I stayed in a Bali tree house for under $35 per night, and it felt like a fairy-tale

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  • George Orwell
    English author and journalist
treehouse in bali
The views from my tree house were incredible. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider
  • I stayed at a magical tree house at The Lift in Ubud, Bali.

  • The experience cost me $27 for a one-night stay that also included breakfast.

  • The tree house I stayed in had a bedroom floor and a bathroom floor, plus a balcony and rooftop deck.

  • The experience was incredible and filled with gorgeous views, but it may not be best for those with a fear of heights.  

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

I've been working remotely in Bali for four months, and I decided to change up my scenery by staying in an upscale tree house.

In late October, I visited The Lift treetop hotel in Ubud, Bali. I paid $27 for a one-night stay through an ongoing discount on Airbnb, though a stay here can sometimes cost closer to $75 per night.

Read on to see how it went. 

The Lift is a luxurious treetop-style hotel that's most accessible by motorbike or foot

Located in Ubud, The Lift is about 2 1/2 miles from the famous Monkey Forest, a natural sanctuary in the center of Ubud that's home to over 500 Balinese long-tailed monkeys.

It's also located a few miles from the Yoga Barn retreat studio and Campuhan Ridge, an area known for its stunning nature trails.

To get to the hotel area, I took my motorbike because cars must be parked about half a mile away.

As soon as I walked up the staircase to my room, my fear of heights kicked in

The Stanley Kubrik House 2
I'd say the stairs are not for the faint of heart. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

When I first walked into the main hotel area, I immediately saw three 39-foot-tall houses.

Each had a traditional thatched roof and was named after a famous writer or director: the Ernest Hemingway house, the George Orwell house, and the Stanley Kubrik house

All of the houses on the property were fully occupied, which didn't surprise me because, prior to the ongoing global pandemic, guests who wanted to snag a stay here would often have to book it a year in advance.

I stayed at the George Orwell house, which had a bathroom on the first floor and a bedroom on the second. It also had a rooftop deck. 

The bedroom also led to an outdoor balcony with a view of the half-moon pool, benches, and an elevated yoga deck in the garden. 

The Lift lawn area
The Lift's lawn area had amazing views. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

My room had windows on all sides, which meant incredible views 

Walking up the spiral staircase to my room made me a little bit uneasy, especially since my only support was a steel railing. 

But once I got to the top, I was blown away.

My room had windows on all sides, which gave me 360-degree views of the property. For a portion of the trip, though, I kept my curtains closed so other guests couldn't see inside my room. 

My comfy bed at The George Orwell house.JPG
My bed was king-sized. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

My room had a king-sized bed, a minibar, a pour-over electric kettle, and different types of sockets for my electronics.

The sheets were soft, the Wi-Fi was fast, and the air conditioning kept my space nice and cool. 

The bathroom on the floor below also felt luxurious and spacious, like it was part of a five-star hotel. 

The George Orwell house luxurious bathroom.JPG
The house I stayed in had a nice bathroom. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

The bathroom had some basic toiletries, towels, plenty of storage space, and a portable fire extinguisher, which made me feel even safer. 

Staying in the tree house was a little nerve-wracking, but there were plenty of places on the ground where I could relax 

At one point during my stay, one of the staff members came upstairs while I was in my room and the whole space seemed to shake. I could feel each of his steps as he climbed up the stairs, which made me a little bit worried.

That experience definitely confirmed to me that this stay is definitely not for the faint of heart. 

Strategically placed hammock at The Lift.JPG
The hammock was one of my favorite spots to relax. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

Fortunately, the hotel has plenty of cozy spaces that are closer to the ground.

To kill time, I read a book in one of the many hammocks. 

Stairs to the lawn
I used the stairs to get to the lawn area. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

My stay also came with a free breakfast, which I had to pick up at the hotel's partnered restaurant about half a mile away.

Fortunately, I was also able to order food online. This was convenient because driving my motorbike or walking to the main road during the evening felt a little risky since the street lamps didn't light the area as much as I'd like.

I ended up ordering a popular Indonesian dish called nasi campur, which translates to "mixed rice." My nasi campur came with white rice, chicken satay, sauteed vegetables, fried tofu, and chili sauce.

One of the most challenging parts of my stay was getting around at night, but I loved the morning views

The Stanley Kubrik House
The house was pretty high off of the ground. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

The hotel is pretty immersed in nature, which came with some pros and cons.

Before going to bed, I found a gecko that had comfortably latched itself onto the ceiling of my room, which I thought was pretty cool. But there were also a lot of mosquitos, especially since my stay was during the rainy season in Bali that typically lasts from October to March or April.

Still, I slept like a baby after blasting the air conditioning and putting on plenty of mosquito repellent. 

One of the biggest hassles was going to the bathroom at night since I had to walk down the shaky metal stairs to get to the first floor. I also had to turn on my phone's flashlight to see my steps because it was pitch black outside. 

But in the morning, I was greeted by the forest, which was sparkling from the morning dew.

Since the hotel is in such a nature-filled area, I was also able to wake up to the sounds of birds chirping, which felt like a fairy-tale. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the isolated experience of my stay

I stayed at The George Orwell House
I stayed at The George Orwell house. Shabrina Koeswologito/Insider

Being immersed in Ubud's lush greenery instead of my laptop screen was a refreshing change. And I think this tree house would be a great place for anyone to de-stress. 

And overall, I think The Lift would be a cool place for anyone who loves nature or appreciates unique architecture. But it definitely may not be ideal for anyone who is seriously afraid of heights. 

Editor's Note: According to the CDC, travel to Indonesia is currently not advised due to high levels of COVID-19. Amid the ongoing global pandemic, there is a range of travel restrictions and guidelines in place in Indonesia that are constantly being updated. It is worth reviewing them before making any travel plans.

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