My wife stayed at the Kayon Resort on the second leg of our Bali trip over the 2018 ThanksGiving break. While we’ve visited Ubud many times before, we had not stayed there so specifically sought out a nice place there. We Googled “best places to stay in Ubud” and cross checked places there with first hand reviews on Trip Advisor. We walked down the list (Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, The Viceroy, etc) until we found something we could remotely afford.
Finding something is one thing, getting a reservation is something else. When we were looking in summer we did find some availability but we weren’t sure of our plans. By the time they firmed up, availability became scarce so we looked at other places in Bali. Then, one say, hotels.com showed availability for River View Pool Villa (what we wanted) so we booked through them. Normally, we use the Citi Prestige 4th night free system to book hotels but it wasn’t showing up on the Thankyou rewards website and we were traveling so couldn’t easily call their concierge. We thought we’d try when we got back to the States (the hotels.com reservation was refundable). We kept an eye out, checking often, but no availability showed up thereafter. So hotels.com it was. The reservation itself was smooth. We got a message to pay the one night deposit via a web site which we did and rest of it was fine.
The resort is slightly to the north east of central Ubud, not walking distance but the hotel offers free shuttles about every hour. We booked a car at our previous hotel to drop us off to the Kayon. The ride from there took a couple of hours and went through many scenic parts of Bali and Ubud, including some nice rice paddies. This particular resort is off the beaten path so you need clear directions to get there. But we did. What we didn’t realize (but absolutely should have) is that there are many rivers in Ubud and “river view” doesn’t mean the main river but rather “a” “river” - in this case, more like a little stream about 5-10 feet wide and about 6 inches deep. But nice sounds.
It is in the jungle. Arrival was nice, they had our reservation, invited us to have a welcome drink at the restaurant and then lets them know when ready to go down to our room. We decided to have lunch before going down.
The service was great and the food was good and not too expensive. Then we walked down to our room. There are no elevators and our room was near the “river” so quite a few flights down. Not a place for those with knee issues.
Room and Bathroom
After coming down several flights of steps - all outdoor so even more of an issue when raining - we entered our room.
The door was very attractive and we had a private plunge pool. The pool was usable but just a couple of steps to get in so a but steep with no handrail.
The entire room complex (outdoor pool area, bedroom, balcony, bathroom) was completely private - with views of the river below and jungle in front. We could hear the waterfall but didn’t have line of sight. The bedroom was large with a comfortable four poster bed.
The TV was reasonable (except obscured by one of the posters) and good location of sockets to connect our various gadgets. Plenty of space for suitcases etc. The bathroom was also large, with twin sinks, a large rain shower and a soaking tub.
There was no door to the shower so water did go a bit into the bathroom no was large enough so it wasn’t really an issue.
The setting is very picturesque - with a very jungle/forest feel. And sounds to match. It is compact though so many steps to climb. But easy on the eyes (and ears).
There is a reasonable (but not spectacular) spa. The main pool though is very attractive.
Not very large but very good looking. The gym is small, with a limited selection of aerobic machines. The variety of free weights was poor.
My biggest issue was that air-conditioning was broken so had to work out in the heat and humidity - I just did it once, was too much for me.
Service was outstanding through out. The cleaning crew were thorough and efficient as were the folks at the restaurant and lobby. Many knew us by name and had good knowledge of the local area and us.
Internet was weak - I had a lot of trouble connecting to my office via VPN (but did succeed occasionally). Cell signal was also a bit challenged - presumably due to deep ravine we were in.
Halal food in the restaurant wasn’t an issue (we simply told ‘em and they seemingly honored it). There was no qibla direction in the bedroom but phone compass worked fine. The sinks were very pretty but making wudu (ablution), especially washing the feet, was a bit awkward (at least for my not very flexible frame). The wood floor was a little hard on my knees. I did not notice any Muslim staff and when I asked about a nearby prayer was told the Bali was a HIndu place so mosques were not nearby (Google maps disagreed), was somewhat disappointed that they did’t even make the effort to look or offer a ride.
We had a great time and wouldn’t hesitate to strongly recommend the place. We mentioned coming back with the grandkids and they said that they don’t allow under 16s (understandable since they have a honeymoon vibe and indeed there was a wedding while we were there).