Beautiful, peaceful villa with warm, wonderful staff
"My wife and I stayed here briefly as part of our Indonesian honeymoon. We absolutely loved the villa. It was quiet, set apart from the busy and generally too-commercial Ubud. We woke to birds singing and went to sleep with just the stars. The villa was immaculate, and we enjoyed the pool, and outdoor shower and bath. The bed was very comfortable and we slept well each night. The house is filled with ornately carved doors, stone statues, carefully placed lighting, and an indoor waterfall. It, like Bali itself, marries art and function. But what made this stay so special was the staff. Juli picked us up from the airport and drove us to the villa. After a brief scooter lift to the house, he introduced us to the gardener and security officer, Ketut. We always felt safe there. Maya made us wonderful breakfasts -- both traditional Indonesian and Western options are available. On our second day, we hired Juli to take us on a local tour. We saw the traditional Barong dance, visited artisan shops, and toured temples. He even stayed with us late to make sure we saw the famous rice terraces. The next day was a special Hindu celebration -- Galungan. It is a sacred day when devout Balinese visit temples, make offerings to ancestors, and visit families. All the villages were decorated with beautiful penjor -- tall bamboo poles covered with flowers and other offerings. We were deeply honored when Juli invited us to attend the local temple with him and his son. We first met his wife and children and enjoyed some Balinese coffee and jaja cakes. At the temple, Juli guided us through the ceremony. It was one of the most special and sacred parts of our trip. After leaving, we went to Nusa Dua for two nights to enjoy the beach before returning to winter in New England. Immediately we missed Rumah Cahaya and the people of Penestanan. Nusa Dua felt artificial and inauthentic. Next time we will stay at Rumah Cahaya and skip the touristy resort. We could not recommend Rumah Cahaya more strongly. It is perfect for a couple or small family, and ideal for those wishing to see the "real" Bali and avoid the more commercial centers."
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