Laid-back luxury on Bali.
Bali offers luxurious villas and adventurous tours to remote corners of the island.
Villa Lumbung / Lombok is based on a Sumatran rice barn design and houses one king-sized bed and its own full bathroom.
To swim in the bubbly waves of the Indian Ocean is always great if you are in the mood you should visit Pura Luhur, an 11th-century Hindu temple overrun with thieving monkeys. Filthy, sweaty and sunburnt, we return to our hotel at dusk. We are staying at the ultra-luxurious Alila Villas Uluwatu. There are four Alila properties in Bali, each offering guests “a total destination experience” – a chance to discover Bali. In front lies the ocean and behind towers Bali’s main 12,000 foot volcano, Mt. Agung, the ‘sacred mother of Bali.’ To the North over the terraced rice fields is the Seraya Mountain range whose cooling breezes blow in most nights. Thus the property is a 360 degree experience.
All villas come with the friendly staff of ten people: two cooks, three house caretakers, three gardeners and two night security men there all day to meet your every need, including cleaning, and a delicious breakfast provided in the price of the villas. Lunch and dinner can be arranged for an additional amount. They are all smiles and will climb the many cocoanut trees to give you some “ayer kalapa muda,” young cocoanut milk, or fresh-sqeezed orange juice, Bintang beer or sodas all day.
There are surf breaks nearby, the local break, Pura Delam, can generate waves from two-feet to double overhead depending on the season and the swells. You can see the break from the living room/dining room house to tell what the swell is doing. It’s a five minute drive away.
Perfect sunsets and sunrises.
There is snorkeling right out front for lobster and sea life observation and excellent diving all over the area including wreck diving in nearby Tabanan. Bali is a haven for all water sports.
The staff will pick you up at Denpensar Airport and drive you the 1 1/2 hours to Villa Campuan where your smiling staff will greet you warmly and show you to your rooms.
Villa Campuan can be rented in its entirety or by villa depending on the guests’ needs.
A ten-minute drive away is a often deserted white sand beach (Pasir Putih) about a half-mile long with lovely swimming and a few warungs serving fresh seafood and cold drinks right on the sand. Massages and crafts are also available.
The villas built from local rattan and recycled wood and clad in flat lava rocks, which absorb the heat and camouflage the villas. A screen door behind the bed opens up on to a private, planted courtyard with an outdoor rain shower which can also a night-time hangout for copulating frogs. Another screen door enables you to plop into your own plunge pool straight from the sofa. Outside, angular frangipani trees artfully shed their flowers on my sun lounger. There’s even a private cabana constructed of flat black lava slabs.
East Bali may be the last refuge of the true Balinese Culture where festivals, temple ceremonies, and rice farming abound as they have done for centuries. Women in sarongs carrying temple offerings on their heads along bamboo-lined back roads are sights that will linger in one’s mind long after you are back home. Many villages in the area are craft-oriented specializing in silver jewelry, weaving, ikat, fishing, and baskets, all ready to be explored.
Many local restaurants abound and both the luxurious Alila Hotel and Aman Kila Hotels are located within 45 minutes and have a number of fine, gourmet restaurants should you want a change of dining pace.
Most of all, Villa Campuan offers a chance at renewal, re-invigoration, romance, and recreation in uncommon amounts. Though the journey there may be long, upon arriving only the power of the destination will remain as you have successfully traveled into another world.
The locals call it Taman Bali /Garden of Eden), Bali is one of my favourite destinations and I will be back soon.