There are countless endearingly sweet, locally run guesthouses in Ubud, but this one comes with a love story. It's also a nostalgic throwback to Ubud's yesteryear guesthouses, which figures, as this delightful property is one of Ubud's 1980s originals. Australian native, author, and entrepreneur (she has an Ubud culinary empire) Janet De Neefe spent her honeymoon here two decades ago with her Balinese husband. From a handful of original rooms, the couple has organically expanded the guesthouse to a 39-room hotel. In a nice twist, De Neefe's family resides here today.
A short stroll from the town center along a modest side street, Honeymoon Guesthouses showcase traditional Balinese communal living and design, the rooms constructed of weathered, moss-covered stone, and set in beautiful gardens of mature frangipani trees and bird-of-paradise flowers. A second Honeymoon Guesthouse opened opposite the original in 2007, adding more rooms, a highly acclaimed cooking school, and one of two yoga studios. This second compound aims to replicate the charm of the original 19-room guesthouse; arguably, the older property has a more authentic look and feel, but old and new generally adhere to a time-warp Balinese style, simple, with carved wood wall screens, cool marble floors, and ample stone patios. Don't expect any TVs or hi-tech paraphernalia; some rooms provide ceiling fans only, and children under 2 are not recommended. Accommodation choices cover intricately decorated, traditional-style pavilions, two-level Lumbung-style quarters, and more modern-looking Sawah Rooms with third-floor rice field views and air-conditioning.
Yummy breakfasts, served in the communal coffee shop, feature freshly baked pastries and breads direct from on-site Honeymoon Bakery, which has been operating since the beginning. Internationally run yoga retreats are hosted in low season; other sibling enterprises include the restaurant Casa Luna and the annual Ubud Writers and Readers Festival.