Villa Alamanda - Corner view of pool

The Locale

Surrounded by lush tropical rainforest, Villa Alamanda is located five kilometres from Ubud near the sleepy wood-carvers village of Tengkulak. This traditional village offers a fascinating insight into daily Balinese life including the colourful and hypnotic Hindu ceremonies.

While the villa enjoys a remote and quiet setting it is only a short drive to many of Bali’s tourist hot spots including the famous Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), the UNESCO rice fields of Tegallalang, the Tirta Girtu water temple at Tampak Siring, and the Bali Marine and Safari Park.

The main attraction, though, has to be Ubud, Bali’s cultural heart, famed for its art, wood carving, jewellery, textiles, antiques, restaurants, markets and cultural performances – including the Kacek dance. Three hundred metres above sea level in the foothills of the central mountain range, Ubud offers a cooler, wetter climate making it perfect for rice farming.


The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah
1 km
Goa Gajah - Elephant Cave
1.50 km
Mas Carving Center
2.50 km
Ubud Monkey Forest
4 km
Ubud Market
5 km
Petulu Village
6 km
Bali Bird Park
9 km
Tegallalang Rice Terraces
10 km
Bali Zoo
11.50 km
Batubulan Village
12 km
Celuk Village
12 km
Bali Marine and Safari Park
15 km
Elephant Safari Park
19 km
31 km
34 km
Padang Bai Harbour
34 km
36 km
Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS)
40 km
43 km

Things to Do

Your Villa Manager has a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will be pleased to help with any tour or restaurant bookings. Do also ask the staff about the local area. Many of them live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.

In-villa Experiences

Although Villa Alamanda is not suited to large gatherings, the villa is happy to arrange a variety of unique ‘in villa’ performances and ceremonies in the back garden behind the pool, from some of the most celebrated local Balinese artists, including:

Gamelan Orchestra - The Balinese ‘gamelan’ is the gong at the centrepiece of orchestral arrangements that may include a combination of metallophones, xylophones, flutes, gongs, vocals, and strings. Gamelan music is an integral part of Balinese Hindu ritual, and also provides a setting for group entertainment.

Traditional Dance - Balinese dance is an ancient tradition, and central to the religious and artistic expression of the Balinese people. Often combined with Gamelan, Balinese dance is dynamic, angular and intensely expressive dance-drama, expressed through the gestures of fingers, hands, head and eyes. Ubud Palace is popular for its nightly performances, though we prefer the privacy and intimacy of a private show in the villa.

Puppet Show - Balinese shadow puppet theatre is also called Wayang, and uses puppets attached to rods and moved behind a lit screen in a darkened space, operated by a master-puppeteer called a dalang. Most of the plots of Balinese shadow puppet plays are taken from the two major Hindu texts, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.

Traditional Attire - Whether to renew your vows, or simply create a unique set of photographs to treasure your Balinese cultural adventure, the villa staff will be happy to help arrange for the hire of traditional dress and a professional photographer to memorialise your stay at the villa.

Wellness - With scores of holistic medicine practitioners now living around Ubud, it is no surprise that so many wellness centres have opened up. You can easily find a meditation or yoga class in town or you could ask the Elite Concierge to arrange for one at your villa.

Cooking Class - Ask your chef to escort you to the local produce market to buy fresh ingredients for an Indonesian cookery class back at the villa. Alternatively, the Elite Concierge can secure you a spot at the famous Abad Ubud cooking class nearby where you can learn how to cook local dishes.

Near the Villa

Ubud’s shops are filled with unique and beautiful crafts, art work, carvings, jewellery, and gifts to take back home. The sprawling, indoor Ubud Market caters mostly to tourists in search of cheap souvenirs. Be sure to haggle prices – negotiation is expected – or you may end up paying triple what something is worth.

A strange, natural phenomenon occurs each evening just north of Ubud in the village of Petulu (6.5km). Thousands of white herons arrive here around 6pm and prepare to roost for the night before flying off again in the morning. The birds first began coming here after a communist massacre in 1965 but no one is sure why they continue to return. Local lore holds that these are the souls of those that were killed. Such a predictable gathering of these large and beautiful birds is a spectacle not to be missed.

Just 1.5 kilometres from the villa, and within walking distance, you will find one of the most sacred sites in Bali: Goa Gajah. Also known as the Elephant Cave, this Hindu site dates back to the 11th Century and is believed to have been home to Hindu priests. The site is still used for worship by locals so proper dress is required to enter.

Two other very sacred places – Tirta Empul, the water temple at Tampak Siring and Gunung Kawi, an ancient archaeological temple complex of carved rock, are well worth a visit. Those wishing to bathe in the holy waters at Tirta Empul must dress appropriately (a sarong and sash can be hired on site).

Lush green rice fields still blanket much of the area around Ubud and can easily be reached on foot or bicycle. Do visit the UNESCO world heritage site at Tegallalang (13km) – the rice terraces will simply take your breath away.

Kintamani in North Bali is home to Mount Batur and some of Bali’s most dramatic scenery. Mount Batur is an active volcano that regularly smoulders and surprises visitors with minor eruptions.

While Ubud is not the obvious location for a beach holiday, we do recommend a day trip to White Sand Beach just north of Candidasa: a back-in-time place with beautiful sand, rolling waves, and an assortment of beach huts serving traditional beach food cooked over coconut coals. Why not stop off at the Bali Marine Safari Park on the way – a great treat for the kids.

For additional cultural experiences within walking distance of the villa, your itinerary may include a visit to the local village temple, Setia Darma House of Mask and Puppets, or a hands-on Dewa Malen woodcarving workshop.

Finally, while you will be hard pressed to beat the cooking of your own private chef, Ubud has some of the best restaurants on the island. Try Mozaic for fine dining, Bebek Bengil for crispy duck, and the Melting Wok for Laotian fare.

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