Ayung Resort Ubud

We stayed at Ayung Resort Ubud as media guests for review purposes. But our words and views are always our own – and we tell you if a place has any warts. (We follow the SATW, TMAC and NATJA codes of ethics and conduct for professional travel writers.)

About the authors

Luxury travel journalists and SATW, NATJA and TMAC “Best Travel Blog” award winners, Janice and George Mucalov are the publishers of Sand In My Suitcase. Between them, they’ve traveled to all 7 continents. See About.

Find destination guides, global food-and-wine stories, luxury hotel reviews, articles on cultural explorations and soft adventure trips, cruise reviews, insanely useful travel tips and more!

Uwe Grauert

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

We love this Bali hotel too and even made a YouTube video about it!

Janice and George

Sunday 2nd of May 2021

There's lots to love about the Ayung Resort Ubud! Thanks for taking the time to let us know :-).


Wednesday 8th of January 2020

Is the very first photo in your post from the 2 bedroom villa?

Janice and George

Thursday 9th of January 2020

Hi Jen, That first photo of the pool with the pink umbrella is of one of the traditional, carved wood villas (Rumah Kudu villas). The resort has a handful of these villas available (with different views and differently shaped pools). The villas are fabulous! Very unique...


Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Wow! I'm considering staying here too, may I ask how much food on the resort cost (ie eating dinner at a restaurant/room service)?

Janice and George

Thursday 23rd of February 2017

You've made a good choice with Ayung Resort Ubud :-). Here's their website page on their dining options. We don't remember dinner being super expensive. It's probably more expensive though than going into Ubud town, where there are many more restaurant choices (but the main dinner restaurant at Ayung is an elegant restaurant). And remember you get a full breakfast and lovely afternoon tea at Ayung Resort Ubud, so that helps to keep meal costs in control. Have fun! Let us know how you enjoyed the resort if you decide to stay here :-).


Sunday 17th of January 2016

Looks absolutely amazing. Ubud, and Bali in general, is such a great place. Can't wait to go back there again.

Janice and George

Sunday 17th of January 2016

Ayung is amazing :-). As is Ubud. We'd be tickled to return to bali too :-).


Tuesday 1st of September 2015

Wow, amazing!