While Denpasar may be the capital of Bali, we all know that Ubud is both the cultural and spiritual capital. A hub for artsy and creative types, this is the ultimate place to be if you are in search of inspiration.
With galleries, art cafes and workshops providing great opportunities to meet other artists and creatives, it’s one amazing location to learn new skills and develop your unique style.
And if you’re seeking tranquility and a chance to get back to basics, you definitely won’t be disappointed with spectacular scenery around every corner!
So why not make the most of your stay with one of these artistic villas – as they have everything an artist needs.
C’mon, get out here and create your next masterpiece!
Note: The prices reflected below are the low season rates, and they exclude tax and service charges. Accommodation rates often change with room availability, and low or high seasons. We recommend double checking for the final prices before confirming your booking.
1. The true meaning of ‘Artist Retreat’ – Rumah Tamu
Every inch of this wonderful three bedroom villa oozes creativity and serenity. Whatever your craft or wherever you get your influence, you are bound to be inspired by this amazing retreat – especially since it’s like living in a giant piece of art.
Tamarra Kaida, the writer and photographer of Ogoh Ogoh: The Balinese Monsters Book, is the genius behind this unique property.
From the unusual architectural design (a round door?!) to the hand-painted wall decoration, you can feel his passion and presence throughout.
Showcasing a weird and wonderful blend of traditional Balinese culture, classic opulence and other eccentricities, Rumah Tamu doesn’t disappoint. (We bet you have never stayed somewhere that has a Pterodactyl dinosaur swinging from the rafters!)
The villa comprises three traditional buildings – one with the master bedroom and bath; another with the two single rooms, a shared bath, living area and kitchen; and lastly, a dining bale overlooking the river. Even if there are four of you occupying this space, it will never feel crowded.
There are also plenty of other places for you to peacefully contemplate your ideas; swinging from a hammock in the passion fruit garden, sitting beside the Koi ponds, or even reclining in the amazing carved stone bath.
Photos via: Rumah Tamu
If all that’s still not enough, don’t forget. Just a 15 minute walk, or a trip on the free shuttle bus will take you straight into central Ubud – where you can continue to explore the creative heart of Bali!
The name says it all. It’s a museum first, and a resort second (but no less extraordinary).
You don’t have to seek inspiration here, instead, inspiration will find you. Your imagination will be overloaded with ideas and sparks of genius after a trip through the museum.
Photo via: かめちゃ-5
The Agung Rai Museum of Art (ARMA) houses almost 300 unique pieces of Balinese art. Collections range from ‘Europeans living in Bali’ to ‘Kamasan’ – a small village in Bali famed for its traditional painting on wood bark.
And what, or who is Agung Rai? He’s the man behind it all! A Balinese artist who envisioned and designed this marvelous place to preserve Bali’s rich and historical art culture.
If you’re looking to try something new, there are endless cultural classes, painting lectures, tours and workshops available. For instance, egg painting, Batik, Lontar leaf painting and making offerings to name a few!
Agung Rai’s artistic influence extends out from the museum and throughout the resort. Whether you stay in one of the beautifully appointed rooms or a spectacular villa, you will be submerged in a unique visual experience.
Photo via: Arma Bali
For the ultimate retreat a villa gives you complete privacy and freedom to find the perfect creative space to work, either indoors or in the tranquil gardens.
Photo via: Arma Bali
We recommend the ‘Golden Experience’ as a must do for any artist in Bali. This 4-night accommodation package includes a private tour by the creator Mr Agung Rai, a dance performance and cultural class, as well as admission to the gallery and discounts on further cultural classes.
Art is the soul of this retreat!
Restaurant at Arma Museum & Resort
3. Feel inspired to get creative at Santa Mandala Artist Homestay
A hidden gem in the midst of the wilderness, Santa Mandala Artist Homestay feels like a canvas painting brought to life.
With colour scribbled all over, feel inspired by the uniqueness of each and every nook and cranny, while feeling like you’ve entered an underwater sanctuary at this private room’s bathroom that feels like a cave from the sea.
The beauty of the decor isn’t all that’s worth admiring, as the view is just as spectacular!
Built on top of a cliff, get a chance to feel the breeze and lounge around or cook up a storm in the commodious kitchen.
Write up for Santa Mandala Artist Homestay contributed by Abigail Chang
4. Michi’s Spiritual Retreat – Michi Retreat Village
If you aren’t a Tao expert then we had best explain what ‘Michi’ means. It’s a Taoist term from China and Japan, referring to life’s journey and a person’s spiritual being – something that every artist can relate too.
With Michi Retreat, much emphasis has been placed on creating retreat that is ‘rustic in its extravagance, Zen in atmosphere and Bali in essence’.
The themed villas and suites offer everything that you need in ornately decorated surroundings. Simply choose the one that most resonates with your style!
Photo via: Stednast
If you are travelling solo and want to focus on your creativity, then one of the three unique self-contained artist studios will be ideal. The Michelangelo, Hundertwasser or Vienna 1900’s – whichever suits your spirit and style.
Nestled next to the bubbling river Woo and acres of beautiful rice paddies, a stress-free atmosphere is guaranteed. Get away from the worries of everyday life and the bustle of busy tourist areas.
Photo via: One San
Take time to reflect and channel your inner genius as you work away in your personal artist studio – a home away from home, and see what incredible work the new environment inspires!
5. Simply Magical – Tirta Asri
It’s quirky, original and amazing – it’s simply magical!
Nothing is more inspiring than following in the footsteps of someone who has already achieved their artistic dream. The owner of this retreat, Daniel, is an American artist who fell in love with Bali in the 70’s and has been here ever since!
This lovely three-bedroom villa is in close proximity to the beautiful river and sacred spring so you will never be without natural inspiration. Panoramic views across the valley will be your natural muse and energize your artistic desires.
High ceilings, open spaces and great light make for a special creative space for you to work in.
A sunrise dip in the infinity pool might just be the moment of serenity you need to kick start your imagination.
Photos via Tirta Asri
If you need greater inspiration, take a 40-minute walk along the river valley to the center of Ubud where you can continue your artistic journey and buzz along to the artsy vibes.
Additionally, Tirta Asri is a fabulous choice if you want to arrange a family or group retreat. With plenty of creative space and relaxing areas, everyone will be able to utilise the property in the way that they benefit most.
It’s special, it’s magical and it might just spark that idea you have been waiting for.
6. With art at heart – Art Villa Ubud
Get inspired by seeing someone else’s vision come to life. That person is Australian artist Bruce McWhinney.
Bruce has a created a beautiful private sanctuary for those wanting to realise their artist dreams in Ubud. Focusing on the use of natural products such as wood, stone, rock and bamboo – Art Villa Ubud is a harmonious retreat decorated with both ceramic and traditional Balinese artworks.
And if you think that the villa is aesthetically perfect, then you should see the views too! Overlooking Mt Agung and the Campuhan ridge, this is the perfect location to catch a breathtaking sunset.
Once you have exhausted all the creative inspiration from the villa (if it’s even possible), take a day trip to one of the various artistic locations that Bruce recommends for quiet time and painting.
Whether you want to visit a gallery or simply sit somewhere quiet and take in the scenery – there are plenty of options to choose from!
Apart from the villa, do check out the classes available. Have you spent any time working with ceramics? This is your opportunity to learn with private or group bookings at Gaya Ceramic Art Centre. See other artists at work and develop your own techniques at the same time.
Photo via Gaya Ceramic Art center
And if you’re serious about art, the Gaya Ceramic Art center also offers an artist residency programme that would be perfect, if combined with a stay at the Art Villa too.
As an artist or if you’re simply interested, you couldn’t find a more perfect spot – with Ubud at your doorstep and the artistic hamlet of Penestanan village nearby.
7. The best kind of treat? A Re-treat! – Kumara One World Retreats
One World Retreats are the experts in a broad range of retreats. No one relaxes more, focuses harder, cleanses better or creates more than they do!
An action-packed retreat calendar offers a host of programmes to suit those wishing to cleanse their minds or refocus their creativity before starting a new project.
For artists and those truly in need of inspiration, we recommend the ‘Escape the World’ retreat.
This provides 6 days of gentle yoga and meditation to relax the body and soul, whilst awakening and stimulating the mind with cultural and creative classes.
Aside from the specifically designed classes, tours and yoga sessions, your body will also benefit from the nourishing, healthy and organic meals that are included in the package.
Photos via: One World Retreats
Are you thinking of hosting a retreat and looking for the perfect place to gather your artist friends?
Calling all creatives: share your passion and skills with others, and use the ready-made structure of accommodation and facilities to tailor make a retreat for others who share your vision.
The retreats are hosted at the spectacular Kumara Sakti boutique resort. Perched up in the lush green hills of Ubud and overlooking the rice fields, you will be at one with nature. Birdsong and the soothing sounds of the forest will accompany your creative sojourn.
Photos via: Kumara Sakti
An open-air pavilion and balconies will also allow you to make the most of this harmonious setting and draw inspiration from nature’s beauty.
Photo via: Kumara Sakti
And we hate to name drop, but this is where Elizabeth Gilbert stayed when writing that famous little book – ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.
Even if you don’t join a retreat programme, just staying at the Kumara is a re-treat in itself. Just saying!
8. Made by artists for artists: AIR Ubud
This one is for the hardcore artists – those who live, eat, breathe and sleep art, and need creative ambiance and like-minded people just to survive.
AIR (Artists In Residency) is a self-proclaimed interdisciplinary residency for those wishing to tap into the magical and spiritual atmosphere of Ubud.
You can’t pack your paintbrushes and jet off just yet though – AIR Ubud is currently having the main house and art studios renovated, and the only resident at present is Irineu the cat!
Set next to a gentle creek and in the heart of jungle foliage, you can focus your mind on your work, away from the noise and chaos of the ‘real’ world.
Access to the art studios is perfect for everyone, from those who have larger projects or those who work better around others. If you find it easier to work in peace, then your own private terrace will provide the perfect workspace.
The beautiful, quiet settings and intentionally built studios are obviously great for any artist, but the cherry on the top?
The fact that other creatives from photographers to painters with the same vision will surround you and inspire you. (The simple joy of conversations and sharing ideas with fellow artists… We know you’ll surely appreciate that!)
Photos via: Air Ubud
Knowing that the place was also designed by fellow artists means you can trust that everything that you need will be right at your fingertips.
Excited yet? Make sure to watch this space for the opening of AIR Ubud!
Do you have more suggestions for artistic villas in Ubud? Share with us!