This Airbnb in Rizal will take you on a Bali-inspired getaway
MANILA, Philippines – Bringing Bali vibes… to Rizal! Balai Urunjing, an industrial Balinese pool villa nestled along Teresa, Rizal, makes Airbnb guests feel like they’re vacationing in Indonesia’s famous tropical paradise, yet just a short drive from Metro Manila.
Check out Balai Urunjing’s Airbnb page and the photos already do justice to this humble haven – it looks like it’s straight out of a travel magazine! The Tropical Villa is beautifully designed, both inside and out, and the front yard infinity pool is easily the main attraction once you step inside.
The 373 m² grounds are well maintained and clean, and the warm, modern lighting at night further accentuates the minimalist and comfortable atmosphere of the whole.
The drive is a bit far from the city proper, averaging 1-1.5 hours if coming from Katipunan Avenue/Quezon City. You will be driving on some long and winding mountainous roads and will have to travel some side streets with your car to get to the villa. But it’s worth it!
The Balinese villa is located along a side street in a cul-de-sac, so it’s kind of isolated from the main town, but you still have neighbors, so it’s not totally noise-free or private. Balai Urunjing’s gates are high enough to provide some privacy, but you will still be able to see some parts of the adjacent structures. But once the gates are closed, you will immediately feel at home for a night!
Welcome to my home
Balai Urunjing offers an open parking space for two cars near the patio, right next to the pool and through a small, lush patio with two outdoor tables that seat four, an outdoor shower and a comfort room. You can even request a grill for what are my nights with the group!
The gorgeous infinity pool is made of natural green sukabumi stones from Indonesia and is easily one of the main highlights of the stay. I wasn’t sure if it was a heated pool, but the water was warm enough to relax in the afternoon. It also comes with a wall fountain and a lounge bubble pool that almost looks like a jacuzzi, perfect for late nights. kwentuhans or even poolside drinks.
The swimming pool can be admired from inside the villa, as the bedroom and living room are fitted with floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors for unobstructed views of the outdoors.
The windows also open directly onto the gray patio by the pool, which offers a great view in the morning. The bedroom windows have curtains, but the living room windows do not, so expect the morning sun and heat, especially since the living room does not have an air conditioner.
The villa sleeps up to four people comfortably, and possibly two more if they don’t mind sleeping on the living room sofa and on the floor.
The living room is simple and furnished according to its industrial-tropical vision – concrete surfaces mixed with wooden elements and locally inspired tropical decor, such as a beautiful fig tree and a banish carpet.
It’s a comfortable and relaxing place that offers the basic amenities for a stay, like a 55″ HDTV that comes with Netflix and HBO Go, fast WiFi, towels, linens, hot water, a bidet and a gracious SuperHost available nearby for any concerns or questions. . The villa also comes with two CRs – one in the living room and one in the bedroom.
The living room shares the villa’s functional kitchenette, which has almost everything you need for meals – a rice cooker, fridge, freezer, air fryer, microwave, electric kettle and microwave. cool and easy to use sophisticated induction cooker, plus an exhaust. However, counter space for food preparation is a bit limited, as most appliances sit on the counter.
The cabinets also come with good quality pots and pans, utensils, crockery, cups, mugs, cooking utensils and even salt and pepper. It wasn’t complicated at all to cook dinner – I managed to make chicken parmigiana for two, with mashed potatoes and lemon garlic green beans.
Cleaning is also not a problem; cleaning products and sponges are provided.
Meals are on the concrete slab/bar stool next to the resort, which has a nice view of the lush tropical plants out back. There is also a display of wines, spirits and liqueurs that customers can consume on request.
The air-conditioned bedroom is modest in size, with a queen-size bed, four pillows, and a blanket provided (the blanket itself was a little thin, so if you get cold easily, I suggest you bring your own).
As for the furniture, it’s more basic — it comes with just two nightstands and an artistic piece of wooden hanging art as the room’s ceiling lights. The room opens to the closet and sink, and leads to the CR, which has both the toilet and the rain shower in one room.
The bedroom can accommodate two more guest mattresses on the floor upon request.
Just a warning, especially if you are sensitive to morning light – there are parts of the ceiling height windows which are not covered by the curtains, so the room will be quite flooded with morning sunlight. Best to bring your sleeping masks, just in case!
Everything is clean, organized and well thought out. For the reasonable price of P6,429 a night, this is a great out-of-town destination (which feels like out-of-the-country!) for a fun private getaway with family or friends.
The humble origins of Balai Urujing
You’ll notice that Balai Urunjing is well-maintained, clean, and even appears untouched – its upside is that it’s relatively new, as it only finished construction in March 2022 after starting in June 2021. Since March, the place was almost completely -booked every day.
You might also ask yourself: why a Balinese villa in the remote area of Rizal? This Airbnb was actually a personal wish of a Filipino family, who every Good Friday would go to Visita Iglesia with their eight grandchildren and then check into a resort with a private pool as a Holy Week tradition. But since the pandemic, travel has stopped.
The mother of Balai Urunjing’s current owner, Michael Sto. Tomas, thought of building a swimming pool on the land in front of their house, which was originally a truck garage converted into a garden with a kubo. She had already contacted someone to build the pool without a named engineer or architect, but Michael disagreed. He also wanted a swimming pool, but it had to have a house and a design in mind.
Early in the design process, it was just a small house where Michael, his wife, and young son would live, so they could live right next to Michael’s parents. But when Michael’s father died during the pandemic, Michael’s family decided to keep his mother company and instead lived with her.
“Since no one would be staying at Le Balai anymore, we decided to list it on Airbnb and surprisingly we received warm, positive compliments and they all loved the Bali vibe,” Michael told Rappler.
It was named Balai Urunjing after Michael’s late father, Roel Sto. Tomas, who was known to many and by the nickname of Urunjing. “The unused land that houses Balai Urunjing used to be his garden and his kubo where he still sits, waters the plants and sweeps up the fallen leaves,” Michael said.
Michael initially wanted an industrial-themed house and pool, but the architect suggested incorporating a Balinese theme to make it warm, cozy and welcoming. If completely industrial with only concrete and steel, the villa might look too “manly” – hence wood was added to soften the features.
The design process started from scratch – planning the layout involved avoiding 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 the sukabumi green stones for swimming pool imported from Indonesia through a distributor supplier in the Philippines (Kaufman Stone) – all within a budget.
It’s no surprise that Balai Urunjing’s current stellar rating on Airbnb is 4.92 stars! To see the place for yourself, you can book a stay through the website. – Rappler.com