I stayed at Plataran with my wife and two kids (aged 2 and 4) in October of 2011 and we all still talk about it all the time. It totally set the standard for family holidays. I so would love to back there now. The villas are absolutely huge, beautifully furnished and with the characteristic indoor / outdoor Balinese style bathrooms. We had 2 villas set on about 250 m3 of serene florid garden behind our own secure bolt-able door. The main villa had a big open deck with a large dining table overlooking the full size private pool. It was completely private and just paradisiacal with perched on the edge of a small river looking out to a rice paddy with a temple in the distance.
There were 2 other pool in the complex which we swam in from time to time - which we always had to ourselves given that most of the villas have their own pool I guess. The grounds of hotel are just magical - little path ways meandering around frangipani and hibiscus and untold other trees. There is a vegie garden where some of the restaurants produce is sourced, and several bridges criss crossing the stream. I loved that this was a Bali resort rather than a Western resort in Bali and you could find this peculiar sort of stuff like pet rabbits that my kids were invited to feed by the oh so friendly and helpful staff.
We intended so travel around and look at the sites but this was after 4 weeks of dragging the kids around Europe and we decided that since we had arrived in paradise we would just stay there, by the pool, ordering our food, not trying to achieve anything, but a sense of calm and relaxation.
Now, even this near paradise has some room for improvement. The fresh fruit juices seemed stingy and the beer was overpriced - borrow a mountain bike or walk out of resort down to the main road and go to the convenience store to stock up. I got a massage that I thought somewhat disappointing so I started going to place about a $2 taxi ride away that was better and a fraction of the price. We also didn't realise that our 'family villa' was actually two physically separate villas rather than an upstairs downstairs arrangement, but it was not clear on booking. The kids were too small to be in a separate house mum slept with the 2yo in the main villa and data slept in villa 2 with the 4yo in one of the 2 single beds. Apparently, there are other villas that would have better suited us but it turned out fine. We had such bad jetlag that this arrangement probably worked better for us. Ah, but there is nothing like having a private pool if you have jetlag and are likely to want to swim at midnight. The separate villas will be perfect for us in a few years or so.
The resort is away from the beach and main tourist centres but it is still quite near some busy villages and noisy roads. I appreciated the fact that I could walk to a convenience store or a laundry or massage place but I expected that the resort would be out in the countryside. Actually, there is just some remnant rice paddy being encroached upon by urban sprawl. Villa complexes and new homes are being banged up all over the place. Hopefully the resort has some arrangement by which the rice paddy opposite the river will remain undeveloped, because when you are in the resort it is almost unbelievable that you are so close to the village, except when the atmospheric chanting starts at the temples.
I guess it all depends on the deals going at the time but I thought Plataran seemed rather better value than other resorts we investigated.
We stayed in a family riverside villa and it was terrific, but it was 2 separate villas.
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