One of the best things about Bali is that there’s so many different sides to it. The southern tip of Uluwatu offers dramatic cliffs and great surfing. A bit further up south you have the cool clubs and restaurants of Seminyak. Unfortunately, this is as far as most visitors to Bali ever get. And that’s a crying shame! If you keep moving up the coast, you’ll escape the crowds and discover hidden gems – like this stunning beachfront villa in Tabanan.
Just the drive up is beautiful. Suddenly you’re surrounded by cascading rice paddies, swaying palm trees and a shimmering sliver of the ocean. Basically, it’s the Bali you see in your mind’s eye when dreaming of a holiday in the tropics. The reward at the end of the drive is not too shabby either: we’re spending the weekend at Villa Delmara, our new favourite villa in Tabanan.
Beachside Paradise Found
Villa Delmara sits at the end of a private road. We unload our bags from the car, make our way down the curved staircase from the parking lot… and that is when our jaws drop. We’re standing in the villa’s living room, but all we can see is the lagoon pool, the palm trees – and the ocean.
Talk about location! Villa Delmara sits on a sloping hill and the only thing standing between the villa and the beach is the private swimming pool. As soon as we’ve dropped our bags, we rush down to check out the beach. We have it all to ourselves! In southern Bali, this is practically unheard of.
We stroll down the volcanic black sand and dip our toes in the salty waves. We spot a bohemian beachfront restaurant serving bargain-priced food with million dollar views just a few minutes from the villa. A private beach and oceanfront dining – just some of the perks of booking a villa in Tabanan.
(Bath) Room with a View
To match the five-star location, the villa itself is pretty spectacular as well. We can’t stop oohing and aahing over the tiled floors and the old gin jugs doubling as flower pots. The vintage unicycle barstools perched besides the open-plan kitchen and the curved staircase are just an Instagram photoshoot waiting to happen!
Though the villa is a work of art from start to finish, my favourite part has got to be the bathrooms. All the ensuite bathrooms are huge and have a tropical indoor/outdoor layout, but one of them really takes the cake. I tell you, this villa in Tabanan comes with some serious views!
This bathroom has one open wall and offers sweeping views of the surrounding rainforest and over to the beach. While it’s definitely not for the prudish, this bathtub is bucket list gold: enjoy a bath with rainforest views or indulge in a soak beneath the stars.
Bed and Breakfast, Bali Style
After getting our beachside fix, it’s time to choose our bedrooms. Villa Delmara has four bedrooms spread over two floors, all furnished with double beds. One bedroom is located on the first floor and offers direct access to the pool. The three bedrooms on the second floor are hugged by a wrap-around balcony, with daybeds perfect for a little tropical daydreaming.
There are no TVs in the bedrooms, but there’s one massive TV in the upstairs media room and another one in the downstairs living room. The media room can also be converted into an extra bedroom if needed. The villa manager Yanthy tells us that some families choose to lock away the TV and don’t even want to know the Wi-Fi password. Looking at all the surrounding real-life beauty, it’s easy to see why.
Once it’s time for dinner, we order in from a nearby restaurant, which is made super easy. Just pick and choose from the menu provided and the villa staff does the rest. We have a feast of Indonesian ayam bakar and spicy chicken tacos, followed by a dessert of waffles with fresh fruit and chocolate sauce. The food is super yummy and the portions are huge!
The in-house breakfast served the following morning is delish as well: plenty of fresh fruit, omelettes, a few steaks of bacon and warm toast. Add to that some tea and a cup of plunger coffee and we’re ready to take on the world!
Cool Surfer’s Hub
Life at Villa Delmara is not just about pristine rainforests and deserted beaches, either. The villa sits a 10-minute drive from the vibrant hub of Balian Beach. The villa can arrange a car and driver or scooter rental, which is priced at IDR 70,000 a day (about USD $5).
Balian Beach is a cool hangout for people in the know, with a nice mix of surfers, expats and locals. Though the scene is very hip and happening, there’s no mass development here, just a few cool restaurants and plenty of laid-back vibes.
Balian Beach is the kind of place where you can while away an entire afternoon sipping a fresh coconut. Enjoy a bit of surfing before joining a yoga class at Pondok Pitaya, a cool hybrid of a yoga studio and beachfront restaurant. Finish your day with a cold beer at sunset – if you’re anything like us, you might never want to leave.