Review: Kayumanis Ubud Private Villas, Bali

Jyaga okay (3/5)

Kayumanis Ubud Private Villas

Nearest Airport : DPS (28 km away)
Neighbourhood : Ubud, Bali
Website :
Address : Jl. Raya Sayan Jl. Baung, Sayan,
Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80571
Chain : Kayumanis

Following the three nights we spent at the Kayumanis Jimbaran, we headed up north to Ubud, for a change in scenery. Because of our excellent experience at the Kayumanis Jimbaran, we settled on staying at the Kayumanis Ubud. Like the Jimbaran property, Kayumanis Ubud is also part of the small Indonesian Kayumanis chain, which seems to focus on operating intimate all-villa properties with personalised service.

Opened in 2002, this property has 23 villas and is the second to open in their portfolio. The resort was last renovated in 2008 and was designed by the same designer as their other properties, Tan Tik Lam. Despite that, there are many design choices in this resort in particular which I found rather questionable (more on that later). 


Chickens on the street

Kayumanis Ubud is located in the village of Sayan, placed behind a few village homes. The resort also shares the area with a handful of other luxury resorts, including the Samaya, Four Seasons Sayan, the Mandapa Ritz-Carlton Reserve, as well as the venerable Amandari. Right outside the hotel is a quaint street where you’re likely to encounter a family of chickens crossing the road, as well as some of the island’s friendlier village dogs. The town centre of Ubud is located a bit further away from the resort, although it can be reached in 30 minutes on foot by cutting through some of the village’s narrow alleys.

Arrival and Check-in

After a 60-minute drive from Kayumanis Jimbaran, we arrived in the village of Sayan. The resort’s entrance is located on a small village street and the resort’s modest entrance signage is very easily missed. The resort’s actual entrance comprised a very narrow alley between two fence walls covered in vegetation that leads down to the lobby building. The alley itself is also shared with a couple of village homes. The unfailing presence of a couple of unfriendly dogs (it wasn’t clear whether they are owned or strays), unfortunately, made every entry and exit from the resort a not-so-pleasant experience. Note that these dogs were different from the friendlier ones on the street.

After arriving at the lobby, our check-in is quickly handled by a friendly associate who verified and took copies of our IDs before taking us to our villa. We had booked an entry-level superior villa, although in hindsight we may have been upgraded to a deluxe villa (based on comparisons to pictures on their website).

Walkway to the villa

Our Deluxe Villa

Set on a space of around 300 sqm, our villa compound is noticeably smaller than the one we had at the Kayumanis Jimbaran and also a lot less lush. Apart from some design details and greenery, the overall look and layout of our villa mimics that of the one we had in Jimbaran. There is a sizeable private pool in the middle of the villa, which was very well maintained.

The villa employs an outdoor living theme, which meant nearly everything is open-air. I understand this can be appealing for people seeking a unique experience, although be prepared to pack a lot of insect repellent.

Pool in the Deluxe Villa
Pool in the Deluxe Villa
View of the pool from the living and dining Pavilion

Living and Dining Pavilion

There are two pavilions in the villa, one housing the living and dining areas, and the other housing the bedroom and bathroom. The dining and living pavilion featured a nice but modest sofa and chair setup, along with a television. Right behind it is the dining section, which is equipped with a couple’s dining table as well as a fully functional kitchen. Here, we were served a refreshing lime-based welcome drink and some cold towels.

Living and dining pavilion
Open-air living room
Living and dining pavilion
Dining table in the living and dining pavilion


The bedroom pavilion features a large four-poster bed, a small desk, a daybed as well as a television. Compared to the rest of the villa, the bedroom area is quite small and felt relatively cramped. The design is modern and physically similar to Kayumanis Jimbaran, although with a few nice differing touches including a traditional Javanese desk lamp, a woven chair, as well as Batik-patterned cushions. 

Bedroom in the Deluxe Villa
View of the bed, daybed, and the desk in the Deluxe Villa

I found the bed itself to be very comfortable, although the nightstand is frustratingly poorly designed; the ‘fencing’ on it meant that it took some effort to grab or place all sorts of things on it. This is particularly the case when you trie to reach for a bottle of water in the middle of the night or when grabbing your phone in the morning.

Bed and nightstand
Annoying nightstand design


The open-air bathroom is located next to the bedroom and takes up the same amount of space. In my opinion, the bathroom has several questionable design choices that make it overall quite underwhelming to use. First, the angled placement of the bathtub felt like a waste of space, more so when considering the small bedroom space. Second, there are numerous issues with regard to privacy. For one, there are no significant protective structures or shields separating the bathroom from the garden and living pavilion.

Bathtub in the Deluxe Villa
Bathtub in the Deluxe Villa

Apart from a short partition partially shielding the tub, the bathtub is easily visible from various areas like the pool lounger, pool, and living pavilion. Whilst this is a rather romantic setup, particularly for newlyweds or young couples, I think there still should be some extent of privacy… especially when it comes to the toilet.

Sinks and toilet in the Deluxe Villa
Sinks and toilet in the Deluxe Villa
View from the bathroom to the living pavilion

Right behind the sinks and toilet is the outdoor shower, also virtually unshielded from the dining/living area and easily visible when walking from the pool to the living and dining pavilion, vis-a-vis. Honestly, I sadly found both the bathtub and the shower to be impractical and designed more like a gimmick rather than anything.

Outdoor shower

Whilst I don’t mind the shower and bathtub setup too much, what I take issue with is the absurd placement of the toilet seat, which is in full view from the dining area. It just seems incredibly awkward to be potentially in full view from various angles, whilst answering nature’s call (yikes!). You better be very comfortable with your partner whilst staying here!

View from the dining area (notice the visible toilet!)


Since the resort’s Dining Corner restaurant was closed during our stay, we had our breakfast sent to our villa over the three nights we were here. Overall, the food quality is quite okay, although admittedly nothing to write home about. Over our stay, we managed to try nearly everything from constituted the breakfast menu. I was impressed praise how customisable the options are. On the bright side, the orange juice served was fresh and natural!

Pancakes, served with a strawberry and some honey.
Fruit plate, boiled eggs, and toast
Mie Goreng – Indonesian fried noodles
Omelette with hashbrowns
Omelette with hashbrowns

Our favourite dish would definitely have to be the ‘Nasi Bungkus Ayam’ or Balinese Chicken Rice. This dish was packed with lots of interesting spices and flavours, which made it fabulous. Note that this dish is actually outsourced from a local eatery (known as a warung), and as such had to be preordered the day before.

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan
Nasi Ayam Kedewatan

We also decided to have dinner in our villa one night and sampled the ‘Iga Babe Bakar’ (Pork Ribs) and an ‘Ikan Sambal Matah’ (Gindara with pickled sambal and vegetables). The pork ribs tasted decent though fresh, and the Gindara was relatively decent as well, if not a bit small.

Iga Babe Bakar – Indonesian pork ribs
Ikan Sambal Matah – Gindara in Balinese sambal

Resort Grounds and Amenities

Kayumanis Ubud has an expansive spa, along with a large main pool, located past a bridge that crosses a stream. The latter was unfortunately closed during my stay, but would’ve been great if it weren’t. The grounds of the spa and pool area are very lush and green and oversee the sacred Ayung river.

What struck me as a bit odd is how tightly placed the villas are, considering that there is a significant amount of unused space in the pool and spa area… making it seem unbalanced. Regardless, the greenery surrounding the resort looked amazing and really cemented the feeling of being in a rainforest.

Bridge to the pool and spa area
The stream under the bridge
Ayung River as seen from the Pool
The closed swimming pool
What looked like a café area, that was closed as well
Path to the Dining Corner restaurant


The service we got at Kayumanis Ubud was overall courteous and polite and not at all overwhelming. The staff here felt to be more reserved and perhaps rather distant compared to the staff at Kayumanis Jimbaran (who for example wouldn’t hesitate to start a conversation). Despite that, attention to detail was generally good, as perhaps best epitomised by the Kayumanis logo stamped onto the toilet paper every time the villa was cleaned. 

Additionally, I also appreciated the fact that the staff were quick to respond to any requests we had, and also brought any meals we ordered very promptly to the villa.

Great detail on the toilet paper


Objectively, the Kayumanis is a reasonably nice resort in Ubud. However, given the plethora of other resorts (whether luxurious or otherwise, upscale) it doesn’t really shine over any other. Perhaps it is a matter of personal taste, but I just found the (our allocated) villa to be awkwardly designed and not something I’m personally a fan of. Based on this, I couldn’t wholeheartedly recommend this resort for it just doesn’t fit my tastes. Of course, others may appreciate the resort’s design and service approach, so each to their own. Either way, be sure to have much insect repellent on hand when you come to Ubud!

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2 responses to “Review: Kayumanis Ubud Private Villas, Bali”

  1. Amir

    Hello, would you recommend this or the Royal pita Maha? Both seem really nice and I can’t decide

    1. Hello, thanks for reading! The Kayumanis and the Royal Pita Maha have two different vibes, in my opinion. The Kayumanis is absolutely geared towards couples, given its intimate and romantic design. The Royal Pita Maha on the other hand is a bit more flexible and can suit family travellers and the like. Overall, I’d personally give The Royal Pita Maha the edge since all villas feature great views of the Sayan valley and for their spring water pool.

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