I’ve always enjoyed daydreaming out car windows on trips, on this particular occasion, there was something mesmerising about watching the scenery change from the cacophony of the tourist heavy city scape, notable of popular south east Asian cities, to the gradual increase of sprawling jungle.
Pulling up into Villa Shamballa Moon down a bumpy gravel pathway deeper into the hillside jungle I catch first glimpse of a friendly face waiting outside two wooden Balinese doors. She guides me down the hopscotch tiles and onto the deck of the villa. Here, I catch my first glimpse of my private pool and bale, only to see more smiling villa staff waiting eagerly with leis made of frangipanis and a delicious fresh mint drink, apt in the humidity of December. There is traditional Balinese music playing in the background. No sense is forgotten here.
Slurping with child like vigour on my welcome drink, Iluh, one of the wonderful Villa staff shows me around my own kitchen, spacious white lounge, the bathroom and up to my bedroom. I’m bubbling with excitment at this incredible property. The villa feels modern with Traditional balinese touches in the furnishings. It is open and spacious, integrated purposefully with the Ubud jungle wherever possible, open to nature and the sticky Balinese air. The background noise of nature seeps through the windows, chirping birds, cicada’s singing, and the breeze through the tree leaves, this is the stuff those relaxation cd’s are made of and the serenity here is unparalleled.
I am treated to a delicious three course complimentary dinner poolside that evening and though I am alone on my trip, I imagine this would be an incredibly romantic ambience amidst two lovers. The lack of company does not detract from the occasion, or from how delicious and enjoyable the traditional Balinese meal is. In fact, I’m somewhat glad to not have anyone around to see me devour each course monstrously, it’s plate licking good type food.
I slept each night like a baby in my netted bed free from mosquito bites and with the air conditioner at your disposal in the Balinese heat, the humidity doesn’t impede on a good night’s sleep. How often to you get to wake to the sound of a rooster crowing? It was a welcome change from my piercing iPhone alarm. I had selected my breakfast the night before with Iluh, and the hot Nespresso coffee kick-starts my day. I’m also treated to some delectable fresh fruit (including mango, my fav!) some beautiful fried eggs (sunny side up of course), mushies, roast tomatoes and avo. Everything is sourced from the local farms and is so fresh and scrumptious. For a girl who rarely eats brekkie, I hoover down this spread.
The villa staff kindly arrange massages in house. During the afternoon rains when the last thing you want to do is be pottering around outside, these in house massages proved perfect. The rain is somewhat hypnotic as it strikes the ground, providing a peaceful au naturale soundtrack and my massage therapist applies pressure to my liking. The entire experience is very much pampering and released all that tension from work the week before.
My one hour traditional balinese massage fly’s by to my dismay. Perhaps the neatest part of the entire deal is the accompanying flower bath in the villa’s freestanding egg bath tub. You feel like a real life princess stepping into the warm bath full of pink and red petals and frangipanis , with locally sourced ingredients for the organic bath bomb, I stepped out with supple skin and smelt divine.
The perks of this villa life include the move away from the generic and less personalised hospitality and stays that can occur in resorts and big hotel chains. Guests often pay big bucks to stay in smaller rooms with shared hotel services. Villa Shamballa Moon however, provides service astute to each guest, it’s all about you; your agenda and your preferences, with the ultimate privacy. Having the luxury of top class service with the home away from home feel gave me great flexibility and comfort. The staff can arrange a private driver to take you around your own personalised tour route, or you can equally decide have a quiet one and arrange for inhouse services like morning yoga, massages, and cocktails all day long. I had a day spent entirely poolside with cool Bintang’s and a book in hand. Or perhaps you might just need a movie marathon. The villa has a plethora of DVD’s on site to choose from. Pair it with a warm ginger tea and snuggle up on the plush couch and you will feel right at home.
My stay at Villa Shamballa Moon was nothing short of excellent. Beautiful villas are not hard to come by in Bali. Villa Shamballa moon is no exception to this. What separates Villa Shamballa Moon from the rest however is the villa staff’s attention to details and to each guest. Villa Shamballa Moon is a magical experience from the second you step onto the premises. It can be whatever you want it to be.
I felt incredibly looked after and catered to, the staff strike an excellent balance between provision of world class hospitality and attention to giving me the space to have my privacy in the villa. If you are making the trip to Ubud, I would highly recommend a stay here. Villa Shamballa Moon is a place to leave behind the stresses of your life at home, to remove the mental noise and truly unwind. It’s impossible not to have a good time here. I can tell you, you will not want to leave.
Harping on the Bizarre was humbled at the kind offer to stay as a guest at Villa Shamballa Moon by owners Wendy and Atsu. All opinions expressed however are as always my own! All images here snapped and edited by yours truly.