Review: The Royal Pita Maha, Ubud

Jyaga okay (3/5)

The Royal Pita Maha

Nearest Airport: DPS (42 km away)
Neigbourhood : Kedewatan (Ubud)
Website :
Address : Kedewatan, Ubud, Gianyar Regency, Bali 80571
Chain : Tjampuhan Resorts

The Royal Pita Maha opened in 1995 and has 75 Pool Villas, all of which view the beautiful Sayan Valley. The site is also home to the Bill Bensley-designed Royal Kirana Spa. The resort is one of three hotels owned by the Ubud Royal Family. It is the third after the Pita Maha Resort and the original Hotel Tjampuhan. The latter of the three had served as the royal guesthouse from 1928 until the 1970s when it opened to paying guests.

If you’re wondering about their name, Pita Maha is the name of a 1940s art movement that made Ubud Bali’s cultural capital. It started at what’s now Hotel Tjampuhan; there, the then-Prince Tjokorda reimagined the artistic styles of Balinese artists with the help of the German and Dutch artists, Walter Spies and Rudolf Bonnet. This historical artistic influence is still very much visible at Royal Pita Maha; virtually every space within the resort is lined with numerous paintings and carvings done by local artists – some of which were made under the direction of the King of Ubud himself.


Statues by the resort’s entrance

The Royal Pita Maha is located in Kedewatan Village, bordering the Sayan area where resorts like Mandapa, Amandari, Four Seasons, Kayumanis, and Samaya are located. The resort itself is around 10 minutes north of Central Ubud, so it is not an ideal base to explore on foot. There are local warung eateries nearby, some popular with visitors and locals alike. However, the street that leads to the resort from the main road is quite lengthy; as such so the resort isn’t the most pedestrian-friendly out there (though neither are many resorts in Bali).

Arrival and Check-in

We pulled up into The Royal Pita Maha’s beautiful entrance at around 13.30, having driven from Sanur in the south. Immediately, we were greeted by the resort’s staff members, who took care of our bags. After presenting our IDs, we were brought to the beautiful, valley-viewing Dewata Lounge for a welcome drink of warm herbal tea.

The Royal Pita Maha – Lobby
Lobby at The Royal Pita Maha

Interestingly, many of the staff members looked remarkably young. It turned out they were trainees who were on placement from their respective hotel schools. Perhaps the apparent inexperience is the reason why our check-in confusion occurred…

At the lounge, we were told that they would be checking if the villa is ready. After all, there was just a mere 20 minutes to go to their published check-in time of 14.00. Shortly after, we were handed our keys and a breakfast card (something I haven’t seen in a long time!). Despite that, we were then also told that our villa room was not ready and requested us to wait. Interestingly no one really updated us on that front and pretty much left us waiting.

Welcome drink
View from Dewata Lounge

We ultimately decided to head to downtown Ubud instead of continuing to wait. Doing so, I requested the staff to just take our luggage in whenever the villa is ready and was assured that it will be done. Unfortunately, when we got back a couple of hours later, our bags were still sitting in the lobby. For this, the reception staff explained that they wished to keep the room sterile until we entered it… This made a rather disappointing start for the stay.

Our Deluxe Pool Villa

Ornate villa entrance

We booked an entry-level Deluxe Pool Villa and received one as such. We were brought to our villa by a friendly staff member, who briefly explained the features of the room. The villa’s spacious indoor space was divided into three sections: the bedroom, the living room, and the bathroom. The three sections all opened to an absolutely stunning and unobstructed view of the valley. The view probably also distracted me from the look of the villa itself, which frankly had seen better days.

​​​​​​​Deluxe Pool Villa
Deluxe Pool Villa
View from the Deluxe Pool Villa

Thoughts on the villa

Like many of the resort’s public areas, the villa hasn’t quite aged very well, and there were several pieces of furniture that looked very outdated. Some parts of the room also sadly looked unkempt: some parts of the thatch ceiling appeared to be decaying and many of the textiles look stained, including the cushions and the mosquito net that draped over the bed. I also wasn’t very fond of how dark the room is at night – there was a lack of proper lighting that left some corners of the room rather dark and dim.

Deluxe Pool Villa living space

However, there’s surely a novelty about the place, a sort of rustic charm that eventually made the place feel quite nice. The room and the resort’s design can be said to be anything but sleek or modern, but that was also what made the place feel very Balinese. There were cute little touches like Hibiscus flowers placed everywhere, and a couple of small informative pamphlets explaining local fruits and wildlife. I also really liked that there were practically an unlimited amount of seating and table surfaces.

Living area desk
Floral arrangement
Do Not Disturb sign


The bathroom is located to the right of the bedroom and features an oversized indoor terrazzo bathtub, which I very much enjoyed. In the bathroom is also a separate shower and a pair of sinks, along with a rather awkwardly-placed wardrobe. The toiletries provided came in reusable bottles and were of decent quality.

​​​​​​​Deluxe Pool Villa bathroom
Deluxe Pool Villa bathroom
Double vanities
Sterilised toilet

Terrace and Private Pool

Perhaps what really impressed me with The Royal Pita Maha was the stunning view we had toward the Sayan valley. The incredible setting and the organically shaped infinity plunge pool make the resort definitely unparalleled. Next to the pool are a pair of loungers, surrounded by a garden that mimicked the vegetation of a tropical jungle. Wow.

Deluxe Pool Villa garden
Deluxe Pool Villa
​​​​​​​Pool and view


Dewata Lounge

We didn’t dine at the resort apart from breakfast, which was included in our rate. Breakfast is an à la carte affair and was served at the Dewata Lounge. They had a choice of two pastries – croissants and danishes. We tried the croissant, which was nothing to write home about, but I did appreciate that it was warm and flaky. We also had a fruit platter that was served in a small cocktail glass. I tried a glass of fresh pineapple juice, but that sadly had sugar added to it.

Breakfast Pastries and Fruit Platter

For my main, I ordered an Eggs Benedict with spinach in place of beef ham, since their Eggs Florentine is confusingly served with a cream sauce instead of Hollandaise. It was oddly served with a side of fries, which isn’t precisely my idea of breakfast food… but okay. The dish itself wasn’t the best I’ve had, but I wouldn’t mind having it again given a lack of other choices. Over the course of our stay, I did also sample an omelette, which came with some unusual sides. I also tried a local Nasi Jinggo dish. They were both nothing special.

Eggs Benedict/Florentine
Breakfast Omelette
Nasi Jinggo


While the resort only opened in 1998, many of the public areas are full of character and have a distinct old-world charm to them. Sadly, many of these areas appeared to be unkempt, likely as a result of the low occupancy during the pandemic. The Royal Kirana Spa, which, while connected to the resort, appeared to be a distinct complex of its own. Note that they do not have a gymnasium offering.

Public area
Lift to lower section

The Pools

Apart from the pool in our villa, there are a also couple of shared pools in the resort. This includes a large infinity pool, as well as an interesting-looking ‘Sacred Spring Pool’ in the lower section of the resort. Sadly, only the infinity pool under the lobby was open during my stay; the spring pool had apparently been victim to a landslide a while back and thus had to be repaired. While it was the case during my stay, I heard it has since reopened. If the pool is anything similar to that of COMO Shambhala Estate, I imagine it would be phenomenal.

Sacred spring pool (picture: Royal Pita Maha)
Main pool
Main pool

Miscellaneous details

Near the sacred pool, the resort also has a great-looking yoga platform with a sizeable waterfall behind it.

Waterfall and Yoga Platform
Ayung River

Finally, I also saw this interesting advert inside the elevator that went to the lower section of the resort. While I’ve seen over and over the trend of floating breakfasts on Instagram, this was the first time I’ve seen a floating lunch being offered. I’m honestly not sure about the appeal of these floating meals – I can’t imagine they’d be very easy to eat… Oh well, each to their own.



Apart from the hiccup at check-in, I found the staff to be friendly and well-intentioned; However, I don’t think they were particularly polished to the typical luxury standard of service. Understandably, most of them were trainees from a local hospitality school.

I for one was quite impressed (and also confused) by the attention to detail. For instance, our villa was promptly serviced (without request) when we headed to breakfast early in the morning; we were surprised to come back to find that it had been cleaned. The same was done when we headed out for dinner one evening, where we came back to see that our villa had been turned down. Yet, interestingly, the housekeeping team didn’t proactively offer to turn down the villa when occupied (which made me initially think that the resort didn’t offer turndown service). Despite these lapses, I thought that everyone was agreeable despite any shortcomings or misunderstandings.


See you again?

Overall, I think that the Royal Pita Maha is an interesting resort that’s perhaps worth checking out, particularly for cultural travellers heading to Ubud for the first time. The look of the resort is undoubtedly Balinese, and had many unique charms despite looking outdated. I honestly really struggled with whether or not to give a recommendation for the resort based on the villa we stayed in, but I reckon that one would have a better experience in one of the newer-looking ‘Royal Pool Villas’.

I can perhaps see myself returning at some point in the future. This is especially to see the Sacred Spring Pool for myself; however apart from that, I, unfortunately, see no compelling reason to return here, barring any major renovations.

Read more Bali resort reviews here.

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