Blindingly white with a small but glittering freeform pool, lovingly decorated Villa Kresna is hidden away on the beach-bound spur of Jalan Sarinade, a five-minute walk from the beach end of Jalan Abimanyu. A few years ago Villa Kresna lost around half of their land and a couple of years later it underwent a complete refurbishment — and the results are impressive. If you’re looking for a romantic hideaway a couple of dozen footsteps from the beach, and you’re not on a tight budget, Villa Kresna should be on your shortlist.
Wandering down across the wooden deck from reception and the restaurant towards the upstairs-downstairs rooms takes you by the frangipani and palm-shaded aquamarine swimming pool with a few recliners backing onto manicured gardens. Each room spills out onto the terrace with table settings for breakfast and glass-faced wooden sliding doors opening onto the interior. Once inside expect cool tiles underfoot and well chilled and spacious bedrooms.
We remember the shabby chic furnishings as being more enticing pre-renovation — the lounges in particular are now a bit incongruous, feeling like they’ve been swiped from a three-star motel half way to Canberra, but it’s a minor gripe. Bathrooms are compact but clean and the air-con chilled.
There are two main styles: standards, which are bedroom and bathroom affairs, and larger suites (we were shown the Lotus Suite). The latter are definitely worth the extra money as you get an entire extra room and they’re better positioned. We used to stay here with young children (us in the master bedroom and the kids in the “TV room”) and as long as your kids can swim (the pool is unfenced), this is an excellent option for families.
It’s also a delightful choice for honeymooners and those just looking for a romantic few days near the beach without paying the earth — just be sure to ask for a room away from the families (or go for an upstairs room for extra privacy). It’s a small, intimate property and less suited to those looking for a raucous beer-sozzled vacation (unless you drink your Bintangs quietly to subdued Morcheeba).
We do love the swimming pool here — the back wall is decorative stone, giving it an almost grotto feel, and the shady frangipanis tempt one to float the day away. It is however on the small side and if the resort is busy, you’ll probably opt for the beach.
The rack rate is inflated but we were offered an almost 60% discount (from US$300 to 1,300,000 rupiah) without hesitation as a walk-in customer, which brought the rates down to quite good value for the standard. Significant discounts are available online. If you’ve plonked your parents in here but can’t afford it yourself, consider Sarinade Inn just up the road, which, while nowhere near as nice, is a fraction of the price and still very close to the beach.
The beach here is home to a lot of surfboard rental places and when the conditions are right, this is a good, not-too-crowded spot to learn to surf. Last tip: head down to the beach, turn right and both fancy-pants bar/restaurant Kudeta and family-friendly La Lucciola are a 10-minute walk up the beach — they’ll bang on your wallet but the splurges, at least once, are worth it.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 21st April, 2015.
The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.