On our previous visits to Bali we stayed at resorts in the Kuta/Tuban area.
This time we had our daughter and mother in law with us so we decided to stay at Purnama Villa 1, for 10 days. Purnama is at the top end of Legian St, not far from the official Legian-Semiyak border which is Jalan Arjuna 66.
If you want a detailed map or a hi-res Google Earth image, good luck. I'll give you our best take on exact location a bit further down.
We really enjoyed the experience and we probably would never stay in a Bali resort again, the Purnama Villa was the way to go. Purnama is about 100 metres down a small Gang (Lane) which runs off Legian St, surrounded by local family compounds. You actually get to meet the locals and see how they live, the architecture and gardens in the family compounds are magnificent. Very Bali, very Asian.
Don't worry about airport transfers the villa management will arrange these for you at cheap prices.
You quickly realize that the local lanes are a totally different cultural experience from the hustle and bustle only a minute away, in fact you could stay at Purnama and never have to venture onto the main streets. There is the Island Hotel where you can get breakfast and meals and the famous Yogi's restaurant just around the corner. Small hole in the wall shops, little bars and cafes that might only seat 10 people, laundry services, etc, all in the tiny little lanes around Purnama, Gang Abdi, Gang XXI and others that don't even seem to have names. Explore the small gangs/lanes, take your camera.
The villa style itself is mainly western modern with some delightful local twists, it has a common lounge and kitchen area with gas cook top, microwave, fridge, kettle, crockery and cutlery.
Apart from the occasional light breakfast, we have to be honest , didn't really use the kitchen, heaps of great bars, bistros within a short walk.
The lounge area has a TV, sound system, DVD player and cable TV (Indovision) that has Australian, American, British, Asian and European channels. Purnama has strong WIFI.
Outside is a private pool (your new best friend on a hot day) approx 7 metres x 3 metres with a cascade water feature, outdoor shower, sun lounges and many plastic stackable chairs.
Each lockable bedroom, (3 in total, 2 upstairs, 1 downstairs), is large with double bed and ensuite with shower, toilet , wash basin, there is a lockable safe in every room and heaps of shelves and storage area. All rooms have their own split system a/c unit.
You have light switches that control the lighting in the lane so you don't have to come home in the dark. Just remember to turn them on before you leave. There are also CCTV cameras in the lane, not sure who monitors them, but they are there none the less.
Behind the front gate as you enter is another small courtyard with a table and chairs before you get to the front door.
In this little court yard is a statue of the Hindu God Ganesha, early every morning a Temple representative will place a small offering, light some incense sticks, and place some frangipani flowers behind the ears of Ganesha. A reminder of where you are, the Balinese are very spiritual.
Never be afraid to ask Balinese about their religion or culture, they are only too happy to answer any questions, or just chat in general.
The manager ILUH gave us a complete "training" session, she is only next door and always has her mobile/cell phone on so you can call or text at any time. The cleaning lady was fantastic. The service is instant, thorough, next door, 24/7 but never intrusive.
A tip, apart from your normal phone, bring along an older spare phone, go to any convenience store that sells SIMPATI SIM cards, buy one, load about $10 or $20 onto it, ask the store attendant to activate it for you (tip them a couple of dollars) and you get very cheap texts and international calls. Calls to Australia were about 10 cents per minute, texts almost nothing. Every time you use it you need to add a few extra digits that they give you at the front of your number but it will save a fortune. Don't get caught by the global roaming rip-off.
So, where is Purnama exactly? OK, Gang Purnama runs parallel to, and is north of Gang XXI and Gang Abdi and just south of Jalan Werkudara. Purnama is between Legian St and Jalan Padma Utara. Really, just get them to pick you up at the airport and you will quickly work out the rest when you get there. If you get lost, phone ILUH. Simple.
Eats and drinks. Yogi's Restaurant Gang Abdi or walk down Gang Abdi or Gang XXI to Jalan Padma Utara, heaps of bars and bistros. Corner of Jalan Werkudara and Jalan Arjuna 66, heaps more bars and restaurants.
Nearest big supermarket, Bintang Supermarket, Legian St. just north of Jalan Arjuna 66. 10 minute walk, $1 cab ride.
Walking distance to beach, great to walk along, but your pool is better for swimming.
Shopping. Legian Street in either direction. Walk along Jalan Padma Utara south towards Jalan Padma, walk down Jalan Sahadehwa (Garlic Lane) towards Jalan Melasti. Melasti Markets are on the corner of Jalan Melasti and Sahadehwa (Garlic Lane)
Tip, use only Blue Bird Group meter taxis, Toyota taxis, light blue metallic paint, prominent visor on windshield stating "Blue Bird Group", drivers wear light blue and dark blue print shirts with Blue Bird logo. Be careful many shonky cabs try and imitate Blue Bird. Cabs are so cheap, give your driver a good tip for longer trips and good service.
There you go, have fun.
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