I'll reflect on some of my Villa Vajra experiences that made our stay different and better than anything I've previously experienced. On arrival, all the paths were strewn with flowers. The flowers were on every path and stair step leading all the way up to the petals strewn on our king-size bed, in the huge, filled bathtub (ready for me to jump in), on the towels and even on the toilet tissue. I've never received such a welcome or seen so many flowers! The staff welcomed us like family and treated us like honored guests. The first night, masseuses were set up in an open-air cabana overlooking the tropical forest. I had the best massage of my life: the perfect antidote to countless hours on a plane. My first tour of the property revealed beautiful and comfortable furnishings, amazing landscaping, interesting artifacts (I learned what a Vajra is!) and spectacular lighting around the grounds and living spaces. The staff take individual orders for each meal and create truly spectacular food, three times a day. They can drive you to your desired destinations for sightseeing or shopping. I had never had my own driver before and it made a huge difference in our enjoyment of the island. One evening, one of the staff members brought his children to the Villa to demonstrate a Balinese dance for us. The children were in full professional costume and makeup. It was delightful. Things like this create an atmosphere of sincere welcome and hospitality. In the mornings, as the mist rose over the forest, I was able to do my yoga practice in the open-air cabana, surrounded by the sounds and breezes of the jungle. It was fantastic! During the day, one had the option of traveling to one of the many lovely attractions of Bali: whether the beaches or temples or the delightful city of Ubud. Although we saw much of the island, I could easily have spent an entire week exploring Ubud with its many shops and Galleries. The Neka Museum in Ubud was truly outstanding. Or, one can stay at the Villa, enjoying the pool, hot tub, gourmet food and atmosphere of pure relaxation. In the evenings, our group shared meals around a large table, filled with lively conversation and plenty of wine and laughter. Villa Vajra was a new and different level of hospitality for me, and I'm afraid it has spoiled me for all my future trips as I now have a new, much higher standard.
This beautiful villa perched on the side of a hill looks through the palm trees into an expansive river valley. It manages to create wonderful privacy yet provide openness and a direct connection to the surrounding gardens. The food options are unending--the quality of the cooking that comes from the kitchen is better than most restaurants on the island. The meals were simply superb.
The staff is attentive and friendly, yet unobtrusive and respectful. Villa manager Gusti arranged car service and drivers for day trips, and the villa had two fabulous masseurs available on call.
Defineitly hope to make a return visit.
The food was amazing. Try the steamed fish in banana leaf, heaven, and the beef rendang. The fish wraps for lunch were a favorite. The wonderful staff can organize a massage in the private and tranquil gardens, and when we were celebrating a birthday they organized live gamelan music with dinner and a small dance performance with some children which made for a memorable birthday.
It's a delightful hour walk into Ubud for some exercise then taxi back, but often we were more happy lying around the pool enjoying the serenity.
We used the villas driver for some excursions and day trips and airport pick up. Gusti is attentive and knowledgeable and a real asset to Vila vajra.
We are already dreaming of our return.
My friend Steve and I had an amazing time at Vajra Villa. The oasis-like setting is exquisite -- hundreds of tropical flowers, a rice field outside your front door -- and the house we stayed in was spacious and lovely and well-ventilated.
We awoke early each morning and at 6:30 a.m. were brought coffee by one of the household staff, Saba or Widi. A delicious breakfast of tropical fruits and scrambled eggs followed. Every single meal was outstanding. The two cooks, Made and Ketut, created wonders consistently for breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Our host Joel was gracious and thoughtful, extending every courtesy and helping to familiarize us with the Ubud area. Each time we ventured into town, he would draw a map showing how to find our destination. He told us how much to pay the taxi drivers, where to find the best Batik shirts and coffee, where to eat the best Balinese food.
Joel arranged for a fantastic Balinese massage therapist to come to our room twice, asked his house manager to give us a tour of the island by car, and took us to a Balinese healer. We also got to meet Joel's wonderful dogs, Abelard and Eloise.
It takes a long time to get to Bali from California -- about 25 hours including a layover in Hong Kong -- but the time and effort were insignficant. I can't think of a better introduction to Bali than the one Joel afforded us.
For people who enjoy being surrounded by nature in all forms - this is the place to visit!
Its a beautiful ,peaceful place to stay.From the aesthetically appealing pathways leading to the villa,rooms,thru the landscaped gardens,the fishes,the well thought out amenities,the very helpful staff - every aspect was very pleasing.Mr.Joel is a great person to interact with - from all his very helpful suggestions regarding the restaurants,the shops..
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