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Indonesia » Bali » Canggu » Pantai Lima - Villa Waringin
It's hard to believe Villa Waringin is only two years old. Not because the property is faded (it's beautifully maintained), but because it has a reassuringly established feel and oozes retro-Balinese style. A proliferation of antiques adds to the traditional flavour, but comfort is never sacrificed and there's a wide choice of appealing places to relax, socialise or spend some time alone. Even when fully occupied, everyone benefits from the breathtaking views and the sound of the sea. Poolside is a fine place to pass the day lounging, larking or swimming laps. The pool's 20m of fresh water pleasure personifies the concept of infinity, and resting on the ledge at the deeper, beachside end, gazing over the black volcanic sands to the rumbling ocean beyond is a memorable experience. The lawn is just wide enough for the kids to kick a ball around on and gardens extend round the side of the house for further exploration. Courteous, efficient Balinese staff make this villa special. White-clad butlers swiftly meet your needs, while two in-house chefs under the guidance of French executive chef Sebastien Robuchon, prepare a delightful selection of dishes from a tempting, well-planned suggestion menu (provisioning at cost on guests' account). If you get home late the estate has an efficient, all-night security team for peace of mind. In all six air conditioned bedrooms, restful sleep comes easily with crisp linen, soft pillows and black out curtains. Luxury touches like complimentary Hermes toiletries, indulgent bathtubs and outdoor rain showers take cleanliness beyond mere practicality, although modest guests might prefer one of the ground floor bedrooms with a more private ensuite as the upstairs showers come with a view! Versatility is another of Villa Waringin's many assets. A large family, or two sharing, would be very comfortable here, and with the other four Pantai Lima villas so close by (offering a total of 26 bedrooms if all are booked together) - plus the impressive range of common facilities including a tennis court and seminar room - the enclave would work particularly well as an executive retreat. With their stunning setting, these villas are also a dream choice for weddings.
Inside the Pantai Lima Estate, a pleasant, landscaped drive connects the five villas (which include Villa Melissa, Villa Mary, Villa Ambra and Villa Sound of the Sea) and their communal facilities: tennis court, gym and conference room. The enclave is situated eight kilometres north of trendy Seminyak on an isolated beach peopled only by a few hard-core surfers, the villa security guards, and the odd fisherman. On one side is a river estuary, on the other a field of cows, and inland are rice fields as far as the eye can see. If you walk along the beach the villa is just 700m southeast of the small, friendly village of Seseh, although Pantai Lima falls on the Canggu side of the river estuary. There are no tourist amenities close by, but with every need catered for on site and a car at guests' disposal, seclusion is an asset rather than an inconvenience.
Canggu has become the collective name for a number of villages (including Berawa, Tegal Gundul, Tiyingtukul, Pererenan, Nelayan and Babakan), which, until very recently, could still be described as a sleepy coastal locale. It's now one of Bali's coolest districts.
Here, amongst the rice fields which extend all the way down to the beach, you will not only find some of the most luxurious private residences on the island, but also a great selection of eclectic restaurants, cafes, bakeries, boutiques and beach bars – especially along Jalan Batu Bolong, which runs right down to the beach. Popular spots include Finns Beach Club, Old Mans, La Laguna, The Lawn and Ji @ Bale Sutra.
Canggu is also an area that most surfers will know about, with reef swells that are larger than those you will find further south in Kuta and Seminyak. Swimming isn’t advisable however as the rips can be dangerous, but there are plenty of other things to do from horseback riding to cooking classes. Finns Recreation Club (for which many holiday villas in the area include guest membership) offers social and leisure amenities, including Splash waterpark, Bounce trampoline centre, Strike bowling, a state-of-the art gym, a 25m swimming pool and a tennis and squash centre.
Along the coast to the north of Canggu is Pura Tanah Lot; a sea temple perched high on a craggy wave-lashed rock and probably the most photographed sight in Bali. Sophisticated Seminyak, a few kilometres south of Canggu, lays claim to the highest concentration of independent fine-dining restaurants on the island, including Sarong, La Lucciola and Ku Dé Ta, together with a wide choice of chic cocktail bars, exciting nightclubs, lavish spas and elegant boutiques.
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: 8.50
We stayed at Villa Waringin on a writers' conference and all agreed there could be no finer place for a coming together of creative minds. The villa's homely ambience makes you feel immediately relaxed, while complementary facilities like pull-down projector screens, plus a team of willing, able staff remove every possible hassle, leaving you to get on with the business of the day. The same ease would definitely apply on a holiday, and we tested this theory to the full whenever there was a break in proceedings. Reclining on the terrace sofas with a choice of teas and delicious snacks (the chef does an excellent Croque Monsieur) certainly got the creative juices flowing, as did lying on the cushioned sunbeds by the pool, while some of the best ideas actually emerged during the delicious barbecue dinner on the poolside lawn (not least the notion of a second helping of fresh prawns!). When it was time to retreat to our supremely comfortable bedrooms, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks ensured no one felt over-burdened with work worries before drifting off to sleep. In the morning a fabulous breakfast spread included fresh fruit, eggs with back bacon and pain au chocolat - ample fuel for the day ahead. Although it's a shame not to be able to swim in a sea so close (there are huge breakers and dangerous rip tides), we were more than happy to gaze and gasp at the waves, sound in the knowledge that come sunset we'd be immersed in the pool, watching the sky blush to greet the evening stars.
Sleeping Capacity: 12
Villa Waringin consists of two attractive, two-storey pavilions with traditional Balinese thatched roofs, all surrounded by pleasant tropical gardens and water features. The ocean-view living pavilion is fronted by the villa's stunning 20m infinity pool (with attached children's pool), plus a generous lawn and wide wooden deck with eight comfortable sun loungers and a shaded garden gazebo to recline in. Where the garden meets the beach, a second gazebo with table and four chairs is ideal for an informal lunch or sunset drinks, literally steps from the crashing waves. The spacious, almost colonial, ground floor lounge and dining room folds out onto a wide, covered terrace with a sofa and attractive, carved daybed. Inside, wooden ceiling fans supplement the air-conditioned cool, while rattan furniture, including more sofas and a ten-seater dining table, adds to the comfort and rich, tropical charm. The well-equipped kitchen is at the rear and features modern appliances, all put to good use by the in-house chefs. The lower level also features a guest toilet and an attractive study/library with leather armchairs, an interesting book selection and a drop-down projector screen for films or presentations. A central wooden staircase opens onto and airy landing from where two identical bedroom suites (left and right) share the villa's huge ocean-view terrace, which is furnished with planter's chairs, sofas and a standing hammock positioned to make the most of the spectacular views. Inside, both have ocean-facing wooden, four-poster netted beds and extend back past generous, walk-in dressing areas to open-plan bathrooms with unique, centrally placed, battered copper bath tubs. A small terrace at the rear of each bathroom is fitted with an outdoor rain shower, looking over the tropical garden and second pavilion. Home to four identical double bedrooms (with the exception that one is twin-bedded), the garden pavilion has wooden floors and furniture maintaining the traditional theme. Modern touches like 37-inch, flat-screen TVs, black-out curtains and terrazzo bath tubs add contemporary comforts. Outdoor rain showers make the most of the climate; downstairs in private, walled garden courtyards; upstairs opening onto small terraces overlooking the ocean and surrounding fields. Back on the lower level, a dedicated massage room decorated with pleasant antique, wooden furnishings adds a final indulgent touch.