Living on the western side of Australia means that it’s tradition to go to Bali at least once a year, as its a short 3 hour flight and deals can get as little as $200 return.
Throughout the year you are bound to bump into someone that is either going to Bali for a wedding, a weekend getaway, or wanting a cheap family holiday to catch some sun while drinking cheap beer and cocktails.
For us, this was our second trip to Bali so instead of heading back to Seminyak and Kuta, we trekked out to the cultural side of Bali to the small town of Ubud. As this was a weekend stay we wanted a resort that was nice but not too expensive. We ended up finding the Kamandalu Resort & Spa on Skyscanner and booked a weekend stay to celebrate Jess’s birthday.
Kamandalu Resort & Spa
Kamandalu Resorts & Spa is located in Ubud, Bali which is around an hours drive from the international airport. The resorts accommodation is divided into two sections, the garden villas are located near the pool and restaurant with the chalets located over the rice paddy fields. The resort was clean, had plenty of staff and was not too far from tourist attractions such as Monkey Forrest, Kopi Luwak coffee farms and the vast array of local temples.
If you are looking for more then just a cheap beach holiday we highly recommend you take some time to visit Ubud.If you have made the effort to fly to another country with its own history, religions, traditions and languages, we feel you need to find time to experience them.If you want the best of both worlds we suggest splitting your trip up into 2 parts, spend half of your time in Kuta or Seminyak and the other half in Ubud.
The hotel is around a 10 minute ride to Ubud Centre and a free shuttle bus runs twice an hour throughout the day. Restaurants, cafes and spas are scattered throughout the city centre along with the famous Monkey Forrest. You can easily grab a taxi in town to take you on a day tour to visit sacred temples, local villages and coffee and spice plantations (our tour was only $30 for the both of us). If you are wanting to climb Mt Batur (like we did) then staying in Ubud is recommended as we were only a 20 minute drive away.
Our Garden view villa was very generous on space, especially the size of our bed. We arrived to two comfortable double beds pushed together to form some type of Shaquille O’Neil super bed. We had a big bath, outdoor shower and a very large garden with a balinese hut for relaxation. Our Garden Villa was very private due to the fence and gate providing a secluded front and backyard. As mentioned before, Ubud does not receive as many visitors so generally when heading here you can get a very decent deal for a luxurious stay.
Most of our service encounters came from dinner service and use of the concierge. Upon arrival we were greeted with leis and fresh juice, and every night we found a new treat to eat before bed. We did work with the concierge to organise a riding bike tour, they ended up also being our tour guides. They spoke good english and were very friendly on our tour providing insights to the surrounding areas. Overall we were happy with the customer service and can report no fault.
As this was a luxurious resort and spa it contained just about everything you require including a large pool with a bar, spa, digital TV and free wireless internet in your rooms. The hotel spa was quite pricey, but that’s expected at hotels and resorts in Bali. If you are after a cheap massage you can quite easily get a 2 hour massage for 1/4 of the price in Ubud centre where bartering is quite common. If you are a guest who likes to spend time at the pool, bar and spa you can quite easily spend your weekend stay in the hotel and still be satisfied.
We were happy to see that the pictures on the website matched what we saw in person. It’s expected that most hotel websites show the best room or the one with the best view, however the Garden Villa shown on the website could’ve easily been the Garden Villa we stayed in. For a room just under $250 per night it offered all the facilities we required, however the lack of local restaurants close to our hotel meant we ended up eating at the hotel restaurant which was standard Australian prices. With Bali being known for cheap food and cheap beer, this may put off some guests. Overall, we do recommend that you consider Kamandalu for your stay in Ubud, and of course we definitely recommend you put Ubud on your travel list.
Travel Tip: Take a taxi instead of the hotel shuttle bus for your airport transfer, we saved around $10 on our trip. We had originally ordered the hotel bus for $60USD but as we arrived just after midnight the front desk had forgotten about our order. However, it was quite easy to catch a taxi out to the hotel and ended up costing us just over $50AUD to get there.
Price: $242 per room/per night for a two persons villa with garden view and breakfast.
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