Looking to discover authentic Bali on your next villa vacation? Keen to find the island’s hidden gems, ornate Hindu temples fringed by jungle, and the ancient villages bound by tradition and custom? How about deserted beaches, steeply terraced rice fields and volcanic crater lakes? Find all this and so much more as you discover the beautiful Tabanan Regency, while still being in easy reach of the newest restaurants and coolest beach clubs of Canggu and Seminyak. Just think of Tabanan as the best of both Bali worlds.
Discover Tabanan & the changing face of Canggu
Over the past few years, the action has drifted from Seminyak central towards Canggu. Canggu has rapidly developed into a hip yet laid-back area with stylish boutiques, cosmopolitan restaurants and new-age beach clubs. However, Canggu in the process has lost out on the terraced hill vibe it had in yesteryears. Enter Tabanan. Located close to Canggu, Tabanan has retained its tranquil, timeless Balinese charm. From glimmering black sand beaches and quiet surf breaks of the sunset coast to the lush forested slopes of Mount Batakaru and the serene lakes of Bedugul, Tabanan has it all.
Things to do in Tabanan
Our Tabanan villas are a few minutes away from the picturesque sea temple of Tanah Lot, one of Bali’s most iconic sites. Perched on a small rocky island just off the coast, it is part of a chain of sea temples that stretch along the coast. Streams of tourists arrive daily for sunset, but if you visit early in the morning, you can enjoy the temple minus the crowds. For a quieter sunset experience, head to nearby Pura Gede Luhur Batu Ngaus, a temple that clings to a craggy headland near the village of Cemangi. Or Pura Batu Bolong, which commands an incredible setting atop a natural rock bridge. While these temples are smaller than Tanah Lot, their setting is just as evocative and you may find you have them all to yourselves. There is so much to discover in Tabanan that you’re spoilt for choice.
Serenity in Tabanan
Heading up towards the island’s mountainous heart you will come to the steeply-terraced, picture-perfect rice fields of Jatiluwih, a UNESCO world heritage site. The more visited rice terraces of Tegalalang have been made famous by Instagrammers. But visiting Jatiluwih on the other hand is a remarkably serene experience. Make sure you wear sensible shoes so you can explore on foot. Take a seat in a café with freshly brewed Bali coffee and enjoy the breathtaking panorama. A little further on, at the foot of the extinct volcano of Mount Batukaru, is Pura Luhur Batukaru. With its evocative setting deep in the subtropical rainforest, this ornate temple is remarkably peaceful, unless a ceremony is underway.
Scenic roads lined with traditional villages lead to Bedugul. Find crater lakes and the mesmerising lake temple of Ulun Danu Beratan here, which seemingly floats on the water. Built in the 17th century, the temple honours the lake goddess Dewi Danu. It is said that she ensures there is always enough water for farmers to grow their rice. High in the mountains, the air is much cooler in Bedugul. The conditions are ideal for exploring the botanical gardens and visiting the vibrant markets. Make sure you try the local strawberries that the region is famous for.
Proximity to Canggu
If you can bear to tear yourself away from this atmospheric part of Bali, our Tabanan villas are less than ten kilometres from Canggu. Canggu has fast become the hub of all things cool and a visit to a beach club or a homeware boutique must be added to your itinerary. Discover Tabanan or explore Canggu – the choice is yours. The Elite Concierge can arrange ground transport so you can explore Canggu’s charms in comfort.
Where to stay in Tabanan
Away from the crowds, a luxury villa stay in Tabanan will give you genuine insight into the real Bali. A chance to discover the culture and the spirit of the island away from the tourists. And after a day spent discovering Tabanan, or simply relaxing by the pool, you can still pop into Canggu for dinner.
Kaba Kaba Estate
It is said that green is soothing for the soul. Kaba Kaba Estate is living proof. Set amidst sprawling tropical gardens stretching to an endless sea of glimmering emerald-green rice paddies, it is an oasis of serenity. Cocoon yourself in sheer luxury at this palatial eight-bedroom estate.
Located on royal land in the historic village of the same name, Kaba Kaba Estate is truly regal. A haven for art lovers, the estate is filled with carefully curated antiques, evocative paintings and some astonishing contemporary artwork. Justifiably popular as a wedding and events venue, Kaba Kaba Estate also sets the scene for a unique and utterly unforgettable Bali luxury vacation.
Explore the private art collection or soak up the sublime views from the swimming pool. Play a round of tennis and let the chefs treat you to an Indonesian banquet fit for a king. End the day with a movie in the opulent, velvet-curtained, Moroccan-inspired home theatre. The dedicated spa is also the perfect place to pamper yourself. Try the mandi lulur – a 17th-century Javanese royal treatment consisting of a relaxing body massage, traditional body scrub and a soak in a flower-filled stone tub.
The Arsana Estate
Nearby is The Arsana Estate. Arsana is Sanskrit for ‘flowing’ and here you will find pavilions cascading down the hill to the river. Have you been yearning to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life? This tropical paradise of lotus ponds, trickling water fountains and picturesque gardens will soothe your soul. Enjoy breakfast in the pergola, lounge by the pool overlooking the river below, and meditate on the silence in the yoga pavilion.
Set in the peaceful village of Nyambu, this five-bedroom villa provides a great opportunity to witness authentic Balinese village life. Take a gentle stroll in the early morning. See women making their daily offerings of flowers and incense to the village shrines and farmers working the fields. You may even get invited to a local ceremony. And if you are keen to try authentic Balinese cuisine, the villa’s private chefs will be happy to whip you up some favourites such as sate lilit (minced snapper in Balinese spices wrapped around a skewer of lemongrass).
Nyanyi Riverside Villas
Back on the coast, and only eight kilometres from Echo Beach, Nyanyi Riverside Villas provide a genuine back-to-nature experience. Envelope yourself in this lush jungle-like setting and soundtrack of flowing water and bird song. Nestled amidst towering trees and sprawling bamboo groves along the banks of the Yeh Penet River, the contemporary estate includes five-bedroom Villa Atacaya and four-bedroom Villa Iskandar which can be rented separately or together. Welcoming staff, many of whom come from the local village, will treat you to the hospitality that the island is famous for. They will be happy to share the island’s fascinating culture with you.
If rejuvenation and reconnecting with nature and yourself feature in your Bali escape plan, a beachfront villa may be just what you are looking for. Nestled into a coconut grove just meters from the black sand of gloriously remote Ketaling Beach, nine-bedroom Villa Kailasha has astonishing coastal views. Expect generous communal spaces and spacious sleeping pavilions scattered across the gardens. Villa Kailasha is a popular destination for wellness and corporate retreats. But it also makes an idyllic holiday home for extended families who wish to discover Tabanan and the real Bali.
The moment you step over the threshold a feeling of well-being washes over you. Fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing on the shore, wander barefoot on the deserted beach. Lose yourself in the endless views of the Indian Ocean framed by swaying palm trees. The quiet seaside village of Balian is just a little further on. A pretty beach popular with surfers and expats who have escaped the crowds of the south. Settle into an atmospheric café or warung for a casual meal or snack and enjoy the laid-back ‘old school’ Bali vibe.
With its myriad attractions and the chance to discover the real Bali while being near to all the action in Canggu, a stay in Tabanan proves you really can have it all.