The twin three-storey pavilions of Villa Atas Awan tower 15 metres above the surrounding tropical forests and verdant farmlands - which are already some 600 metres above sea level - so their names, meaning 'above' (Atas) and 'Clouds' (Awan) are very appropriately chosen. Their commanding height means that Bali's distant central mountain range is clearly visible from every floor. However, it is the third-storey master bedroom crowning each pavilion that has the enviable 360-degree panorama.
Both pavilions have been reconstructed around century-old wooden Javanese joglos, their original, distinctive roofs forming the master bedroom ceilings and their walls becoming the outer walls of the second-storey bedrooms. The lounge and dining areas on each of the ground floors are completely open. A large H-shaped swimming pool is wedged between the two pavilions and a wooden walkway bridges the watery gap. With high ceilings, rich dark teak woods throughout and large open spaces, Villa Atas Awan exudes a laid-back vibe.
The two brothers who own the property cheerfully admit that they built it to be a hidden sanctuary 'in the middle of nowhere'. It is idyllically isolated - a charming 30-minute drive down narrow meandering lanes teeming with local activity from Ubud, Bali's creative heart. This is a perfect destination for those seeking creative inspiration, or for those who want to be awed by a sense of space and wrapped in nature.
Housekeeping, laundry and catering are ably handled by the villa staff. Most of the team live in the adjacent village, so their brand of simple Balinese hospitality is more genuine (tho' perhaps less polished) than the version usually found in the busier tourist areas. And it is this refreshing service that allows guests at Villa Atas Awan to experience a taste of Bali in its purest and most natural form.