Finding "Eat, Pray, Love" in East Bali
If you have been looking for the old Bali, or the "Eat, Pray, Love" Bali we have all dreamed about, then head east towards the region of Amlapura. Here the local culture remains undisturbed and the only tourists hang out in the snorkeling and scuba diving jump off point of Amed.
We stayed on a little known remote property in Karangasem called Villa Campuhan. This five villa tropical paradise boasts incredible views of the tallest volcano in Bali Mount Agung, the distant Gili islands, and the ever crashing waves. The owners bought the property for their family years ago and recently converted it to a boutique hotel since they were not able to make the trip back from the US as often.
To be honest, I really did not want to share this place with you. I found it tucked away on the internet and fell completely in love with this place. I would love to keep it my little secret, but the pictures are just too good not to share.
The most popular villa is Villa Agung for its glass house elegance and 360 views of the property. Villa Selak is considered the honeymoon suite as it is located more privately across the creek with its own private pool and yoga deck over the lotus pond. The other three villas are equally as stunning. I would love to come back and rent the whole property for friends and family to join us.
After our visit to Saint Lucia last December (see the post here), I am obsessed with private pools so Villa Selak was an easy decision. There was only one other couple staying at Villa Campuhan at the time, and when they left we had both pools to ourselves!
Villa Selak includes a large king bed on the first floor, and a second double day bed upstairs with amazing views of the ocean. The bathroom has two separate sinks, a large wardrobe, and just outside is a large two person marble bathtub and separate rain head shower. It was amazing having views of the open sky and palm trees overhead.
Every morning I woke with the sunrise and watched its light spread over the water. Then I would join Dan on our patio for the most amazing breakfast. We enjoyed scrambled eggs and basil tomatoes, French toast, banana pancakes (amazing, and more like a crepe), toast, black rice pudding (sooo good), fresh tropical fruit, coffee, tea, and fresh squeezed fruit juices.
During the day we relaxed poolside, sipping on fresh coconuts. One day we were able to watch one of the staff scale a palm tree to cut down the coconuts for us to enjoy. Dinner included a delicious spread of Asian dishes served in the main villa. You can ask the property manager for a sample menu via email before you go to get an idea of the great options.
For excursions, we went to Amed to snorkel with the most beautiful fish I've ever seen. Our driver was the best! He and his family live next door to the property and know so much about the area. He would always offer to pull over so I could take pictures and he even invited us to his community's full moon festival that night!
You can also book various other activities through the property manager, including a private yoga session or tour to one of the many beautiful temples. While there is not a true beach on the property, there is a white sand beach about ten minutes away called Virgin Beach. If you are looking to just lounge on the beach, I would recommend staying in one of the south Bali regions like Nusa Dua or on one of the Gilli islands. Nusa Dua is a gated resort community known for its five star hotels while the Gilli Islands are a popular scene among the younger crowd.
However, I was eager to experience old Bali, which to me meant finding a way to put down my phone and truly appreciate the Balinese landscape and culture. We enjoyed our stay at Villa Campuhan so much and we will absolutely be back for the delicious food, incredibly gracious staff, the warm ocean breeze, and the stunning views.