Casa Raja

Penestan, Ubud

Casa Raja is a pretty awesome Ubud family pad with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large semi-outdoor living space and kitchen. It has oodles of space for kids to frolic and can accommodate 5 guests. The garden is incredibly spacious by Ubud standards and there is a trampoline, a bamboo fort and swing and the pool has a metal barrier (which is more of a deterrent than a secure fence) .

5/5 with 46 review on Airbnb

(at the time of writing the post)

From approx $187 +AUD per night (low season)

(at the time of writing this post, i.e., prices can change, so check the Airbnb page)

Best for

Casa Raja looks ideal for one family with little kids, ideally preschoolers to school kids.

Why it rocks for families

Casa Raja has lots to offer families with little kids who are Ubud bound!. It's owned by Sabina and her globe-trotting family (which includes 2 young kids). They have renovated it and decked it out with their own family in mind. So, your little tykes can play with their toys, jump on their trampoline, play in the UV filtered pool and clamber about on their bamboo fort just for starters. The extensive gardens and lawn that surround the house look ideal for kiddy frolicking (& very rare in Ubud). I think the veggie gardens and fruit trees just add to this “family-friendly” package. I can just imagine my two active boys of 3 and 6 absolutely loving this pad.

Sabina also raves about her cook’s scrumptious meals, so why not eat at the house a few times and let your kids play. If you want to head out there several places to eat a short walk away. In the neighbourhood Sabina recommends Bayu’s Kitchen and Alchemy.

The layout

Casa Raja has 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Like many villas in Bali has an open kitchen and living area to the garden and the bedrooms are off the living space. So you can't close up the living space to the outside, if you want and obviously there is no option of aircon in the living space if it's super hot.

The master bedroom is connected to the kid's room by an internal door between the rooms which is good if you have little kids. I'm told the kids room is fairly small and has 2 doors, one to the open living area (which can be locked) and the other which links it to the main bedroom.

The master bedroom is massive and has aircon, a queen bed and day bed. The kid's bedroom has a wooden bunk bed with a queen on the bottom, a twin bed on top. A friend who stayed there said the top bunk was secure although she was slightly concerned about the gap where kids climb up because her kids are big wrigglers in their sleep. She stuffed a few pillows at the top of the ladder and it wasn't an issue.

The kid’s bathroom has a bathtub/shower combo and a littlies sized sink.

Stuff for kids

  • Sliding pool fence/barrier (with issues - see need to know)

  • Pool toys and floaties

  • Cot can be arranged on request

  • Car seat available (double check)

  • Baby-sitting from their trusted nanny (recommended by Sabina)

  • Bamboo fort & swings

  • Trampoline (with safety mesh)

  • Toys, books and bunk bed

The neighbourhood

Casa Raja is located in the artist’s village of Penestanan, just outside Ubud, surrounded by rice fields, a few cafes, local warungs, galleries, spas and charming guesthouses. It is less than 5 minutes in a taxi to the centre of Ubud. It costs 50,000 Rupiah to get to and from the centre of Ubud.

Other important stuff

  • Daily house-keeping and well-equipped kitchen

  • Aircon in master bedroom

  • Daily breakfast and meals/cooking service available

  • Close to warungs

  • In-house massage can be arranged

  • Wifi (fast reliable)

  • Safe drinking water.

Need to know

A word of caution about the pool fence/barrier system that Casa Raja. It wouldn't pass the muster in countries like Australia in terms of safety standards. I'm told by a friend who has stayed there that when you pull out the fence to cover the entrances to the pool that kids can still get access to the pool in a gap behind the couch. If I had a little kid who couldn't swim, it would make me think twice about staying here. So have a good look at the photos and ask Sabina if you have any concerns.

Casa Raja is located near the end of a long path which is big enough for scooters and some golf buggy that other villas use for their guests. So, it's a bit of a hike to get to the road if you want to get a taxi to Ubud and a walk back at night with no proper lighting.

There is no aircon in the kid's room/second room, only in the master bedroom so you will need to leave the door open between the master bedroom room and the kid's room/second room to allow the aircon to flow into the second bedroom which isn't necessarily that effective.

If you have a wandering toddler this may also be an issue because there isn't a fence around the property to keep little explorers in, and potentially others out (in terms of security). But there is a security guard at the entrance who is there at night.

There is no TV which may or may not be an issue for you.

Quotes from guests

The staff are all so lovely and really made our stay. We used both the nanny and cook almost full time. Purnama's meals were always delicious and healthy. Jero was amazing with our three kids, spending hours on the trampoline, playing legos and working on art projects with them.

WISH LIST REVIEW, i.e., I haven't stayed here, but I have interviewed my friend at length who stayed here in September 2016 with her 2 young kids after I suggested this place to them. So, she was able to personally suss it out for me. And, I've done my homework and read all of the reviews (there are quite a few), looked at all the websites etc. I have been in email contact with Sabina and found a few other independent reviews on the villa. I’m not getting any freebies or paid to write about this villa or any others. If I have got anything wrong, please let me know. I want the information on Growing up Troppo to be as accurate and honest as possible. If you have stayed here and have any insights, both the good and the not so good, please get in touch.

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