22/11/11 – Tuesday
And there I was, thinking that Bali couldn’t get more stunning than we arrive at the Elysian Villas in the centre of Seminyak. We arrive in the lobby of the resort and immediately feel at home. We are welcomed by the staff and encouraged to look around as the finishing touches are made to our villa before we officially check in. The green of the tropical garden setting meshes with the deep woody browns and light grey of the stucco cement structures effortlessly. It is immediately evident that this place is a cut above. The architecture is defined lines and minimal, which conversely creates a modern and sleek look. We travel down a flight of stairs to the pool and restaurant area.
The pool is roughly 40 feet long and on the other side of where we’re standing are five Cabana day beds, resplendent in a white linen shade cloth, laden with pillows and solid, yet comfortable mattresses.
A couple has already stakeout one of the cabana’s. The bed is laden with iPods, laptops, magazines, sunglasses and other holiday detritus. Absolutely amazing stuff.
We are given complimentary welcome drinks while we’re looking around; lemonade, ginger and wheatgrass. The combination works perfectly.
Shortly after we finish our drinks, we’re taken to our villa. At first, I think we’ve been taken to the wrong compound. We enter through a big swinging door. Immediately to our left is a plunge pool that encompasses all of what you’d call a front yard. The concrete path leads to a decking area on which a double day bed is positioned.
The master bedroom’s doors face out onto the courtyard pool, which we later learn slide open for a breezy, lazy breakfast in bed. Our porter shows us into the villa. The entry doors lead to a stunning lounge area, with commanding bay-windows, which, like the master bedroom, can be opened to accommodate the cool evening breezes which appear in the drier, less humid months of the year.
To the left of the entrance door is the bathroom. There is a wardrobe/hanging space in front of you as you enter the bathroom with kimonos hanging ready for wear. The long bathroom to the left leads to a sunken shower of bone and white ornate tiles that are more like mini bricks than tiles and a three mirror-wide basin with a clutch of L’occitane products, to which Ms Emma’s delight can’t be contained – L’occitane being her favorite body and face products. The master bedroom is a King-size bed with its own air conditioner, LG flat screen TV and Apple TV, just in case the 50 or so cable channels available isn’t enough for you to find something interesting worth watching. This villa is absolutely amazing – bringing to mind “I Think I’m Gonna Like It Here” from the musical ‘Annie’ and the quality of our lodgings alone, yet another high point of our holiday.
After a swim and a room service lunch, we head to Ku De Ta for sunset drinks. We’re a 10 minute walk from KDT and although the afternoon has been overcast, we’re still afforded a gloriously colorful sunset. Emma shows me to the KDT beer garden (KBG); she’s been to a few parties and functions here in their beer garden and is, in her opinion, the ideal place for our wedding ceremony and reception. It is around about this time when she receives an email from Carolien which begins along the lines of I’m not sure you’re going to like what I have to say…” It turns out that as of 2013, KDT will not be doing any wedding ceremonies and they are unable to help us. The reception part isn’t a hassle and Carolien has attached a quote which, all things considered, is reasonable, but given the fact that we’d need to choose a venue for the actual ceremony, will, with transport costs added in, starts to make our Bali wedding quite the pricey little jaunt. No matter. We’re still waiting for a representative of the Anantara to contact us, and we’ll be catching up with a few other venues while we’re in this part of Seminyak. But the disappointment is evident in Ms Emma’s demeanor all through drinks.
Dinner that night is at maybe the finest restaurant, if not on the entire island, then definitely Seminyak: Sarong. The menu is equal parts Indian and Thai with general Asian inspired dishes to also choose from the menu. Like Gado Gado, Sarong is at the pricier end of the scale, but, as with GG, you most certainly get what you pay for. We’re part of the 8.30pm sitting and the clientele of Sarong is mostly European. A large banquet area is reserved for a group of around 20 or so, and as we arrive, the guests of this table start to amble in. The group turns out to be what we assume is an extended French family, all of them impeccably attired and the food and wine flowing all night (they’re definitely French, we can hear their accent, I’m saying that I assume they’re extended family as most of the elder men in the group look similar – perhaps brothers – and there’s a bonhomie within the group which suggests they all know each other quite well).
We order Naan bread with Lamb and yoghurt, Thai Duck Salad and the chef’s signature Scallops as entree. After this we douse the flames of the chilli laden Thai Duck Salad with the cooling minty yoghurt accompanying the Naan bread, we are left in awe of the scallops which Ms Emma has had the pleasure of in the past. Our mains are Butter chicken and Tandoori Prawns – both dishes absolutely beautiful and ridiculously filling. We almost roll out of Sarong into a cab and head back to the villa, where a late night swim cools us off before a restful sleep.