We had a night booking in the Pirate House and could easily have stayed longer. Everything about Balam Bali was wonderful. It was sparkling clean, tastefully decorated and our view from the veranda was stunning. I woke up early and sat watching life unfold in the rice paddies. It was planting time and the farmers were working long days. When they caught sight of me the women waved. In the evening the local boys had a soccer match in a fallow (but flooded) paddy with racous laughter as goals ere scored and they splashed in the water. After the game the kids (and community) had bathime in the river and they seemed to be having a wonderful time - ours are never that much fun). They also called out "hello" and waved not minding our presence.
Mayon took us for a lovely walk through paddies, over a bamboo bridge above a ravine and through the local village. It was all interesting, pretty albeit muddy. He was knowledgable and nicely spoken. It was a nice surprise to find that this is free.
There are 3 partners in the venture - we met David a charming French young man, and Adi his local partner. The eloquent and friendly Adi spent two hours discussing local religious beliefs with my husband. It made my husband's day and after that the temple visits and just observing the local rituals were much more meaningful. David helped us work out a day trip plan and organized the driver. We went to Treetops which is 45 mins north - it's a ropes/flying fox adventure park using the tree tops and my teenagers and 5 year old absolutely loved it - a 60 yr old was also doing it and loving it so it's suitable for the fit and adventurous of all ages. The 6 odd courses are graded and black is for the super adventurous (wear running shoes if you can not thongs) Then to a temple (in pouring rain) and Jatiliweh (world heritage terrecad rice fields).
Breakfast was on a roof veranda. It was simple, healthy and delicious - and nice to be away from the excesses of big hotel buffets. It was perfect and the coffee was wonderful. We had all our meals at balam Bali as it was convenient and tasty. The kitchen is all stainless steel and spotless. We brought fruit and they were happy to keep it in the fridge.
It is just a nice place to hang out and slow down. I enjoyed reading the books on Bali architecture one rainy hour and the kids found games to play.
What I really like about Balam Bali is that its smallness means that guests and staff talk to one another. This is due to the atmosphere created by the hosts and staff and the design where everything happens around the pool area. Well done guys on having created a very special place. I dream of returning for much longer next time. The location is ideal for exploring the north and west or ubud - although we enjoyed staying in ubud for a few days too.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our guest house is nestled amid the rice paddies, near the temple of Taman Ayun, at 25 minutes drive from Ubud. You will discover here a 17th century pirate lair perched atop a hill with two family rooms. It was restored with connoisseur passion. The more contemporary marble villa alongside has also been enhanced with an exceptional collection of objets d'art.Balam Bali Villa embraces seven rooms and includes a convivial bar, a pool, authentic cooking, and a panoramic terrace view. It is a perfect place for a family or a couple. Our guest house organises several excursions to discover the inland (volcanoes, amazing rice fields, temples, lakes, and local villages). WIFI internet available and free of charge. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balam Bali Villa Hotel Mengwi
- Balam Bali Villa Mengwi