I told my granddaughter Claire that I would upload some photos from Bali but I really didn't know where to begin. Bali is everything I had dreamed it would be and more. Beauty, nature, culture, history and arts, such a richly woven tapestry.
One of the many magical elements is the true Balinese hospitality, which brings me to Amori Villas in Ubud. I carefully chose Amori Villas and it even exceeded my high expectations. This is a huge shoutout to the Australian owners for their vision and especially to the wonderful staff at Amori. They are the people who truly made our holiday special.
From our first hello at the airport to our sad final farewell, they were friendly, helpful and fun. They prepared food for us, made appointments for us, anticipated our needs, transported, and guided us on our Balinese adventure. With such a small number of villas, the atmosphere was intimate and relaxed. Upon arrival we were treated to minty drinks and freshly prepared onion rings which were yummy. We were introduced to our "butler" but I quickly felt that Ari, Kadok and the entire staff were friends. We honestly left feeling that we had become a part of the Amori Villas family.
They have an open kitchen which made it fun to watch our chef and her assistants in action. The food was local, fresh and delicious. You can go marketing with them in the morning if you like; you can cook with them and they will teach you Balinese food preparation if you desire. They will take you to tour local Balinese villages which are nearby. They will massage and pamper you, and you will depart having experienced genuine Balinese hospitality.
A big thank you to Marsai. A true gentleman, he shuttled and guided us and we so enjoyed his company. He was so patient and kind, quickly offering to take us back to a previous spot. Here he is answering one of our many questions, explaining aspects of his culture. Spending time with local Balinese who are so willing to share their culture, warmth and life experiences, priceless!
The juices are freshly prepared from whole fruit, think way beyond just orange, and delicious. I tried several varieties and all were scrumptious.
The freshly blended papaya juice with lime was divine and the Balinese coffee, delicious.
Normally I like to be in the city center, however, for Ubud being outside the center proved to be the perfect choice. A ten minute drive provided by the staff or by readily available taxis puts you in the middle of town. Those minutes allow you to stay in the gorgeous, secluded villas of Amori.
We stayed in villa #5 (photo below) and enjoyed our space, especially the view, the lanai or balcony and the bathroom. My husband wished he could bring the bathroom home with us, but the weather where we live doesn't make an outdoor shower practical, but while there, it was so enjoyed. I adored that the villas were traditional Balinese style complete with thatch roofing. It made the sojourn even more authentic and fun.
I can't imagine a ceiling in a bathroom that tops the one above. Of course, there is an indoor shower in the bathroom for those that prefer.
Amori provides a lovely spot for yoga instruction, or a Balinese massage,
or a spot to totally chill by the infinity pool overlooking foliage and flowers.
Our guide in Singapore described taking holidays in Bali and assured us we would love Bali. I was aware that the Balinese are widely known for their hospitality, but he relayed a first hand personal story. He had been hiking in Bali and was thirsty and sweaty, so he went up to a stranger's home and asked if he could take a shower. I am sure my jaw dropped when he said this. He said while getting his shower, the family prepared a feast for him, thinking that he must be hungry as well.
Thank you to Ari, Kadok, Marsai and the entire staff at Amori Villas. Please accept my apologies for any misspelled names. Our time with you enriched my life. I hope you and your families are all doing well. I loved sharing laughter with you in your slice of paradise.
I now have this fantasy of returning and taking Claire with me. Yes, Amori is that special!