The GQ Guide to Ubud: 5 Places to Eat and Stay in Bali's New Hotspot

By Brad Nash
22 August 2018
Travel, Ubud, Bali
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If the thought of tacky beach clubs puts you off of Bali, Ubud is the place to be.

Ubud is so much more than a place for baby boomers to go on Yoga retreats and English tourists to walk around in Sarongs. It's a peaceful place, full of great food, vibrant people and some of the most incredible architecture and nature anywhere in Bali. In fact, we're willing to come out and say that any great trip to Bali should start in Ubud, which is well and truly the island's beating heart from both a spiritual and geographic perspective. Here's how to do the jungle-clad, rice paddy-strewn city right.

Maya Ubud

Stay At: Maya Ubud
Address: Jl. Gn. Sari, Peliatan, Ubud
The Rundown: Set amongst the denser part of Ubud's rainforest, Maya Ubud has two of the greatest pools you're likely to see anywhere in Bali, with incredible views of the local jungle and rivers accompanied by flawlessly friendly staff, a fantastic bar and a top-notch restaurant. So good, you'll almost forget there's an entire village just down the road.

Fair Warung Bale

Eat Time And Time Again At: Fair Warung Bale
Jalan Jatayu, Tebesaya, Ubud
The Rundown: Warungs are the culinary Crown Jewels of Ubud, dishing out incredibly consistent and flavourful homemade Indonesian fare for as little as Dhs8-10 a plate. Fair Warung Bale is a Warung that tries to make a difference, run by the Fair Future Foundation to provide a social structure and career aspirations for young adults between 14 and 22 years old, while investing 100 percent of its profits back into a social healthcare project for local residents. It's a tiny bit more expensive, but if you're haggling over Dhs8 worth of food, you've missed the point entirely. 

Room 4 Dessert

Indulge At: Room 4 Dessert
Jl. Raya Sanggingan, Kedewatan, Ubud
The Rundown: Room 4 Dessert is the brainchild of the rather unstable-seeming (in a good way), New York-raised pastry genius that is Will Goldfarb. Most recently featured on the pastry-themed Season 3 of Chef's Table, Room 4 Dessert boasts an incredible dessert tasting menu that makes the most of locally-sourced ingredients, with highlights including Creme Brulee with Bubur Injin, Tape Ketan, Lime Bitters and salt.


Get Dinner At: Locavore
Address: 10 Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud
The Rundown: I'd wager that Locavore, with its 7-course Degustation Menu going for a smidge over Dhs215 a head, is one of the best value fine dining experiences anywhere in the world. And fine dining it is. Locavore currently sits at #21 on the San Pellegrino 50 Best in Asia list, with its carefully curated menu using locally sourced ingredients to take the diner on a culinary tour around the rainforests and rice paddies that flourish on the volcanic plains of Central Bali. During the day, Locavore To Go dishes out upmarket street fare for the thronging masses as well.

Drink At: The Night Rooster
Address: 10 Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud
The Rundown: Ubud is a pretty far cry from the club-lined cesspools that are Seminyak and Kuta, but if you're after somewhere cheap there are plenty of very agreeable places along Ubud's main strip where you can easily indulge. If you're after something a little more refined though, Locavore has opened a bar on floor above its restaurant, where resident local mixologist Raka is creating art out of drinks with locally sourced fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices.

Burn It All Off At: The Campuhan Ridge Walk
Address: Kelusa, Payangan, Jl. Raya Campuan, Sayan, Ubud
The Rundown: Campuhan's iconic ridge walk was surprisingly quiet when we went there, and is easily the best extended walking track in the city. The very un-fenced road winds its way up a narrow ridge, making for incredible views of the local rice paddies and jungles, while the Karsa Cafe and Spa waits at the end of the main ridge walk to ease the pain of any weary traveller.

Via GQ Australia