From the moment you cross the threshold of Villa Belong Dua, you will be embraced by the tradition, history and culture of Bali. This charming, unpretentious dwelling offers a sweet taste of Balinese village life, combined with all of the five-star creature comforts of international tourism; super-soft king-sized beds, flat-screen TVs, a home theatre and a chef who would be comfortable in any kitchen anywhere in the world.
The design of this stylish and up-market holiday villa blends perfectly with the architecture of the nearby temple and community meeting hall. The property is set in the heart of a working Balinese village, and consequently you will experience the sights and sounds of village life; roosters crowing, children laughing, and men and women gossiping about their neighbours.
Although the villa isn’t very old, the traditional architecture and artefacts celebrate the heritage of the island, incorporating the symbolic elements of Balinese Hinduism and daily life. The name Belong Dua means ‘two water vessels’, and indeed there are two large stone water carriers at the villa: one in the garden and another in one of the bathrooms. A series of stand-alone pavilions are positioned in accordance with an ancient and complex set of rules, while the interiors are contemporary, stylish and romantic.
The wonderful garden features mature trees, velvety lawns, a fruit and herb garden, and through the clever use of natural river stone for the swimming pool the owners have created a remarkable reproduction of a royal bathing pool. Add to this the antique balé gede pavilion from Bali’s royal Gianyar Regency – originally used for Balinese ceremonies such as the Potong Gigi (tooth filing ceremony) – and it could be a royal Balinese household.
The nearest quality restaurants are a 20-minute-plus drive away so you will more than likely spend some time eating at the villa. The staff are well trained for this and can whip up the most amazing dishes in a flash. There is a grocery system in place so guests are advised to make their selections in the morning so the staff can go to the market. The villa is suitable for one or two couples, or a small family of four who relish the idea of experiencing the culture of a Balinese village community.
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Private indoor pool|
|Pool||Private indoor pool|
|General||Air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 2 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (2)|
|Outdoors||Private indoor pool|
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.
A few kilometres to the north west of Canggu, a towering banyan—one of the 'elders' of the tree kingdom—heralds the turning to Seseh, a traditional beachside village approached via an avenue of coconut palms.
Seseh and the tiny neighbouring villages of Sogsogan and Cemagi still retain the customs and culture of old Bali. Here, you will see farmers in conical hats riding rusty old upright bicycles, as well as frequent, colourful processions to Seseh's large beachside temple. There are no international restaurants here, but you might just see a barong (a high-spirited, benevolent beast representing the power of good; danced by two men inside an ornate costume) dancing on the street. The good news, for folks who want to immerse themselves in the customs and culture of old Bali, is that the villagers encourage and welcome congenial visitors. Although there are now many private rental villas in these three villages, they have seamlessly integrated without detracting from the simplicity and charm of the location. This is an ideal destination for those who want to get lost in the beauty of the countryside, and for those who want to engage with the local people and gain privileged insights into the Balinese Hindu lifestyle.
A little further up the coast is Tanah Lot, famous for its dramatic and venerated sea temple, which is perched on a craggy wave-lashed rock at the edge of the glistening black shoreline. It is probably the most photographed sight in Bali, especially in the late afternoon when its splendid profile is silhouetted against the setting sun. The Tanah Lot locale is also home to a number of private villas due to presence of the 18-hole, 72-par, championship-standard Nirwana Bali Golf Club, which is frequently voted the number one golf course in Asia. This is, however, still a far-flung area with few facilities other than the souvenir stalls and simple eateries within the temple grounds, and three international restaurants within Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort.