Chef and author, Janet DeNeefe, met her very own Ketut on the second day of her holiday to Bali in 1984. She had planned to learn more about Balinese food and culture during her stay, but instead she and Ketut Suardana started a life together in Ubud, filled with lots of love, good food and great drinks.
The pair opened their first two rooms to holidaymakers in 1987 but their vision didn’t really take off until after Janet and Ketut got married two years later. Janet was so happy after their marriage ceremony that she felt every day was like being on honeymoon. They started referring to their business as the Honeymoon Guesthouse and the name stuck.
Janet and Ketut initially ran a restaurant on busy Monkey Forest Road, but they were soon drawn to the tranquillity of their current location, attracted by the ability to offer guests a complete Balinese experience in the one place – from accommodation and dining to yoga, spa treatments and cooking classes.
Honeymoon Guesthouse now has 40 Balinese-style guest rooms surrounded by lush, tropical gardens. The rooms are spacious and light with typical Balinese features, including ornately carved four-poster beds. In the morning, you can wander down to the studio for a relaxed yoga session that focuses on spirituality and wisdom.
There is an on-site eatery for guests, as well as the ever-popular Honeymoon Bakery next door. Janet and Ketut aim to use local produce wherever possible, with all their meat, vegetables, herbs and spices coming from either local suppliers or the Ubud market.
Start your day at the bakery, and choose from a selection of home-made pastries and breads baked fresh every morning. A favourite among guestsis the home-baked cinnamon rolls – perfectly matched with freshly brewed Indonesian coffee. For a local breakfast, try the traditional Balinese chicken rice porridge or black rice pudding.
On the other hand, Casa Luna offers a wide range of menu options with a selection of Balinese and Western dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you only go to Casa Luna once, make it a Sunday. In the morning, there’s a bountiful brunch on offer, including freshly baked donuts to eat in or take away. The evening brings with it a rotating selection of world-class jazz singers. Sit back and listen to local musicians with a glass of wine from local, Australian or Chilean vineyards. Casa Luna also offers up a selection of exotic cocktails, perfectly suited to Bali’s warm weather.
During your stay, book into a spa treatment or a cooking class – Janet runs the cooking school, which focuses on sharing the important role food plays in Balinese culture as well as teaching you how to create delicious meals.
If you would rather sit back and relax, why not indulge in one of the many spa treatments available on-site. Choose from Swedish or aromatherapy massages or go all out with the Balinese Boreh Spice Ritual and finish with a soothing frangipani bath.
For a complete and authentic Balinese experience, you can’t go past Honeymoon Guesthouse.