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Indonesia » Bali » Seseh-Tanah Lot » Villa Tanju Bali
Sitting on a small headland above an endless black-sand beach, Villa Tanju has mesmerising views over rolling waves and a Balinese sea temple. With stone temple guardians lining the entrance walkway in welcome, this is the essence of a true Bali retreat. At the villa’s centre is a water garden where overflowing urns run into ponds of lilies and water plants below majestic vine-clad palm trees which separate living and bedroom pavilions, retaining a sense of intimacy. Traditional thatched roofs and coconut wood columns, Balinese doors, furniture, sculpture and artwork are effortlessly combined with sumptuously comfortable beds and linens, bright soft cushions and the latest audio-visual equipment. Sea breezes and ceiling fans keep you cool in the open living and dining pavilions, but if this is not enough there’s an upstairs air conditioned study cum TV room – perfect for kids’ movie nights – and, of course, the option of a dip in the refreshing 15m swimming pool. Below the pool a wooden bridge crosses a small stream to a lawn that rolls down to the beach and connects to a neighboring villa which also shares use of the tennis court. With a separate master suite and three bedrooms, plus the study which can accommodate extra children, this is an ideal extended family villa. Parwata, the ever-smiling villa manager, and his team of excellent staff will ensure your every whim and fancy is taken care of while Dewi – resident kitchen goddess with an impressive culinary range – suggests, plans, shops for and creates mouth-wateringly nourishing meals to satisfy all diets and tastes (provisions are charged at cost on guest account). Removed from shops, restaurants and nightlife, Tanju offers a real escape. It is easy to understand how ambitious plans made over breakfast to venture out later on are easily forgotten by the time the sun sets on another blissful day. If however you do wish to explore, the villa has a driver and seven-seater car available between 8am and 5pm for which guests are only charged petrol money. (After 5pm a driver can be arranged but there is an extra hourly charge.)
Mengening beach is on the edge of the sleepy village of the same name in the area of Desa Cemagi, characterised by some stunning views over rice terraces to Bali’s famous volcanoes and the ocean. There are no tourist restaurants or shops in the area although within fifteen to twenty minutes drive are the Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort and golf course, the famous Tanah Lot sea temple and Echo Beach at Berawa where there are a number of restaurants and a few small shops. In the local village and on the beach you will often see colourful Balinese ceremonies.
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: 7.50
Staying at Tanju is a wonderful experience. The journey from airport to villa took us past some delightfully scenic rice terraces and through typical Balinese villages, keeping the beach hidden until the last moment when the road opens up to reveal a stunning panorama. Honeymooners and romance seekers will feel the magic: floating petals in a sunken bath; walks on the beach or snuggling up on a daybed to watch the sunset, this is your private patch of paradise. With plenty of space and ample creature comforts to keep everyone happy, Tanju will equally captivate families. We found that life slipped easily into a blissful rhythm: a morning walk on the beach (with stunning views to Bali’s majestic Mount Agung volcano) before a breakfast of fresh tropical fruits or a cooked selection of our choice; pool time until a relaxed lunch, then a siesta before more pool time or, for the energetic, a game of tennis at the villa or golf at the world class Nirwana course fifteen minutes’ drive away. Then it was time for drinks to accompany the daily sunset spectacular, then showers and the ritual application of after sun as we waited for the call of the dinner gong. Fresh grilled fish and seafood, wonderful spicy Asian salads and soups, all simply, deliciously prepared and presented. Children drift upstairs to doze in front of a DVD while adults sit chatting to the sound of the waves before another night of peaceful sleep, happy in the knowledge that tomorrow heralds another perfect Bali day.
Diana C, Switzerland Overall Rating: 9.40
Sleeping Capacity: 9
A two-storey bedroom wing sits above the water garden. Downstairs is one king- and one twin-bedded room. Both are bright with open bathrooms and terrazzo bathtubs. A covered terrace with spiral staircase leads to the upper level study cum TV room and a further bedroom with four-poster king. The study is well equipped with a large LCD screen, satellite TV, DVD as well as a computer with internet connection, books and board games. An over-sized teak daybed is perfect for movie nights and can be used as an extra double bed for children. The upstairs bedroom has an enclosed shower and wc shared with the study. The master bedroom, housed in a separate pavilion, has a covered terrace overlooking the pool, gardens and ocean and is furnished with a cushioned daybed below a ceiling fan. Inside, rich wooden floors and a four-poster king bed work well with the white bed linen and one bright saffron coloured wall. The outdoor bathroom is designed around an over-sized sunken bath in a walled garden with a rain shower. Internal doors are of traditional carved wood, adding character and sense of place. The master bedroom includes a TV and DVD and, like all the bedrooms, has air conditioning, ceiling fans and electronic safe. The hexagonal dining pavilion connected to the open kitchen looks out onto the courtyard water garden and the lawns. At meal times, a brass gamelan gong hung from a bright red frame is rung to invite guests to take their seats at the solid lime-washed dining table which seats ten. The living pavilion is open, airy and bright. Three daybeds made from recycled timber and a large wood coffee table give the space tropical character, inviting you to lie back and unwind. Giant floor cushions in bright yellows and oranges provide extra lazy seating and well-chosen statues add to the Bali feel. The living room can be enclosed if you wish although it seems this is very rarely required – or desired. At Villa Tanju it’s really all about the view.