LUXE City Guides
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Where to Shop, Eat and Spa in Ubud

Drawing on nature and Balinese tradition and spirit as influences, the extraordinary John Hardy Collection has been wooing stylistas in the know for more than 40 years with its gypsy-chic gold and silver jewellery, handcrafted with precious and semi-precious gems by a crack team of Balinese artisans. 

At the helm as creative director is Hollie Bonneville Barden, who joined the biz in 2016 after a stint at De Beers and now splits her time between New York and the verdant rice fields of Ubud. A year into the role, with her new autumn collection just released, Hollie is enchanted by the creative centre of the island: “I love the fact that everyone I meet is either a dancer, painter, musician, woodcarver, chef or some type of creative whether they’re local or expats living la dolce vita. Conversations get interesting very quickly”, she says. Here, Hollie shares her fave Ubud finds.


Biasa for resort wear with an edge. Natural super-fine fibres that fold, flow and hug in all the right places; one of their kaftans is all you need to wear when you’re in Bali (or New York in the summer for that matter) and it’s the perfect canvas for any piece of John Hardy jewellery.

The amazing non-profit Threads of Life is preserving the art of natural dyes, motifs and traditional Indonesian weaving techniques. They keep traditions alive and support local communities.Italians with an eye for beauty and detail team up with local artisans to create ceramics that are timeless. Gaya Ceramics produce pieces for all the big-name hotels, and will do so for you too. Handcrafted and precious.

Eat & Drink

I love Locavore for its lack of pretension; it’s just beautiful food that excites and challenges. The freshest local ingredients are turned into a visual feast that always tastes good. Indonesian dishes and recipes with a twist.

Nusantara is Locavore’s newest creation – it’s food from around the archipelago served to you in Ubud. A homage to the richness and diversity of Indonesia.

The cocktails at Night Rooster are medicinal. Think turmeric, ginger, herbs and spices from the forest and fields of Bali mixed with spirits. You can’t help be mesmerised by watching the ritual of burning pine cones and sweet smelling herbs while the staff mix away. 

Another must is Hujan Locale where Will Meyrick introduces long-forgotten recipes from across the Indonesian archipelago. Staff always remember your favourite plates so it has a nice personal touch.

Perfect for a reboot after a long flight, Moksa literally digs fresh ingredients from the onsite garden to create delicious vegetarian dishes. It’s an ever-changing menu and they have great take-away sweets for late night jet lag cravings.


There’s no disputing Como Shambhala Estate is one of the best retreats in the world to shake up your chakras. But what I love most is it’s remarkable position: high above the rainforest, arranged around the Ayung River and overlooking rice fields. Its spring water is used for healing properties. Of course the treatments go beyond beauty and include stress management, nutrition and a myriad of ahead-of-the-curve therapies.  

Five Elements is traditional Balinese healing at its best. This is not just a spa experience, it’s transformative on so many levels from it’s yoga, raw bites and mind-altering treatments to its jungly waterside situ.


Cleanse mind and body with water straight from the source, sacred and divine Tirta Empul Temple.

The view over the clouds from atop Mount Batur at sunrise is sublime, it’s another world and I come here for peace and inspiration. It was one of the inspiration points for my John Hardy Naga Collection. 

If you can’t (or won’t!) climb the mountain then a cooking class at Bali Asli affords wow views of sibling Mt Agung. Book a day with Chef Penny who will lead you around local markets and villages then teach you how to whip up local Balinese specialties using traditional recipes and techniques

John Hardy Showroom

Arrange a visit to the John Hardy studio when you’re in Ubud to watch the mastery in action and add a beautiful Balinese treasure to your personal collection (knowing you’re supporting the local community at the same time). You’ll be treated to a personal tour through the open-air workshop and the new, striking architectural bamboo showroom – book at least a day in advance to enjoy a leisurely all-organic lunch in the sylvan garden.

By appointment only, call Kapal Bamboo +62 361 469 888 or via

For more insider Ubud recommendations, nab a copy of the LUXE Bali guide…

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