I recently attended a yoga retreat hosted at Villa Ubud Corner 88. Located at the edge of a river in a remote corner of Ubud, down a road that seems it should be condemned as its in such bad condition, this collection of villas a little slice of paradise. Located on a hill, Villa Ubud Corner 88 are a collection of villas swooping up from the riverbed, with a yoga shala and restaurant at the very top.
The view from the top- or really, any part of the villa- is phenomenal. To the right, the mountains glow blue amidst the haze of the heat of the day. In front, the grass-topped white villa amongst the tall green trees of the jungle, and a beautiful stone temple with a muted red roof are right across the river.
I had to pick my jaw off the floor when I first saw the view. I was busy doing so when I was brought a welcome drink- a delicious mix of fruit juices- and a welcome snack, a coconut pancake, by a friendly member of the staff. As I was there for a yoga retreat that runs independently of the hotel in which it takes place, I was surprised that he also brought me a welcome packet for the retreat and explained the schedule to me. But as I found out, the staff were more integral to the retreat than the retreat teachers! They were super helpful throughout my stay, and were very friendly and congenial besides.
After I was done snacking, and taking in the view, I hopped in a golf cart with my luggage and was driven down a narrow lane to my villa. Typically, you can access all levels of the hotel- there are villas on every level, with the main pool and spa at the bottom, by the river- by stairs. However, with luggage, it would be quite the difficult hike from top to bottom!
I couldn’t quite help but let out a squeal of excitement when I rounded the corner and saw my villa.
My very own infinity pool overlooking the jungle and temple, along with lounging chairs?!
The room itself was just as nice. Very small, especially for Balinese hotels, but the living room and kitchen were open air, next door. The bedroom was perfunctory- just beds- but the closet was massive, with plenty of room to unpack and store all my luggage. There was not, however, a safe. The only comfort was that the villa is very remote, and manned heavily by security 24/7.
The bathroom was all stone, with a huge waterfall head shower and big, fluffy white towels. There were also amenities for everything, from a forgotten toothbrush to needing a shower cap.
But the real prize was the view outside which, thanks to the glass front sliding door, I could see all the time.
As I mentioned, I was at the hotel for a yoga retreat that I review in this post, so I’ve kept the hotel and the retreat separated. (Sorry, there is some picture overlap!) I therefore only ate at the actual hotel restaurant once, as the food was provided by the retreat. (It is prepared by the same staff, and the food from the retreat often looked like food from the hotel menu, but, obviously, it was prepared for 20 people, whereas if you were to order from the restaurant you’d have more freshly, uniquely prepared food.) The food was fine, nothing particularly special, and much pricier than in central Ubud.
The retreat ran busses to central Ubud each day from 12:30-3:30pm; I’m not sure if the hotel offers a similar service when the retreat isn’t running, but you can hire a driver very cheaply and easily in Bali, anyway. (I wouldn’t recommend renting a scooter to get around, I saw way too many accidents and there are not very many road rules in Bali.) The retreat is also within walking distance of a Luwak coffee tasting farm (read my Bali post to learn more about that!) and several art studios. You can also walk down to the river—which was a really cool experience, as you’ll get to see a very old, rarely visited temple clinging to the side of the hill, about to crumble in the river.
You’ll need other transportation for anything else from the villas!
I’m not sure what they use the yoga shala space for when retreats aren’t running. It’d make a cool dance hall, or just a place to sit and drink in the view in the quiet of the jungle. After all your thinking, you might be tired and want a chance to visit the spa. Do it. Even if you aren’t tired, do it. The prices are more expensive than you’d find in Ubud or Sanur, but marginally. I got a four hand massage (i.e., two masseusses working at once!) and it was the best massage I’ve ever had, for $29. Yes. $29. I weep at London prices.
The retreats run about 10-12 times a year, so if you’re not a yoga person, you can still have a chance to stay at this amazing villa. I can’t describe how lovely the staff were- I’m going to miss them calling me “Miss Khaleelah” even after I insisted I’m just plain ol’ Khaleelah! And the views. Talk about a mental happiness retreat. Just the memories will keep me going for quite some time. If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind, but is close enough to Ubud to explore the town by day, this could be your place. It thought it quite reasonable pricing as part of the retreat (for my retreat review, read here), but from the website, it looks much pricier if you were to visit as a regular tourist. Then again, there is a price to pay for luxury, and I would say this is well worth it.