Review: Tanah Gajah Ubud, Bali

Jyaga loves (5/5)

Tanah Gajah Ubud, a Resort by Hadiprana

Nearest Airport: DPS (38 km away)
Neigbourhood : Ubud, Bali
Website :
Address : Tengkulak Kaja, Jl. Raya Goa Gajah, Kemenuh,
Ubud, Gianyar Regency, Bali 80571
Chain : none/independent

If the name Tanah Gajah sounds familiar, chances are you’ve heard about it as The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah, a GHM Hotel. After all, this resort was known by that name until 2019, when the owners decided to take it independent. However, the resort’s connection to GHM actually goes a long way. The resort was originally owned by the notable Indonesian architect, Hendra Hadiprana, who built the estate to be a private residence. After a few decades as a home, Hadiprana entrusted the estate to the legendary Adrian Zecha, for it to be turned into a 20-room resort. It opened in 2004.

After the elder Hadiprana’s passing and the subsequent lapse of the 15-year management contract with GHM, his family took over the resort’s management and named it in his legacy as Tanah Gajah, a Resort by Hadiprana. The name itself, which means ‘Elephant Land’, is derived from the estate’s proximity to the ancient Goa Gajah, a 9th-century Hindu-Buddhist temple still revered by Balinese people. 

Table of Contents


Tanah Gajah Resort is located some 10 to 15 minutes away from the centre of Ubud, by car. Nearby is the Goa Gajah temple, just a two-minute drive away. Additionally, 5 minutes away is the popular Bebek Tepi Sawah restaurant. Acknowledging the distance, the resort does provide a scheduled transfer shuttle to Ubud. As such, the resort isn’t exactly suited to those opting to explore on foot, but it still can be done with the help of the resort’s shuttle.

Arrival and Check-in

The entrance to the resort is small and very easy to miss. In fact, we had to turn back a couple of times, having missed the entrance. Once we found our way in, we arrived early at 10.00 after notifying the resort of our early arrival the day prior. We actually came to the resort the day prior to make our reservations, which were promptly arranged by the head of their reservations team.

Parking lot and entrance

On both days, we arrived at the hotel to find it completely devoid of guests. We later learned that we were the only guests over our stay period. Since we settled our bill in advance and completed the registrations during our reservation, our butler took us immediately to our villa upon our arrival, whilst also showing us the resort’s amenities. This was as a result, probably the most seamless check-in experience I have ever had!

Gardens at Tanah Gajah

Rooms at Tanah Gajah

One Bedroom Club Villa

Our room, a One Bedroom Club Pool Villa, had been deep cleaned before our stay and was evident from the impressive absence of dust in every nook and cranny in the room. We were driven to our villa on a golf cart, and shortly afterwards, our luggage was delivered and disinfected with a UV light-sanitising tool of some sort. As is standard at the resort, our villa came with various club amenities, which I’ll expand on later.


The main selling point of the villa is its sizeable private pool. Next to it are a couple of nice sun loungers, along with a daybed and a dining gazebo. The infinity pool itself is quite impressive, particularly with its incredible view of rice fields! I mean just look at that:

View from the pool

For privacy reasons, the ricefield-facing end of the pool is equipped with doors, which are closed during turn-down service. This deck space honestly looks very inviting, especially on a clear day. The gazebo has a dining table setup, featuring the triangular Thai pillows often found at GHM hotels.

Infinity Pool
Dining Gazebo
Daybed by the pool


Apart from the gazebo, the villa has one more structure housing the bedroom and the bathroom. Advertised at a size of 280sqm, the villa is quite large although I personally thought the space inside the bedroom is a bit cramped. Whilst the clay-tiled bedroom is well-appointed and beautifully furnished, it did feel like the space isn’t proportioned very well.

Regardless, in the main section of the bedroom are a television, a lounge chair, a desk, and an ornamental fireplace. The bed is creatively placed on a frame made from an antique-looking bench. Like at Pita Maha Resort, hibiscus flowers were placed all over the room. What a nice touch! There is also a book detailing the life of Hendra Hadiprana.

Bedroom in the One Bedroom Club Villa
Bedroom in the One Bedroom Club Villa
Television and Minibar in the One Bedroom Club Villa

Behind the part-bamboo partition wall is the closet area, featuring two wardrobes, a large mirror, and a luggage rack. To be honest, I felt that there is a significant amount of wasted space in this area that could have been better utilised to make the bedroom feel larger. Oh well…

I did like the prevalence of the antique-looking furniture, however. They honestly really give the room character, reminding me of Tandjung Sari hotel.

Closet area


Going along the length of the bedroom is the bathroom. Similar to the closet area, there is a bit of wasted space here. Despite that, the bathroom is very well-appointed and beautiful. It is equipped with two sinks located opposite each other, a shower, and a separate outdoor bathtub. I really liked the shower and toilet’s terrazzo flooring, reminding me a lot of that at Amankila. The unbranded toiletries came in ceramic containers, which again closely reminds me of the provision at a legacy Amanresort. They were very nice and smelled like frangipani and jasmine.

Sink and shower

The shower features a rainwater showerhead and a handheld showerhead. It also has a shower stool in the form of a large stone in the shape of wood… or is it perhaps petrified wood? Either way, it looked great. I did have one qualm about the shower: the water pressure is rather low and thus left a bit to be desired. Otherwise, everything was great!

Toilet and the other sink

The oversized bathtub is located just outside the rest of the bathroom. The tub is sunken and made of terrazzo; it is completed with bathsalts. From here, there is a small gate that leads to the private pool area. This is convenient when you hope to wash up after swimming. Despite being exposed to the elements, I appreciated that it is covered, unlike that at Amandari. Regardless, I’m not especially a fan of outdoor bathtubs, given how quickly the water temperature would drop.

Outdoor bathtub
Outdoor bathtub

One Bedroom Club Suite

On a subsequent stay, we had the pleasure of trying the resort’s One Bedroom Club Suite. This room is one category under the One Bedroom Club Pool Villa. Physically, they are located closer to the lobby than the villas. Four of the seven suites are housed in individual bungalows, like at Tandjung Sari. But note that three suites share one single-story structure with each other. We were assigned one of these ‘neighbourly’ suites, which consequently was more prone to noises from other guests.

This suite is advertised at a spacious 70 sqm divided between the porch, the combined living and bedroom section, and the bathroom.

View towards the One Bedroom Club Suite bungalows


Located before the door of the suite is a roofed porch featuring two chairs and a table. There is also an umbrella stand that has been conveniently placed here. In our case, the porches of the three interconnected suites are separated by an ornate stone partition.

Porch in the One Bedroom Club Suite


Immediately inside, is the combined living and bedroom section. The bedroom is equipped with just a queen-sized bed. Next to the bed is a large and antique-looking desk, as well as the minibar. Across from the ‘bedroom’ area are a lounge chair and a large daybed/sofa, the latter of which could be converted into a supplementary bed. On the daybed is a plush elephant toy, which I thought is a cute touch.

Additionally, apart from the television, there is a Bluetooth-operated Bose speaker. Unlike the villa, there is also a ceiling fan in addition to the cold air-conditioners.

One Bedroom Club Suite
Daybed in the One Bedroom Club Suite
One Bedroom Club Suite


The One Bedroom Club Suite features a marble-clad semi-outdoor bathroom equipped with a standalone tub, a separate shower, and double sinks. There conveniently is a chair next to the bathtub, and next to the shower is interestingly a large stone pot filled with water.

Like at any outdoor bathroom, the bathtub frequently gets dressed in insect debris, requiring it to be washed off before each use. Water pressure in this room is surprisingly much better than the villa, though.

Bathroom in the One Bedroom Club Suite
Double sinks

Club Benefits

Continuing the resort’s Chedi Club legacy, Tanah Gajah offers every guest club benefits. Similar to that offered at The Club at The Legian, this includes a mini-bar, afternoon tea, evening cocktails, laundry, as well as many snacks; all are complimentary. To illustrate this completely, the following are the things provided as part of the benefit. Every room is serviced by a team of butlers, contactable by phone or through a Whatsapp group option setup by the reception team.

Welcome amenity

When we entered the room, we were met with a fruit plate and snacks like cookies and nuts, replenished each day. Shortly after, a welcome amenity of warm fried plantains was delivered to our room with the lime-based welcome drink. How nice and delicious!

Welcome amenity of fried plantains
More plantains


A complimentary mini-bar is provided in every room. It wasn’t bare-bones either, for it featured multiple soft drinks in addition to three bottles of liquor. There is also an Illy-branded coffee as a standard amenity. Very nice!


Laundry service

As a very convenient inclusion, the resort offers a complimentary laundry service, limited to five pieces. This limitation is introduced after the resort’s exit from GHM, which otherwise would have had unlimited laundry. Like at any other hotel, the dirty laundry is to be left in the provided laundry bag. When an immediate pickup is not requested, the laundry form must be filled out for it to be processed.


As part of the resort’s club benefits, both breakfast and afternoon tea is offered free of charge to all guests.

Afternoon Tea

This meal is served every 4-6 pm at the Panen Padi Lounge (lit. Rice Harvest Lounge). As its name implies, the lounge offers great views of the resort’s rice paddies, and both indoor and outdoor seating is available.

Panen Padi Lounge
Panen Padi Lounge

Afternoon tea consists of a generous three-tiered stand filled with both savoury and sweet snacks. A choice of coffee, tea, or juice is also provided for free. Whilst most of the snacks feature local dishes, the setup honestly reminds me of the afternoon tea sets you’d find back in Britain. Everything is made in-house and tasted very good! Wow!!

Afternoon tea set
Afternoon tea set


Breakfast is an à la carte affair and is served between 7-10 am each morning at the resort’s Tempayan Restaurant. Like the Panen Padi Lounge, the restaurant views the expansive rice paddies. Sometimes, you might even catch the resort’s hot-air balloon taking off just across the restaurant.

The Tempayan Restaurant
The Tempayan Restaurant

Over the course of our stays, we were able to sample a few dishes from the restaurant’s varied breakfast menu. Each set includes a choice of a main dish, complemented by a fruit plate or yoghurt, a bread basket, and drinks.  Food quality was overall high; the orange juice is always fresh and so were the smoothies. I was impressed with the proactivity of the restaurant staff in offering top-up drinks.

Fruit plate

Between the mains I’ve had, I especially loved their Fried Noodles. This dish came wrapped in a fragrant banana leaf and was just simply amazing. The dish consists of fresh egg noodles fried with a choice of seafood or chicken, packed alongside many vegetables. The noodles were steaming hot, very fluffy, very flavourful, and smelled incredible. I normally dislike most fried noodle dishes, but this one made me convert. It was that good! This easily was the best fried noodles I’ve ever had. 

Fried Noodles
Fried Noodles (yum!)

Second, I also really enjoyed their Eggs Benedict. Whilst it was interestingly served with avocados and salmon instead of ham, the dish was excellent. The taste and amount of Hollandaise sauce were just right, and each element is prepared very well. Great job Tanah Gajah!

Eggs Benedict

I also tried a few other dishes, but none were as great as the above two. Despite that, breakfast always felt like a treat!

Scrambled Eggs
Rice congee

Resort Grounds and Amenities

The resort is set on 5-hectares of sprawling gardens and rice fields, and the grounds are meticulously kept each day. I was honestly very impressed by this, even during periods of low occupancy at the resort. The grounds were very beautiful and the pictures do not do justice to how great the place looked. Honestly, this resort is one of those places that looks better in real life than in pictures.

Rice Paddies
Water feature


In addition to the private pools available in the villas, the resort has two additional pools. The main pool is located next to the resort’s expansive pond and fountain. It is large and long, sized perfectly for one to swim several laps. A second pool is located next to the lobby, although it is not as impressive as the main pool. I was told that the smaller pool was the original one during the time Tanah Gajah was still a private residence.

Main Pool
Main Pool
Another picture of the main pool
The smaller original pool


There is also a small gym at was open on a reservations-only basis. An hour is blocked off for the personal use of one guest and the equipment is cleaned afterwards. It was a great setup during our stay, although I wonder how it would be when the resort has more guests… The gym equipment was rather old and aging, but they were functional.

View of the spa and gym from The Tempayan restaurant


The service we experienced at Tanah Gajah was friendly, attentive, and very personalised. The staff knew wherever we went in the resort, and our room was refreshed according to our movements (amazing!). To make things even easier, the resort set up a WhatsApp group between us and our butlers, and the duty manager. This ended up being very useful in practice since all communications became much simpler and our requests were promptly taken care of.  

Each and every staff we encountered was additionally very professional and courteous. The butlers were in particular very warm and charming; they were great at making conversation without being too intrusive. Towards the end of the stay, I also had a nice chat with the resort’s general manager, ibu Deasy Swandarini, who was really a warm and lovely personality.


Overall, despite not being affiliated with GHM anymore, Tanah Gajah remains an exceptional resort. From the beautiful hotel grounds to the great service to the great food, I felt that everything was flawless. Whilst a slight bit distant from Ubud, I think Tanah Gajah is a perfect escape and a perfect setting for a relaxing time in Ubud. I’m very happy to recommend this resort and would come back in a heartbeat! Bellissimo~

Read more Bali resort reviews here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *