Cover image by Stonehouse Bali
A peek inside a dream luxury home and true Balinese hospitality.
Some of my favorite travel memories are all connected to my experiences with the locals. We’ve gone on a motorcycle cruise around the rural neighborhoods in Vietnam, and stayed and shared a meal in a humble family home in Trinidad, Cuba. Staying at Stonehouse Bali isn’t quite an off-beat experience; quite the opposite in fact. But it has become one of our favorite family travel experiences as we got a glimpse of what it would be like to build a dream home, a sanctuary for our family and friends. That’s the experience that Stonehouse Bali provide every guests – it invites you to their home leaving you with memories to treasure forever.
Stonehouse Bali is a family-friendly luxury boutique hotel located in a village on the outskirts of Ubud, and only a 10-minute drive to the centre of town. American furniture designer Walker Zabriskie had a dream of opening a small hotel that was centered around beauty and creating a sense of community. Together with his Balinese friend, Nyoman Sukanata, they built Stonehouse Bali as an exclusive hideaway with a modern Balinese touch and grace.
And that’s the impression you get upon entering villa. After an hour and half drive to Ubud, we arrived at what looks like a private property protected by high stone walls and no signage of the hotel. We open the door and immediately felt like we’ve entered a sanctuary – natural sounds of the water, soft breeze, lush greenery that envelopes the hotel, and a very warm welcome by the owner’s dogs Lulu and Bella.
As we settled in and drank fresh coconut water at their communal living and dining area, we couldn’t help but admire how everything is beautifully designed and considered from the pool that boasts hand-cut stones right down to flower petals scattered at every step leading up to your room. There are three villas at the hotel, each has its own characteristics. We were lucky to be able to book the Java Suite, offering a Javanese Dutch colonial experience. The suite features a luxurious canopy bed, and three exquisite hand-painted wall panels as one of the highlight of the room. Perhaps my favorite is the massive ensuite bathroom complete with copper basin and a spacious outdoor ‘jungle shower’ (Naomi’s favorite part of the room).
Stonehouse Bali’s goal is to give every guest a true Balinese hospitality, and an opportunity to connect and spend some time with the amazing staff that gives the hotel its soul. They’re all kind, gracious, well-spoken, friendly, warm, and helpful. Restaurant reservations were made for us at their favorite restaurants, massage treatments can be arranged with their recommended therapist, and when they saw that Naomi drinks coconut water every morning and night, they made sure that her bottle was topped off and replenished without even having to ask for it.
What made this trip memorable was a simple moment one morning where all the guests where breakfast at the communal table. We exchanged stories from our Bali trip, and got to know each other while the staff whipped a breakfast feast in the open kitchen and Bella and Lulu were playing with the kids. It felt good, and it felt like home.
We left Stonehouse Bali feeling like we left our family members, but also with a renewed hope for the future, that one day, we can build our own dream home too, and invite our family and friends over for a feast.
Catch more of our Bali trip on my Instagram stories.
Your photography is extremely amazing. Love this blog post!