“Secluded hotel set amidst rice fields on Bali's dramatic south west coast - a quiet idyll for lovers (and grown up surfers)”
Set back from the pool, the 12 secluded traditional Balinese-style villas blend perfectly with the lush tropical gardens: the colours of the blossoms outside are echoed in shades of saffron, fuchsia and viridian inside.
Designed by the charming French owner, Dominique Guiet, they are simple, airy and comfortable and built entirely from natural materials such as volcanic stone, teak, coconut wood and unpolished marble. Reclaimed wooden doors leading to private gardens, antiques sourced from the islands of the Indonesian archipelago, masses of mirrors, whopping beds and stained glass accents bring together the old with the new. Huge bathrooms in the 7 Standard Villas (numbered 2-8) overflow into the garden for open-air showering.
There are 2 Suite Villas, each with 2 bedrooms; Suite Villa #1 has garden views, and is set furthest from the restaurant, pool and sea. It has the feel of a Balinese house rather than a holiday villa. The bedrooms and 2 roomy bathrooms are in the main, L-shaped villa, while across the stepping stones over the garden is a small kitchen, and, across another path, an alang-alang thatched dining pavilion where you can curl up with a book or a good friend. Ideal for families with older children is Suite Villa #9, which is the closest to the sea and has stunning views over the waves: the main bedroom is a cabin built on stilts. Inside, it’s designed to resemble a ship, with porthole mirrors and wraparound windows that let in the sounds of the crashing waves and give you a view, on a clear day, right the way over to Java. A second, cabin-style bedroom and 2 separate bathrooms are across the private garden, so beware: if you’re caught short in the night it will mean a dash over the lawn to the loo.
The most romantic options are the 2 Honeymoon Suites (number 9 and 10), perched on the top of the cliff. You can see the surf from your kingsize bed or enjoy the sunset from the Jacuzzi bathtub. It also features beautiful handmade teak furniture and a fully loaded iPod and sound system.
We’re yet to see the 3-Bedroom Villa, but it looks like a great option for large families and groups as it is set a short distance from the restaurant and pool, on a ridge, and has 3 double/twin ensuite bedrooms, a living and dining area, and a large terrace with a gorgeous-looking infinity pool.
Food is owner Dominique’s passion, and the chef, who has been with the hotel since it opened in 2002, works wonders with the tasty local ingredients: organic vegetables picked at the last minute from the garden, a plentiful supply of fresh seafood, home-made pastas and breads.
Breakfast at the restaurant, which overlooks a coconut grove, consists of fresh fruit juices: watermelon, banana, papaya, pineapple or orange, depending on what’s in season, followed by fruit pancakes or eggs cooked the way you like them, with bacon and toast.
During the day, eating arrangements are informal: turn up to the Naga restaurant (with ajoining lounge bar) or the pool bar for a beer, a cocktail or lunch. You’ll find an extensive and reasonably-priced menu of both French and Thai offerings. For starters try the somtam: young papaya with green beans, garlic and tomatoes, or the delicious Thai spring rolls with prawns, carrots, paprika and glass noodles, served with ginger and nam pla dips. For mains, there’s a huge range of veggie options that make good use of tempeh (fermented soy bean cake) and tofu, as well as delicious soups, grilled fish and Thai curries. Omnivores might choose the grilled whole snapper with a lemon butter sauce or the mahi-mahi served with a green pepper sauce. Perfect with a big bowl of home-cooked chips. Finish with a dessert of deep fried banana with grated coconut, palm sugar and home-made vanilla ice cream.
As well as the usual range of alcoholic cocktails, New World and local wines, local and imported spirits, drinks include yummy lassis and healthy teas made from herbs and spices that are said to purify the blood, wake up the circulation or cool the body.
Children of all ages are welcome, and under 7s are free of charge.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Babysitting can be arranged
Baby listening/monitors available on request
There are steep cliffs and the pool is unfenced plus there are steps around the property so young children need to be supervised at all times