On my trip to Bali in Jan 2022, I was fortunate enough to stay at some amazing properties. The Camaya is one of the most famous hotels in all of Bali. If you’re on Instagram and like to look at travel related things, It’s likely you’ve seen a video or photo of these absolutely incredible bamboo houses with their nets or flower filled pools.
The Camaya is the hotel that dreams are made of and if you’re looking for that picture perfect, ultra photogenic, and just pure rice terrace paradise bliss, look no further than the Camaya. I stayed two nights at the Camaya at their Suboya house (more on the different houses later).
This post will primarily feature lots and lots of photos because that’s honestly why most people come here. Gotta have those Instagram photos. Don’t worry, even the staff here know every perfect Instagram angle to get the best photos for yourself. It was actually quite funny to see.
The Location Of The Camaya
You might think Camaya is in Ubud due to its stunning setting in the middle of the rice paddies but you’d be wrong. The Camaya is located in the area of Selat, just north of Sideman. It’s a one hour drive from Ubud and 1.5 hours from the Canggu, Seminyak, Kuta areas. Sideman is one of the quietest and least developed parts of Bali. The area is known for its beautiful rice paddies that have been farming rice for thousands of years.
I came here with a scooter from Ubud which was an adventure but along the way is the famous Montana Cafe that offers stunning views of Mount Batur and delicious coffee to accompany it. As you drive towards Sideman, the rustic and traditional side of Bali really shines through. There are no big developments and no big hotels here.
You’ll pass through endless rice terraces that are mesmerizing to stare at. Before tourism, Bali was primarily an agricultural island with the majority of the people doing some sort of farm work. Nowadays, the economy is vastly centered around tourism but Sideman and the Selat area maintain the old school charm.
Booking a stay at the Camaya
I booked my stay at the Camaya using booking.com. I use booking.com quite frequently and the Genius discounts always give me a slightly better price than other services.
The Camaya is a luxury stay in all sense of the word. There are four bamboo houses in the Camaya and one Balinese style villa that range in price from $70 to $380 a night. As I came during COVID, the prices were drastically discounted due to the demand imbalance. I’m not going to lie and say that I didn’t enjoy being able to take advantage of this!
Checking into the Camaya
Upon arrival, I was greeted by two very friendly workers of the hotel. They welcomed me with a delicious fresh papaya juice and showed me around the property.
The Camaya really is a marvel to behold. It was a passion project between a German, Canadian and local Balinese person that envisioned making a beautiful traditional bamboo houses in such a remote part of Bali. Their architectural masterpieces have since caught the eyes of numerous travel magazines, influencers, and everything in between making it one of the IT spots to stay in Bali.
I was the only guest during my stay at the Camaya as I visited during COVID times. This meant I was able to check out all the different rooms that the Camaya has to offer.
Customer Service at the Camaya
This is not a traditional hotel stay so don’t expect a full army of people servicing you. There were two people on site at all times which was more than enough for my needs. There are no phones in the rooms. Instead, they provide a whatsapp number which the staff use to attend to your needs.
Whenever I wanted to order a beer, order my dinner, or even want a massage, I could simply message their number and receive a response. I really like this feature because there are no phones inside the houses (which of course makes sense).
The houses at the Camaya
Now on to the good stuff, the incredibly beautiful houses at the Camaya! The Camaya has four bamboo houses and one Balinese style villa (the smallest of the five).
Each room is completely unique in its design and decor with various “perks” and standalone features that the others don’t have. Every bamboo house is designed in the traditional style but with a modern interior. The houses all focus on an open design concept with dead on views of the rice fields in front of you. Each house is built from from materials sustainably sourced from Bali.
It was very cool to see how basic the materials used in the construction of the house were. Most of the house is completely built with bamboo (hence the bamboo houses). However, the houses feel like they are so luxurious and modern that there’s no way that it could only be bamboo. Of course, I can’t speak for the insides of the house but everything on the exterior is indeed bamboo. It’s just an architectural wonder how they got this to work.
The four bamboo houses at the Camaya are:
Suboya: The Original bamboo house first constructed in 2017. This house is famous for its net bed with wonderous views over the rice fields
Butterfly: The other equally as impressive house with a totally different design. It is known for its half crescent pool with the net beds on both sides. The Butterfly also has a beautiful open air movie room with a projector screen and a net bed as your seating area for watching your favorite movie.
Lotus: A smaller bamboo house located between the Pyramid and Butterfly house. The design of the Lotus is very unique with a sunken pool that is lower than the net bed which allows for some very beautiful shots.
Pyramid: Finally, the pyramid is a beautiful design with multiple levels including multiple net beds, the bedroom, and lounge space.
The Suboya House at the Camaya
The Suboya House is the OG Camaya house and was the built first. After endless hours of research, this is the house I decided to stay in. It is also the largest of the Camaya houses with two stories and an on site kitchen (the only house with one). The house can hold four people as each floor has its own bed. The first floor is equipped with a hammock, bar table, and a beautiful half moon hot tub with views of the rice terraces.
There is no door to this house (hence the open concept design) and the bed on the first floor is completely exposed to the elements. There is of course a mosquito net so you won’t be attacked at night but you’ll feel the breeze from outside at all times. Insects, birds, lizards, and everything else make up the night time soundtrack. If you get scared by bugs, then these houses might not be for you. However, there are not that many in comparison to other rustic accommodations I’ve stayed in.
The upstairs bedroom is fully enclosed. By fully enclosed, I mean you have bamboo doors that still have plenty of gap space in between. Both floors have a bathroom with a toilet with the bottom floor having a walk in shower that is surrounded by various flora (very cool).
The most famous thing at the Suboya is the 2nd story net bed that looks out over the rice fields. This is the ultimate Instagram photo session waiting to happen. Whether you’re a solo traveler or on a romantic honeymoon getaway, this net bed and the house a whole is just screaming to be photographed and posted onto Instagram.
Take it from various angles that suits your fancy but the best pictures are the ones with the amazing Mount Agung volcano in the background. On clear days, it’s easy to see this volcano and it just adds more dramatic scenery to the already beautiful rice fields.
However, as a guy, I will admit that having long blonde hair with a white dress will undoubtedly give you an unfair advantage to the Camaya Instagram game.
The Butterfly House at the Camaya
The Camaya Butterfly House is one of the more recent additions to Camaya Bali. With two beautifully designed bedrooms and a half-moon pool overlooking the rice paddies, it’s a really great option out of the Camaya Bali houses.
Why makes Butterfly House Special: Chances are you have seen Butterfly House’s AMAZING upstairs movie area on instagram, with a projector, fairy lights, a net bed, pillows, and bean bags. It’s one of the coolest movie setups I’ve ever seen. The main net bed (of which there are 2, which is also unique) here is also huge and surrounds the pool, and the architecture is really beautiful (like a butterfly, ha).
Pyramind House at the Camaya
The Pyramid House is another beautiful creation from the team at Camaya. As you can see from the name, it is shaped like a pyramid. There are multiple levels to this house of net beds, lounge areas, bedrooms and the likes. The net here is surrounded by artistic warm lighting that photographs extremely well at the dusk hour.
The Pyramid house is slightly smaller than the Butterly and the Suboya. The price is therefore cheaper as well.
Food at the Camaya
The Camaya is located deep into the rice fields away from most things. It’s part of the allure to be one with nature away from it all. This means that there are not many dining options nearby. Even local warungs are hard to come by in this area of the island.
The Camaya has an onsite restaurant with typical Indonesian as well as Western food on offer. It’s not a large menu but will have the basics to make sure you’re well fed.
The prices are quite reasonable for a villa of this caliber. Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng is 45k IDR and the most expensive dish, a chicken schnitzel (wtf?) is 69k IDR. YOu can also order fresh fruit juices for 25k to 30k IDR and Bintangs for 30k IDR. These prices are pretty comparable to an upscale warung and totally acceptable given there are not many options nearby.
I had the Nasi and Mie Goreng on numerous occasions. The food wasn’t the highlight of the stay unfortunately. I didn’t find the food to be particularly tasty especially compared to many of the other meals I’ve had in Bali.
The breakfast also leaves a bit to be desired. You can get local foods as well as Western style pancakes or scrambled eggs. Again, I was disappointed with the breakfast that’s included in the price.
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