Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bali High: Homes, Sweet Homes

During our five-night Bali honeymoon, we stayed at a grand total of three places: a resort in Ubud and two villas in Seminyak. For the first three nights, we chose moderately priced accommodations. But for the last two nights, we opted for something a little more luxurious. (This was honeymoon, after all!) And it was worth every rupiah!

Bonsai Villas

Jl Raya Seminyak Gg Keraton No. 188 Kuta

We wanted the villa experience because, well, there's something about having a small room and sharing a building with a bunch of strangers that seems...unromantic. But we also didn't want to break the bank. We ruled out Kuta, because friends who had been to Bali before described it as "magulo" (chaotic), so we cyber-scouted around Seminyak for a home. At least for two nights.

We found the moderately priced Bonsai Villas, a charming place that I would recommend to anyone who doesn't want to shell out millions of rupiahs on a villa.

Little pond at the entrance

The features:

Just two villas on the property, so you don't bump into a lot of people. And because of this, the staff is so incredibly attentive. They saw us swimming one afternoon and asked if they could get us tea and biscuits. Just because.

A living area, dining area, kitchen, and separate bedroom in the villa. It's pretty much open, with no walls on two sides of the living area--there are bamboo shades to keep out the elements. The bedroom has a flat-screen TV, DVD player, and safe.

(Top) Living and dining area, and kitchen; (above) our bedroom, with its super-cold A/C

A veeery spacious bathroom with open shower, meaning, you get a view of the sky as you take a refreshing shower in the middle of a pocket garden.

A pool shared by the two villas. But since our neighbors were out, we had it all to ourselves one afternoon.

The pool right outside our villa

Other things I loved about it: The stuff in the mini bar cost as much as they did in the supermarket, so Hamil had his fill of Bintang beer. Also, Bonsai is walking distance from the main Seminyak road, where there are a lot of boutiques and places to eat. In fact, quite a number of Lonely Planet suggestions can be found nearby. Owner/manager Rudi also has his own restaurant recommendations printed out and waiting for you in the villa. Thoughtful!

It's a bit of a walk to the beach (about half an hour), but we didn't mind because we got to see a bit of the area. And it was a good way to burn off at least some of the calories from all that Nasi Goreng. If you'd rather not walk, it should be easy to flag down a cab on Seminyak road.

Cendana Resort & Spa
Monkey Forest Road, Ubud

On our one night in Ubud, we wanted a cheap place in a good location. We relied heavily on Trip Advisor reviews, and settled on Cendana Resort & Spa. We chose the least expensive room--a standard room which, from what I could tell, was a lot like the pricier rooms but without a TV or a mini bar. With tax and all, we paid just $61! And this comes with breakfast!

The rooms are divided among Balinese-style cottages with ornately carved front doors.

Ours had a canopy bed, the kind of bed I thought of when I imagined "honeymoon." This one was made of bamboo, and were kind of just two beds stuck together--you could feel a lump of bamboo running down the center.

The bathroom had a shower as well as a small bath tub. Hamil's favorite feature at the resort: the saltwater infinity pool! It seemingly runs straight into the rice fields that Ubud is known for.

There's also a regular pool on the property. Service was just OK--I met much friendlier and more helpful people elsewhere. But the location is great, right in the middle of Monkey Forest Road, providing easy access to a lot of sights and restaurants.

Uma Sapna
Jl Drupadi No 20xx Basangkasa, Seminyak

We wanted to treat ourselves to a top-end place (defined by our trusty Lonely Planet as a place costing more than $120 a night) on our last two nights in Bali. A friend recommended this little gem, and after some research, we decided to go for it. Four words: I could live here! No, wait--make that five words: I could live here! Sigh.

The guy at the reception area was so friendly and accommodating, and after getting all the check-in requirements out of the way, he ended with, "And we will be giving you a free room upgrade!"

Having read so many glowing reviews on Trip Advisor, I was hoping, hoping, hoping to hear those magic words, the upgrade that many lucky customers were given. And we got it!:) From a one-bedroom spa villa (which means we got a small Jacuzzi-like spa pool) worth $141, we were upgraded to a one-bedroom villa with private pool priced at over $200 a night--at no extra cost!

We were shown around our villa, called Ambon...

That big lounge chair in the corner is a good place to read. That wooden chair at right is part of the breakfast nook where we would have our first meal of the day (included in the package).

Lounge chairs underneath a tree in our little garden, facing our own little pool!

Elegant interiors done up in the tropical modern style. There's a flat-screen TV, DVD player, and safe too.

A spacious bathroom with his-and-hers sinks and this huge-ass tub! Their bath foam was also super bubbly! Yay!

The minute the Uma Sapna staffer left, I did a little happy dance! Hamil and I were so thrilled to be calling this place home for three days. We even got a 15-minute complimentary welcome massage! Ahhhh. I remarked that it was a good thing that we were only staying here for three days--otherwise, we wouldn't have seen much of Bali! We were happy enough just staying in and enjoying our private villa. The bonus: It's walking distance away from Boutique Street, location of Hamil's favorite Bali restaurant (more on that in a future post). While it's a ways away from the beach, it isn't hard to get a cab. Besides, who needs a beach when you've got your own private pool?:D

In case all this gushing hasn't made it obvious, I highly recommend Uma Sapna. Will definitely stay there when we go back!


  1. Yay! finally the Bali post :)

    The places where you stayed are all gorgeous. I wish we could stay in Uma Sapna for our next trip to Bali. Cant wait for more of your stories, Tish.

  2. Thanks!:) Hey, where are your other Bali posts? I'm waiting!:)


Oh, so sweet of you to drop a line!:)