Ubud, the cultural and artistic heart of Bali, is a little town of 30,000 residents, surrounded by picturesque rice fields, covered with vibrant arts and crafts – and swarming with backpackers.
Luckily, just a five minute walk from the center of the action, Green Field Hotel and Restaurant promised to provide “a hidden eden”; we were not disappointed.
Conceived originally as an artist’s retreat, the hotel grounds boasted lush foliage, lotus ponds, tropical gardens, impressive statues – and lots of other things to keep a baby’s eyes amused.
Our room was stylish and unmistakably Balinese, with funky modern twists.
Here we were provided with the most elaborate baby cot and mosquito net of our trip, as well as a “climbing frame” for our little monkey to enjoy.
Two swimming pools at different ends of the property, meant we could stay active while avoiding the zoo that is central Ubud during the day. The saltwater pool worked wonders for Hope’s poor legs.
The food in Ubud was a big step up from that in Sanur, and not that much more expensive. Our first Green Field’s dinner of nasi campur was only IDR40,000 but AMAZING and set the bar for all other meals going forward.
For breakfast, we enjoyed combining on one plate Indonesian and western items from the fantastic buffet, and ate our nasi goreng, crispy bacon, and pineapple pancakes on the edge of the rice paddies. This spot was handily in view but out of earshot of the other diners, so Hope could squeal over her sausages and tomatoes as much as she liked.
Complimentary afternoon tea was served every day by the pool between 1500-1700, which was a nice way for us to reconvene as a family following the baby’s afternoon nap.
Dinners with lashings of Bintang were had on our spacious ground floor terrace overlooking the moonlit rice fields, while Hope slept in the main bedroom just a few steps away. (We started to regret our last-minute decision not to bring the baby monitor, when creeping back and forth to check on her.)
That reminds me – if creepy crawlies are not your thing, you might struggle in Ubud. Most evenings our terrace was like the Sistine chapel of lizards, with entertainment provided at dusk by bats darting in and out of the wicker canopy. The good news is there were no mosquitos at all, either inside or outside, as they’d all been eaten for dinner!
Before our own dinner, as soon as the baby was in bed, we’d take turns at popping down to the pool-side spa to have Balinese massages. This was finally beginning to feel like a real holiday!
Venturing out out in the afternoons, Green Field taxis were available to shuttle us around Ubud’s three main streets, for free. Elaborate wood carvings, Hindu temples, new culinary delights, and mischevious monkeys could be encountered at every turn.
Keen to explore a bit further afield, we paid IDR300,000 to be taken to the Tegenungan waterfall, where we enjoyed a lovely time in the afternoon sun, carrying Hope up and down stepped ravines in her Ergo baby carrier – much to the bemusement of the locals. She took a long nap on the go, and missed out on sampling some spicy corn on the cob – though the street vendors we’re determined to wake her up before we’d finished eating!
On our last evening in Ubud we had diner at the Dirty Duck (Bebek Bengil) which turned out to be a restaurant we’ll remember forever. The crispy duck and duck-mango salad were exquisite, and the young staff kept Hope amused by dancing her around tables on the edges of glorious rice paddies.
The wall of fame showed us that Mick Jagger had once eaten there – so you know it’s good 🙂
The following day, when checking out of our “hidden Eden”, the receptionist told us that Hope has the spirit of a boy.
She also asked if we’d ever cut the baby’s hair. In Bali it’s thought that the hair you are born with is unclean, and that taking it off every three months will make it healthy and strong. “You should shave her head right away, Ma’am”, we were advised.
And with that we hopped in a taxi to Lovina.
– Green Field Hotel and Restaurant (Ubud) HERE
To be continued . . . “To Bali with baby: part III (Lovina)”