The first thing that strikes you when entering the traditional Balinese wooden gates at Citakara Sari is the open space – all 6000sqm of it – that this carefully preserved former coconut plantation offers. And taking advantage of some of that space, the professional-standard tennis court makes a grand impression as you wind around it toward the rest of the villa.
The property’s star attraction is Villa Joglo, a 150-year-old restored Javanese house with intricate, hand-carved teak walls. The joglo’s spacious open-plan living, dining and kitchen area is surrounded by a wraparound veranda facing the gardens and ocean beyond and the guest kitchen, although small, is very functional, with full-size fridge and 4-burner gas stove (the staff use a separate service kitchen). An intimate entertainment nook with 31-inch flat-screen TV, surround-sound and up-to-date selection of DVDs will work for the whole family if you scatter a few pillows on the floor alongside the couch.
Upstairs, via an outdoor, but covered, staircase are the bedrooms, where the elaborately carved walls truly shine and the views are stunning. Here, two air-conditioned queen-bedded rooms, with a double daybed in between, could easily sleep four adults and two children, or five adults. Ensuite bathrooms are fitted with modest showers, hand-made terrazzo bathtubs and marble sinks.
Adjacent to Villa Joglo is an outdoor spa with a sauna, a sculptured granite soaking tub, a massage bale and a double-size ‘opium’ bed. As there is also a private bathroom here, and the opium bed is protected by mosquito netting, this could be used as an additional (outdoor) sleeping area.
The Villa Yoga Bale is a two-storey structure with commanding sea views, traditional thatched roof and open-sided living and dining room with bamboo blinds in case of inclement weather. The kitchen has a small fridge and two-burner stove along with two dining tables that, together, can sit up to nine people. The ground floor bedroom here is air-conditioned and furnished with a king bed and double daybed and equipped with a 31-inch flat-screen TV. The open-air ensuite has a beautifully shaped terrazzo bathtub with shower. The upstairs bedroom is open to the living area below, is fan cooled, and furnished with a king bed. Its outdoor ensuite is at treetop level with a smaller version of the terrazzo bathtub/shower and marble sink. The bird’s eye view from this level is unobstructed and takes full advantage of the property’s oceanfront location.
Beside the pool area are loungers and sunshades and a dining pavilion with two tables providing casual dining space for up to eight people. The villa’s colourful traditional canoe and rubber dinghy are moored from a boat ramp which gives sea access to snorkellers at high tide and to a small beach at low tide.