Starbucks is well-known for taking up residence in some unusual places. They’ve had a pop-up store in Tokyo and they even have a historical western-style house house in Kobe. But in the beautiful mountain village of Ubud, Bali, there’s a more subdued Starbucks. Set up in an old storehouse, and blending perfectly with the environment, you wouldn’t instantly think this was part of a global coffee franchise.
We went to check out this unique coffeehouse and found it to be incredibly beautiful and serene. Out of all the Starbucks stores we’ve visited across the world, this is by far the one we recommend the most. With an exceptionally unique atmosphere, we bring you four reasons why this may very well be the best Starbucks in the world.
First and foremost, the surrounding scenery simply takes your breath away
When you think of Bali, you probably think of resort beaches, but Ubud Village is a great example of the incredible mountain scenery the island has to offer. In recent years, a large number of yoga studios and organic restaurants have popped up around here and it’s fast becoming a hot spot for foreign tourists. Most famously, this village was one of the main locations for the movie Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts. While Ubud has become a popular tourist site, thankfully there are no fast food shops like McDonalds or Burger King here. Why? Because residents say the loud, flashy shopfronts would ruin the beautiful scenery and character of the village.
Starbucks listened to protests by residents and respected their needs
Starbucks opened here several years ago. But before construction began, it was met with strong opposition from local residents, who thought the company would ruin their environment with a modern building and flashy neon signs. Instead of dismissing their critics, Starbucks listened to their concerns and opened a quiet outlet in an old building with wooden signs. Starbucks deserves credit for showing how a progressive global company can work with consideration for other people’s concerns.
The beauty of a simple storehouse remains mostly untouched
So as not to interfere with the environment, Starbucks moved into an unused building that was formerly used as a temple storehouse. Looking at it from the outside, you can’t see the coffee chain’s bold green and white colours anywhere, so at first glance it simply looks like a regular village building. There are Starbucks signs of course, but they’re simple, rustic-looking wood carvings. The entrance too, is wonderfully subdued, giving you a relaxing ambience to enjoy as soon as you enter.
From the open seating area you can watch Balinese dances
While the store has a beautiful Balinese interior, it’s the open seating area that makes this place truly remarkable. From here, the water palace lotus pond is spread out in front of you and there’s a gorgeous view of the temple next door. At night you can watch Balinese dances on stage in this natural setting. Watching Balinese dances in Bali itself, while sipping coffee out on the terrace is a memory we’ll never forget.
This place will definitely ease your weary mind.
The Ubud Village walking course starts right next to the coffeehouse
The simple entrance and interior
If you ever find yourself on a pilgrimage to Ubud, we highly recommend you take a look in here. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and we hope you will too.
[ Read in Japanese ]