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Indonesia » Bali » Seseh-Tanah Lot » Ombak Laut - an elite haven
Not all villas are created equal, and within moments of entering Villa Ombak Laut it’s clear that this is one that stands out from the crowd. With uninterrupted ocean views across glistening black sands and a rocky outcrop baring a revered sea temple; rolling tropical gardens featuring two dazzling swimming pools, an immaculate tennis court; a romantic sunset balé; spacious, comfortable living and sleeping pavilions, and five-star service including an in-house chef – this six-bedroom villa will simply take your breath away. Poised above the beach near the delightful village of Cemagi on Bali’s south-west coast, this striking villa luxuriates over one hectare to create a private retreat perfect for families and groups seeking a peaceful and relaxing holiday. Blessed with incredible sunsets, views over neighbouring rice terraces, the hypnotic sounds of crashing waves and glimpses of traditional village life, Villa Ombak Laut is indeed something special, and a place you will never forget.
At the front of Ombak Laut’s beautiful sloping lawns, stone steps lead down to the black volcanic sands of Cemagi beach and a small sea temple that appears to grow out of the wave-lashed rocky outcrop supporting it. Apart from the beach (which is beautiful to look at but not safe for swimming) and a handful of other private villas clustered at the end of this winding coast road there is nothing within walking distance of the villa. But a short bike ride away, along quiet rice-field lined roads, is the charming, unspoiled village of Cemagi. Nirwana Bali Golf Course, Tanah Lot sea temple and the village of Seseh are within ten minutes’ drive of the villa.
About Seseh-Tanah Lot
A few kilometres to the north west of Canggu, a towering banyan—one of the ‘elders’ of the tree kingdom—heralds the turning to Seseh, a traditional beachside village approached via an avenue of coconut palms.
Seseh and the tiny neighbouring villages of Sogsogan and Cemagi still retain the customs and culture of old Bali. Here, you will see farmers in conical hats riding rusty old upright bicycles, as well as frequent, colourful processions to Seseh’s large beachside temple. There are no international restaurants here, but you might just see a barong (a high-spirited, benevolent beast representing the power of good; danced by two men inside an ornate costume) dancing on the street. The good news, for folks who want to immerse themselves in the customs and culture of old Bali, is that the villagers encourage and welcome congenial visitors. Although there are now many private rental villas in these three villages, they have seamlessly integrated without detracting from the simplicity and charm of the location. This is an ideal destination for those who want to get lost in the beauty of the countryside, and for those who want to engage with the local people and gain privileged insights into the Balinese Hindu lifestyle.
A little further up the coast is Tanah Lot, famous for its dramatic and venerated sea temple, which is perched on a craggy wave-lashed rock at the edge of the glistening black shoreline. It is probably the most photographed sight in Bali, especially in the late afternoon when its splendid profile is silhouetted against the setting sun. The Tanah Lot locale is also home to a number of private villas due to presence of the 18-hole, 72-par, championship-standard Nirwana Bali Golf Club, which is frequently voted the number one golf course in Asia. This is, however, still a far-flung area with few facilities other than the souvenir stalls and simple eateries within the temple grounds, and three international restaurants within Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort.
Bali is Indonesia’s most popular tourist location and is considered one of Asia's premier tropical island destinations. Steeped in history and renowned for its artistic way of life, Bali is a peaceful contrast to some of the more frantic destinations Asia has to offer.
The inner peace and creative talents of the Balinese has attracted artists the world over fascinated by local dancers, silversmiths, wood carvers, potters and painters that seem to pervade throughout the island. The abundant verdant fields and surrounding sea have long supplied Bali with an easy surplus of food leaving time for life’s more artistic past times. As a result everything in Bali has a creative and religious element centred around the local Banjar (residents association) – little, adorned temples are everywhere, doors are covered in intricate carvings, huge kites ward off evil spirits and colourful roadside ceremonies bring traffic to a standstill.
Bali is a popular destination principally from Australia and Asia but also from all over Europe. The island welcomes thousands of visitors each year to a relaxing lifestyle, stunning beaches, world class surf, vibrant villages, and spectacular scenery all with an exquisite tropical climate. Located approximately two hours’ flying time from Singapore the island is serviced by an international airport at Denpasar with direct flights to and from many major cities in Asia, Europe and Australia and many more via Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.
The island offers an impressive range of leisure and lifestyle amenities including world-class golf courses, wonderful seascapes for surfing, diving and snorkelling as well as luxurious spas, chic boutiques, tropical forests, towering volcanoes and international cuisine.
Our review Overall Rating: 8.50
We arrived at Ombak Laut at night and, after being warmly welcomed at the villa gateway, were led across the romantically lit gardens to the even more romantic Gladak guesthouse. It was too dark to see the ocean but we could certainly hear it, and were soon lulled to sleep by the rhythmic waves.
Exploring the villa and its grounds next morning was a delight. The Gladak house itself is unique and charming; a rustic country cottage – Javanese style. Standing on its broad wrap-around veranda, views are of terraces of green rice-fields, an antique wooden balé overlooking the villa’s second, tear-drop shaped pool, and an immaculate tennis court. Up in the living pavilion a tray of coffee had already been thoughtfully provided – just what was needed before an early morning walk along Cemagi beach. Ladies in colourful sarongs were setting out their offerings on the sands or carrying them up to the village temple right next door to the villa. The sun was shining, a light breeze was blowing and it was all so perfect we had to pinch ourselves to make sure we weren’t dreaming.
But Ombak Laut has more to offer than a perfect setting. Having been a much loved family holiday home for years, it caters to all ages and interests; kids, teenagers and athletes have bikes, tennis, billiards, swimming and table tennis to keep them happy, and there’s a good selection of music and movies too. All the bedrooms apart from the master are at ground level, so the villa is also suitable for elderly or stair-shy friends and family.
We were only too happy to leave the rest of the world behind and immerse ourselves in this idyllic setting (although a complimentary driver and car are available for eight hours a day should you wish to explore). The staff are lovely, the food – especially the barbecued lamb and rock lobster – is delicious and it seemed a crime not to spend every possible moment absorbing those views. At the end of a lazy day, we wandered up to the balé perched on a grassy slope just above the beach and raised our glasses to our good fortune and to a spectacular Bali sunset.
QM, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
Vadim T, Russia Overall Rating: 1.00
Troy M, Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
Stanley L, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Lester Q, Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
Rishabh M, Hong Kong Overall Rating: 1.00
Chris T, Australia Overall Rating: 1.00
Pierreq H, Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
Stephan C, Thailand Overall Rating: 1.00
David B, Hong Kong Overall Rating: 1.00
Deborah W, Australia Overall Rating: 1.00
Wei H, United Kingdom Overall Rating: 1.00
Margaret V, United Kingdom Overall Rating: 1.00
Grahame W, Singapore Overall Rating: 8.30
April P, Indonesia Overall Rating: 9.20
Kim H, Hong Kong Overall Rating: 9.80
Christina A, Australia Overall Rating: 7.60
Lynne Hayward, Australia Overall Rating: 9.00
Karen Beck, Australia Overall Rating: 9.10
Cathy R, Australia Overall Rating: 9.80
Tjokro T, Overall Rating: 7.90
KS, Australia Overall Rating: 8.90
Sleeping Capacity: 22
Flowing through Villa Ombak Laut’s glorious garden is a series of traditional, thatch-roofed pavilions. Uppermost is a two-storey building housing a pair of guest rooms below an air conditioned games and music room equipped with billiard table, 43-inch satellite TV with CD/DVD player and iPod connection, and a grand piano for musical soirees. Soft sofas provide the seating and windows on all sides provide glorious views.
All of Ombak Laut’s bedrooms are ensuite, air conditioned and offer the option of ceiling fans. The two guest bedrooms below the games room are ideal for children and/or grandparents. Entered through sliding glass doors, they are furnished with twin beds (four-postered in one room) and decorated with colourful modern art. Trundle beds accommodate extras and garden bathrooms are fitted with tubs and standing showers.
Two symmetrical guestroom pavilions lie on either side of a stepping-stone pathway, each with daybeds and wicker chairs on their garden terraces. Inside, four-poster king-size beds are dressed in crisp linen. Charming garden bathrooms with ochre walls are equipped with tubs and showers.
To the right of the living pavilion is the two-storey master suite. The bedroom, with its comfortably furnished ocean-view balcony, is upstairs and boasts a king-size four-poster bed. A door, mid-landing, leads into a vast garden bathroom where a jacuzzi tub lies below a thatched-roof. A rain shower and covered vanity area complete this sumptuous ensuite. Below the master bedroom is a cosy study with 27-inch TV, comfortable sofa seating and shelves full of games, DVDs, CDs and books.
The tropical-style, open-sided living pavilion faces the pool and ocean. Two sofas and a daybed surround a large coffee table while side tables and chairs provide intimate settings for card games or a quiet read. The 18m pool is flanked by turquoise-cushioned loungers and sunshades. Adjacent to the living pavilion, the elegant dining room has folding glass doors on four sides and is furnished with a table for 12. Ocean-side of the dining room is an outdoor table for ten, while the well-equipped kitchen lies to the back.
On the far side of the grounds lies the tennis court and the glorious Gladak guesthouse with its wide veranda and delightful private pool and balé pavilion. This vast room is furnished with a queen-size four-poster bed, a daybed (which could sleep an extra child), sofa, desk and chairs. The rustic, all-wood ensuite bathroom is equipped with a large tub and a wood-walled shower.