Quick Guide To Ubud, Bali

by Carole Bourne

In case you don’t know I’ve been facilitating Slow Yoga Retreats in Ubud, Bali now for over 10 years.  They are my absolute passion. Without a doubt.

And, as you can imagine, in that time I’ve got to know and love Ubud intimately. So, as I often get asked questions about Ubud,  I thought its about time I put pen to paper and share with you some of my favourite places to eat, have a salsa lesson, shake your booty and other fun adventures if you ever get to Ubud.

When in Bali my life revolves around totally pleasing my senses……  and my body.

Where shall I eat today, where to indulge for a massage, time to sit and gaze over beautiful rice fields, ah, the smell of divine incense (always in the air), the sound of temple bells reminding me prayers and blessings never stop in Ubud, what healer to see, time for a new moon yoga class, where to dance the evening away, salsa lesson time and if I’m lucky.

Guaranteed if you ever get to experience Ubud your sense of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing are all heightened – very deeply.  It’s common feedback from my retreat participants.  You reconnect with your body at a very intimate level.  You feel replenished.  The pace is kind, nurturing and I absolutely love it.

And yes, they are my toes pictured here in a flower bath. What can I say.  Bliss! It’s one of the afternoon therapies offered at my retreats.

My driver:
Need a driver then I have the man for you.  Nyoman rocks.

It takes just under an hour to get from the airport at Denpasar to Ubud and its such an easy drive.   Nyoman is a wonderful guy, speaks great English, has an air-conditioned car and is a father of two gorgeous children.  Click here for his facebook page and you’ll find his contact details.

Where to eat:

Firstly you need to know I’m vegetarian, favouring the Ayurvedic approach and eat simply real food that’s close to its source.  In Ubud, you can expect to find lots of great raw, organic, gluten free, vegan, vegetarian warungs or cafes.  Ubud is the best place to get healthy.

Cafe Soma – High Vibe Organic

It’s owned by Johnny a truely beautiful soul who lived in New York for many, many years as a banker.

Call in for some amazing organic food that is blessed with love and gratitude.

Why not try the “Mango Madness” – Luscious mango’s, coconut milk, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.  Perfect for a hot day.

Later in the afternoon I tend to drink their Ojas builder – served warm, its a blend of dates, honey, cinnamon and warm cashew and coco milk. Divine.  Great for the shakti in your belly.

There’s lots of raw, semi raw organic and Ayurvedic foods on the menu but my favourite to eat for either breakfast or lunch is the organic red rice pudding.  It was a favourite with nearly everyone on my last Rest and Rejuvenation Retreat.

If you happen to see Johnny there say hi.

Soma High Vibe Organic Delights – Jalan Dewi Sita, Ubud (0361) 971 120


Yellow Flower Cafe:

This is the latest hip place to eat with the yoga crowd in Ubud.  It’s a little out of Ubud centre, but well worth the beautiful 10 minute walk.   My favourite dish there is a candle nut curry (like macadamia nut).

Food mostly organic and vegetarian.  It’s in a very secluded location off the beaten track and away from any noise (except for roosters of course)  It really feels like your own private eating temple.

Access is only by foot along a rice paddy track.  Find the Campuan steps (just over the champuan bridge) climb them – there’s over 100 and then turn right.  Walk for about 5 minutes.

Yellow Flower Cafe, Camphuhan Steps,  Ubud  (0361) 88 99 865


Warung Saya:

Fabulous Indian, Thai and Balinese food.   This small 3 tabled warung (cafe) was recommended by my Balinese hairdresser Angie.  You’ll find it in Jalan Goutama.  But, blink and you’ll miss it.  Only open for dinner, its on the opposite side of the road to Bar Luna going away from the main streeet.

Ask for Amier the owner, you’ll know him when you see him.  He’s very groovy, muscled up and a lover of  poodles – which are often sitting in a pram out the front of his shop.   True. Very True.  If you’re after designer clothes for your dog Amier is the man.

I always eat here on my first night in Ubud – and many other nights.  It’s always busy so get there early.

warungs.saya@yahoo.com   (085) 792 969.


Bali Buddha:

I’ve been eating at Bali Buddha for over 10 years now.  Its across the road from the Ubud Post Office.  The homemade taco’s and carrot and beetroot salad are my favourites there.  Expect to see a selection of raw food, Ayurvedic dosha balancing drinks and oodles of juices.

Bali Buddha also have a health food store next door.  The chewy chai cookies are divine.

Its also worth having a look out the front on their noticeboard.  An huge array of healers, places to rent and other activities that are happening around the place.

Click here for their web site. They also do home delivery.



Hugely popular.  Always busy.  Feast on the freshest organic vegetarian, raw, vegan and gluten free dishes and juices.  It’s in Jalan Hanoman 44b, near the yoga shop.  Its even got free wiifi.



I love this place.  It’s hidden in the back streets and away from all the hustle bustle of Ubud centre. They serve mainly soups,  the menu is small,  their food is organic and grown sustainbly locally.  If you are there on a Sunday morning then drop into the local organic Farmers market out the front.

Warung Sopa – Jl. Sugriwa No.36  Padan Tegal Ubud.  It’s a little tricky to find but there are signs.


Warung Bu Bu’s

This is one of Ubuds best kept secrets – so I’m reluctant to share.  Its a little out of Ubud but you can walk there or grab a driver (there’s millions of them everywhere).  The easiest way to find it is ask for the The Meditation Shop in Jalan Raya Penestanan – its right next door






You can click here for Bu Bu’s details and find out about their home stay accommodation.

Made (owner and chef) buys all ingredients daily at the markets so everything is absolutely freshly and loving prepared. Expect to pay around 25,000 or $3.00 for this dish.  I happen to think its the cheapest, yet best Balinese food ever!

Make sure you say hello from Carole and give them hug from me.


Pizza Bagus:

Ok, this is a deviation from the healthy cafes but my boys love it and sometimes when travelling and eating oodles of rice you just need a pizza.

Extremely busy and very popular.  It’s a little out of the centre of town but you could still walk there.  You’ll find Pizza agus as Jalan Raya Pengosekan | Pengosekan.  Click here for their web site.


Sara Organiks:

The secret is out and sara organiks is now oh, so popular.   Tricky to find the track to walk along but just ask the locals.  Once on the right track its a divine walk to pleasure your senses.  I often enjoy walking in silence to Sara Organiks and soak up all its goodness.

Alternately if the day is too hot for you simply ring ahead and ask for a motor bike pick up.   Now that’s a fun experience.

The food is is mostly organic, locally grown using permaculture and fair trade principles.  Their red rice is exceptional.

Sara Organik – Subak Sok Wayah, Ubud.  (0361) 780 1839  Web site click here.


Have a massage everyday:

There are literally so many places to have a massage or body treatment in Bali I really don’t know where to begin.  So I thought its best to share with you two of the best consistently great value Balinese massages.

Lily Spa:

Cheapest traditional Balinese massage that is consistently good go to Lily Spa, Jalan Bisma, Ubud.   Opposite Honeymoon Guesthouse.

lilyspa@yahoo.com  (0361) 927 7625

Cantika spa:

Treat yourself to a massage in the rice fields surrounded by nature.   It’s magical. Ketut Jessie (owner) uses natural Balinese herbs in all your body treatments.

She has two locations one off Jalan Penestanan and another on the way out to Sari Organiks.  Look for the signs.

Salsa dancing:

Ok, this is such a fun thing to do in Ubud.  Treat yourself to a free salsa class and get your Latin groove on.  I love it.

Cafe Havana – Cuban bar and salsa dancing  Click here to visit web site

Indus restaurant on Monday nighters.  Click here for web site


Dancing and music:

Laughing Buddha barclick here for their facebook page

Bar Luna – Fast becoming Ubud’s version of Paris’ legendary Deux Magots, it is the place to be seen, where the minds, hearts and bellies of readers, writers, thinkers, hipsters and munchers alike are nourished.  Click here for their web site.

XL Lounge – Great music, fabulous atmosphere.  If I’m in need of some dancing this is the place I go.  Love it.  Behind football field on Jl Monkey Forest

Jazz cafe – great food, cool jazz.  Click here for their web site.

Casa Luna – have Brazilian jazz on a Wednesday night

Indus restaurant – Latino music Mondays and Friday nights. Dance and get your Latin groove on.  Click here for their web site

What I’m reading at the moment:

I first read You Can Create An Exceptional Life
about a year ago and recently had the urge to read it again.

It never ceases to amaze me when you read a book for a second time how much extra wisdom you pick up.  Louise Hay is awesome.



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You can also grab Carole’s daily rejuvenation tip by clicking here

Or Click here to zoom back over to Rejuvenation’s Lounge front page


Retreats with Carole:

Join Carole in Bali or Italy for a week of very therapeutic Restorative Yoga, mindful breathing and simple meditation.

Restorative yoga is the perfect antidote for fast, busy, stressed and exhausted.

Using the gentle support from blankets, yoga bolsters, blocks and eye pillows restorative yoga profoundly encourages the body to let go, release and sink deeply into a state of blissful deep, deep rest.

Whilst being in this deeply restful state you effortlessly release tensions, strengthen your immune system, deeply nourish your nervous system, calm the mind and improve digestive and organ function.

You can Click here to read more about Carole’s Slow Retreats.


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Peita April 12, 2012 at 9:43 am

Can you tell me how to find your hairdresser? Does she have a salon? What name do I look out for on Jalan Hanoman?


Carole Fogarty April 12, 2012 at 11:08 am

Hi Peita, Yes, its a salon. Has two little water ponds out the front that you need to walk over. You have the street number so that should help. Good luck. xx Carole


Yanna June 13, 2012 at 12:10 pm

What an ex-pat paradise! I had no idea. Do you happen to know Natasha St. Michael?


Kirralee February 9, 2013 at 11:12 am

Can I book to get my hair done today around 3pm with Angjie?


Kknj October 11, 2013 at 3:27 am

Try Sang Spa in Ubud.Best relaxing massage.


francesca December 15, 2014 at 3:25 pm

Loved your tips! Cut my hair at anjie’s and she’s indeed fantastic. Cut color & highlights however came down to some 900.000 IND so.. watch out! 🙂 Soma is just my favorite and in general your recommendations are the best! xx love f


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