MEN­JAN­GAN HIDEAWAY

A PAR­ADISE WITHIN A PRO­TECTED WILDER­NESS ON THE WESTERN TIP OF BALI…

Bali & Beyond - - CONTENTS - By Risty Nur­raisa

One with na­ture at Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa

Sit­ting within the West Bali Na­tional Park on the north­west­ern tip of the is­land, Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa is truly a re­mark­able sanc­tu­ary to es­cape from crowded South Bali for a while and be one with na­ture. Not only does it boast a view of the ocean and the sil­hou­ette of the moun­tains in Java Is­land, the re­sort also of­ten wel­comes reg­u­lar vis­i­tors in their green spa­ces; the men­jan­gan or the deer that live in the na­tional park.

It takes around three hours to get to the re­sort from South Bali, but the long jour­ney is worth it with the view of Bali’s beau­ti­ful land­scapes to please the eyes. On my way to visit the re­sort with a cou­ple of friends, our jour­ney was even more un­for­get­table as we made a short stop at The View Res­tau­rant by Plataran in Mun­duk area (just af­ter Be­dugul) to fill up our en­ergy with its de­lec­ta­ble In­done­sian dishes while gaz­ing at the lush green­ery. After­wards, we con­tin­ued on to Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa where nat­u­ral won­ders awaited us…

THE JOGLO HOUSE

Af­ter three hours on the road, the re­sort’s shut­tle car fi­nally took a turn to what seemed to be a hid­den path as it went through a for­est. Not long af­ter, we ar­rived at the re­sort’s lobby that is set in a house-like build­ing

de­signed with wooden floor, and boasts an ocean view. Walk­ing into the lobby felt like en­ter­ing a rel­a­tive’s house as it had a homey vibe. While the staff helped us with our check in, my friends and I ex­plored the wooden deck at the back of the lobby where a tele­scope is pro­vided to watch Men­jan­gan Is­land that lies across the ocean.

As much as we wanted to hang out at the lobby deck, our rooms were al­ready wait­ing. Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa has sev­eral vil­las, each one is made of a tra­di­tional Ja­vanese Joglo house and dec­o­rated with wooden floor and fur­ni­ture. Th­ese types of the vil­las are com­prised of one-bed­room For­est Villa, Lux­ury Ocean Villa, Ocean Man­grove Villa and the two-bed­room For­est Villa. I stayed at the one-bed­room Lux­ury Ocean Villa de­signed with a pri­vate ter­race and a plunge pool over­look­ing the ocean, with the sil­hou­ette of the moun­tains in the back­ground dur­ing sun­set time.

Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa is quite se­cluded for guests to find food out­side, but the re­sort has this cov­ered by pro­vid­ing sev­eral on-site din­ing venues, one of them be­ing the Wan­ti­lan Open Kitchen. Lo­cated next to the lobby, the al­fresco Wan­ti­lan Open Kitchen serves de­li­cious In­done­sian dishes where our group in­dulged in a din­ner with a ro­man­tic am­biance un­der the night sky.

INTO THE WILDER­NESS

The next morn­ing, it was time for an ad­ven­ture. Our day be­gan with a full break­fast at The Oc­tagon Ocean Club be­fore we headed to the dock to hop on the Plataran Pri­vate Cruise to go snor­kel­ing around Men­jan­gan Is­land. The sun was shin­ing bright and the ocean was pretty friendly. Soft drinks, min­eral wa­ter and canapés were served on the Phin­isi boat, while sev­eral daybeds were avail­able for us to lie un­der the sun. Cruis­ing couldn’t be bet­ter than this! It wasn’t long un­til we reached our des­ti­na­tion, but be­fore we left the pri­vate cruise, the cap­tain gave a brief­ing and made sure that each of us wore life jack­ets. Then, we hopped on to a smaller boat to get to the snor­kel­ing spot and fi­nally jumped into the crys­tal clear ocean and swam to see Men­jan­gan’s beau­ti­ful marine life.

Aside from snor­kel­ing, Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa has other nu­mer­ous ad­ven­tur­ous ac­tiv­i­ties, which our group ex­pe­ri­enced on our third day. Un­like the day be­fore where we had break­fast at The Oc­tagon Beach Club, our group went trekking the sur­round­ing for­est ac­com­pa­nied by an ex­pe­ri­enced guide for a break­fast pic­nic. Af­ter an hour of trekking – that was filled with a lot of in­for­ma­tion on the name of the trees and deeper knowl­edge about the en­vi­ron­ment from the guide –, we spot­ted a red-and­white rug cov­ered with sand­wiches, fruits, cups of cof­fee and more, all nicely set by the beach. Some of the re­sort’s staff were on standby to as­sist us as well. In­deed, it was a mar­velous break­fast, es­pe­cially

with the man­groves and the ocean as our scenery. But our ad­ven­ture didn’t stop there as we once again ex­plored the for­est on our way back to the re­sort – our guide even took us to see a snake’s nest!

Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa also has a sanc­tu­ary for Bali Star­lings, the is­land’s mas­cot that is also an en­dan­gered species. They even pro­vide de­cent ac­com­mo­da­tions for stu­dents and teach­ers who want to study the nat­u­ral won­ders of West Bali Na­tional Park. Our group wasn’t one of th­ese study groups, yet we still learnt a lot about Bali Star­lings – and that’s why we be­lieve that this sanc­tu­ary is a must-visit to ed­u­cate us all about th­ese beau­ti­ful lit­tle fel­lows.

Af­ter ex­plor­ing the for­est – and snor­kel­ing the day be­fore –, it was only right that we spent our last af­ter­noon at the re­sort by tak­ing a swim at The Oc­tagon Beach Club. Boast­ing a view of the ocean, the beach club is the per­fect place to un­wind with a re­fresh­ing drink and light bites. And who knows, some of the wild deer might just come to graze at the beach club’s gar­den. In fact, our group en­coun­tered sev­eral deer grazz­ing around our vil­las. It shouldn’t be a sur­prise, ac­tu­ally. Af­ter all, it was us who were the guests at their house; the West Bali Na­tional Park.

Plataran Men­jan­gan Re­sort & Spa West Bali Na­tional Park Jalan Raya Seririt, Gil­i­manuk, Sin­garaja 0813-3804-4224 www.plataran.com

Plataran Pri­vate Cruise.

Sneak a peek of one of the vil­las.

Wild deer are of­ten spot­ted at the re­sort’s green spa­ces.

Each villa has an open air bath­room.

Have a ro­man­tic din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence by the beach.

The Oc­tagon Beach Club.

The in­fin­ity swim­ming pool at The Oc­tagon Beach Club.

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