Matahari Beach Resort, Pemuteran Indonesia, Bali
On the remote northern Balinese coast, Matahari Beach Resort provides guests with a peaceful, remote and idyllic setting surrounded by traditional Balinese architecture and furniture and an extensive list of activities.
The 32 villas, spread across a beautifully kept garden in the shadow of the volcanic mountains to the south, offer Balinese grace and style and remove you from the stresses and strains of modern life. Although they are not large, the rooms are very comfortable and crafted lovingly with exclusively local materials such as sandstone, marble, palimanan, wood and bamboo. There is a large marble bath and a large sandstone dragon outdoor shower. We recommend the Premium Garden View Bungalow, which is a two unit bungalow with each room having their own small, private veranda.
The hotel is particularly famous for its wonderful cuisine, which is a fusion of Balinese and western influences. The GM of the resort is a passionate French chef and this passion has been wonderfully translated into the hotels menu, and as you would expect from a French run establishment, the wine list is extensive and housed in the purpose built wine cellar.
The resort has its own long, quiet and private black sand beach which looks out across a still and inviting bay. Particularly good for families, the list of activities is extensive. The excellent dive centre offers Padi courses and snorkeling trips to the famous diving spot of Menjangan Island, there is a 3 hole pitch and pitch golf course, tennis and badminton courts, kayaks for hire and on the beach there is a volleyball court and a man sized chess board.
Deluxe - This is our first really 'upmarket' category. It might be a beautiful tiny hotel with very limited facilities or a 5* resort hotel with all the trimmings; but any hotel in this category will be a well-run establishment with very comfortable rooms, a strong service ethos and excellent food.
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The stand out experiences all involved some locals: the walk in the Bali rice fields with a guide, the trip to the Borobudur eco-village and ride in a horse cart which also charmingly had us playing the Gamelan with local kids.