It might be hard to believe, but sometimes you need a break from Bali. Life on the Island of the Gods is sweet, but every now and then we all just need a little change of scenery. Once upon a weekend, our team headed for a sneaky getaway to Nusa Lembongan. We were equally excited to check out the sights and to check in to our temporary island home, Villa Sari.
Getting to Nusa Lembongan
The boat ride from Sanur in Bali to Jungutbatu in Nusa Lembongan takes just over 30 minutes. We used Rocky Cruises for our transfers – this is by far the most well-rated operator between Bali and Nusa Lembongan. We tossed our sandals in the big communal tub for storage, hiked up our trousers and waded into the boat. The ride over was smooth and comfortable, with the sea breeze blowing in our hair.
Though the boat ride between the two islands is short, it almost feels like you’re travelling back in time. Administratively and culturally, Nusa Lembongan is a part of Bali – but you can immediately feel the pace of life slow down as you cross over from busy southern Bali to laid-back Lembongan.
Getting Around the Island
Nusa Lembongan is a small island with a permanent population of just 5000 people, so the distances are small and getting around the island is easy. We rented motorbikes directly at the harbor and just like that we were off! If you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself, many restaurants on the island offer a free pick up service from your villa or hotel.
To get an idea of just how relaxed Nusa Lembongan is, there are practically no private cars on the whole island. The only cars on Lembongan are the pick-up trucks shuttling travellers from the port to their accommodation. Other than that, it’s just motorbikes bouncing down the sandy lanes and the occasional golf buggy carting travellers between their villas and the beach.
Welcome to Villa Sari
After driving about 10 minutes from the harbour, we arrived at Villa Sari. Located on a peaceful sandy lane, Villa Sari has a great bohemian feel which was exactly what we were looking for when heading to Lembongan. Upon arrival, we checked our flip flops at the door and after that it was two days of no shoes, no news – just pure island chill.
Villa Sari has three bedrooms, all located side by side facing the pool – the perfect excuse to jump straight into the pool as soon as you wake up! Two rooms have double beds and one room has six single bunk beds, so this is a great villa for families.
All in all, there’s room for four adults and up to six kids in Villa Sari. If you’re travelling with a larger group, Villa Sari shares an interconnecting garden gate with its neighbour, Villa Santai. The two villas can be booked together as a spacious five-bedroom villa.
Life at Villa Sari
Our days at Villa Sari were carefree and relaxed – in other words, just what you need from a tropical island getaway. The villa is staffed with a villa manager and housekeepers who keep the villa spotlessly clean and are ready to help with everything, no matter how big or small.
The design of Villa Sari is all about relishing the tropics. Take the open-air bathrooms: lined by bamboo walls and lush gardens, you really get to channel your inner Robinson Crusoe while taking your morning shower. We also loved the breakfast: a tropical spread of pancakes, scrambled eggs, fresh watermelon juice – and of course, a rainbow coloured fruit platter.
Staying Metres from the Beach
On an island as petite as Nusa Lembongan, you’re never too far from anything. Villa Sari offers a prime location as you’re literally within a two-minute walk from Sandy Bay Beach Club. This is a cool restaurant and beach venue where we spent a good while sipping cold drinks and catching up on some emails. Around sunset, the scene got so busy that it almost felt like being back in Seminyak… but luckily, not quite. Here’s hoping Lembongan never loses its laid-back charm.
Villa Sari is also close to Dream Beach which really lives up to its name by delivering pure white sand, clear turquoise waters and endless photo ops. A pro tip: head here after 3pm once the pick-up trucks full of day trippers have departed. Digging your toes in the sand, feeling the fresh sea breeze on your skin… this is island life at its finest.
All too soon, it was time to catch our boat and head back to Bali. We enjoyed our stay in Villa Sari so much that on the ride back home, we were already planning our next trip to Lembongan. If you’re feeling the siren call of the island, you can read more about Villa Sari or contact our villa specialists to help you plan the perfect stay in Nusa Lembongan.