The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

The Long­house is a mem­ber of the Elite Havens port­fo­lio of fully staffed villa rentals in Bali. Ex­tras across the villa range in­clude air­port trans­fers, concierge and pri­vate chef; sight­see­ing ser­vices can be ar­ranged. Elite Havens also man­ages prop­er­ties in Lom­bok, the south coast of Sri Lanka and Phuket, Thai­land. More: elite­ sit, like I’ve sel­dom seem them sit be­fore, as Hepe ex­plains the sig­nif­i­cance of each offering item: the white flow­ers point to the east in def­er­ence to god Iswara; the blue flow­ers face north for Vishnu; the red face south for Brahma, yel­low points west for Ma­hadeva. They place the coin — the sari — on top and sit back, sat­is­fied with their creations. Later, they will proudly place the of­fer­ings at two tem­ples bor­der­ing the villa’s 2000sq m grounds. The Long house of­fers the canang sari ex­pe­ri­ence along­side many other in-house ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing learn­ing about tra­di­tional dress, a lo­cal tea cer­e­mony and kite-fly­ing, one of Bali’s great so­cial pas­times.

At lunch, we are greeted by our per­sonal chef, Iora, who greets us at our ta­ble and cooks tra­di­tional gado gado, an In­done­sian satay-style veg­etable salad. It is de­lec­ta­ble. Later, for din­ner, an­other chef, Budi, will cook us ikan pepes, fish wrapped in ba­nana leaves, a gas­tro­nomic tri­umph. All meals for our stay are taken from a rea­son­ably priced menu of Asian and Western op­tions.

Jim­baran Bay, once some­thing of a Ba­li­nese back­wa­ter, has in re­cent years trans­formed it­self into a tourist des­ti­na­tion noted for its white beaches and world-class fish restau­rants. Yet de­spite The Long­house pro­vid­ing a car and driver for guests, we can’t bring our­selves to go out. Ev­ery­thing we need, and more, is right here. The sight­see­ing can wait. So, for now, we or­der an­other pina co­lada, drop our feet into the pool’s warm azure depths, and watch the sun dis­ap­pear into the ocean. We could stay lost for­ever.

Tim Dou­glas was a guest of Elite Havens.

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