The Menjangan is a cacophony of surprises and delights in equal measures. It really is, as described, a `hidden gem` on the North West coast of the beautiful island of Bali. Please don`t let the fact that the journey from the airport in Denpasar is about three and a half hours long. Just drink in the real face of Bali, away from the normal tourist routes, and immerse yourself in enjoying the spectacular views, cultural identity and revel in a taste of `the real Bali.` You will see many fascinating things and a way of life long lost in the main tourist areas of Kuta, Nusa Dua, Seminyak and Denpasar.
The resort is set within a huge and unspoilt national park called Bali Barat. It really is a `back to nature experience` and the resort itself seems to create a synergy with nature that respects and celebrates the wonders of the natural world and is in perfect harmony with its surroundings. Now please don`t read this and feel you will be living in a tent in the middle of nowhere. The accommodation is exceptional and everything that one might expect from a high class tourist resort. It is just as if nature ignores its presence and gets on with a normal way of life. Upon our arrival, outside the window of our Monsoon Villa, we were greeted by wild deer, a troop of monkeys and wild fowl who seemed to not even know that we were there.
There are three distinct residential areas to this resort; The Monsoon Lodge, Beach Villas and the Menjangan Residence. Accommodation at the Monsoon Lodge is peaceful and tranquil with rooms set around a beautiful swimming pool and jacuzzi. The Lodge itself seems to harmoniously blend into the environment and is surrounded by beautiful grounds where wild animals just roam free. There are 12 fully air-conditioned rooms and 2 suites, each with the standard of amenities that you would find in high class accommodation. If you want to step out of your front door straight on to the beach then we would suggest you rent one of the traditional `joglo` style villas. These are exceptionally finished and include every modern amenity with sleek minimalistic interiors and picture windows, giving a beautiful view of the sea at your doorstep. The Menjangan Residence is a huge private estate with three bedrooms which is ideal for large families or couples travelling together. The panoramic views from this accommodation and the modern Balinese interiors and furnishings make this an ideal destination.
Because of the nature of the size of the estate, guests are able to use well maintained bikes and tandems to travel around the resort. In addition to this there are a number of specially modified vehicles with open air seats on the top. This enables you to see much more of the wonderful landscape and the myriad of wild animals and birds than would be possible on foot. It feels like you are a modern day Maharaja riding on the back of a mechanical elephant – a truly unique and unforgettable experience.
Continuing the theme of the Menjangan adventure, there are many mouth watering activities to enjoy whilst you are here. Despite its isolation there is absolutely no chance of you ever getting bored. You can take a boat trip to the nearby uninhabited Menjangan Island, where you are able to see the most amazing marine life, snorkelling and diving amongst one of the most spectacular coral reefs in Bali. Menjangan has a dive centre on site to easily accommodate this fantastic activity. Kayaking through the mangrove maze is another experience not to be missed. If you yearn for something more sedentary then you can’t beat a relaxing lie in the enormous and sumptuous cushions and sun loungers scattered on the beach or a visit to the Mangrove Spa for a soothing massage. For keen walkers there are guided tours around the resort, led by very knowledgeable and friendly guides. One particularly worth getting up for is the early morning bird watch. A new experience for us was the horse ride. Despite my wife’s initial apprehension, it turned out to be a very enjoyable activity. This was totally due to the care and attention given to us by the very supportive guide and the gentleness of the horses. They have been imported from Australia and are very obviously cared for extremely well.
Meals can be enjoyed either in the beautiful and romantic Pantai Restaurant, built out into the sea, or in the amazingly tall Bali Tower. This is constructed around a 28 metre trunk of a tree imported from Borneo and hand carried by over 400 people in order to lessen the impact on the environment. There are 5 levels for dining, providing some of the most spectacular views over the forest, making your eating experience totally unforgettable.
A visit to Menjangan could change your life forever. It will illustrate to you how the location of a high class tourist resort need not impact on, and can even benefit, the natural environment. The service that you will receive here will make you feel that you are a special and important part of the Menjangan family. Wherever we went we felt that our happiness and well- being was the purpose of the staff’s work rather than an interruption to it and would very much agree with the sentiments we heard from another guest who said the people at Menjangan seem to smile from the heart.
The Menjangan is a member of Lifestyle Retreats, a fresh and dynamic management company specialising in premium boutique hotels and resorts.
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