"I live in NYC. This place is Opposite Land. Rumah Cahaya will obliterate your stress. Need a creative sabbatical? Stay here for a month and explore the interior of Bali.
There's a rainforest on one side of the villa and rice paddies on the other. We woke to bird calls and luscious views, and fell asleep to gecko chirps and faint gamelan drumming--beautiful and hypnotic. On the second day, my niece said,"WHY are Maya's breakfast eggs so good?" And then we saw the chickens and hens running through the paths of our rice paddies. That curving path is like something out of National Geographic for Kids. My two young kids saw lizards, ducks, roosters, groundhogs, mice, frogs, butterflies and snakes (butterflies are bigger than the snakes). Note: Rumah Cahaya is not for the squeamish. They’re all here, creatures great and small. Everything is benign. There’s an ongoing symphony of chirping and burping and some of it comes from the corner of the living room.
The villa’s best features are the open air master bathroom and the eagle's nest, a tiny tower. Every night I’d bathe under the starriest skies—no light pollution here. After a really hot day, you bathe in the sultry perfume of frangipani. Upstairs, from the eagle's nest, you sit at an L-shaped desk while peering into a lush rainforest. The ordinary world falls away. I couldn’t stop taking panoramic shots of the rice paddies. At night if you leave the tower windows and doors wide open, a little bat might swoop in and out. My son loved that!
The staff: Maya makes amazing breakfasts but she’ll let you know (by being late) that she prefers 9am to earlier. Finally we just had her make us lunch instead. She’ll also take small parcels of laundry and return them next day. Juli, the informative driver and responsive house manager, aims to please. One day he took us to the market and I left a bag of caramel cakes somewhere. He saw my disappointment and the next day came with other caramel cakes, refusing compensation. (One day, though, Juli’s brother pinch hit and charged us an arm and a leg. So, substitute Juli at your own risk!)
The owner Bruce has tastefully created a luxurious home yet still in keeping with the local vernacular--wooden doors, transoms, cabinets, and wardrobe are carved with Balinese motifs, and altars and recessed nooks with Hindu statuary grace the property. My kids had so much fun exploring it all that they didn’t even realize they were learning. The same goes for me."
Guest: jayne r.
Date of Stay: January 2015
Review Submitted: March 24, 2015