Bali’s Most Instagrammable Villa – Cloud Nine Estate

Cloud Nine Estate: Jalan Rsi Markandya 2. Banjar Sebali. Desa Keliki.

Date of Visit: February 2017

Guys, this is definitely NOT a sponsored post in any way, but I just had to share this gorgeous villa with everyone (though a little reluctantly, because I’m definitely looking forward to going back there, and I don’t want them to be fully booked or have their prices increase haha).

Since we travelled there in February for a pre-wedding photoshoot, we were looking for somewhere a little more luxurious (but still affordable) to stay at, so as to complete the whole happy experience. My good friend recommended Cloud Nine Estate long ago, but it was slightly out of budget so I never got around to treating myself.

Until this trip.

Let me tell you, it was so worth it.

It’s literally a little piece of heaven in a quiet corner of Ubud! Every corner was gorgeous and so carefully put together. Most importantly, it was so instagrammable.

The villas are exquisitely crafted with designer pieces, which are, at the same time environmentally conscious. Okay, let me stop gushing about it and show you some pictures.

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The Villa Compound

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My favourite spot to lie and look out into nature

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Even the sofa looks like this!

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LOCATION

It is nestled inside a quiet village of Ubud, about 25-30 minutes away from Central Ubud. You can either contact them to arrange the transport for you, or get a driver to take you there!

Be sure to keep your eyes wide open when you are nearing the villa, there will be a small sign at the side of the road with “Cloud Nine Estate”. Then you have to get off and walk down the steps to the villa. I love that it’s so tucked away from everything else!

Tip: It is quite a distance away from any convenience stall, so if you love snacking, stock up on snacks before you head there!

THE VILLA

They have 3 villas for you to choose from – Star Cloud Villa, Lotus Cloud Villa and another villa which is made of 3 suites (Anjali Suite, Tara Suite and Dewi Suite) which can be booked separately or together.

I stayed in Lotus Cloud Villa, which I absolutely adored. Every nook and cranny was like a dream come true! Even the cutlery were instagrammable, heh!

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Spent the afternoon on this swing bed!

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Instagrammable Bed

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See what I mean? haha!

Even though they had a shared pool (I usually prefer villas with private pools), but since there were only 3 villas in total, there were no issues at all. I went down at least twice, and had the whole pool to myself – I could even nap and float on my unicorn! Oh, and take loads of pictures.

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Unicorn!

FOOD

Yes, the most important for all Singaporeans – how about food?

Firstly, breakfast and tea are provided free of charge. And not just any breakfast or tea – beautiful breakfast and tea.

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Tea time 😀

You get to choose from a menu for breakfast daily (they come by to take your orders in the evening) and there are options like Eggs Benedict, Pancakes and local delights. You can also have coffee/tea AND juice.

They also provide coffee, tea and daily fruits in the villa for you!

For all other meals, they provide you with a variety of different menus that you can choose – Italian, western, local. They will take your order and it will be delivered to you in one hour! In my opinion, the prices were good, and the food was delicious. Just don’t be stupid like us and order ice-cream. What were we thinking, seriously?

WHAT TO DO

I was a little worried that we wouldn’t have anything to do (with me being hyperactive) but once I got there, I did NOT want to do anything.

I lounged around outside, inside, on the sofa, on the bed, by the pool….

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They have a ukelele and yoga mat for you to use..

You can opt for tours (which they will help you arrange), or private yoga classes at the villa itself. You can also go for a long walk in the gorgeous nature. We tried going for a short walk around the area and saw pretty rice terraces, but nothing much.

Another awesome thing you should do is get a massage. Just 5 minutes away from the villa, there are 2 well-known (apparently Ubud’s #1 and #2) spas. We went to Ubud Traditional Spa which was #2 and known for its technique.

It cost about 195,000 IDR for an hour, and although it was a great great experience, I still prefer my go-to spa for Ubud – Jaen Spa.

SERVICE

The service at Cloud Nine Estate was unbelievable – the owners stopped by to check if everything was going well and the staff were extremely conscientious.

They would stop by daily to clean the villa, and another time nearing the evening to do a “turn down” . Anytime we called for assistance or enquiries, they would immediately come over to the villa to talk or help. I felt extremely pampered!

PRICE

So what’s the damage? Prices for the Lotus Cloud Villa starts from SGD$227 per night! Yes, it’s pricier that what I would normally spend on accommodations – but it’s totally worth it.

In fact, I regretted only booking 2 nights there. Most of their customers usually book for a week – and I can totally see why! I’d love to spend a week unwinding in the midst of nature in this peaceful, zen and beautiful villa. #totalgoals

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My dream house for real

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Peace out

Go ahead and book it for your next holiday, you’re welcome!

Watch the vibes here:

 

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Bali Sights Part 2 – Hidden Gems You Have To Visit!

Date of Travel: November 2016

It’s been awhile since Part 1, which I wrote about the touristy sights in Bali (Ubud) which I was definitely not impressed with – too much crowd, too high expectations. So I’ve finally gotten around to writing about Part 2 (amidst my crazy renovation planning and ROM shebangs) – the two hidden gems YOU HAVE TO VISIT!

  • Melasti Cliff (Ungasan Cliff)
  • Green Bowl Beach

#1. Melasti Cliff / Ungasan Cliff

Ungasan Cliff

What a breath-taking sight!

After getting super disappointed the day before with all the touristy touch-and-go sights, we spent the night doing some thorough research and digging before we found this spot – and everything seemed too good to be true!

I mean, hidden cliff…gorgeous blue waters… and no one to disrupt your me-time? That’s just too amazing! 

Getting There. This was the only hard part as it was not well-known amongst the drivers. We had to use our google map to navigate the driver – thankfully he was super willing to take the adventure with us!

(We used Mano +62 856 3778 685, who charged us 550,000 IDR for the day and drop-off at airport! Amazing guy, let him know you got the contact from Jeremy!)

Costs: No entrance fees! Nada. nothing! 

It was amazing! Once you arrive there, you will see the cliff overlooking the gorgeous gorgeous blue waters below, and the winding roads on the right.

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Tier 1 of the Cliff view!

If you are feeling more adventurous, there will be a flight of steps which you can climb up to a clearing!

It’s definitely manageable, so don’t worry about the climb! Once you get to the top, you’ll have to go through some shrubs (and rocks) to get out to the clearing. THEN, you’ll have arrived to the top of the cliff.

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Legs dangling over the edge – I was just a tiny little bit scared too haha!

The view here is UH-MAY-ZING. Better than anything you’ve seen.. and the best part? You’ve got it all to yourself. 

On the far right is the Banyan Tree Ungasan Hotel – if you are feeling atas go ahead and drop by there for a meal or stay! If you have extra time, head down to the beaches too, you definitely won’t regret it.

#2. Green Bowl Beach

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From what I’ve heard, this beach used to be a private beach to a resort. But after a natural disaster hit, the resort was never restored and the beach became accessible to the public.

Getting There. Definitely use Google Maps too! You will need a driver, as it’s hard to get there on your own.

Costs: Small entrance fee (5,000 – 15,000 IDR)

*Climbing down: When you arrive, you will need to climb down a long flight of steps (about 300 steps!!) so it will take some effort. I strongly recommend you to get some drinks or ice cream from the shop at the top before you start, and just enjoy the climb down. The climb back up will be more painful, fyi haha!

Tips: The only thing I didn’t like about the beach was the peddlers who WILL harass you. At the top, some old ladies will try to convince you for massages (say no! I’ve read that they are a rip-off) and on the beach itself, quite a few vendors will stalk you and harass you, to the point of not leaving until you buy. Be very firm, don’t give in, and make sure someone stays with your belongings, or if there are any others around, you can politely ask them to help keep a lookout!

Bring beach towels, water and snacks, or you might have to buy some (at a higher price) from the ladies!

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So worth it

Other than that, this place is phenomenal. There are small caves for you to sit under and relax in the shade. The waters are clear and refreshing, and the beach is clean!

What more could you ask for?

xxxx

Heading to Bali soon? Don’t forget to check out these places, I hope you’ll love them as much as I did!

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XOXO

Bali Sights Part 1 – Unimpressive Tourist Attractions but a Crazy Good Spa Find!

Date of travel: November 2016

Recommended Driver: Mano (+62 856 3778 685)
(let him know you got the contact from Jeremy!)

Bali has always been reverently known as the Island of the Gods, aptly so, as almost every corner finds you in a breath-taking landscape you never knew could exist.

Ungasan Cliff

Prior to this trip, I have hardly ever been to Bali, except for a few times MANY years ago, staying at Hard Rock Hotel (what a shame to have missed out on the gorgeous villas available everywhere) and travelling no further than the beach down the road. This trip has been quite an eye-opener and I am certain there will be many more trips soon to explore more parts of Bali!

Check out the video here! (Bump the quality up to HD!)

Although we stayed in a villa 30minutes from Ubud, it took us one day to realize that touristy spots weren’t for us. The first driver we used insisted on bringing us to the usual tourist attractions –

  • Tegenungan Waterfall
  • Tegalalang Rice Terraces
  • Mount Batur (sightseeing only)
  • Uluwatu Temple

I honestly believe that he was probably getting commissions for it, but as we haven’t had time to do much research, we went along with it. Here are the short & honest reviews of the four places.

#1. Tegenungan Waterfall

According to them, this is one of the highest and “prettiest” waterfalls in the area. It was actually really impressive with its height, and the force of the water flowing down is almost scary (feels like it would hurt if you stood directly underneath it, or that your bikini would totally come off heh).

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Tegenungan Waterfall

Costs: IDR10,000 to get in, and they charge you another IDR10,000 to see the waterfall from the top.

The low-down: The water looks murky, slightly dirty (not like some of the others I’ve seen, makes you rethink swimming in them). There are many tourists around trying to get same shot as you, so don’t expect a serene and peaceful experience.

There are also a number of steps to climb down to the waterfall (and up again on your way back). Overall, we weren’t too impressed with it!

#2. Tegalalang Rice Terraces

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I have to admit it WAS pretty!

Again a super-touristy area. It is, however, beautiful to look at and take some iconic photos. I loved the vast greenery of the rice terraces and climbing down to different spots (for different photos) but after a while, that’s pretty all you get!

Costs: IDR10,000 to enter the area.

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Climb down for a nicer shot!

After looking at the rice terraces, there are a number of shops and restaurant places to grab a bite at. Nothing much fantastic, and prices are not that attractive either. There are many street children there trying to sell you postcards and merchandise, do beware of them, as they will gather and crowd you once you give attention to any of them!

#3. Mount Batur (sightseeing only)

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Mount Batur in the distance..

So when we mentioned that we wanted to see Mount Batur, the driver insisted on bringing us to a restaurant that we could see Mount Batur “up close”. Without any much details, he just drove us to a place called “Grand Puncak Sari” where we had buffet and stared out at the view of the volcano from far away. There were many other restaurants along the same stretch selling buffet with a view.

Cost: IDR 125,000 per pax (there is still tax on this)

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The Food

I was definitely not impressed. The food was average and not at all worth the price (there are much better local food around at a fraction of the price) and to be extremely honest, the view was pretty but too far away to be anything special. Had I known it would be like this (or had enough information to google and research before) I would have decided either to climb Mt Batur or not even visit this place to look at it. Gah.

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This was also the deciding factor on changing our driver, as well as his input on the massage place we wanted at the end of the day. (Note: the driver contact listed at the top is our second driver, highly recommended!)

#4. Uluwatu Temple

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The view from the temple

Uluwatu Temple was listed as one of the must-see places on many online forums, and after seeing some gorgeous shots (especially at sunset), we decided to visit as well! Many tours offer this as part of the package, as well as some fire dance and she-bangs after.

The whole area takes about 15 minutes to walk through, which you can look at the cliff and the sea below, as well as some statues and ornaments. However, it was quite packed with large groups of tourists with rude manners (shan’t say where they are from) who will definitely be talking at the top of their voices, pushing people out of their way and preventing you from getting nice pictures.

Costs: IDR30,000 per pax to get in.
*You will need to wrap up with the cloth they provide you as a form of respect, and ladies on their monthly periods will not be allowed up the steps.

There seems to be the actual temple ground further in, but it is not accessible to tourists. So all you will see is the outskirts of it. Is it worth it? I’m not that sure.

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I managed to crop out the people at the sides! yay!

 

**MASSAGE – JAEN SPA

Of course, when in Bali, you must enjoy a massage. Bali is known for amazingly luxurious and very well-priced massages and so, it was a definite must for us! When we first told the driver that we were thinking of getting a massage, he was very insistent on telling us he knew a good place. However, during the day we did our own research and found a gem that we really wanted to try. When we told him the place we wanted to go and the address, he was really reluctant and unhappy to do so. (a big no-no for us!)

But moving on to the good part – Jaen Spa.

By the sheer amount of positive reviews and recommendations we found online, we were totally persuaded to visit Jaen Spa and give it a go. And that was one of the best decisions we made that trip!

PRICING – compared to many other (equivalently luxurious) establishments, Jaen Spa was very reasonably priced.

These were the services we tried-

1 hr Traditional Balinese Massage – USD $12 / IDR 165,000
4 hrs Radja Nenda Spa Package – USD $60 / IDR 720,000

The spa package included a Radja Synchronicity massage (2 therapists work on you at the same time), flower bath, body scrub, facial treatment and hair crème treatment. They also give you a light lunch and drink in the middle! Fwah!

SKILL

I’ve been to many spas, and this experience was definitely one of the best. The therapists were skilled and able to target sore spots and work on it well, adjusting their pressure to your preference.

For the special Synchronicity massage, although there were 4 hands (2 therapists) working on you at the same time, it is amazing how in synch they were. The strokes blended perfectly – it was literally heaven!

SERVICE

Service was fantastic and the cherry on top of the cake. We felt absolutely pampered and taken care of! At any point of time, there is someone with you making sure you are comfortable and happy.

They also have pick up and drop off services which are cheaper than hiring a driver (you can arrange for a pick up straight from the airport!!) and they were very flexible with letting us explore the town before sending us back, allowing us to maximize our time in the Ubud central.

In conclusion, Jaen Spa is a place you definitely need to visit on your next trip to Bali. Everything was amazing at such an affordable price. Although the 4-hour treatment was a tad too long for me, I enjoyed every minute of the pampering!!

(don’t forget to contact them in advance, they are almost always booked out!)

xx

As for the rest of the touristy spots, feel free to visit them but don’t have high expectations.  Also, stay tuned for my next post (soon) where I’ll be sharing with you about the hidden Ungasan Cliff & Green Bowl Beach!

Spread the love, hope you liked it!