Jumat, 08 Agustus 2014

A hidden gem in the forest

Amidst my son's hectic competition schedule in June 2014 -with practising and rehearsing and everything- we managed to slot in a short get away trip to Bali. I personally thought that our son Aqila, deserved the trip so much, as he had been working very hard for his competition, performing solo violin and with his string quartet as well at the 5th Performers' Festival and Chamber Music Competition and receiving a good result in the end. 

This trip was organized by the man in the house, from booking the plane, choosing the place we stayed in Bali, to the type of activities we did there, and I think he did a very good job in that (thumbs up for you dear, in case you read this post)

On this post, I would like to talk about Svarga Loka, the resort that we stayed in Bali as it was the highlight of our holiday. I will share with you about what we did in Bali on another post. 

The Svarga Loka is located in Jl. Penestanan Kelod Ubud 80571 Gianyar - Bali. Ubud, as we know is the place where you should go to if you are interested in Balinese culture, arts and crafts. It is situated on highlands of Bali island and the weather was always cool and breezy.  It is definitely not the crowded Kuta! Here in Ubud, you can look forward to admiring beautiful nature and lush green.

We love Svarga loka, period. And here is why:

Our villa. It is a stilt house tucked neatly amongst the lush foliage. 

Going up and down the steps is an everyday thing in Svarga Loka.
From the highest point (the lobby) to the lowest ground (the spa and pool), by the Campuhan river.

Our verandah. 
I could just sit here reading a book while sipping tea the whole day!

View from the verandah of our villa. 
We heard birds chirping and saw them - colourful pretty birds - flying past. We spotted squirrels climbing up and down palm trees! We were greeted by lizards and frogs and we watched buffalos ploughing the rice field across.

We stayed in this resort for six days and most of our time was spent lazying around the resort's beautiful surrounding. The place was like a hidden gem, you arrived there and were immediately transported to a different place - a lush haven. The resort was rustic yet sophisticated (they do have very modern bathroom fixtures) and the atmosphere made you feel very close to nature. The villas were nestled amongst thick and lush folliage. They were constructed in such a way that they do not disturb the natural landscape thus, somehow each villas was tucked and hidden from others, making them a perfect sanctuary.

The junior suite room we stayed in was facing Campuhan river and its green ravine, with rice fields view at afar, indeed a wonderful view to see first thing in the morning. Do make time to go down to the river and have some splash or even swim in it. There was a complimentary yoga session for the guests and you may choose to have the session by the river! What a memorable experience it would be! You can also have a spa massage session by the river. I tried the session and I tell you, to be able to listen to the sound of water streaming down the river and delightful birds' chirping while having a massage was truly an amazing experience!

The staff of the resort was extremely helpful and friendly, the food was great - they served delicious homemade fruit jam and freshly baked bread - with wonderful fusion of traditional and modern Balinese cuisine approach. The head chef explained to me that they aim to serve delicious and healthy food. I gathered later on that the food was leaning towards vegetarian menu. This resort was also one of the places where my son - who has multiple food allergies - could enjoy his meals safely as they were specially prepared by the chef and his crew who took notice of my son's condition.

For those who cannot live without your gadget, you might want to be aware that there was no wi-fi nor television connection in the villas. My husband and I did not mind it at all, and we were pleasantly surprised that our 9 year old city-boy did not complain about the fact that we were basically cut-off from the virtual world during our stay there. Well...why should he, the place was so enchanting, we were always busy exploring the place and the nature surrounding it.

The resort was newly open (April 2014) although the spa has been in operation since 2012. There was no telephone connection yet in the villas. However I think it is necessary to install the facility in the future as each villas was quite secluded, away from others and it took a few hundreds steps journey up to the lobby or a few hundreds steps down to the restaurant and the spa. It would be ideal to be able to book the spa, yoga facilities as well as various lessons (cooking and art n crafts) that the resort is conducting, or to order food from the restaurant, from the convenient of your room.

Unpretentious and modest entrance to the resort. 

Typical scene around the resort. Steps and steps and more of them! haaa...
(For those who are not in good health condition - for example those with knee problem like my mum, this resort might be a challenge for them though)

The view from Sanjiwani restaurant

Breakfast, red rice porridge.
One of the menu at Sanjiwani restaurant.

The food we tried in the restaurant, prawn in chilli sauce with spinach. 
Simple yet lovely!

Morning dip in the river... :)
The current was rather strong on that day, as it had rained the night before. And yes the water was chilly!

Semi-outdoor bathroom.

The junior suite room has a very modern bathroom with jacuzzi bathtub and sophisticated closet :P There was a bamboo shutter that could be rolled down, should you need more privacy.

The junior suite room, with two double beds.

Looking over the pool and the spa.

Enjoying the homemade various fruits jams and fresh juices and bread as breakfast whilst looking down towards Campuhan river.

My son, braving the steps down to the river. By the way, there were more than 200 steps from the river up to the lobby - highest point in the resort. No wonder I got dizzy on my first day of staying as I guessed I was not used to going up and down the steps so much so often in a day hehehe. 

Whoaaaa...whose face is thaaat? (some carvings on the rocks along the river)

Our verandah, looking into the bedroom.

Sweet towel decoration to brighten up the room :)

The pools

The pools and the spa, located at the lowest point of the resort.

Time to relax :)

I bet these photos make you want to go and experience the resort yourself, ya? 
All right then, here are some links to book the room in Svarga Loka:

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