Villa Tirta Nila
Set well away from the hustle and bustle of mainstream tourism, and resting absolutely seafront overlooking the spectacular Amuk Bay near Candidasa in East Bali, Tirta Nila Beach House is truly exquisite. This contemporary-styled villa presents four bedrooms, a large living and dining room, a cosy air-conditioned media room, pool, open-sided dining pavilion elevated above the water, and a man-made sandy beach and volleyball court with direct access into a sheltered lagoon with a coral reef. With its delightful team of fulltime staff including a manager and a superb cook, the villa is perfect for families and groups of friends.
Your villa manager will typically have a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any tour bookings for you. Do ask other members of staff about the local area too. Invariably some of them will live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.
In the meantime, here’s a taste of some of the activities on offer within reach of the villa:
- Twelve kilometres to the east of Candidasa, you will find the hidden beach of Pasir Putih, meaning ‘white sands.’ Fringed by a coconut grove and flanked by green headlands with a sheer cliff behind, you will feel like you have stepped back in time. The tranquil ambience, complete with the simple grass roofed eateries, is reminiscent of the Bali of the 1970s.
- If you would like to witness the marine life under the ocean without having to get wet, take a ‘Voyage of Fantasy’ in the Odyssey Submarine. Accommodating 36 passengers with 2 pilots, the submarine will transport you on an unforgettable journey to a depth of 20 metres under the sea to explore the colourful coral reef. This is a great activity for families with young children.
- The hiking around Candidasa is superb, and the villa staff can arrange for a local guide to escort you. At Bukit Asah near the village of Bug Bug, a gentle two-kilometre walk brings you to a hilltop outlook blessed with a beautiful panorama of the sea, the coastline and neighbouring islands. Longer hikes will take you through forested land and rice terraces. Along the way you will see many Balinese farmers working in their fields, and you can explore local villages.
- At the peaceful 700-year-old walled village of Tenganan, the residents practice a time-honoured lifestyle based around ritual and ceremony. Many of the houses function as shops and workshops where expert craftsmen and women perform their centuries’ old skills. Traditional ‘ata’ vine baskets are laid out in neat rows upon the ground, and artists display their lontar carved books. Inside the workshop homes, you can see and purchase the famous, highly valued double ikat textiles. The women will demonstrate the weaving process using small looms.
- The picturesque water palace of Taman Ujung was built in 1919 by the last Raja of Karangasem. Resting in the vast pool is a series of intriguing, romantic pavilions linked by bridges, archways, and a shaded avenue of mango and frangipani trees.
- Also built by the water-loving Raja is Tirta Gangga, a fabled maze of spine-tinglingy cold bathing pools and basins, spouts, tiered pagoda fountains, stone carvings and lush gardens showcasing a blend of Chinese and Balinese architecture.
- Many of the restaurants in Candidasa offer a free pick-up and drop-off transport service, including the wonderful Vincent’s, where you can relish romantic dining in a gorgeous garden, high quality international cuisine, superb service, cool and colourful artwork and lazy jazz music. La Rouge is another charming restaurant. Bali Asli is a restaurant and cooking school, near Amlapura. It is one of the island’s best, serving traditional Balinese food created from home-grown ingredients and cooked in an authentic Balinese-style kitchen on wood-fired, mud brick stoves, which allow the real flavours of Bali to shine.
- At the village of Jasri, visit the Sorga Chocolate Factory, where you can observe the entire chocolate-making process from the cacao fruit to the delicious organic chocolate bars and truffles. A tasting session is a must.
- The picturesque, natural harbour and village of Padangbai is the departure and arrival point for the car-ferries and fast boats to and from Lombok. Head up the hill above the car-ferry dock and you’ll find Bias Tugel Beach aka Pantai Kecil (the little beach, also known as Secret Beach), complete with a number of beachside warungs serving food and drinks. Accessing this gorgeous patch of paradise involves scrambling down a cliff path.