We were on an independent holiday and intending to stay at a homestay in Desa Cepaka, a pleasant village in the south of Bali but well away from the tourist bustle at Kuta etc. We found this excellent place instead which, to be honest, was well above our normal backpacker expectations but we were so taken with it that we immediately booked 2 of the 4 rooms for 4 nights for our family of 2 adults and 2 children.
The property itself has been built to a very high standard into the side of a gorge with beautiful trees and shrubs, and through which runs a small stream. Entry to the property is from road level, and there is a secure parking space off-road which was useful to us because we had our own hired vehicle, (although the owners are happy to pick and drop travellers to and from any location).
I was able to look at all 4 of the rooms, which are individually themed, furnished and decorated to a very high standard; the road-level room can be used as a family-four space with its own cooking and mini-kitchen space, and 2-level sleeping where the lower level converts part of the sofa facility to a double bed. We could have used this as a family-4 room and were in the process of doing so until we looked at the other rooms too. We were so taken at the thought of being independent from our 2 boys for a few nights that we booked the top room for them and then separately took a beautiful lower room for ourselves!
A person with mobility disability would only be able to access the road-level room because you need to be able to use the (lovely wide) staircases to get to the lower bedrooms, breakfast and eating and relaxation lounge, and then at lowest level a gorgeous swimming pool withg loungers and towels provided.
The whole property is spacious throughout and the use of colour and Balinese art is exceptional.
Bathrooms are large and individual, all rooms have a fridge and a programmable safe, and all have a large open balcony and windows which overlook the gorge; at night you can choose to sleep "open air" or to shutter down completely. The sound of birds and frogs and the trickling stream was all we could hear!
The breakfasts were excellent and served at times we wished, also we had some mid-day and evening meals which are specially cooked on the premises and which we found to be excellent value.
Beer and drinks are available from your fridge, although you can save a small amount of money by buying beer at the local shop just round the corner, but actually the "mark up" on the prices of drinks already provided in your fridge is very small, unlike the rip-off of some large hotel chains.
What really made this place so special was the personal attention from the owner's family; they taught our 2 children to play the bamboo gamelan in the lounge area, they took us for walks through the rice fields, they arranged kite-flying for our boys, and there was absolutely no extra charge for these services. We had our own transport, but the owner was able to take other guests to tourist attractions in the hills (places such as the stepped rice-paddies, the botanical gardens, hot springs etc.) - I'd assume these would involve extra patyment BUT you'd have to ask as I forgot!
The great thing about this place is that you can be immediately into Balinese family life away from tourist tat, and yet also have luxury and profound relaxation.
So, as a stand-alone luxury villa with high quality rooms and swimming pool it more than holds its own, but the personal attention lavished by the family (if you want it, oitherwise they'll leave you alone) sets it head and shoulders above other options
I was going to post some photographs but I see that some are already available here, and they are a fair representation of what to expect.
For us, the 4-night stay at Villa Sabda was one of the highlights of our 6-week tour of Malaysia and Indonesia.
If you have your own transport you would be wise in the first instance to arrange for the owner to meet you and guide you to the village, Balinese road maps are not very good!
It it important to me that you know I am an independent traveller with no financial or other interest in any of the places which I review, so as always I sign:- Steve Riches, Northampton, UK.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Offering free bicycle rentals and an outdoor swimming pool, Villa Sabda in Kediri is a 10-minute drive from Echo Beach, Pererenan Beach and Seseh Beach. Free Wi-Fi is available in all its air-conditioned rooms. Activities like fishing and massage are available.Enjoying views of the pool and garden, the bright rooms are equipped with a kitchenette and oven. Some rooms include a personal safe and minibar. En suite bathrooms have either a bathtub or a shower.Villa Sabda is a 10-minute drive from Taman Ayun Temple (King's Temple) and a 15-minute drive from Tanah Lot. Ngurah Rai International Airport is a 50-minute drive away. Parking is free.Day trips and airport transfers can be arranged at the tour desk. The villa also provides laundry services.The on-site restaurant serves Balinese, Indonesian and Western dishes. ... more less