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Indonesia » Bali » Candidasa » Siri Mendira - Villa Bakung
The ocean takes centre stage at Villa Bakung, providing breathtaking views, safe swimming and ample opportunities for snorkelling and fishing. Looking inland reveals a lush backdrop of coconut groves and banana plantations, with Mount Agung – Bali’s most sacred mountain – looming over the tree tops.
A 17m infinity-edged swimming pool stretches enticingly to the emerald sea, surrounded by soft manicured lawns, sun loungers and a lone frangipani tree. The contemporary design incorporates fresh creamy stone walls blended with the warmth of wood shingle roofs, and lime-washed recycled teak staircases, window and door frames. Pale blue batik furnishings and decorative knick-knacks add softness.
Staff are friendly, courteous and professional, adept at anticipating every whim. Complimentary breakfasts are generous affairs, best enjoyed from the open-sided seafront balé (pavilion), while Indonesian and western style meals can be ordered from a fixed price menu. There is also a guest kitchen for those who wish to self cater, including a fridge stocked with juices, wines and beers (on guest account). The town of Candidasa is a mere three kilometres away with plenty of restaurants and souvenir style shops to choose from.
The villa is a good choice for families (there is no railing on the seaside wall, so may not be ideal for toddlers) or small groups, with two separate dining areas, four well-appointed bedrooms, and comfortable lounge areas. There is no natural beach here, but a wide stretch of sand creates a man-made beach above the sea wall, from which steps lead directly into the ocean. Manager Nyoman is a keen surfer and happy to take guests to nearby breaks. He can also organise fishing and beach trips, and visits to nearby dive and snorkelling sites. Boogie boards, snorkelling and fishing equipment are all complimentary. Villa Bakung is part of the Siri Mendira Beach Villas estate, with two adjacent four-bedroom properties ( Villa Cempaka and Villa Angsoka), making this a good choice for larger groups.
Villa Bakung is set in the tranquil fishing village of Sengkidu, three kilometres from Candidasa, on Bali’s unspoiled south-east coast. A lane shaded with banana plantations and coconut groves leads through the village, past temples, small shops selling soft drinks and snacks, and the occasional villa and small guesthouses with basic restaurant attached. A few hundred metres from the villa is the four-star Candi Beach Cottage Hotel, with a restaurant and bar, and beyond, near the main road is a sports field and banjar building where the Balinese village community meets. The sea in front of the villas, where you can see fish and patches of coral, is suitable for swimming and snorkelling.
The quiet seaside village of Candidasa boasts a rich heritage close to many of Bali's most important historical landmarks, ancient kingdoms and palaces, making it an excellent base to explore the region. This beautiful, undeveloped area is set in the Island’s eastern regency of Karangasem, well away from the excesses of mainstream tourism, with Mt Agung, Bali’s most sacred and mystical volcano, providing a dramatic backdrop to the scene.
There is a charming collection of restaurants and simple souvenir shops in Candidasa, as well as a few basic mini-marts. Close by is the 700-year-old walled village of Tenganan, where the residents practise a time-honoured lifestyle based around ritual and ceremony. The fortress-like village has become a living museum, and many of the houses also function as shops and workshops where expert craftsmen and women perform their centuries’ old skills.
The beach at Candidasa is sandy and golden, albeit narrow due to erosion. There is however, a beautiful beach known as Pasir Putih five kilometres to the east and snorkelling and diving off Candidasa is good with some excellent sites close to the shore and accessible by local boat. Within a few kilometres are two of Bali’s most prestigious resorts, Alila Manggis and the world famous Amankila. Padang Bai Harbour, the stepping off point for Lombok, is a further nine kilometres around the bay, and here you will find the Blue Lagoon, another superb snorkelling and dive site.
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: 8.30
The mesmerising views and tranquil setting of Villa Bakung left us in a state of tropical languor. Dreamy days gently slipped into balmy nights, with little to think about except whether to have pancakes or eggs for breakfast; swim in the ocean or the pool; take a trip to the beach, or stay at home. Nature is generous here, treating us to misty pink hued mornings, brilliant blue afternoon skies with low slung clouds bopping over the horizon, and views over the rocky hulk of neighbouring Penida Island, with the shadowy silhouette of Lombok in the distance.
Villa Bakung isn’t huge, but with the ocean stretching to the horizon there was a genuine sense of spaciousness and flow. We enjoyed glimpses into local life as fishermen headed off in their colourful jukung (fishing boats) or net fished in the shallows, while easy strolls down the shady lane revealed cows meandering through the coconut groves and kids playing soccer. There are no direct views of the sunset, but dusk is still a beautiful time, bathing the villa and the ocean in a soft glow.
Craig W, Australia Overall Rating: 9.00
Sleeping Capacity: 10
Villa Bakung’s stone entrance way leads into a small grassy courtyard and open-sided lounge area with wide views of the infinity pool and the ocean beyond. A traditional dug-out canoe makes an interesting decorative piece and perches high atop the built-in shelves. A long wooden dining table seats eight, while creamy sofas are brightened by pale blue batik cushions. A flat-screen satellite TV, DVD and CD player is set in one corner while colourful temple baskets and curios fill the shelves. A small but well-equipped guest kitchen with wooden cupboards and black granite counters is set off to one side.
A separate two-storey pavilion houses the four bedrooms; a pair on each floor. Furnishings are simple, so as not to distract from the ocean views: each has a four-poster king-size bed, built-in wardrobes, glass sliding doors, bedside tables and lamps, polished timber floors, air conditioning and ceiling fans. Creamy white bathrooms have rain showers, bathtubs and modern finishings – including rectangular white countertop basins atop black granite counters.
The upstairs bedrooms have sloping rattan ceilings and open onto a breezy veranda with plump daybeds and views of the ocean, hilly coastline and surrounding forest. The first is decorated with a green-tinged wood carving and mottled earthenware vase. Tropical greenery is revealed through open panels in the courtyard bathroom. The second bedroom is light and airy with glass doors at the front and the side, plus two rattan chairs. The bathroom is compact but has an ocean-view tub. The two downstairs bedrooms open directly onto the pool. Bathrooms are identical with glass doors leading into a pebbled courtyard where lush plants encircle the bathtub. The front room has an additional set of doors that open onto a stretch of grass leading to the sea.
The delightful ocean-front balé is furnished with a wooden table for ten and a wide, wooden sofa elaborately carved with dragons.