Last month my husband turned 60. To celebrate family and friends from around the world convened at Serene Garden Villas for 2 weeks - we took over the whole complex and it was absolutely brilliant.
Families were housed together (Hibiscus, Frangipani and Palm 1); friends shared (Serene Garden Villa (ours!), Palm 2 and Acacia) and one couple had their own private place (Lotus). All were the highest standard both in terms of fittings, bedding, gardens, service, pool, daybeds and usability.
Because of the privacy of each villa, each group had breakfast together (great for those with kids as well as friends suffering hangovers) and could then meander in and out of each others villas throughout the day.
On the second night there we had a "welcome mixer" BBQ in our villa (Serene Garden) and it was terrific. Beautifully decorated, fantastic food (almost too much), gorgeous setting and big enough space to house everyone very comfortably. The staff have obviously done this many times. We also had everyone over to watch some Balinese dancing on the actual birthday(with the most divine Chocolate Birthday cake provided internally) and then again for a Suckling Pig night - lots of fun and recommended.
Being close to the heart of Seminyak (5 minute walk) there are any number of great restaurants (Cafe Bali; Sip (great french food ridiculously cheap except for the wine); Trattoria etc) close by. Also lots of shopping if that's your thing. Kuta - well, its there, noisy, trashy and a taxi ride away. I was moved to see the Sari Club memorial but otherwise would give Kuta the big miss.
For my husband's birthday dinner we had a booking for 35 at Sarong - the restaurant owned by Will Merrick of Jimmy Liks (Sydney) fame. Great setting. Great food (although a little too spicy in a couple of dishes); great drinks. For the amount I paid for the night (including open bar) I could not have come close to something that exquisite had I stayed in Australia.
It had been 27 years since I went to Bali - yes it is way more commercialised than it was when I enjoyed the gentle place I knew as a 21 year old, but the people are still lovely and Serene Garden Villas is definately the oasis that allows you to enjoy the best of yesterday and today.
I think our stay was best summed up by a friend of ours who became known by our group as "Big Al". When I had first posed Bali as a destination for my husbands big celebration Big Al was very disappointed. He'd never been to Bali, didn't want to go, couldn't think of anything worse, and limited his stay to 4 days. Hmmm.... now he and his partner are planning on buying a villa there. Yep, Serene does that to a man!!!
Thank you to all the wonderful staff who looked after us and were gentle and caring with us all.
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- Also Known As:
- Serene Villas Hotel Seminyak
- Serene Villas Bali/Seminyak