Eco Hotel Concept or Chain Beach Resort For Your Vacation? Case: Alila Boutique Ubud, Bali

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During my trip to Bali last week I decided to visit a couple hotels off the beaten path of the busy beaches to discover a different style of accommodation as alternative to large resort hotels, staying (among others) at the Alila Boutique Hotel in Ubud.

There were a couple different booking channels available for this hotel which I’ll illustrate in this article as well as looking into which loyalty aspects could still come into play with such a booking.

I was in Bali for a bit over a week and simply can’t stay at beach resorts all the time even if some properties such as the Grand Hyatt Bali in Nusa Dua have very great strips of sand and a nice high tide for both swimming and surfing.

During the middle of my stay I decided to go inland to Ubud to check out some hotels there including the soon to be opened Element Hotel, the Shtala Tribute Collection, Mandapa Ritz Carlton Reserve and one property had peeked my interest for quite some time now, the Alila Ubud Boutique Hotel.

On previous visits to Bali it never worked out to go up to Ubud or the rates have been extremely high, however last week was a slow period where I had plenty of time on my hands and the rates for the Alila were pretty low.

I discovered several options to book

  • Through the hotel website where they have special offers of ~10% off but a slightly higher head rate
  • Through the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Booking Portal with an even higher rate but US$25 F&B credit as well as some VIP benefits (see screenshot below) or
  • Through Orbitz where the rate was lowest, a new 15% off code was available and where I am Orbitz Platinum VIP (fancy name for very little benefit at most hotels) and the Alila is actually a VIP Hotel.

I wasn’t sure how the ‘Best Available Rate’ Guarantee would work out and since it was a same day booking I wasn’t willing to gamble on it. I decided to go for Orbitz, one of my favorite hotel booking channels due to the always available 15% codes and great ‘insider prices’ as they call them:

This price is without the 15% discount and without taxes which essentially makes it a wash. I was surprised to see prices this low for a five star resort that I looked at a few times previously and that was always pretty pricey so I decided to reserve one night to try this hotel out, especially given the great reviews it has on Tripadvisor and on Orbitz as well. I was also able to collect another $20 in Orbucks for my next Orbitz booking.

I shouldn’t be disappointed as the following pictures probably show:

Terrace Tree Villa Bedroom

The monkeys having some fun with my pillows on the terrace:

Breakfast at this resort is included for all guests (each rate):

The award winning infinity swimming pool (top 50 in the world):

You can actually swim very close to the rice terraces:

What I liked about the Alila was that it tries to follow a sustainable model where they bottle their own water and grow some of the produce used at the restaurants on site which is what provides the basis for the ‘eco hotel’ concept. The breakfast was excellent and there is a small complimentary daily tea time by the pool.

Most of all: It’s unpretentious and considering the quality of the accommodations a steal as far as the price is concerned. In high season the price obviously goes up but considering the Villa goes for a low $400 amount I tried to compare it to other resorts of the same caliber and comparable rooms there would go for at lest double. The prices for the restaurant and room service are high for Bali but not as high as you’d expect it for a Hideaway style hotel far away from any other option to dine. It’s reasonable. The same goes for the Spa.

I had a look at the villa in which I stayed, the spacious Deluxe Rooms as well as the basic Superior Rooms which are a bit small but have a nice view as they’re located in the upper floors. I personally recommend to book at least the Deluxe Room that also features and outside bathroom with shower and tub.

Conclusion

It obviously depends on what you like but for a break from the hustle and bustle of beach side resorts and to get some relaxation as well as fresh air I couldn’t imagine a better place. This property also features just 75 rooms which makes it very serene. All the Nusa Dua beach hotels I stayed at last week were pretty much a zoo, packed with people. The Alila also provides bikes as well as activities such as Yoga for those guests who are interested in it.

An interesting part which I didn’t even realize is that Alila Hotels are also part of the GHA Discoveries program so members could receive status benefits there when booking direct. This doesn’t apply to me as I lost my GHA Black status last year but I could get it again. All in all certainly a great value and I am looking forward to stay here again in the late summer.

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