Superb service and facilities in a dramatic ocean-front setting
We stayed at Villa Waringin on a writers' conference and all agreed there could be no finer place for a coming together of creative minds. The villa's homely ambience makes you feel immediately relaxed, while complementary facilities like pull-down projector screens, plus a team of willing, able staff remove every possible hassle, leaving you to get on with the business of the day. The same ease would definitely apply on a holiday, and we tested this theory to the full whenever there was a break in proceedings. Reclining on the terrace sofas with a choice of teas and delicious snacks (the chef does an excellent Croque Monsieur) certainly got the creative juices flowing, as did lying on the cushioned sunbeds by the pool, while some of the best ideas actually emerged during the delicious barbecue dinner on the poolside lawn (not least the notion of a second helping of fresh prawns!). When it was time to retreat to our supremely comfortable bedrooms, flat-screen TVs and iPod docks ensured no one felt over-burdened with work worries before drifting off to sleep. In the morning a fabulous breakfast spread included fresh fruit, eggs with back bacon and pain au chocolat - ample fuel for the day ahead. Although it's a shame not to be able to swim in a sea so close (there are huge breakers and dangerous rip tides), we were more than happy to gaze and gasp at the waves, sound in the knowledge that come sunset we'd be immersed in the pool, watching the sky blush to greet the evening stars.
It's rare to find a villa quite this close to the beach on Bali and the dramatic ocean views and crashing waves provide an idyllic backdrop to the appealing choice of holiday pleasures on offer. Eating comes high on the list. The chefs never disappoint and the presentation and service matches that offered by most high-end resorts. In Indonesia’s current climate of high alcohol pricing, it is also wonderfully refreshing to find that all alcohol at the villa is charged at cost price. Since you are already paying a noble sum for the luxury experience this more than fair policy is a real credit to the Pantai Lima owners and management.
Even though they're surrounded by neck-high, louvered wooden panels, the upstairs outdoor rain showers in both pavilions lack privacy and may worry modest guests, tho’ they do look out over lovely views. Families with small children might be concerned that the water features to the rear of the garden are not visible from the lounge terrace and pool area.