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Indonesia » Bali » Seseh-Tanah Lot » Villa Semarapura - an elite haven
Villa Semarapura overlooks a magical sea temple crowning a dramatic outcrop of black volcanic rock on Bali’s south-west coast. Boasting breath-taking ocean views just beyond its vast rolling lawns, this beautifully designed villa features five luxurious bedroom suites, formal living and dining pavilions, a media room and poolside pavilion with sunken bar, and 20-metre swimming pool. The charming staff work hard to deliver a unique and memorable experience, from serving up succulent seafood feasts and mixing exotic cocktails at the bar, to arranging spa treatments in the massage bale and guiding guests on rice-field walks.
Villa Semarapura is located a stone’s throw from Cemagi Beach near Seseh on Bali’s southwest coast, a huge expanse of black volcanic sand that’s spectacular at sunset. To the eastern end of the beach and perched on a rocky outcrop is a Hindu sea temple – Pura Bata Ngandang – that the villa directly overlooks. The beach becomes alive at sunset as locals gather near to the shoreline to take in the fiery red skies; black porous rocks roll up and down with the tide and the beach is an excellent place for enjoying a serene stroll or watching the surfers (though it’s not safe to swim here). Neighbouring Semarapura are a handful of other private villas, some of which face the sea whilst others look over the expansive green paddy fields towards dramatic mountain views of the island’s interior. There are no international restaurants near Cemagi, but 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. 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.
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: 8.60
Although there’s no doubt it's a visually striking villa, Semarapura’s luxurious functionality seemed to unravel itself slowly so that the more we experienced, the more it drew us in. As we relaxed in one of the sea-view balés, swum in our (huge) private pool, sipped drinks from our own bar (sat on one of the ‘wet seats’ at sunset – wow!), enjoyed the pampering of the friendly and personable (17-strong) staff team and the comforts of our well-facilitated bedroom, we realised what a great villa it was as it appeared to cater not only excellently for group arrangements but also individuals within a group too; everything has been thought of and there are plenty of private places as well as sociable spots. The pool deck and its adjoining media room was very congenial; you can either watch a movie here ‘en famille’ or select one from the library to watch in your own room ‘à deux’, as every bedroom has a TV. Note that the bedroom TVs can only play DVDs and are not connected to cable channels. It’s no wonder that the villa is a very popular place for weddings and other special events; not only is the location idyllic, but the experience and hotel-like approach of the staff clearly shows through too. The food was good at the villa and the kitchen a delight; if we had mustered up the energy to cook for ourselves, it would have been plain sailing as the kitchen was equipped with everything that we might have needed. As it was, the villa’s suggestion menu listed a range of dishes and we only had to pay for the cost of the ingredients (plus travel) so it was much more fun to sit back with a cocktail from the bar until long after sunset whilst someone else rustled up something delicious to eat. The dining room was atmospheric; however it could do with a ceiling fan as well as the air conditioning option so you can comfortably have all the doors open. The villa’s out-of-the-way location could be a good or bad thing depending upon your preference, however we liked the unspoilt coastline and thought that the fact that the villa had its own car (to sweep us into Seminyak for example) really made up for this. For the active, there’s also a shared tennis court and a rowing machine.
Yvonne Wang, Hong Kong Overall Rating: 7.50
GK, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
BJ, United States Overall Rating: 9.80
Dayne Van Bree, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
Samantha S, Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
Mandy H, South Africa Overall Rating: 1.00
Jason/ Leeanne W, Australia Overall Rating: 1.00
Haibin Z, Hong Kong Overall Rating: 1.00
Mr. Khaled A, United Kingdom Overall Rating: 1.00
Tim S, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Yan W, China Overall Rating: 1.00
Anggun B, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Davi A, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Deepak G, Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
Matthew (Aged 10), Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
John G, United Kingdom Overall Rating: 1.00
Adiwarman K, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Selvy M, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Heidi H, Hong Kong Overall Rating: 1.00
Jason S, United Kingdom Overall Rating: 1.00
QIAN QIAN W, China Overall Rating: 1.00
YUN T, China Overall Rating: 1.00
Xinting L, China Overall Rating: 1.00
Travis Fancourt, Australia Overall Rating: 10.00
Wilburt C, Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
Penny A, New Zealand Overall Rating: 1.00
Deborah C, Australia Overall Rating: 1.00
Armelle and F, United Kingdom Overall Rating: 1.00
YAN W, China Overall Rating: 1.00
Tim S, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Alreem ., Saudi Arabia Overall Rating: 1.00
Iqbal M, United Arab Emirates Overall Rating: 1.00
Alan Goltzman, United States Overall Rating: 10.00
Armand T, Indonesia Overall Rating: 1.00
Bingbing S, China Overall Rating: 1.00
Kelly C, Australia Overall Rating: 1.00
Henry S, Singapore Overall Rating: 1.00
kaye johnson, Australia Overall Rating: 9.40
Ross J, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
Jason K, South Korea Overall Rating: 9.10
Yoonjie J, South Korea Overall Rating: 8.70
Andrew L, United States Overall Rating: 9.60
Alice R, Australia Overall Rating: 9.80
Reena C, United Arab Emirates Overall Rating: 9.10
Belinda Ware, New Zealand Overall Rating: 9.50
MM, Australia Overall Rating: 10.00
Eric Andersen, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
YG, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
Louise McCormick, Australia Overall Rating: 9.00
BJ, Australia Overall Rating: 8.00
Brad Jewell, Australia Overall Rating: 9.00
Natalie Cleland Overall Rating: 9.70
The staff were fantastic - and the food by the chef Norman was better than we get at the top 5 star hotel we stay at in Seminyak. The manager Mr Wayan was amazing - nothing a problem from organising massages - transfers .. dinners for the 6 adults and children.
It was our first visit and we were so impressed I am speaking to my family about a trip next year and staying at Semarapura for the first week.
Thank you everyone
Natalie - Melbourne
Kathy Bullock, Australia Overall Rating: 8.70
Sleeping Capacity: 15
Villa Semarapura consists of a series of pavilions fitted with antiques and contemporary furnishings. Three of the bedrooms are free-standing whilst the other two, including a twin and a double, are located in a building connected to the living areas by pathways, with views directly across the front lawn.
The main building is a raised pavilion-style living room with wide open views over the swimming pool, gardens and sea temple to the horizon beyond. Here there are two separate seating areas with comfortable sofas and chairs nestled around a pair of coffee tables. Below the living room and opening onto the expansive pool terrace is a media room with a handful of sofas huddled around a home theatre LCD TV with satellite connection and DVD player as well as a pool table, a corner bar and a library with a generous selection of books, DVDs and CDs. There’s a washroom located just off of here too. The villa has an excellent fully-equipped kitchen that’s spacious, sociable and functional. A wide breakfast bar is placed in front of folding doors that open onto a very inspiring view of the garden and sea. Just across from the kitchen is the stand-alone air conditioned dining pavilion with circular table for ten and floor-to-ceiling glass doors on three sides that open completely to the views.
The master bedroom is located at the far corner of the property and has its own private terrace with free-standing hammock and jacuzzi as well as easy access to a shaded balé dressed with soft drapes and cushions. Although slightly larger than the other guestrooms, it shares the same amenities of air conditioning, fans, sofas, LCD TVs with DVD players, iPod docks, closets with safe and laundry bags and ensuite air conditioned bathrooms with showers, tubs and toiletries. Four of the bedrooms have king-size beds and additional outside showers in small walled gardens. The fifth bedroom is twin-bedded (can convert to a king) and does not have an outside shower.
Beside the swimming pool is a back-lit bar with granite top, high chairs and a small fridge/freezer plus a BBQ area and further casual seating to one side. A second cushion-filled balé is located on a rise at the top of the garden overlooking the sea.