Could you imagine being a celebrity? I’m talking about the royal treatment - having a full-time staff to entertain your every whim, any time of the day. Even ridiculous things.
While we visited Villa Amrita, one of the best luxury villas in Ubud, Bali, I put this idea to the test. I mean, the villa staff were already super friendly and helpful, carrying our luggage, getting us settled in, giving us insider tips for Bali.
But I wanted to push my luck.
Just after 9pm one non-descript evening, after dinner I asked one the staff, Ayu, “Can you please call Gaya Gelato for me?”. If you haven’t been to Ubud before, Gaya Gelato is only the best gelato in the world, hands down (don’t argue with me about it, I’ve tested gelato in dozens of countries, including Italy). Ayu called the number and handed me the phone. I asked if Gaya could organise a delivery straight away. They responded, “Sorry, no more drivers tonight”.
Hmph. I put the phone down.
Ayu could tell by the downcast look on my face I was unimpressed. We’d enjoyed a delicious dinner, but now there was a sour taste left in my mouth. Her eyebrows raised and face brightened. “I’ll drive to Gaya Gelato and get it for you”.
And that was the moment I finally knew what it felt like to be a celebrity.
She jumped on her scooter and disappeared into the inky darkness.
Sure enough, 20 minutes later Ayu returned triumphant with a large tub of the most mouth-watering gelato known to man. All my dreams had come true.
Now I knew we were living in luxury. Villa Amrita had done it. It made me weak in the knees.
And that’s only a taste of the bend-over-backwards attentive service we received for 4 magical nights at Villa Amrita.
Take A Look Around
You have the option to rent 1, 2, or all 3 of Villa Amrita’s stand-alone luxury bedrooms, sleeping up to 6 adults in style. 2 bedrooms are adorned with king beds while the third has twin single beds. Each bedroom is super roomy and features a luxurious indoor/outdoor bathroom dressed up with fresh-cut red roses. Interior design is elegant and tasteful, drawing on Balinese influences combined with modern finishes.
Whether you take the whole villa or just one room, you can take full advantage of the villa’s 12-metre infinity pool overlooking a tropical valley, and shared living, dining, and kitchen area. The living and dining rooms provide a comfy atmosphere for watching movies, playing board games and video games, or having casual conversations with other guests or the villa’s staff.
We stayed at Villa Amrita with my teenage niece and nephew and hired all three rooms, meaning we had exclusive access to the villa and its private driver, butler, cook and cleaning staff.
Live Like A Kardashian
On our first day at Villa Amrita, my niece exclaimed in delight “I feel like a Kardashian!” and I’d have to agree considering the celebrity service we received.
We had a private driver, Made (pronounced Mah-deh), to take us wherever we wanted to go, whether that was simply dinner in Ubud or a full day out touring Bali. All he needed was 20 minutes notice via a WhatsApp message - definitely the easiest way I’ve found to get a group around Ubud’s narrow, winding roads.
We had private kitchen staff to make us breakfast each morning - they’ll also make lunches and dinners with enough notice and for a modest extra charge. Each evening, the staff asked us what we’d like for breakfast the following morning, and took note of our requests. Fresh yogurt, muesli, pancakes, omelettes and eggs awaited us the next morning, along with hand-squeezed fruit juice and piping-hot brewed tea and coffee.
We had a private butler (a different Made) to arrange anything we asked for. I was impressed with how effortlessly this guy delivered all of my requests. Nothing was too hard.
One day, I wanted my niece and nephew to try traditional Balinese food so asked the staff to make us dinner. When we got home from our day out, the dining table was decked out with dishes made from fresh, local ingredients like satay chicken, BBQ chicken, salads, spicy sauces, rice, and corn fritters. They even organised a side of French fries for my niece and nephew (their favourite food).
Another day, my wife wanted a massage so Made called a masseuse to the villa and set up a massage table outside our room. She received a relaxing hot stone massage to the sounds of birds softly chirping in the gentle jungle breeze.
Laundry? Not a problem. Consider it done.
You get the picture… you want, they do.
If that’s not a Kardashian lifestyle, I don’t know what is.
Explore Jungle Surroundings And Beyond
When I first booked Villa Amrita I was a little concerned about its location being a 15-20 minute drive north of Ubud, but the remote location turned out to be one of my favourite aspects of the villa.
Ubud is all about getting close to nature, and the exotic natural backdrop to the villa only adds to the charm – swaying palm trees, rice terrace views, water fountains, crickets chirping, frogs croaking and cute little lizards (called “chee chak”).
Reclining on the padded poolside lounge, embracing the all-encompassing natural beauty, my mind and soul were rejuvenated. Strolling along the stone paths, amongst perfectly landscaped gardens, life’s stresses just melted away.
At sunset, as we swam in the infinity pool, we spotted bright butterflies, dancing fireflies, and swooping fruit bats amongst the tall trees. In the distance, across the valley, we could hear soft rhythmic music from Balinese religious ceremonies.
Mornings were greeted by sounds from the surrounding Balinese village like crowing roosters and cows mooing. We watched local village life – farmers working in rice fields, children playing in puddles, and women carrying water on their heads from a nearby stream.
This is real Balinese life up close… combined with the comforts of a luxury villa.
Further afield there’s lots of walking and bike tracks to explore the area, like the stream in the valley below the villa or the local village which guests are welcome to discover. Staff can loan bikes and point out directions for walking trails. And located only 10 minutes’ drive northeast of the villa, is the world-renowned iconic Tegallalang Rice Terrace.
Several nearby restaurants offer delivery to the villa, which the staff were happy to arrange over the phone. One evening we had delicious Italian. Other evenings, Made picked us up and drove into Ubud for a plethora of dining options (try my favourite, Taco Casa!).
The Bottom Line
I dare say I felt more pampered than a Kardashian staying at Villa Amrita. The combination of the beautifully designed and decorated luxury villa, relaxing ambience and gracious staff, is a winning formula. Then on top of that, satisfying my oft-hidden gelato obsession late at night… just takes it over the top.
Now that I’ve felt what it’s like to be a celebrity, perhaps nothing will ever live up to this experience. In the meantime, while I ponder that… “where’s my bowl of red M&Ms?!”.