Bit of trek up from Pecatu, but well worth it. The people are heaps nicer up his way, as they have had less bad experiences with James Bogans! En route, our taxi driver stopped at Warung Sembung, for some Babi Guling/nasi Campur, just outside of Tabanan. Locals only, local prices and fantastic experience. Perhaps not for the faint hearted, but if you're after some local flavour, this is it.
So, Shankari: staff were amazingly friendly and helpful, especially Andrew, who answered our multiples of questions with a big smile on his face; all Balinese, and spoke very good English. We did great yoga there; the majority of the class were with the locals, so it was a little different to the conventional style, but Nikki, the teacher was really good. The place has 3 pools, 2 with waterfalls. Our villa had a massive en suite with a separate bath and shower, open air but private bathroom, a nice little balcony, and a nice double with mozzie net and a fan. Hot water but no A/C. Breakfast was good, with tea, coffee or juice, fruit salad with shredded, roasted coconut, and a delicious plum sauce and then toast, but ask for the rice pancakes with dessicated coconut, plum/palm sugar sauce and lime. Yum! The restaurant is open from 7am till 10pm. It does decent food, but nothing special. Beach is a 10 minute walk away along the river, and Balian beach, while perhaps not the stuff of picture postcards due to it being next to a river (silt) and black sand (volcanic), has a great A-frame for lefts and rights. Uncrowded, due to its lack of development, you will have a good time here. We were there after heavy rain, and the water was brown, but in summer, it is a really nice blue that you come to expect in Bali. There is a great little bar/accommodation/pool right on the beachfront, which did some tasty food and a couple of warungs doing simpler but just as tasty food n Bintangs!
We hired scooters here, for the usual 50.000rph, and went to the waterfall listed in Lonely Planet. Worth it, awesome views en route. Get a guide in town to show you where it is as it's a bit of a mission to get to! We gave him 50.000rph.
My fiance had a facial and a body massage here. She thought the facial was terrible, as it was too strong and they massaged her face off! The body massage good and strong, did the pressure points well, and did a great arm and hand massage.
Overall, while the yoga was great, and the staff were superb, I wouldn't recommend this place to others. I think there is just as good accommodation closer to the beach.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Since 1994, Shankari's vision, of providing a safe and comfortable venue for people to teach their students and families to feel at home, has been a magically manifested reality. We have 14 rooms, a restaurant, 2 Yoga spaces and 3 swimming pools. Our rooms are themed with Sacred Symbolism represented through the mosaic tile and pebble floors. We are located by the Holy Balian River and a 5 minute walk to the beach. Our place is suitable for groups, couples, individuals and families. We will take good care of you and provide you with a genuinely relaxing holiday rest. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shankari's Bali Retreat Tabanan