Off the beaten track, in the foothills that fringe the north coast of Bali, Villa Manuk is surrounded by beautiful countryside, tucked away in an idyllic valley of terraced rice fields. Backed by mountainous hills and forest, it is the ideal place for nature lovers who wish to discover the country life of Bali. Here life moves at a gentle pace. Paths meander through the rice fields, a tiny village, and around the valleys, following the contours of the hills.
Nestled just outside the village at the top of the valley, looking out over rice fields, is Villa Manuk. The comfortably appointed bedrooms open onto large verandahs with views over the adjoining fields to the hills beyond. Comfortably furnished, the verandahs are perfectly secluded, ideal for relaxing with a book, sketching or writing. The garden path leads to a separate open-air kitchen, equipped with all the facilities for cooking. The villa is taken care of by a capable English-speaking housekeeper who cooks, cleans and is also happy to guide you on excursions.
Before rice harvest, offerings are made to the Goddess of fertility, Dewi Sri, and temple festivals are a time to offer brightly coloured rice cakes festively decorated with palm leaf. Watch the farmers tending the green shoots that grow into a rich golden sheaf of nutritious rice, the base of all balinese cuisine. Discover spices growing in the Villa gardens and learn to prepare the delicious sambals which give Indonesian food its aromatic flavour. At Villa Manuk only naturally grown Balinese products are used, in support of the environment and the local community.
Just a short drive from Villa Manuk to the East, through the villages of Sawan and Bebetin, is the beautiful Sekumpul Waterfall, which makes a wonderful trek. Take a picnic and eat lunch in the peaceful gorge where the only sounds are birdsong and the splash of the river as it traverses its stony path. In the hills here native hardwoods are interspersed with tall coffee and clove trees, and the fragrant vanilla, used the world over in desserts and cakes, climbs up the trunk of small trees that provide foliage for the cows.
Villa Manuk is available for rent all year round. There is limited accommodation available, so reservations should be made well in advance. Holidaying in the tiny Balinese village of Manuksesa is the best way to discover the gentle rhythm of Balinese country life and guests are welcomed to join in community activities. Services available to guests include airport pick ups and transfers, as well as tours around the island. Bicycles and motorcycles are available for rent.