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Indonesia » Bali » Candidasa » Siri Mendira - Villa Cempaka
Villa Cempaka is set in the tranquil fishing village of Sengkidu, three kilometres from Candidasa, on Bali’s 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
We were instantly won over by the mesmerising views and laid back tropical vibe at Villa Cempaka. And despite being on Bali’s quiet, rural south-east coast, we found plenty to do: after exploring the reef in front of the villa courtesy of the villa’s masks and snorkels, taking boat trips, and visiting the nearby beaches at Padang Bai (10km) we still managed plenty of down time to chill out at the villa and enjoy ‘the good life’. Nature, with its changing moods, treated us to a kaleidoscope of vistas, from misty mornings, to vivid blue afternoon skies scattered with fluffy clouds, and views over the rocky hulk of neighbouring island, Penida with the shadowy silhouette of Lombok in the distance. Villa Cempaka isn’t huge, but with the wide expanse of ocean stretching before us 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.
Sleeping Capacity: 8
Stepping stones lead across Villa Cempaka’s verdant lawn to the open-sided fan-cooled living and dining area, overlooking the infinity pool and ocean. A wooden dining table seats eight, and rattan sofas covered with pale pink batik print cushions are arranged around glass-topped coffee tables. Colourful temple baskets and a collection of mottled earthenware vases are displayed on the built-in shelving unit which also contains a flat-screen Satellite TV/DVD/CD Player. The well equipped guest kitchen opens onto the living room and is fitted with pale wood cupboards topped with black granite counters, at one corner of which sits a Buddha statue. A guest bathroom and garden shower lie to one side. Villa Cempaka’s four bedrooms are all similar in design and furnishings; adornments are minimal so there is little to detract from the views. Features include four-poster king-size beds, glass sliding doors, built-in wardrobes, bedside tables and lamps, polished wood floors, air conditioning and ceiling fans. Bathrooms combine creamy tiles and pebbled floors, with black granite counters. All have rain showers, bathtubs and modern finishings including rectangular countertop wash basins. Two bedrooms are on the first floor, above the lounge area. The largest has wide frontage, with an ornately carved wooden chaise longue placed under a long window and dark green wood carvings on the walls. A walk-through wardrobe with ample storage space leads to a bathroom with a wooden sofa scattered with cushions, and a semi-outdoor courtyard bathtub. The adjacent bedroom has identical views but is smaller in size, with pink batik furnishings, a vibrant oil painting and rattan chair. The bathroom is bright, with glassed cubicles for the wc and shower on either side of the bathtub. Across the pool deck, a two-storey pavilion houses the remaining bedrooms. The upstairs bedroom has unobstructed ocean views at the front, pool views to the side, and two daybeds on its veranda. Open panels in the bathroom allow in plenty of natural light. On the ground floor, the fourth bedroom opens onto the lawn just metres from the ocean. Furnishings here include marble topped side tables and elegant lamps and the ensuite bathroom has a small courtyard area. On the opposite side of the 17m swimming pool, the seafront balé has wonderful views of the ocean and hilly coastline, enjoyed from a dining table for ten, or carved wooden sofa.