By Luiz Sanchez
If your idea of a great holiday is staying close to the action, then you are spoiled for choice. Some of you may, however, want to explore beyond the popular tourist centres and experience Bali off the beaten track. We have scoured the island looking for memorable villas that offer a balance; beautiful villas off the well-beaten track. These villas are perfectly situated for travelers looking for a home base from which to experience and explore the island.
Villa Delfino – Ketewel
Villa Delfino is an impressive 6-bedroom villa in the surf village of Ketewel on Bali’s east coast. At once modern and utilitarian, the villa is an entertainer’s dream with a wood-fire oven, a grill, an open plan living space, and a fully furnished media room. This villa is perfect for large groups or families looking to enjoy some quiet time but also within easy driving distance of Ubud, Uluwatu, Sanur, Nusa Dua, Candi Dasa and Padangbai. The villa is of course, fully staffed and professionally managed.
Delfino is also a short walk to the beach; a dramatic black sand beach with deep blue water and some of Bali’s best surf breaks. The villa also offers breathtaking views of Mt Agung, the emerald rice fields and the ocean.
Basing yourself at Delfino means you can easily access East Bali’s attractions. Candi Dasa for example is home to Pura Goa Lawah, also known as the Bat Temple, one of the six sacred temples of Bali and a must see on your way to Amed.
Also nearby is Tenganan village, the oldest settled village in Bali and home to what many consider to be the “truest” representation of Balinese Hinduism.
For those looking to do some diving, Padangbai is but a short drive away and offers daytrips to Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, where travelers have the opportunity to swim with manta rays and other exotic sea life.
It’s a short drive to Ubud or Sanur for those who want to shop or eat out and Bali Safari Park is minutes away. The popular Kommune, offering night surfing, a restaurant, bar, pool and yoga classes is located along this beachfront as well.
Ketewel itself is a sleepy village, which offers Delfino’s guests a truly relaxing and private experience far from the crowds, a rural seaside village where life continues very much unchanged.
Villa Pantai Candidasa – Candidasa
Say you want a place on the beach? Not a two-minute walk either, but right on the beach? Then Villa Pantai Candidasa is for you. Situated in the Karangasem region of East Bali, Candidasa is ideal for adventurers more interested in culture and nature than parties and shopping.
The 2-bedroom villa is perfect for a small family getaway or couples travelling together. It is within walking distance of several local restaurants. With an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, luxurious living spaces washed by sea breezes, beautiful guest rooms with en-suites and fantastic views, this is a real getaway. The villa is fully staffed with a housekeeper, private chef, gardeners and villa security, giving you peace of mind and a high level of comfort.
From Candidasa explore Mt Agung or Mt Batur for hikes, Amed for diving, the Goa Lawah temple, the Tirta Gangga water temple and of course, Ubud. Candidasa is also excellent for diving. There are many species of sharks that can be found in the area and between August and October the Mola Mola, also known as the sunfish, can be spotted.
Karangasem is famous for its distilled rice wine, Arak, sold in small plastic bottles at most local stores. Karangasem Arak is generally considered the best Arak in Bali, and often the only one that is guaranteed safe for consumption. Do mix it with a soft drink or juice though as it packs quite a punch!