About the property
- Villa3300 sqft
- Separate WC's0
- Minimum Stay2 nights
Villa:1 Bedrm + Porch, xtra beds, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6), Annex:2-br/2ba w/pool
NOTE: If your party is large, and you desire more accommodation than the main villa can provide, please see our adjacent 2-bedroom unit described below and on VRBO/702772.
Due to the recent popularity of the commission-based property rental sites (e.g. AirBnB), vacation rentals are appearing everywhere in Bali. Even local families are sacrificing a portion of their iconic rice fields to build small 'villas' to rent to tourists for added income. Most of these "backyard bungalows" would fit in the bedroom of this magnificent estate home!
These plentiful offerings cannot be compared with this elegant and luxurious villa which, built as the eventual retirement home of an American artist, offers the visitor to Bali a unique and very special experience. The home would be better described as an "estate" than a villa, and sits on 1400 sq. meters - more than six times the size of most local "villas".
From across the rice fields as you approach, your first thought might be: “Could that be the place – OUR place?” By day it lies impressively expansive against the tall palms of the river valley, stretching across behind the rice fields and into the palm trees beyond. By night, the house glows at the end of its pathway, the lighted traditional temple in the northeastern corner indicating the unusual size of this very special property.
Built on a bend of a small river valley and situated at the end of the 'Path to the Sacred Spring' this truly astonishing villa is without question one of the most beautiful and tasteful accommodations in Bali. Featuring a majestic, remote, very private and peaceful setting; the finest in design, construction and materials; and luxurious amenities, it contains two full (both partially outdoor) baths; two king-sized beds (as well as an additional double and single to accommodate larger families); a two-story interior waterfall; and a fully-equipped modern kitchen. You will find Egyptian cotton towels, high-thread count bed linens, hair dryers in each bathroom, bedside reading lamps, desktop computer, a complimentary cellular telephone, and a great many more amenities that are all too often overlooked in other offerings. One example of the thought and care that has gone into the preparation of this home is the mosquito netting (largely decorative, as the house is quite mosquito-fee) surrounding the king-size bed. Having become tangled in such netting after many trips to the tropics, the owner designed and built a hardwood frame, suspended from the ceiling, that allows the netting to hang to the floor approximately two feet from the bed. One can walk around the bed entirely within the curtain of the netting!) Marble, granite, and natural stone are used throughout, and over 25,000. man-hours have gone into to the hand-carved stone accents and intricately carved wooden doorways. Examples of many of Bali’s finest artistic endeavors are displayed: painting, wood-carving, batik, stone-carving, etc. Most of the furnishings, including bathroom and kitchen cabinets, are locally made hand-carved teakwood.
Outside, the landscaped grounds boast over 3000 square feet of landscaping, pool and lounge area: a two-level swimming pool (comparable in size to those of most local hotels, the lower level a shallow pool for the safety of children and in which they can play under the waterfall from the main pool above); intricately carved Balinese temple; stone statuary, fountains, tropical landscaping, and an uninterrupted view of the river valley. Surrounded by a high wall, a feature of traditional Balinese architecture, the house and grounds are completely private and blissfully peaceful, yet are open to the near-180 degree view of the rain-forested river valley below.
Our staff consists of our young and enthusiastic house manager who recently spent two years aboard a cruise ship to polish his language and tourist-relations skills - a rare feat for a young Balinese; our housekeeper/cook, who arrives each morning to prepare your breakfast and clean the house; and our groundskeeper and security watchman who tends the rice fields behind the villa. They will attend to your every need, but do NOT remain full-time at the villa. Unless you specify otherwise, they are requested to vacate the property by 11:00AM so that you might fully enjoy the tranquility and complete privacy of the site. Additionally, our manager, who is a licensed tour driver, will make the service of our guests a priority; if you are in need of a driver or guide while in residence, you need only call him, and if one of Bali's frequent ceremonies or processions is occurring during your stay, he can advise you on the required attire and arrange for you to attend.
A NOTE ABOUT ACCESS:
This villa is heaven on earth! As stated, the property is situated on the bend of a river, in a completely natural setting, and which many visitors have remarked is the quietest, most natural setting for a home they've seen here. It is so peaceful that guests are gently awakened by the songs and calls of the birds in the river valley, and the evenings are so still that one feels quite alone in the natural world. It is accessed only by motorbike or walking path (no automobiles), and the motorbike access ends at the property's front gate. Thus, there is no sound of passing motor vehicles - so common a disturbance in Bali - to detract from the peaceful ambiance. There are two pathways to the house: a motorbike access path runs along the small river past a number of villas and homes and ends at the front gate. From the back gate, we have built a cement walkway through the rice fields to the community path on the other side (see photos). This pathway makes the short walk to the local market and main road into Ubud very quick and convenient.
The walk to the house from the nearest automobile access is perhaps three to four minutes from the back gate and about five or six from the front, but there is no problem with the transportation of your belongings. Upon arrival you'll be met by our house manager who will take care of the transportation of your luggage to and from the house.
In 2015 we have added a new 'annex' to the property, Hidden River Paradise, connected to the main compound by a small gate yet outside the main perimeter walls (it has it's own) to allow complete privacy in both the villa and the annex. This addition is an intimate two-bedroom, two-bath unit with living area, kitchen, and small pool. (see VRBO.com/702772). As in the villa, it is equipped with the finest in accouterments including hand-carved teak furniture, quality linens and towels, top-end appliances, imported cookware, and complete entertainment system. Either the villa or annex can be booked separately, or you can reserve the entire property to accommodate as many as 10 persons.
In short, you may find small rental accommodations plentiful in Bali, but a trip to this enchanting destination deserves the finest experience you can imagine. The magnificent home and its friendly and dedicated staff will provide you with a unique and incomparable experience!
(please see the reviews!)
Keywords: Bali, villa, vacation, quiet, secluded, rain-forest, rice-field, hideaway, peaceful, luxurious, rental, family, natural, clothing-optional, swimming, Ubud, yoga, retreat, wedding, honeymoon.
NOTE: PLEASE read this description carefully. We offer THREE separate, yet adjoining accommodations: (1) THE MAIN VILLA IS IDEAL FOR COUPLES (Honeymooners welcome!) OR SMALL FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN WHO DO NOT REQUIRE SEPARATE, PRIVATE BEDROOMS. MORE THAN TWO ADULTS WILL LIKELY NOT FIND THE PRIVACY HERE THAT THEY MAY REQUIRE. The current rental rate for this huge, 3300 sq. ft. luxury estate home is $185./nt on season, and $145./nt off season. These rates are for two persons only (additional costs for larger parties) and include breakfast each morning.
(2) The brand new "Annex", a two-bedroom two bath bungalow with pool (see VRBO listing #702772) can sleep up to four in two queen bedrooms. On season rate for the annex is $95./night, off season $65../night again for two persons and including breakfast.
(3) Our only neighbor, a delightful Australian gentlemen, is offering his three guest suites as "overflow" for larger parties requiring non-shared accommodations. His suites are just outside our back gate and feature ensuite queen accommodations, all of which include bath and kitchen and are completely private. Capacity of each is two persons in queen bedrooms. His rates are US$75./night per suite on season and US$65./night off-season.
EVEN THOUGH THE ESTATE HOUSE AND ANNEX ARE LOCATED ON THE SAME PROPERTY, AND THE NEIGHBORING SUITES ARE JUST NEXT DOOR, ALL ARE COMPLETELY PRIVATE AND CAN BE RENTED SEPARATELY FROM OR TOGETHER WITH THE VILLA! The two properties are at the END of an access pathway along a rain-forest river valley and, as such, are remote, extremely quiet, and undisturbed.
MAXIMUM persons in the villa is six, maximum in the annex is four; the three neighboring suites accommodate two each; this, we can accommodate up to 16 persons!.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within one day
- Calendar last updated:
- May 27, 2018
Why Made Mar chose Ubud
My career in the motion picture industry specialized in filming in international locations. Of the 36 countries I was fortunate to experience Bali, which I first discovered while in my early 70s, stood out as extraordinary among them all for many reasons: its incredible beauty, captivating culture, perfect weather, extraordinary artistic heritage, and its gracious and welcoming people. After having been away from Bali for forty years, on my return I was immediately filled with the same conviction that I felt as a young man: this is the place I want to live. This villa was built as a place to which I can invite the many friends I've met throughout the world in my travels, a place to share, enjoy and reminisce. It will be my eventual retirement home, and I am pleased and honored to share it with discriminating guests as a base from which to discover their own reactions to the magic of the island.
What makes this Villa unique
What is primarily unique about this property is its very special location, and the quality of its construction and furnishings. It has a dramatic 220-degree view to the front, where it overlooks the small river valley and the rice fields beyond, To the back, it has a 180-degree view of ascending rice terraces. There are no traffic sounds, honking horns, beeping motorbikes; in fact, the only sounds one hears here, day or night, are the natural ones: the sigh of breezes stirring the palms, the call of birds, the sound of running water in the river or cascading from the rice terraces. In order to achieve this unique and very spirit-fulfilling serenity, this property was chosen for its beauty and extraordinary serenity, one that is removed from the busy and noisy roadways of Bali, and is in fact equidistant from them. To the front, the 'Path to the Sacred Spring' runs along the river and terminates at Rumah Cahaya's gate. To the rear, a meter-wide causeway was built through the rice-fields to allow convenient access to Ubud's main road, largest market, and convenient transportation. The other considerable benefit of a stay at this villa is the extended family that built the house, maintains the property and cares for you during your stay. The family home is a short walk away, and if you avail yourself of the opportunity of spending time with them you will not find a more remarkable Balinese family. Their warmth, generosity and hospitality not only has many travelers returning year after year, but doing so feeling as if they are truly coming back to see members of a new and extended family of their own. You will truly enjoy a memorable stay.
Pool / Spa
Local Services & Businesses
Sports & Adventure Activities
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 11:00 AM
100% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date. 50% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
A Lovely Stay outside Ubud
We loved our Stay at Rumah Cahaya in April 2018.
Staying in this Villa is like being one with nature. I was not aware before coming that the villa is completely open air, we definitely recommend a bath under the stars- it is magical. During the evenings it cooled down a bit but was still quite warm. The owner does a great job of keeping the mosquitos away but we were startled a few times by very large (by western standards) bees buzzing around the villa. They did not seem aggressive, but took some getting used to. Otherwise the live flora throughout really made for quite a special experience.
The pool area is absolutely beautiful and a dream to relax by. A feeling of seclusion is achieved. The setting of the villa is between the jungle and rice paddies, again very wonderful! Note there is no road to the villa and it is best to meet in the Market parking lot to find your way there. Having the Bintang Market nearby was also a major plus, you could find everything you might need there. We also rented a scooter while staying in Ubud and Juli the property manager conveniently had it dropped off for us at a great rate, we were so appreciative. Juli also graciously drove us to the airport very late at night which was great. He is one of the Villa's best assets.
There are information books in the villa that we also found quite helpful when just arriving and definitely recommend reading through.
Our only concern while staying in the villa is that we found cameras not only outside, but also inside (they appeared to only be pointing at the doors). We found this somewhat unsettling and a bit invasive. One should also note that the owner lives just beyond the pool with a door adjoining the properties. We didn't feel as though we had total and complete privacy.
Otherwise, we would absolutely consider staying again and will be recommending this villa to family and friends alike.
We’re always delighted by good reviews, but it is troubling to learn of any dissatisfaction. We provide a local phone for the purpose of answering any question, as we pride ourselves on providing the absolute best possible experience.
Comments that might be considered negative may give pause to others, so we’ll clarify a few points:
PRIVACY: The villa was built for the owner’s eventual retirement, and he presently occupies it only several weeks during the winter. Rental opportunities during this low season are infrequent, so when opportunity arises, to keep our our wonderful staff employed, he occasionally either moves into the adjacent bungalow (VRBO #702772) or travels.
Make no mistake. The villa and its adjacent annex are COMPLETELY PRIVATE! True a`connecting gate in the wall separates the two, but unless a large party rents both accommodations, the gate is kept locked accept when accessed by the housekeeper..
CAMERAS: When the villa was built, it was felt that its remote location and infrequent occupation neecessitated a security system and surveillance cameras. Eight cameras cover exterior doors and gates but NO interior living spaces. They are ONLY OPERATIONAL WHEN THE VILLA IS UNOCCUPIED. Privacy is one of our best assets and among are greatest concerns.
OPEN AIR: Lastly, it is a bit of a misnomer to refer to the villa as “open-air”. The bathrooms are delightfully indoor-outdoor, but are of course provided with doors. The 15-foot wide “view” walls, one from the living room to the front veranda and the other from the second-floor bedroom to the deck, are equipped with full-length folding glass doors and can be left open to the view and fresh air or completely closed .
The only true “open-air” portion of the house is the triangular atrium at the top of the indoor waterfall, which is located in the far north-east corner of the building.
Evidently what was meant by the reference to “open air” was the absence of air conditioning. We decided when building the house that its location high above the river valley and it’s high (26-feet in the bedroom) ceilings would provide adequate relief from the heat and humidity; we also felt that going in and out of air-conditioned spaces is not particularly good for our health.
We don’t miss air conditioning a bit.
In short the villa is an extraordinary gem even among the many wonderful offerings in Bali and we will do everything possible to provide the best in care and comfort to all who visit it.
Everything written about this property is spot on..the house is just gorgeous, the location is great - a perfect mix of town proximity and tucked away jungle feel, and the staff is so nice and accommodating! Maya makes an excellent breakfast and keeps the house spotless. I would definitely recommend hanging out and going around with Juli for the day. He's awesome and we were super grateful for his hospitality! Thanks Bruce!
Also, definitely check out Yellow Flower Cafe! A quick, nice path walk for some fantastic food!
Beautiful, peaceful villa with warm, wonderful staff
My wife and I stayed here briefly as part of our Indonesian honeymoon. We absolutely loved the villa. It was quiet, set apart from the busy and generally too-commercial Ubud. We woke to birds singing and went to sleep with just the stars. The villa was immaculate, and we enjoyed the pool, and outdoor shower and bath. The bed was very comfortable and we slept well each night. The house is filled with ornately carved doors, stone statues, carefully placed lighting, and an indoor waterfall. It, like Bali itself, marries art and function. But what made this stay so special was the staff. Juli picked us up from the airport and drove us to the villa. After a brief scooter lift to the house, he introduced us to the gardener and security officer, Ketut. We always felt safe there. Maya made us wonderful breakfasts -- both traditional Indonesian and Western options are available. On our second day, we hired Juli to take us on a local tour. We saw the traditional Barong dance, visited artisan shops, and toured temples. He even stayed with us late to make sure we saw the famous rice terraces. The next day was a special Hindu celebration -- Galungan. It is a sacred day when devout Balinese visit temples, make offerings to ancestors, and visit families. All the villages were decorated with beautiful penjor -- tall bamboo poles covered with flowers and other offerings. We were deeply honored when Juli invited us to attend the local temple with him and his son. We first met his wife and children and enjoyed some Balinese coffee and jaja cakes. At the temple, Juli guided us through the ceremony. It was one of the most special and sacred parts of our trip. After leaving, we went to Nusa Dua for two nights to enjoy the beach before returning to winter in New England. Immediately we missed Rumah Cahaya and the people of Penestanan. Nusa Dua felt artificial and inauthentic. Next time we will stay at Rumah Cahaya and skip the touristy resort. We could not recommend Rumah Cahaya more strongly. It is perfect for a couple or small family, and ideal for those wishing to see the "real" Bali and avoid the more commercial centers.
A week in paradise
Due to my wife’s work, we travel quite extensively, and have rented many houses, apartments, etc. Rumah Cahaya is by far the most enchanting and intoxicating experience we have ever had. Nothing comes close. The design, the attention to detail, the craftsmanship. All truly remarkable. Words can't describe our excitement of being privileged guests this absolutely beautiful villa.
We loved everything about it - the private pool, the outdoor bathrooms and bathing outside, the animal noises (especially in the mornings and evenings), and of course Bruce the owner who answered all our questions and the staff.
Juli, Maya, Bapak are all wonderful. So kind and so helpful. Juli (house manager) was an excellent driver and we encourage anyone staying at the villa to partake of his services and do a daytrip with him. Maya (housekeeper) made excellent breakfasts and kept the villa clean and comfortable. Bapak (the grounds supervisor/gardener), though speaking very little English, was a delight. We very much enjoyed his visits. We also loved his dogs and my wife even got a little lick on my hand from the younger one! Of course it may have been because she was crouched down on the ground, had just given him a hot dog and held out my hand that had touched the hot dog.
The villa is furnished with everything one could think of or need. We keep saying to each other, “Bruce thinks of everything!” The kitchen was terrific for those nights in. And it was easy to stock up as the Bintang supermarket was just a 5 minute walk out back through the rice fields. The big screen TV comes with a DVD player and Bruce has acquired a quite extensive DVD collection.
Though only about a 20 minute walk into Ubud proper, we only visited once. Why? We never wanted to leave the villa. Every minute away felt a moment missed in paradise. Our stay of 8 days seemed far too short. We left feeling rested and reinvigorated. This is a remarkable and romantic place in paradise and we will definitely be back.
Thank you for all your help and welcoming us into your extended family. We are eternally grateful.
Rumah Cahaya Top Ten
1. Master Suite: Comfy bedding and luxe outdoor bathroom with rain shower and soaking tub. There can be no better place in the world to enjoy the moon and stars!
2. Swimming Pool/Grounds: A full-size private pool is such a luxury on holiday. We never grew tired of ogling the magnificent grounds. Very hard to leave when we went out for activities. Bapak was a jewel and kept it all pristine.
3. Location: Steps away from eateries, shopping, and taxi stand, yet miles away from scooter fumes and crowds. Using the villa as base, one could stay right in Penestanan and fully experience the culture, nature, and palpable spirituality of Bali.
4. Restaurant Recommendations: Bruce offers a notebook of restaurant reviews/recommendations (and is quite the engaging writer by the way)....all within walking distance. Try 'em all!
5. Maya: Speaking of food, we fell in love with Maya and her delicious breakfasts. She is a major part of what makes Rumah Cahaya the wonder that it is. She exudes graciousness and ease, and keeps things sparkling and humming along, the heart and soul of Rumah Cahaya.
6. Juli: And speaking of heart and soul, Juli is the epitome of Balinese hospitality. He checked in with us regularly, though never intrusively, always warm and helpful. Great driver and guide who will make you forget he's a guide and feel more like a friend.
7. Sunrise: The gradual pinkening of the sky through open windows is a surreal alarm clock, awakening the cacophony that is so singularly 'Bali:' ducks, roosters, songbirds, frogs working up to an orchestral morning salutation. Daily soul food!
8. The House Itself: Take a full day to not leave the villa at all. Walk the grounds at different hours. Enjoy the light and shadows. Lose yourself in exquisite stone and wood carvings. Smell the flowers. Listen to the water cascading from the pool. Open all the windows and doors. Approach the temples and whisper a soft Thank You. Go up to the eagle's nest and witness the otherworldly panorama. Enjoy the breeze through the shady terrace. View the natural and man-made wonders from every lovely angle. Be dazzled.
9. Thoughtful Details: guides, menus, maps, great sound system and TV, DVDs and books, French press, flashlights, full kitchen, nice linens changed regularly, paper products, bottled water, wifi, easily arranged laundry and meal delivery.
10. Privacy: Perfect for couples. Doesn't get any more romantic and relaxing than Villa Rumah Cahaya.
Luxurious but Wild, Escape from The Mundane, Get Inspired
I live in NYC. This place is Opposite Land. Rumah Cahaya will obliterate your stress. Need a creative sabbatical? Stay here for a month and explore the interior of Bali.
There's a rainforest on one side of the villa and rice paddies on the other. We woke to bird calls and luscious views, and fell asleep to gecko chirps and faint gamelan drumming--beautiful and hypnotic. On the second day, my niece said,"WHY are Maya's breakfast eggs so good?" And then we saw the chickens and hens running through the paths of our rice paddies. That curving path is like something out of National Geographic for Kids. My two young kids saw lizards, ducks, roosters, groundhogs, mice, frogs, butterflies and snakes (butterflies are bigger than the snakes). Note: Rumah Cahaya is not for the squeamish. They’re all here, creatures great and small. Everything is benign. There’s an ongoing symphony of chirping and burping and some of it comes from the corner of the living room.
The villa’s best features are the open air master bathroom and the eagle's nest, a tiny tower. Every night I’d bathe under the starriest skies—no light pollution here. After a really hot day, you bathe in the sultry perfume of frangipani. Upstairs, from the eagle's nest, you sit at an L-shaped desk while peering into a lush rainforest. The ordinary world falls away. I couldn’t stop taking panoramic shots of the rice paddies. At night if you leave the tower windows and doors wide open, a little bat might swoop in and out. My son loved that!
The staff: Maya makes amazing breakfasts but she’ll let you know (by being late) that she prefers 9am to earlier. Finally we just had her make us lunch instead. She’ll also take small parcels of laundry and return them next day. Juli, the informative driver and responsive house manager, aims to please. One day he took us to the market and I left a bag of caramel cakes somewhere. He saw my disappointment and the next day came with other caramel cakes, refusing compensation. (One day, though, Juli’s brother pinch hit and charged us an arm and a leg. So, substitute Juli at your own risk!)
The owner Bruce has tastefully created a luxurious home yet still in keeping with the local vernacular--wooden doors, transoms, cabinets, and wardrobe are carved with Balinese motifs, and altars and recessed nooks with Hindu statuary grace the property. My kids had so much fun exploring it all that they didn’t even realize they were learning. The same goes for me.
The villa also has such amenities as a massage table with in-call masseuse. Beach areas are from 1/2 hour to an hour away (transportation is plentifully available and inexpensive), the city/town of Ubud with attractions such as shopping museums and restaurants is within walking distance, the Balinese village of Penestanan in which excellent painting and beadwork can be found is a short stroll from the house, Ubud is the perfectly located base for exploring all of Bali's offerings.
Additional pricing information
The entire property, both villa and annex (VRBO#702772), are available for larger groups by arrangement (please contact the owner for details), and can also include the three queen suites owned by our adjacent neighbor allowing accommodation for up to 16 people in 6 bedrooms plus adjoining alcove areas. ALL RATES ARE IN UNITED STATES DOLLARS.