Manila, Philippines – It exudes a Bali vibe…in Rizal! Balai Urunjing, a Balinese industrial pool villa tucked away along Teresa, Rizal, allows Airbnb customers to feel like they’re vacationing in the famous Indonesian tropical paradise, yet just a short drive from Metro Manila.
Check out Balai Urunjing’s Airbnb page and photos actually check out this unassuming getaway – it looks straight out of a travel magazine! The tropical villa is beautifully designed, inside and out, and the infinity-edge pool in the front yard is easily the main attraction once you enter.
The plot is 373 sq.m., well maintained and clean, the warm and modern lighting at night further accentuates the simple and soothing feel of the whole place.
The drive is a bit far from town, averaging 1-1.5 hours if you’re coming from Katipunan Avenue/Quezon City. You will drive some long and winding mountain roads and you will have to move your car through a few side streets to reach the villa. But it is worth it!
The worn out villa is located along a side street in a cul-de-sac so it’s somehow isolated from the main city, but you still have neighbors so it’s not entirely noise-free or private. The gates of Balai Urunjing are tall enough to provide some privacy, but you’ll still be able to see some parts of the neighboring structures through them. But once the gates are closed, you will instantly feel like you own the place for a night!
Welcome to my bed
Balai Urunjing offers an open space for parking two cars by the patio, right by the pool and across a small leafy patio with two outdoor tables for four, an outdoor shower, and a cozy room. You can even order a grill for ihaw nights with the group!
Made of natural green Sukabumi stones from Indonesia, the gorgeous infinity pool is easily one of the main highlights of a stay. I wasn’t sure if the pool was heated, but the water was warm enough for an afternoon swim. It also comes with a wall fountain and bubble pool that’s an almost jacuzzi-like lounge, which is great late at night. for tuhans Or even drinks by the pool.
The pool can be enjoyed from inside the villa, where both the bedroom and the living area come with high-ceilinged sliding glass doors for a great view of the outside.
Windows also open directly onto the gray patio of the pool, giving a great view in the morning. The bedroom windows are decorated with curtains, but the living room is not, so expect sunlight and heat in the early morning, especially since the living room has no air-conditioning.
The villa can comfortably accommodate up to four guests, and maybe two more if they don’t mind sleeping on the living room sofa and on the floor.
The living area is simple and furnished according to its industrial, tropical vision – concrete countertops mixed with wood elements and locally inspired tropical décor, such as beautiful figs and a mat mat.
live the life
It’s a cool, comfortable place that offers basic amenities, like a 55-inch HDTV with Netflix and HBO Go, fast WiFi, towels, linens, hot water, a bidet, and a nice SuperHost available nearby for any concerns or questions. . The villa also has two commercial registers – one in the living room and one in the bedroom.
The living room shares the villa’s small working kitchen, which has just about everything you need for meals – rice cooker, fridge, freezer, air fryer, microwave, electric kettle, cool handy and cool induction hob, plus exhaust. However, the counter space for food preparations is a bit limited, since most of the appliances are placed on the counter.
The cabinets also come with cookware, utensils, utensils, cups, mugs, cookware, and even salt and pepper. Dinner wasn’t difficult at all – I was able to make chicken parmigiana for two, with a side of mashed potatoes and French beans with lemon and garlic.
Cleaning isn’t a problem either; Cleaning supplies and sponges are provided.
Dining is done on a concrete slab/bar chair next to the ref, which has a lovely window view of the lush tropical plants in the back. There is also a display rack of wines, spirits and liquors that guests can have on request.
The air conditioned bedroom is modest in size, with a queen size bed, four pillows and a blanket (the blanket itself was a little thin, so if you get cold easily, I suggest bringing it with you).
Furniture-wise, it’s more basic—it comes with just two nightstands and a piece of wood art hanging like the room’s ceiling lights. The room opens onto the closet and sink, and leads to the CR, which contains both the toilet and rain shower in one room.
The bedroom can accommodate 2 extra guest mattresses on the floor upon request.
Just an alert, especially if you’re sensitive to morning light – parts of the high-ceilinged windows are not covered by curtains, so the room will be completely flooded with morning sunlight. Better bring your own eye masks, just in case!
Everything is clean, organized and well thought out. At a reasonable price of 6,429 pesos per night, it’s a nice out of town (feel like out of country!) destination for a fun private vacation with family or friends.
Balai Urujing’s humble origins
You will notice that Balai Urunjing is well maintained, clean, and seemingly untouched – its advantage is that it is relatively new, with construction only finished in March 2022 after it started in June 2021. Since March, the place is fully functional – booked every day.
You may also be wondering: why a Bali villa in the Rizal hinterland? This Airbnb was actually a personal wish of a Filipino family, it was every good Friday they go to Visita Iglesia with all 8 grandchildren and then check in at the private pool resort as a tradition on Holy Week. But flights have been suspended since the pandemic.
The mother of Michael Stowe is the current owner of Balai Urunjing. Thomas, thought of building a swimming pool on a plot across their house, which was initially a truck garage converted into a garden with kubo. I actually called someone to build the pool without hiring an engineer or architect, but Michael didn’t agree. He wanted a swimming pool too, but had to have a home and design in mind.
While the design process was starting, it was only supposed to be a small house where Michael, his wife and young son would live, so they could live next door to Michael’s parents. But when Michael’s father died during the pandemic, Michael’s family decided to keep his mother company and live with her instead.
“Since no one stayed in Balai anymore, we decided to list him on Airbnb, and all of a sudden, we received warm and positive compliments and they all loved the vibe of Bali,” Michael told Rappler.
Balai Urunjing was named after Michael’s late father, Roel Sto. Thomas, who was known to many by the nickname Urunjing. “The idle land comprising Balai Urunjing was once his garden and kobo where he always sat, watered the plants, and brushed the fallen leaves,” Michael said.
Michael wanted an industrial-themed house and pool at first, but the architect suggested incorporating a Balinese theme to make it cozy, warm, and homely. If it was entirely industrial with only concrete and steel, the villa might come off too “potency” – so, wood was added to soften the features.
The design process started from scratch – the planning involved avoiding places where the sun shines and prioritizing the quality of the materials used – natural wood (tanguile) and natural stones (charcoal stone) for Balai, as well as green sukabumi pool stones imported from Indonesia through a distributor supplier In the Philippines (Kauffman Stone) – all within budget.
It’s no surprise that Balai Urunjing’s current star rating on Airbnb is 4.92 stars! To find out for yourself, you can book a stay via the website. – Rappler.com