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Ubud- Solo traveler wants to find great hotel & avoid Monkey Forest

Ubud- Solo traveler wants to find great hotel & avoid Monkey Forest

Old Mar 16th, 2016, 04:41 PM
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Ubud- Solo traveler wants to find great hotel & avoid Monkey Forest

Please help me narrow down my choices for a hotel in Ubud for early May.

Two issues are contributing to my not being able to pick a hotel in Ubud.

(1) I don’t want to be at all near the Monkey Forest or the monkeys around it.I am afraid of monkeys on the loose. The more I read about the Monkey Forest the more I feel that way.
Looking at the hotel descriptions it is often hard to tell if hotels are close to the Monkey Forest unless they say ‘five minutes to the Monkey Forest”.

Is every place on Monkey Forest Road a problem for me?

Does walking into Ubud require cutting through the Monkey Forest?
(2)
The second issue is how close to stay to Ubud centre. Is there even a Ubud centre?

I am a woman in her 70’s traveling on my own part of my time in Bali and later Hong Kong. I have travelled solo and in groups quite a bit but I am finding making arrangements in Asia kind of daunting. But I really want to do this trip. (Went to India with a group 10 years ago and it was wonderful.)

I have wanted to visit Ubud for years. Now I find myself going through the hotel listings and getting nowhere.

If I stay in a ‘suburb’ of Ubud, any suggestions?
I am used to booking hotels directly. But now I am thinking a trying BaliDiscovery for a hotel in Ubud. What do you think?

I will be coming to Ubud after three nights in Sanur. I made that reservation on my own.
After four nights in Ubud I am joining a tour group. (We will be
will be traveling for fifteen days in Bali and Java. Our first hotel will be near the Monkey Forest !

WHAT I LIKE IN A LODGING:
I get a kick out of a pretty hotel with character
beauty —especially in the surrounding areas and view, maybe rice fields or water
or beauty in gardens around the hotel
ac (for sleeping)
clean
quiet room
staff that will help if I need a taxi or to find a nearby restaurant
breakfast
inviting swimming pool even if it is small

if beyond walking distance has an accommodating shuttle system
can walk to nearby restaurant or cafe in the evening

I DON'T NEED -----
a large room
a fancy restaurant as part of the hotel
super luxury like five stars would not feel comfortable to me
a spa


i would spend up to $225 including taxes per night but would prefer around $15

I like to wander around shops and town areas on foot.

Another question: I want to take at least 2 full days with a driver and car to see areas out of Sanur and Ubud—the water palace, rice fields, villages, temples, festivals if possible.

Should I book two different drivers, one in Sanur for a long day and one in Ubud for a long day or try to use the same driver for two days?.

Should I book a driver(s) before I leave New York or do it with the hotels in Bali?

Thanks for your thoughts,

JSTravel
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 05:03 PM
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Somebody else will step up for sure, but any of the Alam hotels will suit you fine, except that their rooms might be too big, but they are pretty hotels with character. My favorite (and the only one I have stayed in) the Alam Shanti has a shuttle that will take you into "town" and pick you up. It is easy to wander around shops and town areas by foot. You can also hire drivers for longer trips and you can do that when you arrive.

Alams have pools, breakfast, ac, quiet rooms, helpful staff and they are clean.

Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 05:33 PM
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JStravel, I feel the same about the monkeys. On one trip I decided to take a short-cut through the sanctuary, the "monkey forest" and found it unsettling, to say the least. I escaped unscathed but watched others being harassed by them and will never take that path again.

However, if you go on google maps and zoom in on Monkey Forest Road, the monkeys keep to the sanctuary at the bottom where the road makes a hard turn to the east. Anyplace north of there is free of monkeys, in my experience. I stayed the first time not too far north and saw none.

Yes, there's a "centre" and if you like strolling around town, being in the center will be fine and you'll be able to walk to anything you need. I've stayed twice in a "suburb", Penestanan, but for just 4 nights I'd stay closer in. One area you may enjoy is on Jalan Bisma, a short walk from the center and somewhat more quiet. If you zoom in on the map you'll see it to the west and parallel to Monkey Forest Road, with a number of places to stay that you can click on and check websites. I walked along it with the intention of finding a place but ended up with a little house out of town. If I go again I plan to research Jl. Bisma again.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 06:51 PM
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Are you married to staying in a hotel or would you consider another option such as a homestay? I've been to Bali a few times. The last time (in Dec. 2014), I stayed at the Angga Homestay, which was inside a Balinese compound and is like a bread and breakfast. The homestay consisted of two separate units and was extremely quiet. Not only that, the homestay is maybe a two minute walk from one of the main streets in Ubud, where there are plenty of shops and restaurants, ATM's, as well as a convenience mart. No monkeys anywhere around! The owners of the homestay will also provide transport within the Ubud area, as well. Price when I stayed was extremely reasonable, maybe $20US/nightly, no more, and that included breakfast and free wi-fi.

I wrote a review on TripAdvisor, the link of which is below. There are also a few photos of the unit where I stayed. If you have any further questions, I'll be glad to answer.


https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Re...Ubud_Bali.html
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 07:15 PM
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Have you checked booking.com? Good luck!
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 07:34 PM
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I agree with your feelings toward monkeys in human spaces and vice versa. Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana, the actual monkey forest in Ubud, is a self contained nature sanctuary. There's no reason to enter it unless you want to.

Monkey Forest Road is a busy thoroughfare in the town of Ubud that runs from the the main street to the monkey forest. It doesn't go through the monkey forest itself, and the monkeys don't venture out to Monkey Forest Road.

The path through the monkey forest which is accessible by foot or motorbike is a short cut from the southern suburbs (like Nyuh Kuning where the Alam Shanti and affiliated resorts are located). If you don't want to take the monkey forest shortcut you can take a taxi to the center of town.

Ubud's core is the loop formed by Monkey Forest Road and Jalan Hanoman and Jalan Ubud Raya. Ubud Palace is generally regarded as the "center." Resorts, restaurants and shops fan out in every direction with the various adjacent villages forming a kind of greater Ubud sprawl.

Whether your location is walkable or not depends on where you're going -- the distance and elevation. There's a lot of up and down hill. Ubud is quite safe, but outside of the town center the sidewalks are in terrible condition which makes walking hazardous, especially at night. In any case, inexpensive transportation is plentiful.

Ubud doesn't have metered taxis but it's easy to flag down a car and driver to take you where you want to go. The rates for short distances are around IDR50,000 to 100,000. Always settle the price before you get in. Resorts outside of Ubud have shuttles to the center of town or can arrange transport. Once you get the lay of the land, getting around is quite easy.

For around USD150 to 200, you'll have plenty of choices in accommodation. I think your first decision will be whether you want to stay in town (or one of the adjoining villages) or in the countryside overlooking one of the river valleys.

I haven't stayed at Alam Shanti or Alam Jiwa, but they are generally well liked and Nyuh Kuning is a nice community. I'd also suggest the Komaneka group, both on Monkey Forest Road and on Jalan Bisma. Penestanan as mentioned is also a popular area.

Outside of Ubud look at resorts around Kedewatan and Payangan. I like the Alila, Komeneka at Tanggayuda and the Kenanga.

May 5-8 will be a holiday weekend in Indonesia so you should make your reservations as soon as possible. I've never used Bali Discovery but often use Agoda and booking.com to shop and compare prices. The resorts' online prices are usually the same as the booking agents, but if you want to negotiate, contact the resort directly by email.

I would book two different drivers -- one for south Bali and one for Ubud. You don't need to do this in advance unless you want to use a specific driver/guide. You should be able to combine the trip from Sanur to Ubud with sight seeing stops along the way.
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Old Mar 16th, 2016, 07:56 PM
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This is the website for the place I saw on Jalan Bisma, owned by a western woman who runs at least 2 very good restaurants, one I went to a number of times, a cooking school and a small hotel, now apparently called Honeymoon Guesthouses.

http://www.casalunabali.com

It's a very pretty place, prices aren't as high as some similar with spa facilities, and in a quiet but close-in neighborhood. I haven't stayed there but having been given a tour, I would. In town without the noise of the very center of town.
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Old Mar 17th, 2016, 10:19 PM
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I would second the recommendation for Casa Luna, having stayed in the Honeymoon Guesthouse(s) several times. The proprietor is a (former) Melbourne woman now married to a Balinese. Staff are friendly, it is reasonably close to the centre of Ubud & not a monkey in sight. Cooking school, restaurant & bakery are all good. Various room styles, so you would need to check out the website to view one to suit you. And Ubud is wonderful
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 12:34 PM
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Thank you all for great and quick responses. I have much more of a sense of Ubud now than I did from reading the travel websites. I realized I should have gone on the Forum a lot soon. (This is my first time posting.)

marmot: Thank you for all your information. I didn't know about the holiday weekend at all. I am coming from Sanur on Friday, May 6 and meeting my group the night of May 9th so I will right in the middle of the holiday. Many places I looked at were sold out and the choice of rooms was somewhat limited.
There was a lot of movement on Bookings.com.


I booked a hotel last night and I am happy with it. I booked at the Alam Jiwa.
Directly with the hotel group. Good to know --I sent them two emails last night and they got back to me in English within an hour or so and answered my questions. I asked about the monkeys and was told that 'monkeys don't come to Alam Jiwa". Hope so.

I had liked the Alam hotels when looking on my own and it helped that Craig suggested them. I looked for monkeys in the photos and TA write-ups. The most monkey-free was the Alam Jiwa. It is next to rice fields. I like the furniture and look of the Alam hotels more than the more modern ones. They get very favorable reviews. It is the kind of atmosphere I was hoping for.

I couldn't get one of their upper floor deluxe rooms that face the rice fields but got a garden room. I asked them to move my reservation to an upper room if one becomes available.

They seem (from TA) quite accommodating about shuttling you to other parts of Ubud and many good comments about the friendliness of the staff. I did see monkeys in photos and comments about monkeys in the write-ups of the other Alam Hotels but not for Alam Jiwa.

Craig; Thanks for your recommendations on the Alam Group. They have the kind off character I was looking for.

But I am getting the feeling that you can’t plan in Asia as much as I am used to. That may be difficult for me or I may go with it.

mscleo--I was temped by the Angga Home Stay. What a fabulous friendly place. The decorations! But I need want more room and services this trip.

I will be eating at one of the Casa Luna places.

I will print off all the information from you all and take it with me to Indonesia.
-------------------
One more question: Does the holiday week-end mean I should book a driver/car with Alam Jiwa before I go? Will they get all booked? I realize there are a lot of drivers but I can only take the excursion on Saturday or Sunday and I want to go north toward the coast for the day.

JStravel
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 01:00 PM
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Why not just reserve a driver for peace of mind? This is not an unusual request and the Alam will be happy to oblige. Then you know you are set - not really a big deal if your plans change, but do try your best to honor the reservation if you make one.
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 05:29 PM
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You will love those hotels.

So many good and reasonable places to eat... Check out my bali adventures,including Craig's and my driver named Putu-- there are many putu's... Click on my name and scroll down-- last bali trip was 2 years ago in the fall.
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 06:40 PM
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May 5 and 6 are Indonesian national holidays (the 5th is Christian, the 6th is Muslim). They will be mostly ignored by the Balinese. May 7 is the new moon, which means it's a good time to observe temple ceremonies and processions.

The impact of the holiday weekend is that there will be large numbers of Javanese tourists in Bali resulting in heavy traffic in the beach areas and in Ubud central. Famous tourist sites like Tanah Lot and Ulu Watu will be crowded. You will need reservations at popular restaurants.

I don't think you'll have any problem booking a car and driver from your hotel when you arrive, but if it puts your mind at rest, why not (as Craig suggests) make your reservation now? That way you can also start plotting out the day's itinerary.

I'd not say that it's more difficult to make definite plans in Bali than anywhere else, but the difference is that it's difficult to get a clear picture of what your options are.
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Old Mar 18th, 2016, 07:12 PM
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@ rhkkmk -- I would love to see your report on Bali! But I can't readily locate it ... I don't see it in the list of trip reports flagged for Indonesia in the last 3 or 4 years, nor was it readily identifiable (to me, at least!) in your extensive list of trip reports. Perhaps you would be kind enough to top it?
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 08:34 PM
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I stayed in the heart of Ubud and wasn't near Monkey Forest and never saw a monkey. I also don't like them as they can be a real menace.

Happy Travels!
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Old Mar 19th, 2016, 11:31 PM
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Me and the Mrs had a v.enjoyable week in Ubud 16 months ago. We stayed on the southern edge of town at the Agung Raka.

Here's the review I posted on TA...

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUs...Ubud_Bali.html

We wouldn't hesitate to stay there again.

We went to the Monkey Forest, and while we enjoyed the place and made sure that we didn't attract any unwanted attention from the monkeys, it's not for the faint hearted. There were a few silly tourists teasing the monkeys, which isn't such a good idea.

The western and northern part of the town loop gets v.busy during the day with tour group traffic, but it's easy to avoid the traffic and get out into the the immediate countryside.

Favourite place to escape the heat and enjoy the scenery was the Tropical View Cafe...

https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restau...Ubud_Bali.html
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Old Mar 20th, 2016, 03:43 AM
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You will love Alam Jiwa! We stayed there last summer and didn't want to leave! In the spirit of full disclosure, we did have a monkey on our balcony once during the week we stayed there, but we were in the standalone suite (Cendrawasih) at the far end of the property--and when the monkey saw us, it ran away. I never saw monkeys elsewhere around the property or aside from that one time.

Also, re: drivers, Alam Jiwa arranged a driver for us four times during our stay. Aside from the airport pick up, none of our excursions with him were planned further ahead than the evening in advance, but you could certainly inquire in advance. The driver's name was Dewa, and he was terrific.
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Old Mar 20th, 2016, 03:48 AM
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I'll add (wish we had an edit function!): We took our breakfast each morning on our large, second-floor, open-air dining/living room. The presence of food would have been a monkey magnet if there ever was one--but we never had any visitors.
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Old Mar 21st, 2016, 04:56 PM
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Ubud is on Google Maps. Call up Monkey Forest and you can see the park, streets, and some hotels. It will plan your routes for you.
We're getting to the point where someplace that is not on Google Maps must be in a very far corner of the Earth indeed.
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