The Padma Ubud may not get quite as much hype as its Legian sister, but this post might just sway you towards splitting your time between the two locations. I wasn’t particularly looking forward to heading further north than we live during of one of the rainiest weeks I’ve ever experienced in Bali, but I packed up the kids and my husband and headed out. The moment we arrived at the resort I was hooked and will tell you all about why.
Getting There and Checking In
The Padma Ubud is actually in Payangan, which is on the way to the central mountains of Bali and Kintamani. It’s about 40 minutes from Central Ubud and a good 2 to 2.5 hour drive from the Kuta/Legian area. I promise the drive is worth it though, as the scenery is beautiful and once you arrive at the resort you’ll understand why they chose a location so far from everywhere.
The staff couldn’t have been more helpful and we got delicious lemongrass tea and apple juice for the kids, as well as warm towels. When we arrived I was surprised by how Balinese the buildings were in style. I definitely expected something a little more slick and modern, but the Balinese feel was beautifully tied in with modern wall features, a decorative tiled floor and fish ponds teeming with coy (always a hit with the kids).
The Padma’s 149 rooms are arranged on 3 floors with views either of the gardens and jungle or over the swimming pool and river valley from the suites.
We were on the ground floor in a Premier Room, which had one king and one single bed. The room was a great size and with the sliding doors that could close off the huge bathroom it seemed even more open. A small terrace looking out into the gardens and jungle beyond was also a lovely feature making the room nice and bright.
The bathroom was immaculate and had a large tub, glassed in shower and huge sink area. There was also a dressing area with a separate door, which again was a favorite feature for the kids as they could sneak up on whoever was in the bathroom. The size of the bathroom and the openness of the room meant we could all fit in and that the kids could have a bath while we were relaxing in the room or on the terrace without the worry of not being able to see them.
The rooms are beautiful at the Padma Ubud, but the real star of the show is the 89 metre long infinity pool. Yes…89 metres! It’s also heated, has a fabulous pool bar, a kids pool with a waterfall, a hidden pool with a waterfall below the main pool and a jacuzzi. The views are nothing short of breathtaking and the photo opportunities endless.
Even when the skies were grey or it was getting cooler in the evening, it was deliciously warm in the pool. Getting out was chilly but luckily there is a fire pit to warm up next to in the evening. And it does get chilly at the resort in rainy season especially. We didn’t use the air conditioning in the room and outside wore jumpers when we were having dinner.
Apart from the pool there is also a good gym with a male and female saunas and steam rooms and a spa that we checked out but didn’t have a treatment in this time. It was a wonderful grotto-like space that opened into bright airy rooms and a relaxing lounge area.
The kids were dying to get to Wolly Kids Club so it was our first stop after leaving our things in our room. It’s tucked away at the far end of the pool, just behind the kids pool. There were only 2 other kids in the club when we arrived, and with 3 staff members we had no worry about supervision. We signed the kids in and filled in a form about allergies, etc. This always makes me feel confident that the resort takes the safety and health of the kids seriously.
Then it was straight into playing for them. There was a great selection of toys, books and crafts for all ages, as well as a Playstation and TV for movies in the evening. There was also a schedule of crafts, games and other activities, but as our kids were the only ones in the kids club all day Saturday, they followed it loosely and just sort-of played what the kids wanted to.
I absolutely couldn’t fault the staff in the kids club. They were attentive and engaged with the kids the whole time and communicated really naturally with them, making sure that they weren’t bored or over tired. And there are even bunk beds in a room at the back of the kids club if anyone does get a little in need of a nap.
Eating in the Resort
We all look forward to a resort buffet breakfast right? I know my kids definitely do, and this was one of the best we’ve had. First of all the selection of food was incredible and the views from the 4th floor restaurant are even more outstanding.
But seriously, there was everything from smoothies in cute little flip top bottles, pancakes, hash browns, 2 types of bacon and things like meatloaf and roasted chicken…for breakfast. I had bagel with smoked salmon, which is a very rare treat.
Everyone knows it can get expensive to eat in resorts so I was prepared for seriously expensive food. Fortunately it really wasn’t as expensive as some resorts we’ve stayed at in south Bali and the portion sizes, especially kids meals, were very generous. We at in the room one night due to an event in the poolside restaurant, but ate there on the second night.
We ate dinner in the resort twice and also had a few happy hour drinks (2 for 1 or 4 small bintangs for the price of 3). The kids got activity sheets and some colouring pencils and had their usual fish/chicken fingers and chips and we also had a mixed satay and pizza that were both delicious. Kids meals are around Rp75,000 and full meals from Rp100,000 for pizzas to Rp200,000 for flashier steaks etc.
Another great thing about the resort is their afternoon tea. Starting from 2.30pm a selection of snacks, sandwiches, tea and coffee are served in the restaurant. It keeps the kids going a little longer so you don’t have to eat dinner too early.
The Resort Area
As you can see from the pictures, the Padma Ubud resort area is absolutely stunning. I thought one of the most beautiful things about it was the pathways that run about 1.5km around the resort. A winding pathway descends into the river valley so you can really see the Balinese jungle up close. Walking in the morning was lovely and there are even a couple of bamboo bales to sit in and rest or for yoga practice. We saw lots of beautiful butterflies, moths, birds and the sound of the cicadas in the evening was really wonderful.
Paradise at The Padma Ubud
We weren’t surprised at how lovely the Padma was, but we were so impressed with the staff and personal service we received.There was a definite family-vibe about the employees of the resort and we even got to see one of the girls from the kids club get a fully-clothed dunking in the pool for her birthday. The care everyone showed with the kids and just being interested and friendly with us was above and beyond what we’ve experienced at many other hotels and resorts.
I’m not sure how I would have felt about the stay if the rain had continued for the whole weekend, but I talked to other guests who said the rain and grey skies hadn’t really bothered them too much because the scenery was so lush and the pool was so warm.
You get a real feel of Bali at Padma Ubud that you don’t get when you stay in resorts in south Bali. The beauty of the scenery and the way the land has been used for getting close to nature has been extremely well designed and means you can really see a whole different side of Bali.
For travelers who want a bit of both scenes the Padma offers a Beach and Mountain package, which I would highly recommend!
To find out more about the Padma Resorts in Bali visit: www.padmahotels.com