It was with some trepidation that we booked a short holiday to Bali. My last visit had been nearly 40 years ago, as a carefree student, where $30.00 bought me a months accommodation in a family owned guesthouse. Street vendors pushed their food carts along lanes, bells tinkling their arrival, chickens scratched and children played along side them. Over the years I was led to believe that this Bali had long since gone, how wrong that was.
Our arrival at the village of Sideman and Villa Kropak brought back so many of those memories. Greeted upon arrival with a refreshing home made lime drink and big warm smiles from the friendly staff, the Villa had all the charm and atmosphere of a bygone time. Sitting under the vine covered terrace, admiring postcard views of rice terraces we quickly fell under the spell of Villa Kropak. Modern amenities (including Internet) combine with traditional Balinese decor in each of the rooms.A huge freshly made breakfast at the terrace each morning was complemented by birdsong, lizards sunning on rocks and a never ending coffee cup. Fresh fruit, juice, toast, eggs and Balinese rice cake set us up for the day ahead. Whether that be reading a book by the pool, a walk into the village, hiring a motorbike, or hiring a driver to take you to some local sights all this was effortlessly organised by the villa’s manager Pande. His advice and enthusiasm for the day’s activities ensured each day a success.
As the sun set on the verdant vista in front of us, the most difficult choice became which of the small family restaurants along the lane to visit for our evening meal. Relaxed and recharged, when the day of our departure arrived I really felt that I was not leaving a holiday house but a friendly home of new friends who I can’t wait to visit again.
Lisa Johnson May 2016