Before my first visit to Bali I could only picture myself sitting by a sandy beach resort. Up until then, in my mind, Bali was popular only for its beautiful beaches, and Ubud was just a name to me.
It wasn’t until we arrived at the Pelangi Estate, that Ubud was transformed from being just a name, to become one of my favorite destinations in Southeast Asia.
The Pelangi Estate – A Relaxing and Luxurious Retreat in Ubud
The Pelangi Estate sits on one of the most breathtaking pieces of land you could ever imagine. This is the perfect place to relax, ideal for those who love to practice yoga, meditation or any other down to earth activities.
The Pelangi Estate is a luxury boutique style villa, owned by Carolyn Tyler – one of the top American jewelry designers.
The Estate consists of 3 separate properties – a 4-bedroom house, a 2 story detached house and a 1-bedroom cottage. All of them decorated by Carolyn Tyler who is known for her impeccable taste.
Villa Pelangi is the 4-bedroom house and has been exquisitely and stylishly decorated. So, you will find that a lot of attention to detail has been put into this piece of paradise.
The Java Guest House is a superb cottage done up in the Javanese style.
Then there is the Bhutan Cottage. This sweet little teak wood cottage is tucked away in what looked like the Garden of Eden. Perfect!
As we entered the Pelangi Estate our jaws hit the ground! Seriously, this is one of the most stunning places I’ve ever seen in my life. Yes, I did see pictures of the estate before arriving, but they didn’t come close to describing how stunningly beautiful this place is.
On our arrival, we were welcomed by the Villa manager, Mr. Wita. He offered us a drink of fresh coconut water. He got one of the staff to climb the tree to pluck the coconuts so we could have this wonderfully refreshing drink fresh off the tree. That was so unusual and interesting; really, how often do you get a welcome like this?
Since it was just the two of us, we stayed 3 nights at the Bhutan Cottage and on our 4th night we were upgraded to Villa Pelangi by Vasily, the manager of VillaNaBali – the company that manages a collection of luxury villas in Bali.
The Bhutan Cottage – The perfect place for a couple’s retreat
The Bhutan Cottage is without a doubt, the perfect place for a couple’s retreat. Looking out of the cottage doors all you see is the beautiful green scenery. Everything looks so lush and refreshing. And although the cottage is not on top of a tree, It gave me the feeling of being in a tree house in the middle of the jungle. I really wish there were more places like this out there…
The Cottage Grounds
The cottage has a private entrance made of stone that keeps you tucked away in your own little corner of the world, absolutely ideal for a couple who want their privacy. The cottage is not very big; it is about 12 sq. meters in area, excluding the bathroom. However, that really does not matter. The unique furniture, the view of the rice fields and the pleasing sounds of chattering birds more than makes up for the limited space.
The Bedroom & Porch
The bedroom is decorated in Balinese and Tibetan styles. The king sized bed has a mosquito net canopy and occupies most of the room. The rest of the room is furnished with a dresser, an armoire, a desk and a vanity table. All the furniture is unique and beautifully crafted by hand. The room lacks a TV, but hey, you’re not here to watch TV are you?
Oh yes, the air-conditioning works well, an absolute necessity for someone like me who is intolerant to the tropical heat and humidity! The other amenities included are a safety box and an extension cord (useful for setting up your work place on the front porch)
When we arrived, the bed was decoratively strewn with many beautiful and colorful pillows and we wondered if we would have place to sleep, But thankfully the turn down service staff took care of that and made a neat little pillow tower in the corner of the room which was really rather beautiful! I must say the bed is extremely comfortable.
The view from the porch is simply stunning… We actually spent hours sitting here, sometimes working and sometimes just enjoying the unspoiled environment.
The Outdoor Bathroom
The cottage has an outdoor covered bathroom…Actually, this was the first time for me to stay in the jungle and I must confess that at first, I thought I would see all sorts of weird, creepy creatures! But thankfully I didn’t get to see anything that creeped me out. All that we ever saw and heard was the geckos and the funny sounds they made☺.
The toiletries come packed in a delightful little presentation. The fragrant handmade soap is made of essential oils. The shampoo and conditioner are presented in two little ceramic bottles. Without a doubt, these little details are what set apart a boutique villa from your typical hotel chain.
Although breakfast and lunch are not included in the rate, the prices were reasonable and we opted to eat those meals here. The meals were unbelievably delicious! The choice of food was way beyond our expectations and every dish we were tempted into trying was outstanding! There was homemade muesli, a variety of egg dishes and ginger tea among them. And of course, they cater to vegetarian and non-vegetarian palates as well.
I have no doubt that the Pelangi chef is probably one of the best in the world! The spices were unfamiliar but the chef made the food taste amazing. Have you heard tell that people who cook with love make the tastiest food? I know I have! And if that holds true, I believe the chef – Mrs.Ibu Kadek really puts her soul into her cooking! I visited the kitchen once to see her cook and she was jolly woman, always laughing and having fun while cooking. Perhaps that is the secret☺. Mrs. Kadek is a delightful personality, very accommodating and never pushy. She would sometimes make recommendations and we were never disappointed. She even changed the menu options according to our palates to please us.
The terrace is probably the best place to enjoy your food. The amazing view of the jungle and the sound of the river in the background will enhance your dining experience for sure.
Amazingly, the Internet speed here is better than in any other part of the island. And, if you’ve been to Bali, you probably know that the Wi-Fi connectivity is painfully slow in these parts. So it was a rare treat to be able to surf the web.
The Pelangi sits on a private property, and so the river is exclusively yours. The soothing sound of the river was an inspiration for my meditation each day I do practice yoga occasionally, and I found a big grassy area above the river that suited me beautifully.
The Pelangi Estate is a beautiful place to be, but what complements the beauty of the whole place is the staff. All the employees are very courteous and helpful. Here I would like to specially mention Mr. Nyoman that went above and beyond his call of duty to make our stay so memorable. He is probably in his 60’s and although he couldn’t communicate very well in English, it didn’t create a communication barrier between us.. He had the energy of a teenager! He took us on a tour of the property and persuaded us to cross the river to see the estate from a different angle.
While we wore our heavy-duty Chaco sandals, he was barefoot and we had to hold onto his hand to help us cross the rocky river. It was embarrassing that we struggled across the river in our footwear while he was walked easily as though on a flat surface. Truth to tell, I had a lot of respect for him.
The Pelangi Estate is located about 10 minutes away by car from downtown Ubud. The Villa makes arrangements for transportation to downtown Ubud and back. If you are like me, you probably have no need or desire to leave the estate.
Would I recommend this place to anyone?
You bet! This place is breathtakingly beautiful and relaxing. The chic and elegant design of the villa is so appealing to the senses. I can assure you, that this little sanctuary in the jungle will be the highlight of your trip to Bali.
And so, this sums up my experience of staying at the Pelangi Estate.
If it is a top notch Ubud experience you are looking for, then this is definitely it. There are various renting options to choose from, and I would encourage you to consider them without a doubt!
For more information about the Pelangi Estate, please check out the company website.
Disclaimer: We received a 4-night complimentary stay at the Pelangi Estate, but all opinions herein are my own and have not been influenced in any way by arrangements we made with the VillaNaBali.
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