Bathe by starlight under a thatched roof. Take in your breakfast overlooking the rainforest canopy. Listen to the call of the wild without the chatter of the human world. Sounds like a good time? It was for us.
Working as a digital nomad and network programmer respectively, the Puzzled Pilgrim team looked for a quick weekend escape to unplug. Tranquility, quiet, and a removal from the digital based world were our requirements. With some digging we stumbled upon the perfect place for us to disconnect. Our respite laid on a beautiful hillside, sprinkled with wooden cabins at DD Ubud Villas. Removed from the main road, but easily accessible to the art scene that Ubud is so famous for, the team spent a quiet weekend getting in touch with nature. We were met with a variety of creatures, sites, and sounds that created a nice blend of nature and nurture.
Situated in Ubud, Bali, this location boasts a set of 7 wooden cabins, each with their own private deck. A series of steps down from reception means you need to work for your transit. It also means this is not wheelchair accessible. The stairs are steep, but this is part of what maintains the nearly uninterrupted views from one’s deck.
We stayed in the cabin closest to the reception area. The whole area is so remote we could hear only the occasional motorcycle, or soft echoes of chatter from the groups of women walking by the road. They traversed the nearby road with a stack of prayer offerings on top of their head as they sway with an uphill ease on their way to one of the many Hindu temples and shrines that do the Ubud landscape. Even so, the rushing waters of the rain forest valley, bird chirps, and reptilian croaks will mark on your ears long before the presence of humans will.
One of our favorite things was the view and natural feel of the grounds. Grounds were covered in natural tones with strong accents of wood. We loved the beautiful lamp cover design, woven from natural fibers. Furnishings were sparse and while we had a television available and cell phones on hand, stuck to physical books and cat naps on our crisp bed.
The villas look out over a wash of deep greens and tropical forest. A palm tree makes its singular appearance by the infinity pool which is situated over an obscured view of the forest. A perfect place for book reading, beer sipping (which is available in the mini bar!), or getting cozy with a loved one during sunset.
What the place makes up in natural beauty is unsurprisingly stripped of in terms of amendments. The wifi was weak and inconsistent, which wasn’t necessarily an issue for us having local SIM cards and not needing to do any internet browsing. This might pose a problem however to those wishing to use the hotel as a base of operations and scouting out things to do online. Come prepared! The hotel does offer a hiking expedition up into Gungung Batu. A shuttle will pick you up at the hotel, feed you breakfast, and lead you up the mountain just before sunrise. We definitely recommend this activity as a way to explore Bali and the end to end shuttle service made this a breeze. We’ll have a post about our Gunung Batu adventure in the future!
Our breakfast was a single item, and for the most part mediocre tasting. We did have a delicious banana pancake with pineapple jam, but along with juice and coffee or tea, that is all we saw on our plate. We found the other dishes uninspiring. There is an on sight restaurant which we passed over due to its exorbitantly priced menu. Not an untraditional theme in the hospitality industry by any means, but as locals we could discern the true cost as well as poach better meals from nearby. Local dishes are often talked up and will include an exorbitant price tag catering to the audience that will, quite literally, eat it up. Still, the quality of our breakfast food was not enough to keep us for dinner. Breakfast was still a pleasant experience as it will be delivered directly to your private porch.
Extremely comfortable king sized beds with mosquito netting. Do keep it closed, since the rain forest and Indonesia is a big breeder of those blood suckers. Despite being surrounded by the rainforest, we had very few encounters luckily. Still, for very serious health reasons it is a good idea to keep your skin covered or use repellent since there are local outbreaks of Dengue Fever and Malaria.
A partially exposed bathroom made for exquisite relaxation. Ample sunlight and a smooth, bathtub let us gaze at the sky under a sea of bubbles. A beautiful soapstone shower was available as well for a quick rinse after the pool. If you’re a late night owl like one of us was, you can relax and perhaps catch a shooting star or two under the cover of night. There was plenty of hot water and endless supply of tranquility.
We really recommend this location for couples seeking a romantic getaway, friends looking to relax, or solo travelers looking for a taste of the wild. It’s a large step away from the Bali party scene. Ubud itself is alive only by the chatter of patrons frequenting bars and art shops, only to retire early into folds of their own choosing. If you’re looking for a minimal experience with a hint of luxury then we’d recommend this location. If you’re a light sleeper and not a particular fan of lizards and frogs, then we suggest you keep looking! As for us, we enjoyed the chance leave our laptops up at home, head to the edge of a beautiful rainforest, and dial down a few notches to relax.