From the minute we stepped into Villa Shamballa Residence, we just knew that this was going to be one of those places that would make us want to stay for a long, long time. Although the villa itself is not massive, the ambiance here is spot on and the decor and design are fresh and modern. Think clean white walls, natural wood and stone features, plush sofas and daybeds, and open-concept spaces that seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living.
To get to the villa, you drive past the plethora of restaurants, shops and bars on Jalan Raya Sanggingan in Ubud, and turn off onto a quiet road lined with traditional Balinese houses and temples. The villa was a bit tricky to find, as it is hidden away down a small, quiet laneway, but one of the smiling staff members was happy to meet us on the road and guide us in.
At the entrance we were met by Kadek, our cheerful villa attendant who took care of us for the duration of our stay. She took us along a small stone path that led us into the spacious living and dining area on the ground floor. The warm wooden furniture was offset nicely by fresh flowers on the tables, and the space is entirely open on one side with views of the infinity pool, breezy poolside bale and lush tropical garden.
Soon we were relaxing on the plush sofas with cold welcome drinks in hand, soaking up the sense of seclusion and serenity. The villa is surrounded by jungle and plants on all sides, so there is nary a building or person in sight, and the staff discreetly slipped away, so we had plenty of peace and quiet all to ourselves. Of course, Kadek insisted that should we want anything at all, we could call her on the in-house line.
A quick tour downstairs revealed a cozy dining room table looking out over the gorge, cushy white couches surrounding a huge wooden coffee table with plenty of glossy books about Bali, and a flatscreen TV and DVD player complemented by an entire drawer full of the latest movies. Also downstairs is the beautiful indoor/outdoor master bathroom, with an oversized stone tub and a white pebbled stone floor.
Upstairs, the master bedroom takes up the entire top floor and is also open on one side to allow cool breezes to flow in. However, huge bamboo shades can be rolled down to protect from the elements. The large canopied king-sized bed takes centre place in the room, while leather chairs and wooden bench-style sofas create spaces to chill out with a good book and a cup of tea or coffee.There is also a beautiful bathroom that boasts an open-air terazzo bathtub that offers spectacular views over the treetops.
We spent the majority of our time at Villa Shamballa Residence swimming in the lengthy pool, chilling out with glasses of wine on the couches and dining on Kadek’s excellent cuisine. Nothing was rushed, the service was simply superb and the serenity and seclusion was the perfect antidote to a long week of work.
We highly recommend Villa Shamballa Residence for honeymooners or couples looking for privacy, comfort and elegant digs, or simply those who want a luxe escape from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.
Reservations: Villa Shamballa Residence