Overall Rating: 7.80

Citakara Sari is a destination property with plenty of things to do and see without ever having to leave; the sports oriented amenities are plentiful, including what could easily be the best private tennis court on this side of the island. Open space is the luxury here, both within and outside the villa compound. And it’s refreshing to experience traditional Indonesian architecture; the heavy wood-influenced style may not appeal to contemporary design aficionados, but the owners did their homework and hired a competent contractor to help modernize the antique house by adding white drop ceilings, light Palimanan stone flooring and plenty of Japanese inspired sliding glass doors to bring in the natural light and showcase the views.

One of the first things we wanted to check off our agenda was snorkelling so, using the villa’s masks and snorkels, we walked down the boat ramp and waded easily into the ocean. We were a little disappointed at first as the area right in front of the villa is pretty lifeless, but around the 50m mark we hit a reef covered in coral fingers that extended as far as we could go along the coast. Not the super-colourful stuff that can be found in Amed, but lots of aquarium-worthy fish nonetheless. Afterwards, we lounged on the villa’s rare patch of black and white sandy beach that’s revealed at low tide.

The sun was almost down and having rinsed off at the outside pool shower and grabbed a cold Bintang beer from the fridge, we decided to have dinner in the poolside pavilion instead of the main dining area. The lightly fried salt and pepper chicken was a favourite with the kids, and the plump chicken sate (a staple dish in Bali) accompanied by mild tomato sambal and a peanut sauce with a kick, worked to give us a flavour of the region's cuisine.