I need to start this post by explaining that this review of Candidasa will be more about the villa we stayed at than the actual town. This is because by the time we came to Candidasa, we did not want to do much but relax indoors and take in the breathtaking view from the villa and in any case this was a low key holiday. I came here with my husband, my mother in law and my husband’s maternal aunt and uncle. When my husband mentioned that his aunt and uncle were also going to be in Bali but would head off to Candidasa, I had no idea where that was and was in fact quite reluctant to go there because I had painstakingly chosen the right place for us to stay in Seminyak and Ubud and prepared an itinerary for these places . He went to Tripadvisor and typed in the name of the town to look for accommodation and the Samuh Hill Residence came up on the page. We both looked at each other and smiled mischievously. We were definitely going to this Candi-town now!! The photo was of a panoramic take of the island from the villa’s poolside and was pretty jaw dropping.
So Candidasa is about 1 1/2 drive from Denpasar airport (though this is on a good, traffic less day – please plan for a buffer time if you need to be punctual). It is a seaside town which sits on the East of the island and was apparently one of the initial resort areas of the island till the beach became over-constructed and the shores receded. In 2016, it was certainly less congested than Seminyak or Kuta and that was exactly what we were looking for. Candidasa has a sleepier and laid back feel to it perhaps more suitable for a particular age group (which we were clearly in).
Samuh Hill residence is situated at Jalan Puntai Indah and is perched on a hillside. I had the contact number of the villa manager, Charlie who was very helpful in communicating with me and also the taxi driver on how to get to the villa. When we got there my husband’s aunt and uncle were already there and had settled down. There are a lot of steps to go up to the front porch of the villa and there is a staircase once inside the villa to go down to the living areas. I notice that steps play a strong architectural feature in Balinese homes and I am wondering if this is connected to the Hindu belief of staircases being a path to Heaven? Or maybe I am wildly off track. Anyway, the steps are worth a mention for those who may have mobility issues. I wouldn’t bring my parents here for instance as they would really struggle going up to the villa and moving around within it, unless they are prepared to stay in one space for most of they stay here.
Samuh Hill is owned by a Dutch expatriate who is usually based in Europe (am assuming in Netherlands). He comes here from time to time but spends most of the time renting the place out on Tripadvisor or Agoda or Holidaylettings. Charlie is super helpful and is very responsive. He does not live in the villa but is easily contactable by phone and he runs the Indonesian restaurant Joglo about 7 minutes drive from the villa. We can also order food from the restaurant and have it delivered to the villa if we don’t want to venture out. The housekeeper is Ketut, am not sure if he lives in the villa because we hardly saw him except for early in the morning or late in the afternoon, tending to the garden.
The villa itself is designed beautifully in a contemporary setting with eastern accents. Hence super high ceilings, glass doors and windows, a white and creamy base and minimalist bones. From almost every angle in the villa, you will have a view of the spectacular sea. It has 2 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms in the entry floor, and downstairs is the open kitchen and lounge which also steps out onto an infinity pool overlooking the sea and mountains.
Here are our photos of the place..
We would recommend this place if your main objective of the getaway is to enjoy sunshine and tropical weather in a luxe villa with a personal touch and a stunning view of nature. As is always the case with Bali, you can also get Charlie to help you with a driver, day trips to nearby excursions and arrange your food needs all day. The kitchen is more than well equipped and Ketut can also prepare your main meals for you if you request in advance.
If you want to be more connected to where all the action is, frequently go shopping, or explore rice fields, this is not the right location.
Check out Tripadvisor for available dates at this villa https://www.tripadvisor.com/VacationRentalReview-g312684-d8443039-Samuh_Hill_Residence-Candidasa_Karangasem_Bali.html
Other things to note:-
- On a walking distance of 200-300 yards you will find the beach for swimming, snorkeling etc.
- There are many many restaurants (and warungs) in the neighbourhood and we tried Joglo which serves Indonesian food and is decent. There is also La Rouge, Le 48, Lotus and Alam Asmara which is nearby but we did not try.
- Indomart supermarket for your basics is also nearby but if you may need to get a car.
(Just in case there are any doubts, I do need to categorically assert however this is a genuine review on my part and I’m not affiliated with the owner of the villa or Tripadvisor in any way!).