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The owners of Ubud's long-running Café Wayan created three small boutique guesthouses in sleepy Nyuhkuning village (just off central Ubud), aiming to help guests interact with traditional Ubud culture. Launched in 1995, Alam Indah borders the southern section of one of Ubud's biggest tourist sites, the sacred monkey forest. The property is built in the traditional architectural style of thatched, multi-level pavilions, spread across luscious tropical gardens landscaped with frangipani trees, bougainvillea, and weathered stone statues. Rooms and suites come in various configurations, with tropical names and individual character. All showcase rich, artisanal craftsmanship and décor, including intricately carved wooden doors and shutters, and fourposter canopied beds. The emphasis on open-air living, combined with a focus on comfort, extends to the wonderful large verandahs, which are even better where they're elevated upstairs. Note that some rooms only have ceiling fans, and no TVs or telephones are provided (who needs them?). Views are of the garden or the valley. The larger, two-level suites and newer, more modern Annex Wing (set back from the rest and offering three individual rooms that can be booked together with a kitchenette) are ideal for families, while the third-floor Hibiscus Room is more secluded, with glorious valley views. Further highlights are the swimming pool, which resembles those found at Balinese water palaces, and the delightful breakfasts and afternoon teas that incorporate local delicacies, served on the communal garden verandah. There's no restaurant, but you're just a short walk to Ubud's great, inexpensive eating options; staff can also whip up a small meal on request.

Nearby, second property Alam Jiwa's 11 rooms (from U.S.$85) offer up-close paddy views, while latest creation Alam Shanti offers eight accommodations (U.S.$75–U.S.$185), including two-story houses secluded in rice fields.