Monday, January 20, 2014

Bali, Indonesia 2.0 - Cuddle in the comfort that is, Villa Sandhya

This post is about day 2 in Bali. After arriving and staying 1 night in Kuta (Bali 1.0: Our first night spent in Kuta, Bali), the driver from Villa Sandhya picked us from the hotel that we were staying in.  The drive was about 45 minutes to 1 hour ride from Kuta to Canggu, a residential area off town. During the drive to our villa in Canggu, despite the humid and hot weather and the "fast and furious" cars and motorbikes outside of our van (you'd probably have to be as daring as the locals to drive in Bali), the van was comfortable throughout the close to 1 hour car ride.

Ready to go!

Canggu is a very quiet and tranquil place as it is away from the town area. The roads leading up to our villa  were surrounded by paddy fields and houses owned by the locals. There are also a number of villas located in the area. The roads can get bumpy and tight as some of them are only a single-lane road. The vehicles including our van weren't exactly going slow. My heart skipped a beat and we were exchanging glances when we met with another van as we were going up a slope on the single-lane road. Overall the ride was splendid as we got a chance to sight-see.

Halfway there!

And we've arrived!

Upon arrival at the villa, we were greeted immediately by the supervisor of the villa - Mr Edi and we were brought to our 3 bedroom villa. There are a total of 3 villas just connected side-by-side and a small management office where you can find the hotel supervisor. Ivy found this deal on Groupon, it was a really good deal and we decided "Let's go for it!". We bought the 4D3N package which includes daily continental breakfast, daily afternoon tea, free Wi-Fi, half day tour of Ubud, return airport transfer, free shuttle service to Seminyak Square and Canggu Plaza, and 30 minutes massage.

You'll walk through a big door, on pebbled stepping stones and this is what you'll see.

The pool was very clean, not even a sight of leaf was in it. We think that the pool might be a self-cleaning pool as occasionally we would hear sounds coming from the pool area. Even though we stayed there for 4 days, the pool still looked clean at the end of our trip.

We were served with lemongrass tea by one of the staff who greeted us with a big welcoming smile.

They have security on duty at night as well

Mr Edi, the supervisor, provided us with 1 mobile phone which contains his number in it. The concept of this villa is that, everything you need: food (you can opt for a private chef), massage and or pedi/manicure (who will be sent to your villa), transportation (for tours, bike rentals etc.), outdoor activities/entertainment (white water rafting, entertainment spots etc.), it is all just one call away. They have their own Villa Sandhya book which contains all the information and services provided by the villa. It is as though everything is provided at your convenience so that you do not need to leave the villa at all. 

The living room area. There is no TV downstairs, only in the rooms.

The interior is very "open" as in there were not much walls or barriers. Even the windows of the toilet and of our upstairs rooms' were full glass. Heck, the stairs has no side railings! 

Kitchen area

All the kitchen necessities are provided. including the stove, cutleries, chinaware, cups and glasses all stored up in the drawers. 

They even have a speaker which has a dock for iphones.

Complimentary fruit basket are provided too. We cut up the pineapple on the last day and made it into pineapple smoothie.

The villa was very clean and maintained very well by the management and they have security on duty at night as well so you don't need to worry. 

Behind the kitchen is an open-air shower and toilet (behind the shower). If you're and exhibitionist, why not? haha. We used the shower to rinse our body before we entered the pool. The walls are quite high and there wasn't any other building directly beside us, so you can still do your business there if you're up for it.

The view from the sun deck. That square room directly in front is the bedroom.

Although the downstairs bedroom seems to be more spacious that the other two but all three are of 150sqm. The interior of the 3 bedrooms are more or less the same, very simple with minimal designs. Only difference is that the master bedroom has their own bathroom with a bigger bathtub and two sofas.

Semi-open air bathroom with full glass windows on the other sides.

Imagine waking up to the sight of the pool every morning. You could just jump right in.

Up the stairs to the rooms on the 1st floor

The staffs will enter the villa for a clean-up (change the sheets and make your bed, change the towels and throw the trash) around afternoon. They have the key to your villa, but don't worry, they're honest people.

Corridor of the two rooms upstairs. I love the minimalist design of the house. It's design is classy enough which projects a villa but also comfortable enough to pass off as a house.

It feels different when you're in a hot bubble bath with the curtains open and you get the sunlight. I tried it with the curtains slightly open when there weren't much of us in the villa. :p

One thing about this villa also is that, there are minimal mirrors around. There wasn't a mirror in our bedrooms except for the poolside room. But the toilet upstairs has a wall of a full-sized mirror.

After our tour around the villa, we decided to walk out to get some grub. Echo Beach is just 3-5 minutes walk from our villa. There are a few restaurants around that area but the place is more lively at night. It was very windy! We got a place just beside the edge of the wall by the sea. We decided on Sate Bali Restaurant as we wanted to have authentic Balinese food.

Along the way to Echo Beach, there are small stalls by the roadside that sell beachwear and accessories

A number of restaurants and cafes on Echo Beach for visitors to choose to dine from

After getting a seat, the waiter attended to us to pass us the menu. The preparation of the food took quite awhile so in the meantime, we took the opportunity to take some pictures. Only thing that I didn't like about that area was the pesky flies! It was so big and it kept circling around our table.

As we sat there, we could hear the waves crashing and the wind blowing strongly Echo Beach is one of the popular surfing spots around the area. Seen around the beach area are surfers mostly Ang-Mohs. There are alot of Ang-Mohs who travel around on their scooter and bikes. They must be regulars as they seem to know their way around the area and some even came with their own surf boards.

How is it that the boys look way more fabulous than us girls?!

We waited for about 20-30 minutes for the food to arrive. The presentation of the food was good and the plate was very big and heavy. I had the Nasi Campur which surprisingly, wasn't that spicy as the Balinese food that I had in Malaysia. Everything on my plate was very appetizing, especially the pork which was soft and juicy.

Nasi Goreng Rp. 45,000

Pesan Ikan Tenggiri Rp. 55,000

Nasi Campur Rp. 55,000

Mie Goreng Rp. 45,000

After fulfilling the wishes of our grumbling tummy, we took a stroll back to our villa to look at some of the shops around the area. There is a junction which leads to a Pura (temple) and also to some eateries, a spa, apparel shops and a surf school. We skipped Edelweis Spa and opted for Therapy (which is much closer to our villa than Edelweis Spa) because Therapy looked more appealing to us. Their staff came out to greet us when she saw us lingering outside looking at their spa services. She passed us their booklet which states their services and pricing, so we could decide later on our own what therapy we would like to go for.

As we were walking out from our villa to Echo Beach, a cafe is located just along the way, approximately 30 seconds walk. We wanted our desserts of course! So on the way back from Echo Beach, we dropped by the cafe called Ole Ole Ollie .

A very cosy place to hangout with your mates

Other than being a cafe, this place also offers lodging

The owner of Ole Ole Ollie was a very down-to-earth lady. She was very friendly and made conversation with us, giving us suggestions on where to go should we decide to venture out of Canggu.

No he's not the owner! haha

Each of us ordered a cupcake but Kuok Sing ordered pancake

I ordered a Vanilla Raspberry cupcake and Spicy Ginger Milk. The cupcake was okay in my opinion. I've tasted better ones that suit my liking. I didn't like the (whipped) cream as it was too much. The Spicy Ginger Milk was, yes, spicy. An interesting taste, you can't taste the much of the ginger at all. I like how the drink came in quaint bottle which fits the whole theme of the cafe's layout.

I had a taste of their pancakes. The raspberry jam was fresh. It had a strong flavour of raspberry. the pancakes were fluffy and it is interesting that it is a chocolate pancake but it didn't taste of sweet chocolate, just a light hint of cocoa. KS had his pancakes with chocolate ice-cream.

Their ice cream was different as it wasn't the solid ice cream type. The ice cream had an interesting texture as if they mix it with a type of cream or milk. It's like ice cream-smoothie. The ice cream spoon instead of the metal/plastic type, they gave him a biscuit spoon!

After our dessert, we headed straight back to the villa to the pool! It was a hot day and what would be better than to take a swim in the pool. 

What better and safer way to do a stunt than in a pool right? haha

Then there are the tourist-y jump shots that everybody loves to do!

How cute is that?!

After a good swim, we went to rest and wash up to head out for dinner. We decided on having our dinner at RedSalt. The sign from where we saw says that it was only 300m away. So we thought, alright, why not. Since the other restaurants are further away and along the road there were none to minimal street lights.

So we were walking for a good 3 minutes down the rocky pathway to RedSalt. We didn't see any restaurants, only some houses and what seems to be like a resort. Mind you, it was pitch black. there weren't any street lights AT ALL. There were a few motorcyclist that passed us and we asked one of them for directions. He pointed us to the direction of RedSalt and recommended their burgers. The motorcyclist said that RedSalt is "just down the road" "walk straight and you will see a lighted building". Yeah it was just down the road... down the hilly...dark... road. Luckily we brought our mobile phones and used them as torch lights.

So after approximately 20-minutes walk, we've arrived! We were hungry, happy and relieved!

We were greeted by their staffs as we approached the restaurant and were brought to take a seat

The restaurant was very quiet, there was only one couple present in the restaurant and the rest is pretty much empty. The restaurant is on elevated ground and is located beside a paddy field and just below, it looks like accommodation which is also part of the RedSalt.

Yes! They do delivery!

RedSalt Burger Rp.60, 000

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna Rp. 50,000

RedSalt Pizza Rp. 65, 000

Lemongrass Chicken Rp. 55, 000

Chicken Burger Rp. 55, 000

Food at RedSalt was good and their portions are big. The waitress was very talkative as well. Haha. After dinner, there is the walk-of-darkness back to the villa. Haha. The walk was quite creepy as we were already covered in darkness, along the roadside were paddy fields, some bushes, a lake/rive... maybe? I don't know man, it was dark. Then the silence of the night was accompanied by the orchestra of nature's night creatures. It was creepy but somehow I liked it because I felt a sense of peacefulness as we were walking. Even better yet, there was a cooling breeze.

After what seemed like a long day, we retired into our rooms to looking forward for the next day in Ubud and a relaxing massage!

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