I only had a short stay in the serene Sri Ratih cottages, but the time I spent there made me appreciate Bali so much more than I had up till this point.
Arriving in Ubud after an extremely long, slow and tiring taxi ride I was ready to escape Bali’s ridiculously congested traffic and relax in my own little world for a while, and I found exactly what I needed in the peaceful and relaxing Sri Ratih Cottages.
The hotel wasn’t easy to find at first, my taxi driver had no clue where it was despite giving him an exact address, but we did eventually find it, tucked away in a hidden corner a short drive away from Jalan Hanoman, and from the minute I arrived I felt instantly better.
I was greeted with a welcoming, friendly smile and a refreshing drink as the staff efficiently checked me in and showed me to my room. The large semi detached bungalow I was given was up a small set of stairs that was accessed via the beautifully landscaped gardens, with the winding pathways giving an illusion of absolute seclusion as we walked from reception. The small pool looked so inviting amidst the gardens too, but unfortunately I never did get to use it properly because it generally filled up quite quickly with just a few people.
Not that this was too much of a concern. Arriving at my room, I really couldn’t help but grin. It was truly spectacular for the mid level price range.
Sometimes as a backpacker you need to upgrade to flashpacker status for a while, and my room here delivered that in spades. Decorated in beautifully elegant traditional Balinese furnishings, the warm wood made the large room feel really cozy and welcoming, it was a far cry from some hotel rooms which can often feel impersonal and bland. With a large comfortable bed and a lot of little touches to make you feel even more welcome.
This was the Bali I had been looking for!
The bathroom was beautifully appointed and decorated too, with a strong power shower and plenty of amenities and little touches to allow you to pamper yourself a little. It was outdoors but completely closed off from the outside world by a large enclosed wall, and gave a surprising sense of privacy with the unique and relaxing feeling of showering or bathing in the warm tropical air. It isn’t often I write about bathrooms with such gusto but frankly this felt like an experience in and of itself!
Vouchers were given for the attached spa for a free ten minute taster session and a discount on their normal rates. I would have loved to have taken them up on their offer but arrive too late in the day to use the voucher and was turned away. The free session was only between limited hours during the day – when I was usually out in Ubud – so I couldn’t use it, and the prices for other massages and treatments – given in US dollars – were extremely high. It was easier and cheaper to just walk up the road to any of the other professional spas instead.
I spent most evenings after dinner in Ubud at the hotel, relaxing on the spacious balcony that overlooked the gardens and the pool, and really enjoyed the peaceful solitude that allowed me to catch up on some reading and get some writing done. I did however wander down to the bar that was attached to the restaurant quite late one night, and being the only customer there I was treated to an informal gathering with the staff who invited me to join them. Maybe trying a little of the local moonshine wasn’t the cleverest of ideas, but it isn’t often you get to sit down and chat with locals on such a personal level and it added a whole extra dimension to the level of personal service given here.
The breakfast – given on a coupon system – wasn’t the best I’ve had in Bali, or anywhere for that matter. Instead of being allowed a broad selection, I was given a limited choice of set breakfasts from a menu that were far from inspiring, and there was no deviation from those sets either. When it arrived the food was good and tasty enough, there just wasn’t all that much of it, and frankly I really would have liked to have more flexibility in what came out rather than a set menu. This wasn’t a major problem as I spent most days in Ubud and the surrounding areas anyway where food was cheap and unbelievably good, so it isn’t as if I went hungry, but it was a slight letdown that they could easily improve upon.
They do have a free shuttle that runs to Monkey Forest Road and back a couple of times a day as well, and given that the cottages were a little out of the way this service was excellent. They really should increase the amount of times it runs though, as mid morning and early afternoons only were very limiting. I would have found it really useful to have that service in the early evening and night as well for heading into Ubud for dinner.
Overall though, Sri Ratih Cottages was an amazing mid range place to stay and a perfect flashpacking choice to relax and pamper yourself in nice surroundings for a little while. I totally recommend it, and if you are in Bali and fancy a little comfort at a fair budget, then you could do a lot worse than staying here.
Sri Ratih Cottages can be found on Jl. Raya Penestanan, Ubud, Bali 80582.
Ready to book? The Sri Ratih Cottages website can be found here.
This review was written with the accommodation kindly provide by Sri Ratih Cottages. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling, and are honest and factual without any bias.