By Alex McRobs
When people find out I live in Bali.. I get messages a lot about what I recommend to see or do while here!
I honestly find it a difficult task to give recommendations because everyone’s taste & budget for travel is sooo different.
However, I do want to give you some of my favorite spots, activities, etc and put it on one blog.
Let me know in the comments what you think.
First of all...if you're thinking about coming to Bali...please check out one of my upcoming retreats or yoga teacher trainings! You can find my schedule here.
If you don't have a full week to stay, or the retreat is out of your budget...I also often do Sober Girls Yoga pop-up classes, and can do a one-on-one mini day retreat with you. My schedule changes periodically as I travel frequently in and out of Bali, and I also am often hosting retreats. My schedule will be visible at this link! Please send me a DM, an email email@example.com or a Whatsapp +971 54 598 7373 if you have any questions for me!
I live in Ubud and it’s always been where my home & heart is.. which is why that’s where most of my recommendations are!
First of all, Yoga Barn!
One of the reasons I moved to Bali was because I fell in love with Yoga Barn. The classes are packed with more than 60 people. It’s right in the center of the town, but set back from the road enough that you truly feel like you’re in the middle of the jungle.
My favorite classes:
Byron. I discovered Byron’s classes in January 2022 and he quickly became my fave. Byron always has wisdom, tied together with humor, challenges & fun! I go to Byron’s classes a few times a week (when it works with my schedule!) My favorite are his Power Yoga classes.
Paul. I went to my first class with Paul in 2017 and got hooked! Right now I’m more into his Yin & Yang class on Wednesday afternoons, but all are great. If you go to the Wednesday class make sure you go early because there’s been a handful of times I’ve showed up and it’s already been full.
This is the Yoga Barn. Can you believe it's right in the middle of Ubud centre? It's like stepping off a busy street and into the magic of the jungle. UBUD YOGA CENTRE: My second favorite yoga spot in town is Ubud Yoga Centre, but that’s because I’ve weirdly entered this new Bikram Yoga phase of my yoga journey. It is completely different than the yoga I do with Byron & Paul at the yoga barn, but I love it! I go to regular Bikram classes at UYC with all the teachers on my days off from Yoga Barn. What I like about UYC is that it’s smaller, family oriented and classes usually have between 12-20 participants, making me feel really part of community. UBUD YOGA HOUSE: I've connected with Sheila, the owner of Ubud Yoga House, and I really love her. What I love about this place is that it's literally her house - the yoga space is a balcony overlooking the rice terraces. Sheila is so kind and sweet. She's let me use her space to run Sober Girls Yoga classes in the past. I highly recommend checking out this place - small, intimate classes and deep connection and friendships!
One of my Sober Girls Yoga Groups together after class at Ubud Yoga House. HEALING: I haven't actually been to the Pyramids of Chi yet for sound healing, but on the last retreat I taught on, the group loved their sound healing so much that many of them went back for a second experience! I did meet the group for lunch after, and was blown away by the delicious vegan and gluten free options. I highly recommend checking this place out. CAFES: Ubud has THE best food scene in my opinion! I am vegan & gluten free, so my cafe choices are somewhat limited. Here’s where I like to go: Alchemy Alchemy is my top choice, and I go a few times a week. I really like the champion breakfast plate. They also have an amazing smoothie bar, really good salads, etc. I like the halloumi cheese! Zest Zest is magical! I love the hidden garden vibes. Zest again is another vegan restaurant here in Ubud with a fantastic selection of yummy plates. It has an incredible view over the jungle. I like their poutine, their plant pizzas, their Vitamese Pho, their califlower wings...basically everything! You'll need to go back a few times to try everything. (P.S. I tried all these foods before I went gluten free, so I am not 100% sure what is GF on the list above, but it's all vegan).
A yummy smoothie bowl at Zest (rom back in the day when I used to eat smoothie bowls - now I don't because the sugar in them caused me acne!) Sayuri's Sayuri's has a super chill vibe. I like to find a spot in the garden cafe and work. Try the Norwegian-Style “Gravlax” Open Sandwich. It's super yum!
Here's a picture of me and Maree at Sayuris. Maree is another amazing Sober Entrepreneur. She co-ordinates sober retreats that I teach yoga on. Kafe & Garden Kafe I list these two restaurants together because they share the same owner (along w/ Yoga Barn, Fresh, etc!) And they have similar menus. The Garden Kafe is attached to Yoga Barn and has many more vegan and GF options. I like the Tofu Scramble, The Cashew Ginger Tofu, and Rainbow Buddha Bowl. FOR A NIGHT OUT: Full House Ubud My friend Kadek opened this bar in Ubud. I personally don't go as it all seems to kick off past my bedtime, but from the Instagram stories, it looks like a good time. Otokafe Otokafe has great live music in town. Check them out for Friday, Saturday and Sunday live music. It's classic sing along songs! MASSAGES/SPAS:
Asian Prophecy I started going to Asian Prophecy maybe six months ago - what I like about them is they're clean and close to my house. I go for the Creambath there - it's a wash, head and shoulder massage with cream for your hair, and blow dry. I always come out of it feeling like a new woman! Fresh Spa I LOVE Fresh Spa for Manicures, Pedicures, Massages, etc. I love that it is retro styled, smells good...and the tea, snack and face mask they bring you is always a welcome treat! If you're looking for a spa while here I highly recommend it. Skin If you need a waxing while you're in Bali...highly recommend Skin! PLACES TO STAY Villa Pecatu I am personally friends with the owners at Villa Pecatu. I stayed there when I first came to Bali in 2021. It's great because its in the centre of town, walking distance to everything, and cheap and cheerful. The family is so lovely and even invited me to their son's wedding a year after I'd stayed with them. Pita Maha & Royal Pita Maha I stayed in these resorts to film the On Demand Yoga Classes that you can watch if you become a member of the platform here! It was absolutely magical. I got villas with private pools. I think it's pricier now that covid is over and the quaratine is done, but it was definitely magical!
This photo was taken when we shot one of the yoga series at the Royal Pita Maha. That was my private pool! It was magical! Sankara I stayed at Sankara with one of my ex boyfriends when he came into town (lol). We loved it. It was a magic hideaway, just off the beaten path, but still central. Highly recommend.
I took this selfie at Sankara where I stayed with my Ex! DRIVERS: My friend Kadek Angga is always my go to driver around Bali. If you need a driver, feel free to DM him on Instagram: @anggapecatu. Tell him I gave you his contact information!
Kadek is not only a great driver, but an awesome tour guide. What I love about him is that he's super down to earth, and real. He's also lots of fun, and doesn't kill me when I play Taylor Swift 24/7 in the car. Hikes: The Camphuan Ridge Walk is a nice short 2km hike which is right in the centre of Ubud.
Here's the hidden path towards the Ridge Walk. CANGUU I liked to head down to Canguu from time to time on my motorbike. Here's what I do while I'm there: Zycle Zycle is the only spin studio on the island and has great spin classes. Definitely check it out if you're into that kind of thing!
Zin Cafe & Zin Hotel I LOVE Zin Cafe! It is a fantastic co-working space, and I always make good connections while there. I like the Scrambled Tofu and the Zin Garden Vegetables. I haven't stayed at the connected hotel, but it looks lovely.
Udara Udara is a magical yoga retreat centre right on the ocean. I actually haven't taken any classes here, but I did come down and meet a friend who was staying here and did a spa day. It was lovely! I Am Vegan Babe This is a great Vegan restaurant, with really yummy dishes. KUTA When I was learning to surf when I first arrived in Bali, I was taking Surf lessons down at Up2U Surf School. This was great. I enjoyed staying at the Pullman Hotel, eating at the Hard Rock Cafe, and doing typical touristy things!
Here's me surfing in Kuta. Watch the Youtube Video and see me epically fall and fail here! ULUWATU While in Uluwatu, I stayed at the Radisson, which I really liked. Uluwatu just opened up another branch of Alchemy Cafe, which again is a great gluten free, vegan spot. SIDEMAN
Sideman is a remote area up in the jungle. I stayed at Samanvaya while I was there and had a wonderful time. TOURIST BUCKET LIST (These are all the activities I take my retreat groups on) Mount Batur Sunrise Hike - This is absolutely magical! Do not miss it! I always take my retreat groups here. We do the sunrise hike followed by a soak in the hot springs.
I took this photo in 2020, when I visited with my friend Michelle. The Medicine Man from Eat Pray Love You can actually go and meet the Medicine Man from Eat Pray Love and get a palm reading. I take every retreat group here.
Water Temple - Go to the water temple to do a balinese purification ritual.
This photo above is me at the Water Temple in 2020! Gates of Heaven - this is where you can get your iconic photo with the mountain above you, and stunning reflection (which unfortunately is fake, with a mirror - lol).
This photo was taken with my cousin when she came to visit me in Bali. Uluwatu Fire Dance - Here you can see a beautiful sunset and watch a fire dance. A must see for a cultural experience of Bali!
Ok...I think that is it for my Bali recommendations! Please reach out on Instagram, Whatsapp or alex@themindfullifepractice if you're curious about joining for a retreat, doing a one-on-one mini retreat, or joining for a Sober Girls Yoga Class while you're here! Love, Alex