Tourists from all over the world flock to the ancient Balinese temple of Tanah Lot, but very few consider staying in the area. Close to Canggu, but far enough from the hipster-ness of it all, is Pantai Kedungu and a scattering of villas and guest houses in between rice fields and world class surf. While we had my sister, brother-in-law and 2 nieces (4 & 6) in Bali to stay we headed down to check out a new villa called Silversand Villa. Our kids are 4 and 9 so it was a group of 4 adults and 4 kids in total.
It took us around an hour to drive to Silversand Villa from Ubud, so from the airport or Kuta area it would probably take around the same time. Canggu is about 20-25 minutes drive away and Tanah Lot temple is just 10 minutes up the road. The roads are smooth until you turn off the main Tanah Lot road but even then they aren’t so bad. Also Canggu can get crazily congested so if you can avoid driving on Jl. Raya Canggu go around! The scenery on the way is beautiful as well, especially if you’re driving from Ubud.
We arrived to a very smiley welcome from the villa staff, delicious fresh juice and a tour of the villa. We couldn’t have felt more welcomed into the villa and instantly felt like we’d arrived in a place where we could really relax…even with 4 kids.
Silversand Villa is actually split in 2 with 2 bedrooms on each side. It is rentable as a 4 bedroom villa or two 2 bedroom villas with a shared pool. We worried a bit at first about having 4 kids with us and disturbing our neighbors, but the way the villa is designed is really smart and works amazingly well. We were also lucky that the family staying next to us were lovely, out quite a lot and very understanding of a bunch of kids splashing in the pool.
On the ground floor is a great open living room and kitchen with a small plunge pool in the decking area. This for us was an absolute stroke of genius because the kids could be in the pool when the adults were pruney enough and just wanted to hang out on the couch with a cold beer. There is also a downstairs bedroom with a massive ensuite bathroom and enough room for an extra bed or blow-up mattress like we had.
On the second floor is a small kitchen with fridge and water cooler (another genius idea) leading into a larger bedroom with a massive bathroom with a shower and tub, sitting area and a balcony with a lounger and bean bags. The other fabulous feature of this room is the daybed tucked behind the wall at the back of the bed. The kids absolutely loved this private little area and all wanted to sleep in it.
Up a small iron staircase is the roof terrace with gorgeous views over the villa, rice fields and the Canggu sunset. There are 2 lovely bales, one for each villa, both with a light so you can sit in the evening. The railing around the terrace is nice and solid and the gaps between the bars are small enough so we didn’t worry about the kids leaning on it or slipping through. The only thing we watched the kids carefully with was the staircase going up to the roof.
There aren’t too many other villas in the area and the closest resort is the Pan Pacific Nirwana (which will close for a change of management in June 2017), so views are pretty much unhindered and the quiet at night is wonderful.
The beach is less than 10 minutes walk down the road and it’s very much local with a minority of foreign surfers and plenty of roasted corn, satay and cold drink stands. There were kids in the water but we felt the current was too strong for our kids so they just splashed around in the waves while we watched and sipped cold Bintangs as the sun set. It couldn’t have been more perfect really!
On the Saturday we drove to Canggu but couldn’t wait to get back to the villa! It seemed so crazy there compared to our quiet little haven and the heat and crowds at all the Canggu markets were way too much for the kids. We did have a nice lunch at The Lawn and a quick look around Old Man’s market, but we all agreed our pool was calling!
Feeding the Family
Breakfast at Silversand was fabuous! Check out this amazing spread. We had an American breakfast the first day and then nasi goreng on the second. Both delicious but the nasi goreng really was one of the best we’d had, and there was loads of it to keep us going. The kids had toast, fruit, sausages and we loved that there were colourful plates, bowls and cutlery for them. It made us feel like kids were really welcome.
We knew we wouldn’t be close to much so made sure to hit the supermarket on the way. We brought enough pasta, pesto and snacks with us to keep the kids happy and also went out for dinner at the next villa along on the second night. The food was pretty average but cheap enough and did the job for the kids.
You can ask the staff to shop and cook for you and pay for the groceries and a small amount for their time. We probably would have done this if we were staying longer because they were great cooks!
Other Things to Do
One thing the kids loved was getting the local spa ladies to come and do their nails. There is a menu in the villa and the staff booked for us, so it was simple and very inexpensive (Rp80,000 for kids manicure or pedicure). It was a real treat, the ladies were lovely and the girls loved their nails and kept showing them off to everyone.
We also planned to go to Tanah Lot or Batu Bolong Temple but after a long hot day we were all far too lazy to pile in the car again. We were treated to the most gorgeous sunset right from outside our villa though, so we didn’t feel like we’d missed too much. However, I would recommend if you haven’t been to Batu Bolong Temple for sunset before, it’s very close to the villa and a special place to spend an evening.
Family Friendly Features
The owners of Silversand Villa have made sure families really are welcome with toys by the pool, a few games and books inside, plastic kids cups, plates and cutlery, bean bags and especially the nook behind the master bed. The staff were fabulous with the kids and understood when they were being picky with their food or made a mess. We loved that we could feel at ease and not worry too much about the kids trashing things because the simple decor and layout made it easy for us to watch them.
The Perfect Weekend at Silversand Villa
We really couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend than the one we had at Silversand Villa. We thought the kids might get a little bored being away from everything, but in fact it was totally the opposite. The pool, beach and garden were all we needed for them to play, be outside and enjoy being in a different environment. Amazingly enough, I don’t think we heard a complaint of being bored all weekend and they definitely didn’t want to leave!
I can’t recommend this beautiful villa enough and would definitely go back to stay with family or friends again. It’s a great way to see a quieter, more gentle side of Bali than the craziness of the south and is absolutely worth the drive.
For more information on Silversand Villa visit http://www.silversand-villa.com/