Review: Maya Ubud Resort, Bali

Jyaga dislikes (2.5/5)

Maya Ubud Resort, Bali

Nearest Airport: DPS (29 km away)
Neigbourhood : Ubud, Bali
Website :
Address : Jl. Gn. Sari, Peliatan, Kecamatan Ubud,
Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
Chain : Maya Resorts

The Maya Ubud Resort is the original of the two Maya Resorts now operating in Bali (the other being in Sanur). At around 10 hectares in size, the hotel splendidly houses only 38 rooms and 70 villas, allowing for many beautiful open spaces. The hotel was completed in 2001 and opened to much fanfare and retains a venerable reputation for its architecture in the area. Like its Sanur counterpart, the hotel is a masterpiece of Budiman Hendropurnomo of Denton Corker Marshalls, which also oversaw the designs of the popular Anantara Uluwatu Resort and Nusa Dua’s cavernous Apurva Kempinski Bali.

While ‘Maya’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘magic’ or ‘illusion’, I can’t attest if that is how the resort’s name was derived.


Maya Ubud is a five-minute drive away from central Ubud, making it a convenient base to explore the island. Despite that, the resort is located down an awkwardly positioned small road that isn’t especially accessible on foot. Likewise, there isn’t much within the direct vicinity of the hotel, apart from a small local restaurant, so it can be rather isolative for those who like to walk; the hotel, however, does have a time-limited shuttle service to the centre of Ubud.

Arrival and Check-in

Following a detailed security check at the entrance, we arrived at the resort’s porte-cochere just around check-in time. Here, our luggage was unloaded from the car and was left unattended at the entrance until the check-in registration was completed. The resort was absolutely busy and we were told the resort was overbooked. As such, it took a while to actually do the check-in registration, requiring a prolonged wait for our turn. Once someone became available, we were offered a glass of their fruity welcome drink (which was a pineapple juice concoction).

Maya Ubud Entrance

With the villa keycards, we were also given a handy resort map. Following the completion of the registration formalities, we waited for another 30 minutes before our villa was ready, after which we were driven there in a golf buggy (following another wait for the buggy to be available).

Villas at Maya Ubud

Heavenly Pool Villa

We stayed in a Heavenly Pool Villa, which shared the exact layout of the lower-category Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa, albeit with a small plunge pool. However, when I say small, I mean really small. Like to an extent where it looked pointless. But I’ll let you judge for yourself:

Pool in the Heavenly Pool Villa

The villa is advertised to be ‘up to 360sqm’ in size, which would include the outside areas. Like all villas, ours had a porch with two lounge chairs, viewing the small yard and the resort’s greenery. Whilst it wasn’t the greatest view you’d find on the island, you could sometimes see monkeys jumping between the trees; I thought this was a nice reminder that Ubud, after all, lies surrounded by rainforest.

Porch in the Heavenly Pool Villa
Porch in the Heavenly Pool Villa


The villa structure is separated into a main living and bedroom section and a bathroom section. The size of the structure itself makes the interior look more like a regular hotel room but in a standalone building. The design itself is modern with many stylish ethnic touches. Whilst nothing about it looked especially Balinese, it seemed quite nice if not mostly unremarkable. If anything, the style of the design reminded me a bit of the room at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua.

Bedroom in the Heavenly Pool Villa

In addition to the four-poster bed, the room is equipped with a large daybed, a sofa chair, and a desk. Certain villas in the resort also feature a coffee machine, although it is noticeably absent in others. The room was bright, although the lighting control frustratingly doesn’t allow individual lights to be switched off or on. The bed however was very comfortable. I was also very happy with the degree of cleanliness of the room, which pretty much looked spotless.

Bed in the Heavenly Pool Villa
Coffee Machine
Identical living room setup in the Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa (notice the lack of a coffee machine)
Closet contents

In-room wifi was very weak, and there were times when I struggled to connect. I suspect the bandwidth wasn’t able to withstand the guest numbers. I was also disappointed to find that the coffee machine hadn’t been cleaned after use by the previous guest, as evident from the used coffee pods inside the machine.


Between the relatively smaller space and the large furniture, the room felt rather cramped for space. The bathroom, however, is a different story and conversely felt very spacious. It featured a fabulously large metal bathtub, along with a separate shower outside. Due to that, the bathroom itself was probably the highlight of the villa. The toiletries came in refillable containers and were decent. I did, however, absolutely loved the fast-filling oversized metal bathtub that is very nice to bathe in.

Toilet and sink in the Heavenly Pool Villa
Sink and bathtub in the Heavenly Pool Villa
Fabulous bathtub in the Heavenly Pool Villa
Vanity desk in the Heavenly Pool Villa
Outdoor shower at the Heavenly Pool Villa

Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa

On a previous stay, we also had a chance to try their Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa, which is one category below the Heavenly Pool Villa. To be honest, everything inside this villa is virtually identical to the pool villa, except for a few minor differences. For instance, instead of an outdoor shower, there is an indoor one. Additionally, there was a noticeable absence of the coffee machine available in the pool villa.

Entrance at the Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa
Bedroom in the Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa
Toilet and sink in the Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa
Shower in the Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa

In addition, as its name suggests, there is a large terrazzo hot tub set up in the garden instead of a pool. I personally did not use it during the stay, since it felt rather awkward; unlike the pool villa, the yard views straight onto the resort’s walkways. As such, the yard can easily be seen by onlookers walking past.

Porch in the Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa
Hot tub in the Heavenly Jacuzzi Villa


Mayasari Restaurant

Mayasari Restaurant

During booking, we paid the IDR200,000 premium for breakfast to be included in our rate. Despite this rather low premium, I sadly found the breakfast spread to be quite underwhelming. Breakfast is a buffet, which included a rotating variety of Indonesian, Western, and Asian selections. Whilst the spread had quite a lot of variety, the quality and taste of the food were mostly poor, barring the fruits and cold cuts. In addition, the juices also tasted artificial, sadly. Coffee and tea were served by request, and since the restaurant seemed to be understaffed, it took a while for the tea or coffee to be delivered.

However, I found the chef manning the pancake/waffle station to be cheerful and enthusiastic, and proactively offered to make us a hot batch of whatever is on offer on that day. Kudos to him!

Salad Bar
Fruit station
Savoury dishes
Egg station
Pancake and sweets station
Local cakes and sweets
Local fritters and baked goods
Mayasari Restaurant Breakfast

Resort Pool and Amenities

While the breakfast wasn’t good, it is undeniable that Maya Ubud’s estate is absolutely beautiful. The grounds are expansive and well-manicured, and some areas offer magnificent views of the jungle. Impressively, the resort also has a small piece of farmland adjacent to its tennis courts. The resort also has a small gym and a Yoga Pavillion, although both were fully occupied for much of my stay. As such, I couldn’t get a picture, unfortunately.

Main hotel building at Maya Ubud
Walkways at Maya Ubud
Walkways at Maya Ubud


However, the biggest selling point of Maya Ubud is definitely the resort’s two beautiful pools. I personally thought that both pools looked incredible, with few competitors capable of offering the same at Maya Ubud’s price range. However, due to the exceptional guest occupation rates during our stay period, the pools were absolutely busy at most times of the day. 

The first pool is the Valley Pool, located near the lobby and right next to the Mayasari Restaurant. This infinity pool offers magnificent views of the valley below. At the valley-viewing end, the pool impressively has translucent glass on the upper section of the pool wall. However, due to the proximity of the pool to other facilities, this one was consistently packed.

Infinity Valley Pool

Where the Valley Pool is located near the lobby, the River Pool is a 15-minute walk down from the lobby area away. This pool is located downhill near the river, requiring either a walk down a long, winding staircase or a convenient elevator. After the short elevator ride (:P), I was met by the loud sound of a waterfall, which turned out to be located next to the elevator. Sadly, the elevator shaft blocked any view of the waterfall’s fall. 

Winding staircase to the riverside pool

After the elevator ride, the pool is located down one last flight of stairs. The entire pool area looked absolutely stunning. The pool’s gardens were very well-manicured and appointed and were completely reminiscent of a rainforest. It also helped that the organic-shaped pool viewed the incredible stretch of rainforest greenery by the river. There were several loungers by the pool as well as day beds. 

The gorgeous River Pool at Maya Ubud


Up to this point, various parts of Maya Ubud have faired between being impressive to passable. But the service is where things got disappointing during my stay. Compared to most places we’ve been to in Bali, Maya Ubud in general probably had the least friendly staff. While most weren’t outright hostile, they seemed only to go about the motions of their jobs. For instance, unlike many upscale resorts, the resort’s staff won’t proactively greet you unless you greet them first; even so, your greetings sometimes get ignored.

Furthermore, service is never proactive or attentive. It honestly looked as if most people didn’t seem to enjoy their jobs very much. Among the few exceptions to this were the pancake chef at breakfast and our buggy driver/porter at the end of our stay, who were both very cheerful and friendly.

Unfavourable interactions

However, there were also instances where we felt certain staff members were rude and/or unhelpful. For instance, housekeeping wanted to enter our villa shortly after we returned from breakfast at around 09.00. When we attempted to request them to return later (which I think is an ordinary request), we were interjected with a sharp, ‘When?!’ which shocked me, to say the least. Mind you, they also did not look happy when they said that.

During check-out, we requested a taxi only for the request to be declined. We were told that the resort does not accept taxis. We were instead offered to be driven by the resort’s private car at a high rate of IDR150,000 to Ubud, which we initially agreed to. However, when we mentioned that we were going to the Campuhan area (10 minutes away from the hotel), this quote was raised to the absurd price IDR200,000. When we asked for any alternative transport options or taxis, we were told to go and find one ourselves. As we left the resort, this honestly left a really bad taste in my mouth.

We ended up leaving in a car we booked through Grab for a measly IDR40,000 (£2.2).


There are definitely many good things we experienced during our stay at Maya Ubud, not withholding their clean and modern rooms, the beautiful resort grounds, and the phenomenal pools. In fact, the resort’s pools and its setting are drop-dead amazing, although it does not preclude other resorts from offering a similar ambiance. However, between the resort’s underwhelming and disappointing service and forgettable food, I don’t reckon I can see myself wanting to come back. I really wanted to love Maya Ubud, but I think there isn’t an excuse for the unhelpful and rude service we encountered.

While your mileage may vary, I’m sorry to say that I cannot recommend Maya Ubud.

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