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March 15, 2017

REVIEW – Villa Kerasan, Ubud (AirBnB)

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Villa Kerasan, Ubud (AirBnB)


I’ve talked at length about the value of renting private villas in Bali, so I won’t go into all of that again. Suffice to say, the experience was so excellent the last two times that we were in Bali that we did not hesitate to book a private villa again on this trip. For £120 per couple per night I didn’t even slightly hesitate to pull the trigger on this one.

The arrangement here was a little more hands off than villas that we booked independently such as:

Villa Shamballa, Ubud

Villa Bulung Daya, Tabanan

Villa Amrita, Ubud

All of those villas came with a full complement of staff: including driver, chef, groundskeepers, security and butler. Here we were greeted by the Villa manager upon check-in and then pretty much left to ourselves (although the little hamlet of villas does have its own security guards and we booked a driver via the villa owners for 450k IDR per day).

Given that we were planning on sightseeing all day and eating in our favourite restaurants in the evenings, we really didn’t miss the butler and chef though.

In the mornings, breakfast was brought to us by the villa manager from a local hippy organic cafe. The price was $30 for 4 of us per day and it was all really good! 🙂

The main thing that drew me to this villa was the design. A beautiful mixture of Balinese architecture, with the traditional high ceilings, whilst maintaining modern touches like the AC, huge private pool and clean, minimalist interiors.

The Villa

The kitchen, dining room and living room (out of frame) run the entire length of the main villa building


This open layout is perfect for sharing with friends.


I really love the owners’ style. Everything looks so refined and measured, whilst little touches of colour from the flowers and pillows give life to the room.


The living room, with door to the master bedroom on the left.


TV with all the channels and surround sound stereo system.


The master bedroom featured a four poster bed surrounded by mosquito nets, a necessity in this part of the world. There was a huge amount of storage space provided within the beautiful Balinese dresser and wardrobes.


Nice details here: a reading nook, bottled water and tons of power sockets on the desk.


Although the bedrooms and central living space are enclosed, the bathrooms are still outdoors, in the traditional Balinese style. There is something very cool about having a morning shower as the rays of sunlight hit your skin.


The deep soaking tub


The second bedroom is located around the corner from the kitchen. It shares a wall with the kitchen but is accessed from its own exterior door.


Much like the master bedroom, this bedroom features an outdoor bathroom and direct access to the villa’s pool.


Apologies for the blurry shot. As you can see, the bathroom is outdoors but there are no privacy issues as the surrounding villa walls are high enough to keep out prying eyes!


The rainfall shower in bathroom number two

 

Whilst the interior of the villa is undoubtedly beautiful, the biggest wow factor comes from the private outdoor pool, which runs the entire length of the property and looks out onto a spectacular rice paddy, fringed by giant palm tress. In the mornings you’ll see one or two people tending to the rice, taking their ducks for a walk or cycling to school.

Sun lounger or daybed? Take your pick 🙂


The overhead fans are a nice touch, they keep you cool during the hottest hours of the day, whilst providing crosswinds that bother the local mosquitoes and bees!


Morning selfie. Bedroom number two and a third bedroom which we didn’t use, are located in the section behind my head.


A sea of green, as far as the eye can see.

 

The Bugs

At this point you may well be thinking that this looks like an absolute piece of heaven for an incredibly reasonable price. So what’s the catch? Ubud is in the middle of the jungle, this means that you are one with nature. This includes ALL types of nature.

Here my friend Oli showcases one of the hornets which we subdued using the in-house mosquito racket. The hornets would periodically attempt to dive bomb us whilst we hung out by the pool, which often led to comedy Yogi Bearesque leaps into the pool to avoid them.


You sure as shit don’t want one of these things stinging you


We also had a ‘pet’ spider that hung out in the bushes on the far end of the pool, who we fed the hornet to. It was unreal, seeing it unleash its savage ballet and encase its pray in under a second.

At this point you may well be freaking out. Understandably so. One awesome fact about Bali though, is that none of the spiders here are poisonous. They look absolutely savage but their bark is a lot worse than their bite (and believe me, some of the spiders are big enough that they could conceivably bark).

Still, despite knowing this we spotted one particularly massive octopedal warlock of nightmares above our bed one night, which led to this sorry spectacle:

I swear I’m not the one screaming 😀

 

Breakfast

As I mentioned earlier, breakfast was brought to us each morning by the villa manager at a fixed cost of $30 per person. This included a main course, fruits, dessert and a giant bottle of juice per person.

Getting breakfast ready for everybody after my morning swim


What a spread!


Unfortunately, breakfast didn’t include any coffee. We were prepared however and hit up my favourite coffee shop in Ubud – Seniman, for a bottle of their cold brew, as soon as we got into town.

 

Conclusion

The stay was fantastic and I can’t say enough good things about the decor, the pool and the privacy of the location. The villa is a little way out of town as tends to be the case with a lot of villas near Ubud. Given the cost of hiring a driver though, this really isn’t an issue and makes for a nice contrast from the crazy backpacker bustle of the town centre.

The bugs take some getting used to but they’re going to be an issue no matter where you stay, in this part of Bali.

Overall, I highly recommend a stay at Villa Kerasan and hope to return here in the not too distant future.

 

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