Bali Local Secrets: Ubud

Bound Round was in Bali during the first week of July. It was the busiest week of the year for Indonesia’s tourist centre. Schools around the world were on holidays.  It was the week before Ramadan. And loads of Aussies were looking for a sunny getaway to break up winter.

Our trip was planned at the last minute, and because it was so busy, accommodation was hard to find. Lucky for us we went to a Visit Indonesia event the week before we travelled, and through the locals who presented we picked up two fantastic insider tips on where to stay!

The students like posing for photos

The trip started at Sully Resort in Ubud.

More like an ashram than a hotel, Sully Resort is home to the Bali Global Foundation, where around 120 underprivileged Indonesian teenagers live, complete high school education and learn basic hospitality skills.  Our suite was so big I’m sure it could have slept almost a whole class from the Foundation. The four-poster king bed had a mosquito net which I was particularly glad about given for the three days of our stay there was a never-ending procession of ants across the middle of the room.  All just part of staying in the tropics in traditional accommodation!

My first hotel activity was a trip to the day spa where you can have a massage out in the balmy night air or as well as in a more typical massage room.  During the stay I tried both massage locations and got lucky when I was outside because instead of the usual day spa soundtrack, my relaxation was accompanied by students playing Balinese music mixed with croaking frogs and chirping crickets.  A very authentic Balinese experience.

Sully Resort isn’t in Ubud proper, but rather in the nearby wood-carving town of Mas.  The hotel provides a shuttle into Ubud town centre and there are also package tours to anywhere on the island and drivers that you can book directly through the hotel.  Ubud region is know for yoga and arts and there’s plenty of opportunity for both in town.  For those who don’t feel like travelling, the resort also offers sunrise yoga classes and wood carving, egg painting and kite making classes – all traditional crafts from the region.

Prayers by the pool

Prayers by the pool

For kids, there are two pools at the resort and with lots of local kids who are keen to practice their English, this is a great hotel for families.  The students also put on a traditional dance performance each night and they encourage guests to get up on stage and participate.

Because much of the hotel is managed by students, if you’re looking for a hotel that’s well polished and where everything runs like clockwork Sully Resort probably isn’t going to be right for you.  But if you’re keen to talk to local kids about what life is like in Bali, and if you want to give back while you’re being looked after, then Sully Resort is an Ubud Region gem that’s well worth considering.

Check back next Saturday to as we uncover our second Bali hotel secret.

janeecekellerBali Local Secrets: Ubud
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