Ubud (Part 1) – Villa Shamballa

After our time island hopping in Indonesia (more on that here and here), we headed to Ubud – Bali’s spiritual home made famous by Eat Pray Love.

We arrived at our villa and OH. MY. GOD.  I am not often lost for words but Villa Shamballa had me speechless. I mean, look at the view from that pool:

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The interiors are so chic too. We had an open air lounge over looking the pool.

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Upstairs was a huge, Colonial style bedroom…

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with yet another lounge area:

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The one side of the bedroom had a huge window running the full length of the building, giving panoramic views over the valley.  This was my favourite spot for an early evening coffee.

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The outdoors bathroom was pretty fancy too!

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On our first night, we were greeted by two members of the house staff, Gusti and Dewa, who presented us with fresh flower garlands.  Dinner was cooked by our private chef, Illuh, and served by the side of the pool.

Waking up to this view the next morning was incredible.  It was blissful  to watch the sun rise over the valley with a Bailanese coffee in hand.

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A huge breakfast was served by the pool each day.

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On our first full day in the villa, it was so hot that by 9am, we were sunbathing by the pool.

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We headed into Ubud for lunch at Kafe, which I would highly recommend. There are so many vegan and raw restuarants in Ubud – as a vegetarian, it was a dream! We returned to the villa for sunset massages by the pool followed by a pretty flower bath.

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Gusti cooked dinner and we relaxed on the sofa with a bottle of wine.  I could definitely get used to this!

Our villa came with a driver (swanky, huh!) so we arranged for him to take us on a tour of the main tourist attractions.  It was a great way to see lots of sites in one go and I would definitely recommend doing it.

We started at Tegalalang – the famous terraced rice fields.

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They were incredibly beautiful and really fun to explore.

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We then headed to Pura Tirta Empul, the water temple.  This is where the locals go to bathe for ritual purification.  It was a really beautiful, spiritual place. The only slight disappointment was the intense maze of shops you had to go through on the way out but that seemed to be the case everywhere you go in Bali.

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We then went to a planation where they make Luwak coffee (yes, the cat poo coffee!)  We got to taste lots of flavoured teas and coffees and I left with armfuls to take home (note – coconut coffee is the bomb!).

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We stopped for lunch at a restaurant with incredible views of Mt Batur and the surrounding valleys.

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Finally, we went to see Pura Kehen – a beautiful temple that is slightly off the usual tourist trail.

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When visitng temples in Bali, you will need to wear a sarong and temple scarf which can be hired at the entrance. Your shoulders and upper arms should be covered too but flip flops are ok.

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We headed back to the villa for cocktails by the pool, before heading to Ibu Rai in central Ubud for dinner.  The food was incredible and the restaurant is gorgeous – all lit up with twinkly lights.

I loved coming back to the villa at night.  Dewa would light all the candles and make  everywhere look so pretty.

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The next morning we got up early to go to the Monkey Forest.  We heard it got very hot and busy as the day went on so we got there shortly after it opened.  I was so glad we did – by 11am it was baking and we were ready to leave.

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I had heard some horror stories about the monkeys however, they were all really cute and there were lots of staff around.  Just make sure that any food, drink or valuables are zipped away in a bag.

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Some of the baby monkeys were climbing on Gaz – they were so cute and I wanted to take them home with us!

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That afternoon, we walked through the rice fields to Sari Organik – a really beautiful health-cafe, set amongst the rice paddies.

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It was a hot walk to the cafe but there was a very much needed fresh lemonade at the end of it!  Their healthy pizzas were amazing too.

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The next day was my birthday and we had booked a table at Mozaic, known as Bali’s best restaurant.  We went for an 8 course taster menu with a wine flight. The chefs cook with Balinese ingredients but using French methods.  Both the food and the service was faultless. They even brought me a special birthday dessert!  Whilst it wasn’t cheap, Mozaic is definitely worth it for a special treat.

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We spent our final day at the villa messing around in the pool and taking lots of photos!

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I’m really going to miss this place – a gorgeous home with incredible views and the sweetest staff.

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Until next time Villa Shamballa!

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