I love being surrounded by nature. There’s something tranquil about the view of green fields stretching to the horizon. For foreigners especially, the idea of being surrounded by rice fields is even somewhat exotic. I believe that is part of the reason why Ubud is so popular with tourists.
Yet from experience I know how difficult it is to find nature in Ubud. The area is growing so fast that you are more likely to be surrounded by building sites than real rice fields. So when I arrived at Wapa di Ume, it really did feel like I’d found an oasis of tranquility in Ubud.
“Ume” in Balinese language actually means “in the rice fields,” and that’s exactly what it offers. The resort is surrounded by green rice fields that stretch out to palm trees and forests. There’s little sign of development. The hotel is on the outskirts of Ubud, and the ambience is tranquil and exotic.
Wapa di Ume is located on Suweta street, and yes indeed it is not in the famous Monkey Forest or Hanoman street of Ubud. That means you do need to get a car to take you to the nice restaurants and cafes (it’s just a short 5 minute drive though to the city centre and there is a complimentary daily shuttle to and from Ubud every hour from 9 am – 10 pm).
Wapa di Ume is not a regular luxury hotel. Most of the 33 rooms are private villas, which are spread out across the landscaped grounds. There are six types of accomodation available at the resort; the Lanai room, Di Ume suite, Villa with pool, Terrace villa with pool, Family pool villa and Wapa pool villa.
Though there are a large range of rooms, they all share one characteristic; the interior is always tastefully decorated. I was staying at one of their amazing Di Ume Suite. It has a Balinese style with modern and relaxing touch. They use a lot of earthy colours like white, light brown, dark brown and a lot of unfinished style furniture.
The suites are located on the second floor and have a superb view of rice fields, even their bath has a great view of the rice fields. What can you ask for more, right? Taking your relaxing bath and enjoy a nice view of rice fields.
One thing that I quickly noticed is Wapa di Ume doesn’t provide television (and radio) in their guest rooms. As somebody who doesn’t have a TV at home, this is something I really like. It was a conscious decision by the hotel management to assure that guests will feel like they are in the middle of the rice fields. Serene and settled (which makes it a great place to read a book).
Given that there are not so many rooms in Wapa di Ume, the resort feels intimate and homey. I was in love with the hospitality of Wapa di Ume staff, and some of Wapa di Ume staff even remember your name and that does make a difference. It felt like you are being welcomed by your own family, or old friends.
Wapa di Ume has its own restaurant, which is convenient for people staying at the resort (especially if they don’t feel like moving). Although I didn’t have a meal at the resort (I went into town to meet some friends in the evening), I did get the chance to enjoy the complimentary breakfast.
When I stayed there was a range of breakfast dishes to choose from. There was the basic breakfast, Indonesian specialties and western. The food was lovely food and it was acompanied by a beautiful setting. The restaurant is on to tiers and is open air. With your breakfast you’ll see rice fields with coconut trees everywhere you look.
Besides the restaurant, they also have a lounge and pool bar and two pools. The main swimming pool consists of two pools, and is a great place to just relax and read your book under the shade of palm and coconut trees (it was my personal favorite). The other pool is an infinity pool in the newest part of the resort. The water drops over the edge of the pool into a deep ravine, at the bottom of which is a small river.
In addition to the two pools they also have wedding chapel, spa area and yoga center. It’s easy to imagine a very relaxed honeymoon at the resort, with days spent by the pool or stretching those muscles at the yoga center.
The Rice Paddy Trekking and Other Activities
Wapa di Ume provides a lot of activities in and around the resort. When I stayed, I joined the complimentary rice paddy trekking in the morning. It started at 7 am and lasted more or less 2 hours. It was a relaxing start to the day, walking through the villages and rice fields near to the resort. There was a dedicated guide who accompanied us on the walk and explained several things about the local culture, the temples, the meaning of the offerings, and also the irrigation system in Bali.
In addition to the rice paddy trekking, there are also afternoon lessons for creating Banten (the Balinese palm leaf offering you see everywhere). These lessons happen every Mondays and Thursdays during the afternoon tea. I saw the lesson when I was checking in to the resort, but didn’t have the chance to join.
If you love Yoga, there are Yoga lessons you can also join a complimentary one hour session in the afternoon on Wednesday and Sunday at 3 pm. The final thing, that I wish I could have tried, was the Balinese cooking class. You’ll get the chance to go to the traditional market to shop for the ingredients and then cook the dish. Isn’t that just wonderful? Experience the real Balinese life, learn how to cook Balinese food and taste your own creation.
While I’m very lucky to get the chance to visit a lot of resorts, there are few places where I can honestly say I didn’t want to leave. Wapa di Ume has definitely joined that list. It’s an incredibly beautiful resort, set in a lovely location with friendly staff.
I was invited (September, 2015) to Wapa di Ume as a guest, however the views expressed in this article are, as always, my own opinion.