A private villa stay is always about seclusion, exclusivity and privacy. If you can locate yourself in an environment that blends nature and peacefulness, then relaxation will unravel around you and give you the solace and connection you may be seeking.
You take a series of rural laneways and small roads to get to Villa Damee, just 10 minutes out of Ubud. The villa is set amongst rice fields adjoining a world heritage listed river, the Pakerisan River. The stunning design starts with the entranceway, where you cross a series of large stepping-stones with colourful koi swimming around your feet. It is the pathway to a heavenly view, which opens out onto flowering gardens, an open-air lounge and a beautiful pool. The open flow of the villa leads you past the bale, through the property, to a small wooden back door, where a trail leads you to a delightful walk through the rice fields.
The gorgeous pavilion, which is big enough to accommodate a wedding, is a great place to relax and read, eat or play cards. The gentle breezes that blow through the villa are a delight. There is plenty of space to unwind and spread out in the three enormous living areas and the three bedrooms are exquisitely decorated, with unique bathrooms that include a goddess shower and a double tropical outdoor bath, perfect for moon-bathing under the twinkling stars, as the bathrooms opens to the skies above. A magical meditation and yoga platform overlooks the rice fields. Swinging on a hammock, lazing around the pool on the bamboo day-bed recliner or taking advantage of the on-call masseuse from the village, means you barely need to go anywhere else, particularly as your villa cook, who specialises in authentic Balinese cooking, provides daily breakfast, and if you wish, lunch and dinner as well.
The gardens are magical and dotted with pieces of artwork including a big Buddha head, hidden in the tropical plants and an outdoor shower, which feels heavenly under the big starry night sky. In fact, there are many hidden treasures in the garden and a bit of exploring will reveal all.
Exploring from the door of your villa puts you in touch with the local village, which is where Villa Damee is distinctly different to most villa stays. Villa Damee is not just a place to sleep for the night – it is an experience of Bali that is very much alive and real.
If you have an interest in Balinese culture, then the staff makes it easy for you to connect with the local village, and this can include anything from learning to make temple offerings, to attending a local ceremony by invitation, which is a rewarding and extraordinary experience.
Many people who come to Bali go back to the same places – Seminyak, Legion and Kuta, which are now getting busier, more crowded and more touristy. It is difficult to get the chance to connect with the true spirit of Bali, its people and its culture in these places, however a stay in Pejeng village, just 10 minutes out of Ubud, puts you in the midst of a classic traditional Balinese village.
The staff are very gracious about sharing their world and their culture, which is one full of colour, tradition, ancient culture, harmony, family, happiness and love. If you have an interest in knowing a little more or immersing yourself in the Balinese culture you will be welcomed with open arms in a spirit of friendship and trust.
Fancy learning to make coconut oil with Grandma or how about a visit to the local woodcarver? A number of Balinese cultural programs have been tailored to suit a variety of interests and all excursions are within walking distance or bicycle ride from the Villa. Why go travelling around the island when there is so much at your doorstep?
Villa Damee’s commitment to the community is strong and a volunteer teaching program has been established providing English lessons for the children at the local elementary village school. There are plans in the future to hire more teachers and provide further educational resources, to enhance the young student’s opportunities.
Dancing is at the forefront of Balinese culture and support has been extended to the local village dancers and costumes have been donated. Providing costumes means the dancers can perform more often at ceremonies and avoid the expense of hiring the ornate gold-threaded dress ensembles. Other initiatives in place include a micro financing scheme, which provides loans for local families to start businesses, providing a sustainable income for their families for the future.
Villa Damee feels blessed by the Gods and many good things radiate from here. From cycling through the rice fields to discovering the hidden temple in the rock at the local Pakerisan river, you will discover a villa tucked away in the back of Ubud, where a touch of peace and serenity surround not only you, but extend to a village and a whole community.