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Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Dua-Tanjung Benoa » Puri Tirta - Villa Selamanya
Villa Selamanya, (meaning ‘forever’ in Indonesian), is most definitely sited on the latter. The sound of water slowly escaping from crab holes on a sun-parched sand-flat gives way six hours later to the gentle lapping of the almost-still harbour waters at the front of the property, offering sunsets, mangroves and peaceful solitude. Ahh the serenity! One of an enclave of four villas, Selamanya itself is very comfortable with a nice sense of place. It is simple really, not ostentatious but humble enough to let the setting be the star. White walls and natural wood, stones and tasteful décor set the scene around a 17-metre swimming pool that takes in the whole expanse of Benoa Bay to the west. And then there are the sunsets… Human nature being what it is, not everyone is content to sit back with a book or three and chase a suntan. In this regard Villa Selamanya couldn’t be more versatile.
Sited within a quiet corner of Tanjung Benoa – Bali’s watersport playground – there are activities galore to suit every level of adrenaline addiction; from a gentle glass-bottom-boat cruise over the reef or a round of golf on a championship course, right up to getting high on a parachute dragged behind a speedboat. Fine food aficionados will also have the world on a plate courtesy of the area’s five-star resort kitchens – some of the best on the island. This plethora of options (and the complimentary seven-seater villa car to deliver you to them) means that Selamanya is great for groups of friends or a family holiday.
The villa is staffed by a discreet team that will prepare breakfast and then leave you to your own devices yet appear within a moment if summoned. A chef can be hired at extra cost for a night in, concluded with movies on the home theatre system. All things to all people, Villa Selamanya is a place where, once you have arrived, you will want to stay ‘forever’.
Selamanya is tucked away at the bottom left hand corner of a finger-like peninsula, 900m from the main road. It’s a nice walk, however, through a traditional village along a narrow paved street lined with food stalls and the usual local shops and amenities. Immediately to the front of the Puri Tirta villa complex (which also includes Villas Alamanda, Cantik, Cempaka and Sunset) are small mud-sand beaches, mangroves and the shallow waters of Benoa Bay. At low tide it is possible to go for long walks over the sand flats up to the tip of the peninsula where there are a number of five star resorts and restaurants. You will also find numerous watersport operators offering a whole host of adrenaline-soaked activities, fishing trips and excursions to the nearby islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Buy your tickets at one of the many concession stands on the main road for some decent discounts.
About Nusa Dua-Tanjung Benoa
Situated on the eastern side of Bali’s Bukit Peninsular, the island’s southernmost landmass, Nusa Dua presents a ribbon-wrapped package, complemented by an air of gentility and order. An enormous split gate of carved stone marks the entrance to this tourist enclave of wide paved lanes and manicured gardens, white-sand beaches, restaurants, a shopping mall, a conference centre and one the island’s most popular golf courses – The Bali Golf and Country Club – to support its five-star resorts. The enclave is guarded by the twin islets of Nusa Dua – the name literally means ‘two islands’ – connected to the coast by two temple-topped sand spits. A six-kilometre seafront promenade links the beaches and is perfect for early morning strolls or bicycle rides. A notable attraction in the area is the Pasifika Museum which showcases artwork from Bali, Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. Most restaurants in Nusa Dua are hotel-based. In contrast, the neighbouring cape of Tanjung Benoa presents history, colour and a busy vibe. This slender, five-kilometre-long peninsula, juts into the bay north of Nusa Dua, pointing like a finger towards Benoa Harbour. The village of Benoa, on the tip of this peninsula, was once a bustling trading port, and many Chinese and Bugis descendants of these traders still live in the area. The backstreets are a rabbit warren of alleys pocketed with small shops, Balinese temples crafted from carved limestone, a mosque, an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple and a traditional open-air market, while the beach is home to water sports operators and many restaurants, including the upmarket Bumbu Bali, serving Balinese cusine. A major, Japanese-funded, beach restoration project at Tanjung Benoa has resulted in the construction of a series of attractive, crescent-shaped, stone piers, complete with open-sided gazebos capped with red-tiled roofs.
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: 7.90
Villa Selamanya is a beautifully serene place and we enjoyed a real mix of (gentle) adventure and relaxation during our stay. After watching the sunset over the horizon from the waterfront pool we enjoyed trying out the local restaurants (Japanese and Italian - both pretty damn fine) and one morning we took the villa’s kayaks out for a long leisurely paddle around the harbour and through the mangroves filled with birdlife and fish. On a low tide the estuary empties out and the exposed sand-flats bring wading birds and locals out in search of seafood. It’s a great place to explore. We often saw the kids from the neighbouring villa out and about on the sand-flats with their parents chasing crabs and other marine critters, so the location’s obviously a winner with families.
For a change of pace, just head a kilometre up the road in the villa car and you are in watersports heaven. Ask the villa manager about the discount deal Selamanya has with one of the local companies – he can also arrange anything from island tours to deep sea fishing trips.
But it wasn’t all ‘busy, busy’. Truth be told, for most of the day we simply sprawled out on the sun loungers or in the shade of the balé bengong and swam in the pool, it just couldn’t have been any better.
All in all, versatility is key here.
Sleeping Capacity: 6
Selamanya is approached via a walled pathway with the teaser of the sea at the end. As you enter the garden and pool area, via a colourful Balinese door, the wide open view of the bay will greet you like a room full of people jumping out and yelling “surprise!”
The villa is a single building with one bedroom upstairs and two downstairs on either side of the main living room and kitchen. French doors open all the way along the front of the living room, allowing the breeze to flow through and make the air conditioning an unnecessary luxury. Comfortable sofas set around a coffee table take in the views and also make a great TV viewing spot with a 40-inch flat-screen and a home cinema set up. A fully equipped kitchenette is positioned just behind, as is another set of French doors that retract to show off a small fish pond and waterwall. To the right is the second bedroom with queen-sized bed while to the left is a twin-bedded room. Both mirror each other in size and facilities which include air conditioning and ceiling fans, ensuite bathrooms with bidet, indoor and outdoor showers, bathtubs and single wash basins. Both rooms also have sliding doors, which open to a small stone terrace and straight out to the pool area and the views.
Up a flight of stairs from the living room is the air conditioned master bedroom with its own balcony offering even more impressive views. The ensuite bathroom is similarly outfitted to those downstairs but with the addition of a bathtub under the sky. All rooms are adorned with paintings inspired by the local maritime community.
Outside, four sun loungers laze along one side of the 17m pool, which is slightly T-shaped with a Buddha statue at the sea end and a cold-water jacuzzi off to the left facing the view. A shingle-roofed balé bengong relaxation pavilion sits to the right of the pool and overlooks the water while opposite is an open-sided dining pavilion furnished with a table for eight and flanked by a waterwall.