By Lynda Rawlins
Anyone who has ever attempted to organise accommodation for a family reunion, celebration or beachfront family holiday will know what an exasperating experience it can be.
Fitting in the whole flock can be limited to a string of connecting hotel rooms which is not an ideal solution for the family who wants to stay and (continue) to play together.
Semara Luxury Villa Resort at Uluwatu has the answer to the accommodation conundrum, adding a whole new dimension to fantastic family holidays with a lick of luxury. Already enjoying widespread notoriety as an exotic destination for weddings with the ‘wow factor’ Semara Resort’s collection of large and lavish villas boasting private infinity pools and unparalleled vistas, means mundane vacations at big hotels with a bunch of other bored holidaymakers can be forever banished.
The words spacious and luxurious seem somewhat deficient to describe any one of the spectacular villas available at Semara. From the initial greetings to last goodbyes, guests at each property are attended by full time housekeeping staff and a butler to ensure every attention to detail and each individual is well taken care of throughout the duration of their stay. There is the option to take advantage of resort dining at Selatan Restaurant or the more casual Finn’s Beach Club, or have the attentive staff prepare your own food for intimate, in-villa dining or poolside BBQs to take advantage of the unbeatable view.
My children’s eyes widen when the door to our villa opens and we are greeted by our staff along with a view that would rival the world’s best. The cliff top location affords an almost 270 degree vista of the surrounding Bali cliffs and the deep blue below. While I absorb my spectacular surrounds, the kids are more excited by an expanse of room to run and play and an infinity edge pool perfect for laps, lounging, space to race and a mean game of Marco Polo. And that’s just outside!
During my young charges’ resort recon mission (ie. tour of the villa), my daughter can barely contain her delight at the idea of her very own room and bathroom (for once not having to share with her ‘stinky brother’) and just try wiping the smile off her face when she discovers a massive four poster bed just for her. Talk about The Princess and the Pea….!
Unpacking done and dusted, I am tempted to recline on the lounge and inhale the heady view along with a champers or two, however the kids have other plans and the lure of aquatic adventure at Finn’s Beach Club below proves too enticing. With the villa at the top of the cliffs and Finn’s beachfront, there is no way we are walking! The inclinator, purpose built to conveniently connect guests from the resort to Finn’s door adds another dimension to this fascinating location and, as well as an awesome photo op, it keeps the kids in animated conversation until we arrive at the beach.
180 metres of private white, pristine beach without the plastic and if you time it right with the tides, the clear waters out front become a calm pool fringed by the reef and a perfect playground for youngsters to explore marine life, build sand castles, swim, snorkel, kayak or try their hand at Stand Up Paddling. All equipment is available at the beach club.
Children actively entertained and under the watchful eye of the lifeguards, it’s Mummy time and I claim a sun bed in the new deck area with an uninterrupted view of the ocean (and the kids) to peruse a different view. The menu is craftily contained in the form of tabloid style news and their new food and beverage offerings will not leave you starved for choice. Decisions decisions! A cocktail seems appropriate and while the Lazy Day Lemonade, Pama Cooler with pomegranite and prosecco or the Burning Mandarin prove tempting, the Cuban Mojito gets the gong.
It’s a holiday afternoon that’s hard to beat with happy kids, a mellow mum and our very own place in paradise for the duration to watch the sun slope towards the horizon. You can even take advantage of Finn’s elevated private beach bales. Like tree houses with couches and curtains for lunch time
siestas, they are perfect to keep an eye on the kidlets and chill throughout the afternoon in a lazy haze. Kids won’t want to go home just yet with white sand and waves at their toes.
With Finn’s new menu, dinner time with the kids is a cinch. There is ample choice for every palate and the focus is fresh, simple and tasty. Their very own menu offers all of the children’s favourite choices with dessert options included, all delivered to the table in an uber cool bento box! From a huge selection of pizzas, pastas, burgers, beach bites, salads starters and even more, choosing is nigh on impossible! Guided by expert F&B staff, my selections of Thai Beef Salad and sublime Jumbo Grilled Prawns most definitely do not disappoint, but I’ve already got my eye on the Beach Bites of Babi Guling Spring Rolls and Grilled Barra Tricolor Tacos for lunch tomorrow.
An Uluwatu sunset is simply mesmerising and fortunately the fun at Finn’s doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. We grab a bean bag and secure our possie around the bonfire. Drinking in the starlight with the sand between our toes, the kids delight in roasting marshmallows on the open fire for their do-it-themselves dessert of s’mores (a traditional campfire treat of toasted marshmallows and chocolate squished between two biccies) .
It’s the ideal time to take advantage of Finn’s ‘Beat The Clock’ happy hours with up to 50% off drinks from 4 – 9pm. Cocktail menu? Yes please.
After a divine day of beachcombing, bonfires and satisfied tummies, we signal the inclinator and slowly take our sunkissed bodies back to our villa. Though reluctant to leave, we are keen to sink into those ever so soft beds to dream about doing it all again tomorrow.
Our beds are turned down and the sweet treat on the night stand is a welcome touch. Devoid of any buzz of bikes in the distance, the only sound is the caress of the waves below and the odd call of a nocturnal creature. No need to wake early this time and beat off hungry hotel guests for a below par buffet, I am already anticipating a late lie in and mouthwatering breakfast choices available from the in villa dining menu Restaurant. Their Signature Benedict is already on my mind as I drift off…… It’s going to be a sensational sleep.
Semara Luxury Villa Resort currently has five-bedroom villas at 40% of the regular price from just USD $2036* (plus 10% tax and 10% service charge) per night valid for travel until June 30, 2015.