AMAZING AND LIFE CHANGING!
My family recently got back from an eight night stay at Villa Katana and by the second night we were already planning our return. Everything about Villa Katana –the architecture, the grounds, the location, the staff, the owner, the air itself – was extraordinary and when combined together with Bali magic made for an incredible family vacation that we will never forget. We stayed in beautiful resort hotels in Nusa Dua (the Laguna) and Ubud (Alaya) on our trip, and Villa Katana was a more incredible experience in every way.
I am trying to find a way to describe how beautiful and special the property is and am having trouble finding the right superlatives. The architecture and décor are outstanding and designed with incredible attention to detail – the entire property is a work of art. Everywhere you look there is something beautiful and original. From the furnishings to the incredible high ceilings to the windows and doors, every aspect of the structures is creative, original and inspiring.
The three separate sleeping areas are each very spacious, unique and very comfortable, with comfortable beds and lovely linens. All of the bathrooms are beautiful, large and immaculate. There are expansive grounds with a gorgeous pool that has a water slide, waterfall, and secret “grotto”, lovely grassy areas, and lots of couches, loungers and tables for relaxing and dining. The location is incredibly private, with views of the ocean and mountains from every direction. There is something about the siting of the property that the breezes are better than they are right at the beach. We spent whole days around the fabulous pool, gardens and living spaces, enjoying the air and views, while the kids had a fantastic time jumping in and out of the pool, sliding on the water slide and playing with the local frogs. At first we made ourselves leave the Villa to explore the area, but finally we just gave in and realized that we really just wanted to spend all our time there.
The location of the property is fantastic. It is up a steep driveway which gives it wonderful views, privacy and breezes, but it is a very short walk (or scooter ride) to local restaurants, beaches, sail boat and snorkel rentals and the local mini market. We walked to the Arya Hotel for lunch one day and to another local place, Taman Bebek Hita, for dinner. Both were very good and very affordable. The Arya dining room is right on the beach and especially lovely -- I highly recommend it. The fast boat to Gilli Islands is close by if you want to try that experience while in the area -- we decided to stay at the Villa rather than go to Gilli.
It is hard to say too much about the staff at the Villa – they are incredible and by the end of our stay we definitely felt like we had made true friends in Bali. Wayan Dolly manages the cleaning and cooking staff, which includes his wife. He gave us scooter rides to and from restaurants when we did not feel like walking and took us on a memorable visit to his village, which is a short car ride away. If you have a chance you should ask him to take you there. Made Rata and his wife Ilu live just outside the Villa’s main grounds with their young son and take care of the grounds and animals (which include Shuto the monkey, Leo the cat, Toby the bird and Geisha the dog, all of whom add to the fun of staying at the Villa). They are lovely and warm and speak English very well. Made Rata also does private driving, and he took us on driving trips to and from Ubud, which included stopping at a great rafting trip, rice paddies and a temple in Klunkung. Made Sani is the general manager. She also provides driving services and picked us up from Sanur and took us to Nusa Dua when we left, stopping at interesting sites along the way. I highly recommend the "bat" cave temple and the Tirtagangaa Water Palace, which are on the drive and really amazing. Made Sane drove us around the Amed area wherever we needed to go, including to Wayan's village. She owns a lovely restaurant nearby, Waenies, where we dined several nights and watched the incredible sunset from her hilltop restaurant. Between Made Rata and Made Sani, you can have transportation wherever and whenever you want it. There are also scooters available for guest use, but we did not use them. We spent a lot of time chatting with the staff and became close friends. The last night of our stay Made Rata and Ilu made us an incredible feast for dinner as a goodbye gift– they have both worked in professional kitchens and are great cooks. We had fish sates, nasi goring, sweet and sour pork, homemade sambals, homemade spring rolls, and green beans with fresh coconut – it was our best meal in Bali. We all ate together in the lovely outdoor dining area. Everyone from Wayan to Made Sani was incredibly kind, friendly and warm – just listing what they did for us can’t convey how close we became over the week. We paid Made Sani and Made Rata standard local rates for the long drives -- about $50.00 U.S. Dollars, and tipped the whole staff at the end for everything they did for us.
The staff comes every morning to make breakfast and clean the rooms and grounds. The breakfasts were delicious – beautiful fruit plates, great coffee, perfect eggs and toast made to order, and amazing banana pancakes. They set a lovely table and keep the place immaculate. They also did all of our laundry to our exact specifications. They will make you breakfast whenever is convenient for you.
The owner of Villa Katana, Leslie, an American, really cares about her guests and does everything she can to make sure your visit is exceptional. She loves her staff and treats them like family and makes sure they treat you like a family friend as well. She is readily accessible by e-mail and will make sure everything you want or need is taken care of.
If you need a driver while you are in Bali, I highly recommend either Made Rata or Made Sani. They both speak English very well, have lovely cars and are great to be around. They provided all of our driving around Bali. Made Sani picked us up from Sanur and took us to Nusa Dua from Katana Villa, drove us back and forth to her restaurant and to Wayan’s village, and drove us to a great local snorkeling beach. Made Rata was our driver between Katana and Ubud, and took us to a great rafting place and some other sightseeing spots along the way. Their contact information is as follows:
Made Rata: email@example.com
Made Sane: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t say enough about our stay in Villa Katana. Visiting there is like visiting close friends who happen to have a spectacular villa property in Bali. The only negative was that it had to end.
There is a saying that you can be homesick for a place you've never been, and I realized that was true the moment I entered the enchanted Katana Villa. The photos show a storybook come to life, but wait--it's even better. The amazing staff make you feel like you've just met family for the first time. Made met us at the airport and served as our main guide to Bali. Wayan greeted us each morning with coffee (how did he know?) and brought Toby the parrot in to perch nearby. Geisha the dog made us feel safe and gave great affection; Leo the cat always announced his presence and Suta the monkey was the only entertainment we needed. The rest of the staff was friendly and kind.
Leslie was warm and gracious from the very first email. Finding her photos of family and friends adorning each bedroom made us feel her lovely presence despite the fact that she was in California when we were in Bali. Only a beautiful soul could have designed such a warm, beautiful and magical place and I hope to meet her someday.
This trip was with my two twenty-something daughters. Another young woman joined us for the first four days and Made was with us for every excursion. I am SO glad we chose Amed --there is an authentic, local feel that you won't find in the main tourist towns. Most of all, I am grateful that my daughters and I were unanimous in choosing Katana. We haven't yet been gone a week, yet I am homesick already.
Beautiful, unique design. Attentive staff, and a welcoming atmosphere made this a luxurious and relaxing stay. I'm not used to being pampered so well. It may seem like there's not as much going on on this side of the island compared to Kuta/Denpasar. We found several great restaurants and snorkeling spots very close to Katana Villa. It was nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of the big towns.
My husband and I spent our 1 year anniversary/honeymoon at Katana Villa in April, it was PHENOMENAL. We loved every little detail of the villa - from the amazing staff (We miss Wayan and the girls, and especially Made, Iluh and Noah) to the awesome decor and tranquility of the property.
Every morning Wayan, Komang and Iluh Dolle would make us breakfast while we looked out over the gorgeous pool and enjoyed the peaceful waterfall. We'd swim in the late morning or take the scooter to a nearby bay for some snorkeling and come back in time for Made Sani's staff to stop by and see if we wanted to buy lunch. We truly didn't even have to leave the villa if we didn't want to!
Made and Iluh really made us feel at home with their wonderful smiles and very well spoken English. It was an absolute delight to get to know their family throughout our stay. We feel like we made lifelong friends! They brought the monkey, Shuto, in for a visit on a few occasions and let us watch him swim and eat and groom the cat (what an odd couple the monkey and the cat!). Speaking of the cat...Leo would greet us with a boisterous "meow-by" every morning while we ate breakfast and it would make us laugh every single day. The dog, Geisha, is one of the happiest dogs I've ever met. And she keeps an eye on the property so you know you are well looked after. Having these happy, wonderfully cared for animals around really made the villa stand out to me. I had never experienced something like that before.
The water slide into the pool was a ton of fun and we really enjoyed counting the frogs in the rocks every morning. (If they get too noisy, you can ask Wayan or Made to move them, but we really enjoyed having them around and they didn't make much noise during our trip.) We were in the pool every single day of our stay- it was so nice!
We would love love LOVE to come back to Katana Villa in the next couple of years and bring our 3 children. They would have such a fantastic time! This place is perfect for a romantic getaway, a trip with family, or a trip with friends. We cannot wait until our next stay at this amazing villa!
It was fantastic working with Leslie for our reservation. She answered my 8 million questions (I'd never been to Bali!) and was always very friendly and excited for us to be going to Katana Villa. She put us in touch with Made Sani who picked us up at our hotel in Kuta and drove us to Katana Villa. Made Sani was very knowledgeable about the area and pointed out a few interesting things for us along the drive.
We had Made Rata drive us around Amed and to a few snorkeling locations thorughout our stay and we enjoyed talking with him so much that we asked him to take us back to Kuta on our return trip. Everyone was so amazing and they were such wonderful people to work with!
I have so much more to say about our amazing time in Amed, but you really need to take a look yourself. Every day was a relaxing adventure - and I didn't even know that was possible! We can't wait to go back.
Wow, Katana Villa was my favorite place that I stayed while in Bali. The decor of the place is so unique and it seems they thought of every tiny detail when designing it.
Leslie, the owner, was prompt and warm in her responses and provided all the information I needed.
The people who work at Katana Villa (Made Sani, Wayan) are equally warm and helpful.
- The bathroom was so unique. There in a large tub, a shower that comes down over a beautiful statue, and Sandalwood soaps.
- The bedroom is huge and the bed is so comfortable. The room opens up to a balcony that overlooks the pool and beyond that a beautiful view.
- Breakfast was delicious - fresh fruit, coffee, eggs, toast. It was so peaceful to sit in the kitchen area.
-The place feels luxurious while still homelike and that you're part of nature rather than staying indoors away from it. And in Bali, that was what I was looking for.
- The area of Amed is beautiful. It feels less touristy than the other parts of Bali I had visited in the same trip (Ubud, Jimbaran, Ulu Watu). I went for a long walk one morning along the coastline and that was one of my favorite mornings on my trip. There is snorkeling, diving, or you can just sit on the beach and take in how beautiful it is. For just a 4 hour drive from Ubud, I am so glad that I came out to Amed and spent time there.
- I was looking for a few days of relaxation and this was my first time traveling solo - Katana was the perfect place to stay. I hope to return one day with friends/family!! If you have the chance to stay here, definitely book it.
Thank you so much Leslie!!
I red a lot of reviews before my trip in June 2013. And there was no one even with rating 4, only 5. So, yes, Katana has its own magic.
However, possibly this villa is not your type of, if:
1. You are afraid of insects and animals (bats, lizards,frogs, etc.).
2. You are addicted to 5 stars hotels, nevertheless service was excellent
Now few tips:
1. Beach - we didn't like the nearby beach (just few minutes walking), so ask Wayan and he'll explain the road to the good one or deliver you. Keep in mind, that beach chairs and umbrellas for fee
2. Fishing - possibly, we're not lucky, but fishing with local fisherman was not too exciting
3. Snorkeling - there are few good snorkeling places not far from villa. Better to have your own gear.
4. Breakfast - was perfect
5. Lunch and Dinner. You can ask to serve both on villa or there are few outside places. The nearest one is just on the beach
6. Insects - periodically check your luggage. we found ants in it and spent an hour to rid of. Ask for repellent
7. Blackout - we had it once. Thanks to Wayan, he arrived quickly and fixed the issues.
P.S. I would like to say thank you for all Katana villa staff. All of them were extremely helpful. Special thanks to Wayan.
Katana Villa was a little slice of heaven. The attention to detail that was put into the architectural design is amazing. We ventured out in the evening to see the sunset and explore the area a bit but other than that we spent our time at the villa. There is really no reason to leave the peace and tranquility that Katana offers. The staff were wonderful and took great care in making sure we had everything we needed. I loved the privacy we had and having the whole pool and grounds to ourselves. I hope to make it back to Bali again in the future and when I do Katana Villa will be a must on my itinerary.