Sanur-Ketewel villas in Bali, Indonesia

If Kuta is the energetic, crowded hub of Bali’s tourism, the historical and easy going village of Sanur is its sleepy antithesis, sitting on Bali’s south-east coast just a short distance from the capital Denpasar and 16 kilometres from the airport. Relaxed restaurants and bars line the road whilst a slew of resorts line the pretty beaches which are more protected than those on the west coast. They start from backpacking huts and progress to some of the original beach retreats, popular with celebrities of the '60s and '70s, which put Bali on the tourist map.

In common with many other tourist centres in Bali, Sanur has expanded, not always beautifully, and now boasts the 9-hole Grand Bali Beach Golf Course, a bowling centre and collection of spas and massage centres, supermarkets for provisioning, banks and ATMs, and a range of shops selling everything from simple postcards to sophisticated artwork. Bali’s famous silver, teak, paintings, masks and more are all available in Sanur, which remains a charming, low key, relaxed destination.

Thirteen kilometres east of Sanur, the area collectively known as Ketewel includes a string of traditional fishing villages - Pabean, Saba, Lebih, Maceti and Ketewel itself - running along the coast. The construction of Sunrise Road (also known as the Klungkung bypass) in 2004 meant that the windswept black sand beaches of this part of the Gianyar Regency suddenly became a lot more accessible. Bounded by the River Wos, terraced rice fields, tobacco plantations, papaya and banana groves, the area is blessed with spellbinding views extending across the ocean towards the beaches of Sanur and Nusa Dua, the islands of Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida, and the mountains of East Bali.

Ketewel village itself is the origin of the celebrated Legong Bidadari Dance, and the neighbouring village of Saba produced the finest Legong dancers on the island. The nearby beach of Pabean was once a small port through which oriental traders brought their products; at low tide you can still see the structure of the old harbour, and a Chinese cemetery is located close by. Balinese Hindu purification ceremonies are held beside the ocean at the sacred Pura Segara sea temple, and the offshore reef is renowned for its surf breaks. There are no Western-style restaurants in this area, but there are plenty of local warungs (eateries), while international restaurants galore can be found just down the road in Sanur.

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Villa Puri Nirwana

Villa Puri Nirwana

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

Six years on from the original review, we enjoyed a delightful stay at Puri Nirwana. It was a pleasure to find such a quiet part of Bali’s coast completely untouched by the crowds, even in high season. The location is spectacular, and the views from the villa attention-grabbing throughout the day.

We had the beach to ourselves apart from a lone fisherman, and enjoyed walking along the beach-front promenade, to Pura Masceti, one of Bali’s nine sacred directional temples. The sunrises over Cucukan Beach are sensational, and we were mesmerised by the island and mountain views.

The villa is large and the staff are very friendly, full of smiles; the chef, who had worked at Ubud culinary icon Mosaic, prepared some beautifully presented meals for us. Puri Nirwana is well designed to accommodate large family groups — it is possibly the best place on Bali to bring someone with mobility issues — and the stunning spa pavilion is the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely massage.

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Villa Pushpapuri

Villa Pushpapuri

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

You cannot fail to enjoy Villa Pushpapuri – we certainly did during our stay. The staff were very helpful, the food was good and the setting superb. It was a real treat to be able to see and hear the sea from almost everywhere - by the fabulous swimming pool, at dinner (inside or out) or from most of the bedrooms. We also really enjoyed retiring to the underground bar in the evening for a beer and game of pool. The villa is only a few years old (2006) but the quality of finish is excellent and the maintenance first class which it has to be given its exposed coastal location. The gardens are a delight and the bright interiors very enjoyable. Villa Pushpapuri would make an excellent choice for families as there is a load to do.
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Villa Samadhana

Villa Samadhana

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

The first thing we noticed on entering Villa Samadhana was the wide open space, rarely seen these days in the more popular tourist centres of Bali. The kids ran a good 70m sprint from the entrance up to the living area, across manicured lawns and past flowering trees. Being a family of four, we had our choice of three separate sleeping pavilions but, as our youngest still wakes in the night, we opted for the master suite so we could be close together. With a king-size bed in the sleeping chamber and upholstered couches in the adjoining sitting room, the kids were excited about sleeping in an unconventional, yet comfortable space – especially with access to their own 32-inch flat-screen television.

The owners obviously love to spend quality family time here and the poolside pavilion is a well thought out covered area that provides unlimited opportunities for action, relaxation and play for the entire group. With a 25m lap pool, generously sized shallow area for toddlers, inflatable pool toys and four umbrella-shaded sun loungers, this was our ‘go to’ spot each day after breakfast.

The butler and his attendants soon realised that our small, low maintenance group didn’t require them at our beck and call all day and discretely left us to our own devices until we needed them. However, the villa’s extensive amenities and big team of full time staff are perfect for large groups and special events such as weddings. And chef Wayan is a magician in the kitchen. He and his team took care of the grocery shopping before our arrival, based on our selections from the vast menu emailed to us. As a first night surprise for the kids we’d ordered ice cream sundaes and banana splits - the perfect treat before watching a family movie in the air-conditioned media room.

The Pabean Beach area serves up a refreshing slice of unhurried Balinese life. Our daily strolls to the beach provided glimpses of an authentic village lifestyle: local children laughing and playing on the glittering, black-sand beach, elderly men chatting beneath their shady roadside shelters and ibu (mothers) skilfully wielding long, skinny sticks to knock down frangipani blossoms for daily prayer offerings.

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Sanur Residence

Sanur Residence

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

Sanur Residence is very modern in design, simply furnished but very comfortable. Although the houses may not have the rustic ambiance of traditional Balinese villas, they make excellent beachside holiday homes. To us it looked as though each house is owned by a different member of the same family so has taken on a different personality within ostensibly the same frame. The middle house (House Two) has mature furnishings and an older feel with some interesting art and sculptures. At the other end of the spectrum is House Three – young and vibrant with pink and grey soft furnishings in the lounge, bright art on the walls, and a private media room. House One falls somewhere in between. That said all the bedrooms are large and very comfortable (especially the master suites) and have huge modern, very practical terrazzo-finished bathrooms. Each house has perfectly acceptable facilities including TVs, cable and DVDs throughout, and good common spaces. The house kitchens are small - just service or snack kitchens, the bulk of the cooking is done in the staff kitchen and delivered to the house. We thought it odd that ther is no obvious place for communal dining except for in the rather formal meeting room. The staff did say, however, that they are happy to set up tables out on the lawns, which we can imagine would be great for a barbecue.
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From $790 ++ Special 6br Rate

Bedrooms 9

Sleeps 12

Our
Rating 7.8
Guest Rating 9.3

Real-time Availability

Sanur Residence

Sanur Residence

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

Sanur Residence is very modern in design, simply furnished but very comfortable. Although the houses may not have the rustic ambiance of traditional Balinese villas, they make excellent beachside holiday homes. To us it looked as though each house is owned by a different member of the same family so has taken on a different personality within ostensibly the same frame. The middle house (House Two) has mature furnishings and an older feel with some interesting art and sculptures. At the other end of the spectrum is House Three – young and vibrant with pink and grey soft furnishings in the lounge, bright art on the walls, and a private media room. House One falls somewhere in between. That said all the bedrooms are large and very comfortable (especially the master suites) and have huge modern, very practical terrazzo-finished bathrooms. Each house has perfectly acceptable facilities including TVs, cable and DVDs throughout, and good common spaces. The house kitchens are small - just service or snack kitchens, the bulk of the cooking is done in the staff kitchen and delivered to the house. We thought it odd that ther is no obvious place for communal dining except for in the rather formal meeting room. The staff did say, however, that they are happy to set up tables out on the lawns, which we can imagine would be great for a barbecue.
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The Ylang Ylang

The Ylang Ylang

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

Initially, The Ylang Ylang can come across as quite daunting, especially the atrium, but it doesn't take long to settle in and feel comfortably at home. The staff are incredibly welcoming and gracious; some of them have been working here for nine years. The black and gold theme will not be to everyone’s taste – it is a bit glitzy – and we never did figure out what the blue lighting under the beds was all about!

Given its seafront location and the salt water environment maintenance is a continual battle and, in places, the villa is definitely showing its age. Some fittings may not work and some of the huge doors maybe stiff – it shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of Villa Ylang Ylang though, and staff are on hand if you need help with anything. Some of the bathrooms feel a little dated but they function just fine.
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From $580 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 7.5
Guest Rating 8.9

Real-time Availability

The Ylang Ylang

The Ylang Ylang

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

Initially, The Ylang Ylang can come across as quite daunting, especially the atrium, but it doesn't take long to settle in and feel comfortably at home. The staff are incredibly welcoming and gracious; some of them have been working here for nine years. The black and gold theme will not be to everyone’s taste – it is a bit glitzy – and we never did figure out what the blue lighting under the beds was all about!

Given its seafront location and the salt water environment maintenance is a continual battle and, in places, the villa is definitely showing its age. Some fittings may not work and some of the huge doors maybe stiff – it shouldn’t affect your enjoyment of Villa Ylang Ylang though, and staff are on hand if you need help with anything. Some of the bathrooms feel a little dated but they function just fine.
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Villa Arimbi

Villa Arimbi

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

The tranquil, stylish, and warmly welcoming Villa Arimbi has such an astonishing mix of design elements and detail that words cannot do it justice. Indeed, this villa has been showcased in design books and several magazine features since emerging from an extensive renovation in 2010.

Relaxation and pampering were what we sought during our stay, and Arimbi's staff and setting deliver these in spades. The landscaped gardens are incredibly beautiful, lovingly cared for and completely private. We spent a lot of time in the sumptuously furnished, open-air living and lounge rooms, just drinking in the tropical scene – when we weren't cooling off in the fabulous pool and jacuzzi that is. The staff’s dedication to keeping the garden and rooms in pristine condition is evident throughout – we watched in amazement as Handy, the villa manager, spent several minutes arranging the leaves and flowers of a small tree just so.

Revisiting Arimbi in April 2014, we were delighted to find the villa looking as pristine and stylish as ever, with the same excellent staff, including Handy who remembered us and welcomed us as old friends! We had little desire to venture far from the villa but we did enjoy walks to Sanur beach which, while perhaps not one of Bali's cleanest, is a great spot to enjoy a cold Bintang while watching local people of all ages at play. We were particularly captivated by the sight of one large family engaged in a group meditation session, with an elaborate arrangement of flowers and fruit set on the sands in offering to the gods.
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Villa Leha Leha

Villa Leha Leha

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Sanur-Ketewel

Leha Leha is meticulously maintained, and looks as good as new despite it being ten years old. Granted the kitchen has been upgraded in the last two years but the rest of the villa is tidily kept, beautifully clean and the soft furnishings flush with colour. Judging by the photographs scattered around the property this is a cherished holiday home. It is independently run by the owner with the assistance of two resident managers in charge of handling guest relations both of whom we found to be polite, knowledgeable and able to speak good English. Pickups from the airport were included in the rate, and a car with driver (one of the managers) was available to us throughout our stay (first tank of petrol free). Since there are two master bedrooms, we felt this villa would be great for two families holidaying together as well as for groups of friends or one extended family. The dual storey pavilion certainly maximised living space, although in absence of ceiling fans the upper floor lounge tended to get quite hot during the day. The villa’s proficient resident cook offers Indonesian fare – though ordering in or dining out at one of Sanur’s many restaurants increases your options. It’s also possible to arrange for an Italian chef to cook for you at the villa, but fees are quite steep ($150-200 plus grocery costs), so we felt that this option might be best saved for a special occasion; that said, he is very highly recommended in the guest book so perhaps it’s worth the extra splurge!
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Search Results: 19 Villa(s) in 2 page(s)
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