Ubud - known as Bali's cultural and artistic capital throughout the world - is also hailed as a perfect holiday destination for travelers and tourists alike. Considered a cultural mecca, Ubud offers an excellent introduction to the Balinese culture, with an emphasis on the arts, yoga, and nature. It is in this quaint town of Ubud that I discovered Dwaraka - The Royal Villas, a name truly synonymous with luxury and comfort.
Less than five minutes drive from the Ubud Central, Dwaraka - The Royal Villas is the best place to relax and unwind ... in the process escape from the hustle and bustle of the frenzied city life. Yet it manages to remain so very relevant - close enough to the thriving culture and arts scene of Ubud.
For the uninitiated, Dwaraka - The Royal Villas was open to guests in September 2015. Choose from an array of ten luxurious villas inside its premises, specifically designed for those seeking exclusivity, intimacy, and exoticism.
Adorned with a tint of gold and inspired by the ancient folklore of Lord Krishna's kingdom called Dwaraka, these villas incorporate the finest 'Royal Balinese' house design and boast of state-of-the-art modern amenities.
Make no mistake, you're right in the lap of luxury. The more time you get to spend at the resort, the more likely you're going to feel an intense connection; it feels surreal, almost like you're in the doorway to Lord Krishna's life journey. It's no mere coincidence that each villa has been given a name like Vrindavan, Govardhan, Gokul, and so on!
#Day3 at the Dwaraka The Royal Villas - Ubud - our last day here before we pack our bags and check in at Pondok Sebatu Villa for the remaining two nights of our Bali sojourn. BTW, The Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali is hosting us tonight for dinner (courtesy: Visit Indonesia Tourism Officer - India Office) ... should be exciting :) Earlier in the day, Mrs and I went for a traditional Balinese Spa treatment. Every nook and cranny of our body feels relaxed now. Also lazed around the pool with the kids for a few hours! I love this kind of slow paced life ... overcast weather, away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, sipping my favorite Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks, and spending time with my most favorite people in the world! Couldn't have asked for more! #VisitIndonesia #FAM #Dwarakavillas
Museums, crafts, dance performances, and shopping at the Pesar Seni (Art Market) are big draws for Dwaraka - The Royal Villas guests, as are the Puri Saren Agung Palace, the Pura Saraswati (Water Palace), the Ubud Monkey Forest, the Moon of Pejeng, and the Goa Gaja (Elephant Cave) temple.
#Day2 at the Dwaraka Villas was even more exciting! Absolutely loved fine-dining at the Yasoda Kitchen - great Balinese food served with so much love. Went to the Sacred Monkey Sanctuary later in the morning. Amazing seeing so many monkeys in their natural habitat. The afternoon was spent in window shopping at the Ubud Market. Later in the day saw a spectacular dance performance at the Royal Palace in Ubud, followed by a sumptuous dinner at an award-winning Indian restaurant called Queens. Am loving everything the Indonesian hospitality so far :) #VisitIndonesia @vito.india @dwarakavillas
Activities in surrounding areas include cycling in the countryside, trekking the rice paddy, visiting a white heron rookery or the Bali Bird Park with its 260 species of birds, 2000 tropical plants, and butterflies, trekking the Elephant Safari Park, exploring a traditional coffee plantation, touring the Bali Marine and Safari Park, white water rafting, world-class reef diving, beach horseback riding, Batur Mountain cycling, sunrise hiking at Batur volcano, Harley Davidson touring, and golfing in the mountains.
Nestled in the middle of Tegallantang, which is a traditional Balinese village in Ubud, Dwaraka - The Royal Villas combines two unique aspects of the Balinese hospitality - the Balinese royal accommodation is pretty much the obvious part that you simply cannot ignore; equally important is the succinct design and decor of each villa that draws inspiration from a bygone Balinese era.
With mesmerizing views of the rice paddy and tropical gardens, the resort offers five categories of Balinese luxurious villas, each with its unique charm and charisma.
#Day2 at the Dwaraka Villas was even more exciting! Absolutely loved fine-dining at the Yasoda Kitchen - great Balinese food served with so much love. Went to the Sacred Monkey Sanctuary later in the morning. Amazing seeing so many monkeys in their natural habitat. The afternoon was spent in window shopping at the Ubud Market. Later in the day saw a spectacular dance performance at the Royal Palace in Ubud, followed by a sumptuous dinner at an award-winning Indian restaurant called Queens. Am loving everything the Indonesian hospitality so far :) #VisitIndonesia @vito.india
Puri Taman Sukawati (Royal Balinese House)
Keen on having a firsthand Royal Balinese experience? The only house of its kind in Dwaraka is built with 24-karat gold and occasionally used by the owner of the property. It has three separate bedrooms with private bathrooms, kitchen, Balinese Jineng, Bale Dangin, and a huge alfresco area. The house is designed using authentic Balinese architecture.
- The main room inside this house is called Bale Daja ('Bale' means a room, 'Daja' means north) and is used by the head of the family (or by a newly-wed couple).
- Bale Dauh ('Dauh' means west) is occupied by the son of the family.
- Bale Dangin ('Dangin' means east) is reserved for life ceremonies such as birth/wedding/death.
- Bale Delod ('Delod' means south) is another name for a kitchen.
- Jineng (rice storage room) is built in front of the kitchen.
1-Bedroom Pool Villa (4 Units)
If you're a honeymooner, you'll love this luxurious 1-Bedroom pool villa, facing the rice paddy and complete with a private pool.
2-Bedroom Pool Villa (4 Units)
Ideal for a small family of 3-4 members, this is an obvious winner in many ways. Our 2-bedroom pool villa was called Gokul (named after Gokula where Lord Krishna spent his childhood). This luxurious two-storeyed villa has two bedrooms, a living room, and a private pool with tropical garden view. Couldn't have asked for more!
President Suite (1 Unit)
The two-storeyed President Suite offers four bedrooms with private bathrooms, two living rooms, a private pool facing the rice field, and a huge water pond. Designed for those on a group holiday or those traveling with big families.
All villas include:
- Private Bathroom
- Mini Bar - Free daily restock of nonalcoholic beverages
- Smart TV with full-service satellite television
- Wireless Internet connection
- DVD player
- Docking Station
- Tea and coffee facilities
- Safety Deposit Box
- Private pool (except Puri Taman Sukawati)
- English Newspaper
- In-house mobile phone
- IDD telephone
- Natural bathroom product amenities
[Opening hour: Every day from 7 A.M. to 11 P.M.]
We were recommended the Balinese Spa Treatment at the Radha Spa, which is located by the pool. Drawing inspiration from the name of Lord Krishna's wife, Radha Spa offers a royal treatment for its guests; the emphasis is on the use of natural products procured locally.
[Opening hour: 9 A.M. – 6 P.M.]
Enjoy a host of fun-filled activities at Dwaraka, lined up for guests so there is never a dull moment.
- Private yoga classes: Can be booked at your convenience; enjoyed either at the Spa (in a pavilion overlooking the rice paddy or tropical gardens) or in your own villa.
- Cooking: Request the guest service to arrange for group classes; learn to cook the traditional cuisine of Bali.
- Ubud: The resort provides a free shuttle to nearby tourist attractions in Ubud. Go for shopping, cultural experiences, and eco-friendly tours, which abound within close proximity of the hotel.
- Temple and Paddy Tours: Half-day or full-day tours of temples and tiered rice paddies via hotel limousine can be arranged on request.
- Shopping: Avail the complimentary Dwaraka shuttle into Ubud for one of the best shopping experiences in all of Bali. Splurge on paintings, sculptures, woodcarving art, and handicrafts available in abundance.
- Bali Adventures: A wide range of adventure activities and tours reflecting the geographic diversity of Bali can be arranged by the guest services manager. Examples include bicycling through the local villages, trekking through the rice paddies, white water rafting, volcano hikes, elephant ride safari, etc.
- Free WiFi broadband Internet access throughout the resort property
- Free shuttle service to the Ubud Central area
- Full evening turndown service
- Overnight complimentary shoeshine
- Library with books and DVDs (available for rent)
- Twice daily maid service
- Rapid pressing service
- Babysitting service on request
- Limousine service with chauffeur on request
- 24-hour concierge
The serene yet luxurious setting of Puri Taman Sukawati has caught the fancy of wedding planners from all over the world. Dwaraka offers an international wedding venue par excellence for hosting an intimate yet memorable marriage ceremony. The resort offers facilities, accommodation, and service - fit for royalty, including a dedicated Guest Service who is available to coordinate every detail of the wedding celebration.
Balinese theme weddings are well-hosted but for those seeking an extraordinarily romantic ceremony and reception, a classic western-style can be arranged.
Be it the royal design or the Balinese architecture, the richness of the vibrant colors or the glamorous artwork, Dwaraka - The Royal Villas is bound to win your heart by virtue of being unusually remarkable in every single way; it helps that they have a pretty attentive and discreet service staff, not to forget bespoke facilities, an organic themed restaurant, spa and retreat, and convenient access to the several wonders of the Ubud region. I can't wait to visit them again!