Monday, 16 July 2012

Swasti Eco Cottages, Ubud

Swasti Eco Cottages was the perfect base for our family in Ubud. For us, it became a haven of tranquility and wonder for children and parents alike. By day, it was quiet with many birds and butterflies visiting the abundant flowers. By night, bamboo lanterns lit our way along the path to our cottage - Damai, which means "peace".

Our home was a 100 year old teak "gladak" house with a cosy annex for the children and semi outdoor bathroom with rock shower. We all loved the white cotton mosquito nets - not really necessary though as it was the dry season.

Every day delicate flower offerings were left on our beds, verandah, and bathroom floor to make us smile and feel very loved. We all frequented the Swasti Spa - super relaxing massages and interesting choices for body scrubs (coffee, cacao, turmeric, seaweed, coconut, cinnamon etc)

My girls loved visiting the organic farm and checking to see if the rabbit (her urine is "caught" and used as natural insecticide) had given birth yet. They loved interacting with the ducks, sheep and goats (one gave birth while we were there, which was rather special).

Every morning we ate crepes and eggs for breakfast in Swasti Eco Restaurant. Seated on cushions overlooking the tropical garden and lotus pond, while someone else prepared tea, was my idea of heaven. 85% of the food in the restaurant is grown onsite and every bite just tasted so alive and fresh. For snacks, we tried quite a few of the ice creams too - my favorite was Swasti Special (home grown mint, coconut, lime and honey sorbet - wow).

We had a fun night at the Swasti Traditional Balinese Banquet - from carved piggy coconuts to steamed chicken parcels, everything was presented on natural materials - banana leaf plates, dipping bowls, bamboo straws, and we ate with our fingers too. 8 talented young girls from the local school performed Legong dances and then all the staff invited us all to dance the night away. Lots of laughing and a great way for kids to discover Balinese dance.

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