Our adventure started when we were driving out past Ubud city centre, the Cocomart (supermarket), ATMs and every other modern convenience (or should I say trappings?). I was now looking out to see nothing but gorgeous trees line the road and local shops. I wasn’t quite sure where we were headed, if we were even headed the right way. And more than that, as a city girl I was sure if I was going to be too pleased about not having everything within arms reach. But I didn’t know how much I was going to never want to leave the place!
Seeking Serenity at Villa Semana
Our car turned into Villa Semana, down a steep windy lane and as I stepped out I knew this was love at first sight. Emerald green rice terraces greeted me and there was no one else in sight! It felt like I had all of this to myself – a perfect escape. You don’t have to take a drive to the Tagalalang rice paddies to watch the sun set, because you have it all right here with your stay at Villa Semana.
This tranquil complex houses two bedroom and one bedroom villas, and does not allow for children below 12. This adds to the serenity, and also because it is amazingly surrounded by forests and valleys that lead to the Agung river.
We stayed at Villa Alamanda – one of the first few villas to be built by Villa Semana. We were welcomed by a pot of flowers accompanied by a lovely note. Our one-bedroom property had a large private pool that faced the fast flowing river. You truly do experience the ‘real Bali’ here: each evening you have the local villagers coming down to the river with their families. There are also villas that face the rice paddies opposite, no matter where you look, there is nothing but beauty.
Villa Semana offered us a complimentary 10-minute head and shoulder massage. Initially, I wanted to get it done in the room as were heading off, but am very glad that the staff recommended having it down by the river at the spa centre. You cannot describe how wonderful it is having a massage while listening to the sound of the flowing river (literally 10m from you) and the rapids against the rocks.
You don’t have to worry about anything at all: Villa Semana offers a pick-up and drop-off service to the centre of the city, with the last pick up at 10:30pm (most things in Ubud start wrapping up around then). Alternatively, you can book a driver that would set you back about USD$15 per hour.
The breakfast was very well cooked by the chef. I had scrambled eggs on toast with a side of bacon, ham and smoked salmon, all top notch. I decided to have breakfast in the room, while looking over into the river and listening to the birds – a perfect way to start the morning.