Puri Ganesha Villas

Pemuteran & North, Indonesia Book from US$450

Extraordinary, laid-back luxury hideaway: just 4 large beachside villas with eclectic décor, private pools, fab organic food and a charismatic host
You go against the grain when you stay at Puri Ganesha. For a start it's situated on the island's unspoilt north coast. A stunning drive across the mountains takes you far from the hordes. Its 4 large villas are set back a stone's throw from the calm sea in the sleepy village of Pemuteran. Each is enchantingly styled thanks to English owner Diana von Cranach. Bold and eccentric she may be, but it's her imagination and originality that makes this place such a one off: each villa is a home filled with carefully chosen pieces from her many travels.

You'll have your own smiling staff (who also make great babysitters), private pool and grounds, and the restaurant's delicious organic food is some of the best on the island. The extent of Diana’s vitality stretches from arranging shopping trips on nearby Java or special yoga and detox weeks, to picking guests up by Harley from the airport. Late night stories of spirits, lost loves, and past lives won't keep you awake due to the deep sense of peace created in this magical place. This is one of our favourites.

Highs

  • One of our all-time favourites: peace and seclusion of your own private villa, pool and gardens far away from bustling crowds
  • Tons of space - huge master bedrooms, vast outdoor bathrooms and your own decent-sized pool (you get twice the space of a 5 star resort for about half the price)
  • Decor unlike anything else on Bali - Diana refers to it as shabby-chic - creates sublimely restful and unpretentious atmosphere
  • Delicious organic food served in your villa or the informal restaurant; and innovative healthy eating holidays
  • The phenomenon that is Diana von Cranach - tour de force, bon raconteur. Her tales of spirits, previous lives and Egyptology are only the tip of the iceberg

Lows

  • Not much nightlife as few tourists come to these parts
  • The beach has black volcanic sand that leads to exposed reef so to swim you'll need to walk further up shore
  • Don't expect power showers and flat screen TVs - think imaginative rustic chic and low-key luxury rather than swanky glitz
  • Passers-by occasionally stray into the grounds but are soon seen off by Diana's dalmatian dogs
  • There aren't any restaurants nearby, but you wouldn't want to eat out anyway

Best time to go

Any time of year. Bali's wet season runs from November to March, but the North Coast is much drier and when it rains it tends to be in short but heavy bursts which makes for a more lush landscape at this time of year. Bali is busiest in June and July, Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year.

Our top tips

Most people stay for at least 3 nights, but we'd recommend staying for a week or longer to unwind, enjoy the relaxing villa surroundings and go on some of Diana's great excursions.

Great for...

Honeymoon
Beach
Family
Foodie
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel and Villas
  • 4
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

There are just 4 large 2-storey Balinese style thatched villas, each with 1, 2 or 3 bedrooms, very spacious dining and living areas, and a kitchen. Each is set in an acre of garden fronting the seashore with an antique beachfront rice barn; sit here to relax, meditate or just gaze out and watch the evening fishermen try their luck across the coral reefs. You also get 2 discreet and smiley staff, its own pool and an open-air pavilion where you can dine in private should you wish.

Diana, an interior designer, has furnished the villas with items collected from her travels. Think uncluttered authentic chic with intricately carved wooden doors, white linen drapes held back with silk ties, antique day beds and four-poster beds, colourful batik cushions (her own design), bathroom sinks made of giant clamshells, trinkets and emblems of an elephant theme. All this magically produces a stylish yet lived-in atmosphere, you feel as if you have returned to visit an old haunt. Standard features include mosquito nets, air conditioning, iPod docks and huge open air bathrooms - beautiful.

Villa Senyum and Villa Sepi both have 2 bedrooms - one master bedroom with attached shower room upstairs and an additional double/twin bedroom downstairs with outdoor bathroom. Villa Senyum can sleep an additional 2 people on extra beds in the living area. Villa Senang (sleeps 6) follows a very similar setup with an upstairs master bedroom and 2 twin/double bedrooms downstairs. Villa Santai (sleeps 2) is the honeymoon villa and is the most private; picture elegant black and white checks, gold and silver threads, dark red, black and cream ikats from the east of the island.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Butler + maid service
  • Cd player
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Ipod dock
  • Mosquito net
  • Oven
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Wifi internet
  • Wifi internet

Eating

You may be staying in your own villa, but there's no need for tiresome self-catering. The only time we ventured into our kitchen was to grab a cold drink from the fridge. Food at Puri Ganesha is simple but seriously delicious and very reasonably priced compared to the other hotels we checked out in Bali. Diana serves only fish and poultry (no red meat), and uses organic local produce. They can also cater for all kinds of dietary needs, such as raw, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan and even nightshade-free. Water comes from the nearby springs of Sanggalngit.

Breakfast (included) is served whenever you want - the table in your open air pavilion is set up with fruit salad and fresh coffee. Staff ask the night before if you want anything special: we chose banana pancakes, watermelon juice and soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers.

Don't miss out on lunch - Diana's salads are legendary. Our Nicoise salad made with fresh tuna, washed down with a glass of chilled white wine and served poolside was exceptional. A few hours later we were offered fresh ginger tea from an elephant tea pot and indulgent lemon crumble cake.

Dinner can be served in the privacy of your villa but we preferred to wander over to the intimate and convivial open-air restaurant in the main house. If you wish to socialise with Diana and the other guests, here is the place to do it. There is a small but carefully chosen selection of dishes on offer (the menu changes daily) along with a few good wines and some lethal cocktails. We tried the chilled gazpacho (Bali style), aromatic Thai green chicken curry, giant prawns steamed in banana leaves, and swordfish with pesto on garlic mash - all utterly delicious. We also loved the vanilla and orange crème brûlée.

Features include:

  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Communal dining
  • Cooking classes
  • Food and wine
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • In house cook
  • Oven
  • Restaurant
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Do nothing but enjoy your pool and private villa grounds
  • Take part in a foodie trip: guests can join Diana and Gusti on jaunts to the local markets or head up to spice farms in the mountains to see turmeric, vanilla and cloves growing. Then return to watch Diana cooking.
  • Have a massage and happy feet treatment in your villa, rice barn or their Sunyi Spa overlooking the sea
  • Go shopping - Diana is a professional shopper and organises personalised trips to nearby Java to scout out antiques
  • Whilst visiting Java, ask Diana to arrange a trip to visit the volcano. She can also arrange a number of special interest trips
  • Learn to cook Balinese dinner chez Diana's Balinese husband Gusti
  • For those who simply want to cleanse and rejuvenate, Diana also offers special detox diets and Live and Raw Food workshops. These provide a balance of gourmet living foods and a juice diet
  • Hire a boat to look for dolphins
  • Visit Menjangen Island via the local turtle sanctuary then enjoy its exceptional snorkelling and diving - one of very best spots in the world
  • Attend evening meditation at Melanting temple or one of the numerous village ceremonies
  • Horseback riding along the beach through the hills to the local villages

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cooking classes
  • Food and wine
  • Hiking
  • Horse-riding
  • Massage available
  • Sailing
  • Scuba diving
  • Scuba diving courses
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Well being

Kids

The privacy and intimacy of Puri Ganesha lends itself well for children: there are plenty of grounds and beach front to explore. Beyond the villas, boating trips, snorkelling and other trips will appeal to older children. We think it best suits those aged 4 and above.

There is no additional charge for children sharing with parents or for a baby cot to be put in the villa.

Best for:

Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Book whatever suits you best: a 2-bed villa sleeping 4 (Senyum or Sepi), a 3-bed villa sleeping 6 (Senang) or the honeymoon villa if you have a small child who can sleep in a cot (Santai).

Babysitting:

Complimentary babysitting is available.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Children's meals:

There’s a fab children’s menu with not a burger or French fry in sight. Order in the restaurant, have room service, in villa dining with a personal chef or eat out. The hotel doesn't serve any red meat, deep fried food, coke or similar.

Kids Activities on site:

  • Private pool
  • Gardens to run around in
  • If you ask really, really nicely, DVD players can be found (but it's not the kind of place where you'll want to stay in and watch films all day)

Kids Activities nearby:

  • The beach (the closest has black volcanic sand and a reef)
  • Snorkelling, swimming and diving
  • Spice garden tours
  • Volcano and rainforest tours
  • Boat trips to see dolphins

Families Should Know:

It's a long way from the airport unless you take the helicopter (25 mins) - but it's worth it! The pools are unfenced.

Distances:

  • Airport: 3.5 hours by car, 25 minutes by helicopter
  • Hospital: 3.5 hours by car (Denpasar)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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