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: elitehavens.com. 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.