No full restaurant or bar (lunch and dinner must be pre-arranged)
Not enough sun loungers for everyone
Some general maintenance issues; bathrooms can be musty
No spa or fitness center
Villa Awang Awang is a boutique property in the thick jungles outside of central Ubud. Its five villas, built of stone, teak, and terra-cotta tiles by local craftsmen, each have kitchenettes and private infinity pools. Apart from a free breakfast the hotel has limited services and facilities, with no full restaurant or spa, though meals and massages can be pre-arranged. The romantic seclusion is popular with couples and honeymooners, but the larger four- and five-bedroom villas can accommodate families and groups of friends too. Guests looking for a similar vibe but more amenities should compare rates with the nearby The Kayon Resort, though some will prefer the intimacy and privacy found here.
Quiet tropical retreat surrounded by natural flora and fauna
Villa Awang Awang began as a family home that expanded into a romantic getaway, with the construction of several other villas nestled on the cliff overlooking the Petanu River below. If not for the carpark and row of mopeds, its stone gateway would look like the lost entrance to a forgotten jungle temple. From there, paved paths cut through garden grounds beset by colorful tropical foliage and carved wooden benches. Under its thatched roof, the main open-air pavilion provides an excellent spot for watching monkeys at play in the trees in the morning, or the jungle light up at night from countless fireflies. The temperature tends to be a few degrees cooler here than central Ubud, and guests can be found lounging and bird watching throughout the day. The hotel offers a honeymoon package that includes candlelight dinners and local tours for couples who enjoy rustic luxury amid the lulling (and constant) sound of flowing water. The eco-conscious staff participates in a monthly cleaning of the river and surrounding areas and in an effort to conserve water, provides gallon jugs in all villas to minimize the use of plastic bottles.
Overlooking the river, a 20-minute drive from Ubud town
Located uphill, Villa Awang Awang is accessed via narrow winding roads in quiet Melayang village, which is about a 20-minute drive from Ubud -- Bali's spa capital and one of its major culture, arts, and tourist centers. The village itself is a very quiet traditional Balinese community with little in the way of typical tourist attractions, though visitors can arrange a local guide to tour the river valley where several local restaurants and bars can be found. Denpasar city center is about 50-minutes away by car, while Bali's main Ngurah Rai International Airport is just over an hour's drive.
Private Baliense and Javanese villas with kitchenettes and infinity pools
The five villas here range from cozy to sprawling multi-level buildings. They have one to five bedrooms, and can accommodate couples or families (larger groups have the option of renting multiple villas for up to 23 guests). Balinese architecture is apparent throughout, and guests can expect thatched roofing and terra-cotta floor tiles; two villas were built with salvaged teak from East Java. Bedrooms have four-poster beds, elegantly draped with mosquito netting; some open to furnished balconies. Patios and bright living rooms are filled with rattan and bamboo furniture, some of which could use updating.
Flat-screen TVs and iPod docks come standard, along with free Wi-Fi. All villas have kitchenettes, and larger units add full kitchens and dining rooms. Each villa opens to a patio and sundeck with a private infinity pool that spills out over the tropical foliage. Not all of them get much sun and there may not be enough loungers for all guests. The bathrooms vary, but all have stone work by local craftsmen, walk-in showers, and separate soaking tubs. We found a musty odor in some, and many are open-air with persistent dampness.
Pre-booked dinners and massages, free breakfast, and free shuttle to Ubud
Outside of the individual villas, the facilities here are slim. The outdoor pavilion provides a place for included afternoon tea and a free Western breakfast, but there's no full restaurant or bar. Other meals can be arranged ahead of time (two hours minimum) to give the on-site chef and staff ample time to visit the local market. The Western or Asian lunches and dinners are also prepared using organic ingredients from the hotel's own vegetable garden. Balinese and Thai massage services are available on-call, in-room, or on the outdoor terrace. There's also a daily shuttle service into central Ubud, with three departures per day.
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