I have been sitting watching the waves break for over an hour. It’s so peaceful. There’s a constant breeze, and every now and then a pigeon comes down to the pool for a drink – they obviously haven’t discovered Bintang beer yet!
This is the east of Bali, just north of Sanur; the beaches are made of black volcanic sand and the only boats that come past every couple of hours are local fishing boats. There’s been one fisherman throwing his net out and a sole surfer on the beach the entire day. It’s wonderful!
Staying in a villa is, to me, all about having space and privacy, and it’s important that you communicate your required levels of privacy and attentiveness with the staff at the beginning of the stay.
The staff here at Villa Pushpapuri are all stationed at the back of the property but they are available with the push of a button, so it’s perfect. There’s a little pantry where you can make yourself a cup of tea or grab a Bintang out of the fridge. Self-sufficiency and solitude is what I’m after, until the rest of the crew arrive. The internet is great so I have caught up on work and now I’m waiting for a mee goreng for lunch – and the massage lady later on.
Villa Pushpapuri is not that far from the airport with the new toll road, which for a dollar more is well worth taking. It took us only 30 minutes in the evening and there was no traffic. Very un-Bali-like!
The villa is quite “old school” – lots of wood and Balinese-style furnishings, though it does have the luxury of having no neighbours, plenty of space and being right on the beach, with an estuary off to the left. There’s also a “man cave” downstairs with bar, dartboard and snooker table, so you can keep yourselves very occupied. It’s a good place to go with four couples for a weekend bash, and the cost averages out to around $100 a night per person if there are eight of you – or lower, depending on the time of year.
My “room” has a patio overlooking the sea, and that’s where I plonk myself to do some work. The long lap-pool is in front of me, and it’s the perfect temperature (27 degrees), so I’ve been in several times. There’s also a deck area in front of the outdoor bar; it’s almost on the beach, and I managed to get a little burnt there earlier this morning. I always forget to pack the second most important thing after a passport: sunscreen!
There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Sanur if you don’t want to go to the bright lights of Seminyak, so we will try some of them. And we’ll go to Seminyak tomorrow instead – for a clothes-shopping spree!
There are four separate bedrooms similar to mine, but mine is the master bedroom; it sits beneath a study and a den that can also be used for children’s bedrooms. The main man at Villa Pushpapuri is Made; this is a very common name, given to almost all second-born children in Bali, while most firstborn children are named Wayan – so it’s very easy to remember names! Adi is my “butler”; he makes me breakfast and he’s lovely. There is something special about the Balinese people, and it’s obviously one of the reasons why so many people make it their home or second home. Property values have shot through the roof in the last two years.
I end up going to dinner at a friend’s house; she has lived in Bali for many years. Gill Wilson is an interior designer and has her own business on the island; she has also built two houses in Sanur and lives in the smaller of the two. It’s been an experience, but one she’s not sure she would repeat. Still, the result is well worth it and the houses are beautifully made and decorated. Sanur is a good residential area for expats – still fairly green and with a villagey feel to it, yet with all you need as far as eating and drinking goes.
We make a full day of our clothes-shopping trip to Seminyak as it’s quite a drive. Most of the time is spent covering a very small area at the top end, near Grocer & Grind, though we still manage to make a significant dent on the credit card! There’s another new coffee place, Revolver, that’s trending on all the search engines; we try there first but it’s heaving, so we stick with the tried and tested.
Home-cooked dinner at the villa that night is delicious and we’re so knackered from shopping that we sleep early. Then before the airport the next day we enjoy lunch in a lovely little place in Sanur village, The Porch Café. The afternoon is spent finding funky home accessories in a number of furnishing shops, including Piment Rouge and BaliZen.
The massage ladies were called upon twice during our stay; it’s so well priced and a great experience listening to the sound of the sea while having a treatment – you do have to spoil yourself! One tip: we felt that the massages were better than the facials.
Two nights in Bali isn’t really enough, but you still feel like you’ve had a break, and with great KLM prices it’s really a no-brainer. The flight times work well for a quick getaway, too, and at least the new airport is air-conditioned. I heard a rumour they’re going to get rid of the pay-on-arrival visa, which would be marvellous!
Villa Pushpapuri is one of 10 or so villas in the area, and there are plenty more in Bali that can be booked through luxury rental company, Elite Havens. For more information and rates, visit elitehavens.com.
This story was first published in Expat Living’s April 2015 issue.
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