|Posted by Bidadari Villas Ubud Bali on June 18, 2012 at 2:15 AM|
From: Belinda Sheppard <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jun 2012 12:45:54 +1000
Subject: MAMMA, MICHELLE AND BELINDA'S HOLIDAY AT BIDADARI
HiRana, I would be happy if youwould be able to pass on the below email to the owners and thank them in personwhen you see them next for our experience at Bidadari.
Our experience at Bidadari
Fromthe moment we stepped off the plane, we were welcomed with a capturing, smilingface – Rana.
Ranaimmediately took us under his wing as though we were his long lostchildren. We felt safe.
Thewhole time we have been at Bidadari I have felt like an Angel. Rana has anatural rapport about him which made me feel at ease and always safe. Rana’s staff are always attentive, happy and warming.
One ofthe phrases we love about our four days at Bidadari and the village is thattime is elastic, Balinese time is very flexible as is the Balineseculture. If only we Australians could take light from that and share thisway of thinking, if even just a little more than we do.
A fewof the little things that made our experience memorable is having flowersplaced on the driveway every day, having the staff come and greet us every timewe go to town and every time we return. Being involved with the staffmeeting and having the pleasure of being able to produce Employee of the monthwith his award. Flowers being placed in sweet little places while we areout, the leaf on the bed at night wishing us a good night. The littletreats of food left for us when we least expect it. The staff being withus whenever we went out to the village. Being able to choose when to gointo town and when to be collected. Water being replenished at no cost tous but most of all the time that Rana and his staff spend with us, knowing theperfect time to arrive and the perfect time to leave us to our own devices.
Now todescribe our experience with Rana and Bidadari is virtually impossible aswords, photos, descriptions cannot replace the feelings and the visual aspectsof our stay. This is unfortunate as I can understand that you would betrying to get Bidadari well known as a luxury villa and experience to enableBidadari to be constantly booked and prosperous.
Thetrouble is that when I was looking for a place to stay with Mamma and Michelle,I did not know that I was looking for the experience we had at Bidadari. I thought, when I was booking, that I was looking for a beautiful Villa, in themiddle of a forest with a pool. That was about it. I think a lot ofpeople when looking for their holiday accommodation don’t know exactly what itis that they are wanting and, or, needing to make their break special.
Thatis what is so special about Rana. He has a skill where he can read thepeople who are visiting Bidadari and make the choice of how they need to betreated. For some, it will be complete exclusion and privacy, for others,it will be a learning experience and for others it will be a pamperingexperience and so on. Rana is very good at providing a warmth thatenables the visitor to just come straight out and say what they feel, knowingthat Rana will understand and be flexible. Rana and his staff are thereto make this the best experience you can ever have and he is very good at that.
I havenever said thank you so much and genuinely meant it .
I havenever smiled so much and genuinely felt that flutter in my heart.
I havenever heard the words “your welcome” and known that it is a true – always.
Oh,now the guided walk with Mangku (Rana could you please give Mangku my emailaddress and ask him to email me so I can send him some photos – thank you) …this is something that was exceptional. Mangku is the local priest who isa man of all trades. He lives in the village with his family and thevillagers know him and are always happy to see him. The previous day Ranawent and brought some new shoes to join us on our walk through thevillage. We were very lucky to have stayed at Bidadari for long enough tofit this in, I feel it is essential to completely understand the villageand it can greatly benefit your stay at Bidadari.
Mangkucarried some cool towels and water for us which was a blessing. It is allthese little things that make Bidadari special, Rana thinking of little specialofferings, without us having to ask. Mangku introduced us to the localsand explained everything from the culture to the natural surroundings along theway. We were taken into a home and had explained to us, the design of thebuildings.
Wewere taken to a rice producing area where we were shown how the rice was driedand treated for eating. We were taken through vast countryside andcontinued along a river. We took many photos and learnt somuch. We had fun lifting heavy coconuts and felt exhausted but refreshedupon our return.
Thebest part of the whole walk was we were taken into the school where we met theschool children and the teachers. We were shown artwork and had theeducational system explained to us. We video taped the children (on myphone – i-phone which Rana should have so he can take lots of photos) and theygathered around and watched themselves on our phones. We watched theirinnocence as they played in the playground and always, always smiled. Wemet Mangku’s children, we looked into the deep happy eyes of all the childrenand understood how lucky we were to have such an interaction.
Thatafternoon Rana arranged for us to have sarongs and bands around ourwaist. We were taken into the village and we walked with the processiontowards the temple. The friendly faces of some of the villagers made usfeel so comfortable and spiritual. We went into the temple and watchedthe praying. We played and spoke with the children and with our newfamily and friends. To be able to be given an opportunity like this wasrare and inspiring.
On oursecond last night we had Ayam Betutu, a special Balinese whole duck smoked inrice husks for eight hours, which Rana had arranged for us. This nightwas extremely fun. Rana came down to join us as did the otherstaff. We chatted and danced, Arik is a very good dancer, we laughed andate and then Michelle surprised everyone by jumping into the pool – fullyclothed!. The laughter filled the trees. I cannot remember a timein my life that I have ever had so much fun and felt so at ease with my sisterand Mamma. There is something about Bidadari that helps us feel more at easewith each other.
On ourlast night Rana arranged for a surprise evening. This is one of thethings we love about Bidadari so much is that if you can let go of your normallife and leave your days and nights in the hands of Rana, you are sure to be happilysurprised.
Thelast night of our stay was the Village Ceremony. Some of the staffvisited the ceremony. We were going to visit however we came back fromtown a little late and being involved in the procession the night before was avery special memory in itself. We had a few drinks upstairs in our livingroom and could hear gentle but busy noises downstairs. We peeked over thebalcony and Arik and ….. were spreading candles all over the gardens and aroundthe pool, they knew that we all love candles so much, and tables were being setup. Large orange cones where placed on some tables made of flowers andlocal produce.
Wethen saw a friend of Arik’s arrive with two instruments. That is one ofthe feelings we love about Bidadari is that all of the villagers feel likefriends to us that we did not know we had.
Thestaff set up the instruments that were something we have never seenbefore. We then heard some tapping of the instruments and the magicalmusic began. We came downstairs to find the whole outdoor dining area andpool area decorated just the way we like it. Each candle had a flowerbeside it and the candles were vastly spread around the Villa. The musicplaying was soothing and yet at the same time uplifting. The boys at alltimes had beautiful smiles in their faces.
We satand had our drinks around the table and watched the music being played. As we all love to be involved with our new friends and experience theexperiences they do, Michelle sat down and also tried to play some music, notquite as peaceful as the boys however different which made us all giggle.
Ranacame down to the Villa and was dressed so elegantly as were all thestaff. The effort they had put in to make our night special wasimpressive. Rana looked like a prince and the staff were very proud intheir clothing. The looked stunning. We certainly felt like we weresurrounded by beauty, not just the scenery but our new family.
Beautyis a word that gets used too much, and I could sit here and try to come up withother descriptions about our unforgettable experience but beauty is still adescription that is right to use.
Thestaff arrived and bought out our soups, Sop Gedang. We had a seafood soupas Michelle is vegetarian. The taste was light and fresh. We thenwatched a procession of food be brought by Chef and staff and placed on thetables with the flower decorations. It was like a buffet although withthe crispness and cleanliness of Bali style.
Wewere invited to serve ourselves which we did and then all the staff also gottheir plates and we shared the most wonderful evening of eating, laughing,understanding, learning and happiness with each other. We sat on theground like our family and I attempted to eat with my fingers as do theBalinese. It was a fun experience.
Mamma,Michelle and I all feel very special to our new family as they are to us.
Afterwe had all eaten and it was cleaned up we were brought the invoice for ourstay. We were very surprised to understand that this night, which wasunbelievably special was at no cost to us. We are not the wealthiest ofpeople who come to visit Rana and Bidadari, so this gift to us wasunexpected and happily received.
We arenot sure why we have a special bond to Rana and his staff however feel blessedfor the experience we have had over the last four days. For me, they havebeen life changing, which seems like a cliché for people that come to visitBali however I have seen nothing else of Bali and will endeavour to hold on tothe values I have learnt from Rana, the Balinese culture, our villagers, ourstaff and the experience.
I amwriting this on the morning of our departure. I slept like a babylast night, feeling like I was wrapped in my mother’s arms however it wasnot my mother wrapping herself around me, it was Rana, our whole new family andBidadari.
Note: This was written on the morning of our first departure, the service after ourdeparture is far more extraordinary.
Whenwe arrived in Seminyak we were so disappointed (to say the least) abouteverything but most of all our lodgings. Being in a foreign country wehad no idea who to turn to other than our Balinese Family. Within a veryshort time Rana had arranged for us to be able to be returned to Bidadari thefollowing morning. We felt so relieved and happy. For Rana to comeand collect us on a Sunday was a call well beyond his duty. At no timewas he bothered by the inconvenience, he was just happy and warming to us. When we returned to our home, Bidadari, we were welcomed (again) by our family– the staff of Bidadari.
Ranaand the staff arranged for us to have outfits made for the ceremony that night,Michelle, Mamma and myself were blown away by the ceremony. We truly feelpart of the village and the people of the village.
We allthought that our visit to Bali would be a “one off” however thanks to Rana andthe Bidadari staff we can say with confidence, we will all be returning toBali, however straight to Bidadari and not venturing any further than Ubud.
Thankyou … again!
Love Belinda Sheppard (Bel)