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Indonesia » Bali » Nusa Lembongan » Villa Voyage - an elite haven
Turquoise waters beckon divers, snorkellers and anglers; dramatic coastlines are a photographer’s dream, and seekers of luxury will be delighted by the villa itself, which offers elegant accommodation, a beachfront infinity pool and a team of efficient and friendly staff, including a chef who can turn his hand to anything from soufflés to satay.
Villa Voyage is located on a small cove on the south-west shore of Nusa Lembongan – its pool deck opens directly onto a curved beach of fine white sand. From almost every room you can see the azure waves surging ashore and plumes of spray bursting skywards behind Devil’s Tear, the limestone headland across the bay. On one side of the villa is the Sandy Bay Beach Club (conveniently, its restaurant, bar and spa is a hop and skip away) and, tucked along the cliff-top on the other side, are three or four (more modest) private villas and the popular Sunset Bar. Strong currents in the bay rule out swimming but a short 10-minute stroll south along the cliff-top path will bring you to Dream Beach with its safe swimming and a popular café.
About Nusa Lembongan
The island of Nusa Lembongan lies 12 kilometres south east of Bali (only 18 kilometres from Bali’s international airport). The 25-minute boat ride across the Badung Strait from Sanur is a great way to seriously slow down: leaving the hustle and bustle of the mainland behind and stepping ashore at Mushroom Beach is akin to stepping back in time – many say several decades! Laid back and easy-going, Nusa Lembongan is blissfully traffic-free – few cars, no buses, mostly just scooters and bicycles.
The eight-square-kilometre tropical island is ringed with white-sand beaches, limestone bluffs and mangrove forests and fringed by a coral reef. It’s linked by a startlingly yellow suspension bridge (two-wheels or pedestrians only) to its tiny neighbour, Nusa Ceningan, beyond which is the third of this island sisterhood, the rugged Nusa Penida.
The island’s crystal-clear waters are visited seasonally (July-September) by Mola-Mola, the majestic oceanic sunfish which contribute to the island’s standing as a world-class dive destination. The shallow coral reefs attract snorkellers, while the more adventurous head for the surf breaks and cliff-jumping sites.
There’s much to charm on dry land too: clamber across limestone outcrops on delightful headland walks; visit a seaweed farm (perhaps followed by a seaweed spa session); cycle through Lembongan Village to the mangroves on the northern shore. Tourist activity is focused on Jungut Batu (the island’s second village) and Mushroom Bay, where the midday heat brings an influx of day-trippers from the Bali mainland. By 4pm the crowds have gone, and this beautiful beach of white sand becomes the preserve of lucky overnight residents, who have the run of barefoot beach bars, cafes and an increasing number of restaurants.
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: 8.70
This Robinson-Crusoe-meets-Roberto-Cavalli villa is sensational! Not usually prone to hyperbole, we consider it nigh on impossible not to be bowled over by the entire ‘barefoot luxury’ Villa Voyage experience. From the moment we caught sight of the dramatic sea vista beyond the living room, we were completely hooked. We lazed on sun loungers and beanbags by the pool, enjoyed siestas on the mezzanine bedroom balcony, and slumbered within the “I had a farm in Africa” tent bed, soothed by the pounding surf. The staff looked after us brilliantly, serving us a delicious breakfast every morning in the beachfront gazebo, and a three-course candle-lit dinner (tenderloin steak for him, sea bass for me) accompanied by the best chips in Bali! (Ingredients – which are charged to guests at cost plus a 30% shopping fee - are boated in from the mainland fresh every day, so we were asked to make our menu selection ideally 48 hours in advance).
This is a place that doesn’t do things by halves; all the design details have been painstakingly thought through, right down to the place mats and napkins (different for each meal – what perfection!). We loved the ‘voyage’ theme – the exotic travel books, the safari-style furniture. Every inch of the villa is a rich sensory pleasure, packed with surprises and with no part overlooked…like the antique daybed in the shadows of a sacred tree by the villa temple and the gate to the beach
We could have happily stayed put at the pool, so deeply relaxing is the Voyage experience! But the villa’s open-sided van, and jukung (outrigger) encouraged us out of our indolence, and we loved exploring the island – next time we’ll make a point of diving with the manta rays! We also dipped into the beach club next door for a tasty lunch, and strolled along the cliff tops – Dream Beach is only ten minutes away, and the restaurants of Mushroom Bay not much further.
Would we return to Villa Voyage? In a heartbeat! We felt so privileged to be among its first guests, and think that, once word gets out, this tropical island hideaway is going to get booked solid – by families and groups of friends.
Mark C, Australia Overall Rating: 6.60
Milda R, Singapore Overall Rating: 10.00
Diane James, Australia Overall Rating: 8.70
Glenn Shearer, Australia Overall Rating: 9.50
Keryn C, Australia Overall Rating: 9.50
Zoe M, United Kingdom Overall Rating: 10.00
David A, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
Pania Fox none, Australia Overall Rating: 9.70
Penny Fountain, Australia Overall Rating: 9.20
Penny Fountain and family.
renae knight, Australia Overall Rating: 10.00
AL, Australia Overall Rating: 10.00
CC, Ireland Overall Rating: 8.50
Sleeping Capacity: 10
Most of Villa Voyage’s accommodation is contained within the over 26-metre-long two-storey pavilion, with bi-fold and sliding doors opening onto the pool deck. At its heart is the open-plan living room with its double-height roof soaring over a quadrangle of cream sofas arranged around a statement coffee table. There’s much to engage the eye (and mind) here: photo-books on exotic travel and interior design, interesting Asian objets d’art, high-design home accessories – and an entertainment console with 60-inch LED TV, Apple TV, DVD and iPod. At the far end two dining tables of reclaimed teakwood – each with six canvas director’s chairs – are set before a marble-topped island bar-cum-cooking station and a wall of limed teakwood cupboards brimming with tableware and wine glasses. Behind (and out of sight) is the staff area with chef’s kitchen, equipped to the nines for the most creative cuisine.
Between the living area and the beach is the huge ironwood deck with 12m x 5m pool surrounded by daybeds and beanbag loungers, and a pergola with beach-edge daybed platform and crescent of seating around a circular table – perfect for breezy breakfasts and candle-lit dinners.
All five bedrooms have both air-conditioning and overhead fans, and queen-size beds – either four-poster or cocooned under safari-chic ‘floating’ canvas tents – with deep mattresses, plump pillows and high thread-count cotton bed linen. Each has a large balcony or garden terrace, and an ensuite bathroom with rain shower. On the ground level, reached via a recess beyond the seating area, is the master bedroom suite with sliding doors to the pool deck, walk-through wardrobe and dressing area leading to the huge bathroom with twin basins, statement beach-view bath and outdoor shower. Opposite, facing away from the sea and conveniently placed for families, is a second bedroom with its own small courtyard, balcony, and ensuite with double basins and al fresco shower.
Stairs from the living area lead to a galleried walkway linking two mirror-image mezzanine bedrooms. Crusoe himself would swoon at these eco-chic sleep temples with walls and floors of solid coconut-wood, ceilings of alang-alang (thatch), canvas furniture with leather trim, and huge ironwood balconies with seating and eating areas overlooking the swimming pool and surging sea. Tucked behind canvas partitions are the ensuites with double basins and terrazzo rain shower enclosures.
The fifth bedroom occupies a stand-alone pavilion in the villa grounds and features Bedouin-chic decor, private garden deck with outdoor ensuite.