Intimate and elegant
Jalan Mpu Beradah, Banjar, Payogan, Ubud T: (0821) 4785 0410
Villa Saraswati, on the outskirts of Ubud, is a beautiful, intimate villa with top-notch service; just right for couples who want to feel spoilt without breaking the bank. The villa is in Payogan village, a five-minute drive from the centre of Ubud. Its location isn’t ideal if you want to spend your visit popping in and out of town, but is perfect if you want to use Ubud as a base for some relaxation and to explore the local area.
With only five guest bedrooms, it has a personal touch, enhanced by the polite and attentive manager and staff. And if the owners are around, take the opportunity for a chat to pick up some recommendations on what to do and see in the area.
The decor in the communal areas and rooms has been carefully considered to be understated yet inviting, with local art pieces interspersed with simple furnishings. Rooms have a touch of romance about them, with draped four poster beds and subtle lighting, as well as outdoor showers and practicalities such as safes, unstocked fridges and mosquito repellent plug-ins.
Rooms are at two pricing levels which primarily correspond to size. The smaller rooms – Peacock, Swan and Frangipani – are compact but adequate at US$105 whereas the larger rooms – Lotus and Veena – have more than enough room to swing a cat or two and go for $135.
Downstairs bedrooms open straight onto the garden area, which has a pool big enough for swimming – though is unheated so gets chilly outside of summer — and comfy loungers complete with fresh fluffy towels and umbrellas. If you don’t want to sit by the pool, or are too late to grab one of the loungers, opt for one of the loungers on the upstairs terrace or make yourself at home in the large lounge area or media room.
Breakfast is included in the room price and is taken in the outside dining area near the pool. It’s delicious and plentiful – pancakes, smoothies, eggs and bacon. Light meals are served between 12:00 and 20:30, in case you’ve relaxed so much you can’t make it out to eat and a range of drinks are on offer. Make sure you’re around for the complimentary afternoon tea.
Although away from the centre of Ubud, a complimentary shuttle goes into town three times a day, with two return journeys. If you’re there for the evening or can’t meet the shuttle, then a taxi will cost 50,000 rupiah. Alternatively you can walk – the hour-long walk along the main road offers plenty of coffee, restaurant and shopping opportunities but is very hilly and lacks pathways, so ask to be dropped off part-way so that you can wander through the stunning scenery of the rice terraces and Campuhan ridge, past some inviting art shops.
Dining options are available nearer to the villa than the centre of Ubud so walk or grab one of the bicycles and head to the main road: nearest is Fly Cafe, which has an extensive menu covering local and Western cuisine, or go a bit further for ribs and martinis at Naughty Nuri’s or excellent value Indonesian at Warang Pulau Kelapa.
One last point: the minimum age of all guests is 17 at Villa Saraswati.
By Sarah Turner
Last updated on 3rd February, 2016.