Our home in Ubud was the Puri Saraswati Bungalows which is located right smack in the center of the village, just a stone's throw away from the Ubud Royal Palace, the Ubud Market, the Puri Lukisan Museum and the Pura Desa Temple. It shares a perimeter wall with Cafe Lotus and Ubud's main temple complex both of which can be accessed via a private pathway directly from the bungalows.
Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati,
Ubud's royal family temple behind our bungalow
The bungalows are set in a serene garden environment, each with a private verandah ensonced in lush foliage. Every morning, offerings are placed on the verandah steps to ensure the well-being and happiness of guests. Now, wouldn't that make you feel special? The rooms are modern and sparsely furnished with no distractions such as TV or radio and very comfortable.
Every night we were lulled to sleep by the chanting of frogs outside the window and every morning we woke to the lilting sounds of the gamelan orchestra practising at the temple next door. Like wind chimes, the melody of the gamelan is so soothing that once it turned what was supposed to be a quick power nap in the morning into a full blown 3 hour siesta.
the breakfast bar,
that's our bungalow on the left hidden behind the plants
Now here is where it gets really special! To stay at the Puri Saraswati Bungalows is to be a guest of the royal family. The bungalows are built on palace property and on what was once a garden playground for the palace children and their friends. Today, members of the royal family make their home on the grounds and go about their lives much like ordinary folk. Once while waiting for our driver to arrive, we watched the prince's wife feed their baby on their balcony.
The sprightly lady whom I recognized from the framed picture hanging on the wall behind the front desk as one of the King's wives, cheerfully waved at us as we ate our toasts and banana pancakes in the breakfast bar. It is this same good nature and warm-heartedness extended by the rest of the staff that made us feel right at home and made our stay here so memorable. They were just delightful! I've never met a more gracious and charming bunch and I cannot say enough good things about them.
PS: A million thanks to Anne who recommended this place to me! :)