Written by Beverley Lennon
“Is this heaven?” I asked after our 4-hour drive from Kuta to Menjangan Dynasty Resort, nestled at the edge of West Bali National Park.
West Bali is that untouched hidden paradise tucked far away from the main touristy areas in the South, away from all the bars, beach clubs, shops and crowds which are just not quite our definition of a peaceful romantic scene!
My boyfriend and I experienced a chic and romantic idyll by the beach, where laidback luxury wins it – no not in overwater villas (this is for newbies), but we got to sleep under the stars in all comfort and splendor at Menjangan Dynasty Resort – sounds wild isn’t it?
But guess what, we checked into a spacious airy tent that’s fully air-conditioned, the most comfortable bed, a monsoon shower and wooden outdoor deck with partial beach view, oh and room service please! Other villa options even feature a private pool overlooking the sea and nearby volcanoes. Not bad for “roughing it out” in nature, right? 😉
And of course, we got to experience nature at its best – diving and snorkeling around the nearby Menjangan Island, jungle trekking with the monkeys and sunrise yoga by the pool…. because if you don’t, you surely are missing out big time!
Here’s why I personally think nowhere else in Bali does utter seclusion and perfect peace like Menjangan Dynasty Resort!
Why pay more when you can pay less? Stay for 3 nights but pay for 2 with this hot deal!
1. Plunge in for exquisite romantic time in your Cliff Tent Villa
What a swanky way to cool down! I have always considered private plunge pools to be long coveted features in luxury resorts but the one at the Cliff Tent Villa at Menjangan Dynasty Resort stands out above the rest.
I used to book hotel rooms only for the sake of their private plunge pool – no matter how ridiculous the view looked like (most of the time, I’ll end up with one overlooking a brick wall) but this one offers absolutely stunning azure sea views, and we even opted for breakfast in the pool!
The floating breakfast is an exclusive option if you book a Cliff Tent Villa. Though floating trays are generally not practical, it sure brought a unique touch to our breakfast experience while we feasted both our stomach and eyes!
Undoubtedly, my crush was the Villa Raung, which besides providing a lookout towards the ocean, also offers caldera views; especially at sunrise while the rest of the world is asleep and flocks of birds fly high above on their early morning mission…
So why settle for the usual when you can book a sensual night at the resort’s most spectacular sunrise-on-the-ocean vantage spot? We could even take in the sea views from the bed itself and nothing better than a hearty breakfast to accompany this romantic moment! (Yes, we had our second breakfast in bed – you might call us lazy but we call it lucky!)
I have to say that the tent is perfect for couples, honeymoon or not!
Note: In order to conserve the environment, aluminium bottles are provided in the room and you are kindly requested to use the resort’s complementary water stations to top up your bottle.2. Swim to infinity with volcano views – Main Infinity Pool
This swoon-worthy infinity pool is sure to wow you! Good views are everywhere at Menjangan Dynasty Resort; from your villa to the spa but also from their main infinity-edge pool which offers a continuous panorama of the surroundings.
The pool blends seamlessly with the Banyuwedang Bay; you’ll almost feel like you are floating above the ocean with no boundaries while the water extends out to the horizon…
We savoured the thrill of drifting into the horizon at sunset time – never have I seen such a sky; it really was on fire; Mother Nature was giving her best show! Such rich and varied dyes and the clouds were like great wings of gold, yellow and rose, with a smaller minute sprinkle in one spot, like a shower of glowing stones from a volcano… Oh wait, but there was an actual volcano in the backdrop!
We ordered a few cocktails and swam to infinity and beyond without a care in the world in a pool that not only is luxury but also worth the Instagram brag! 😉
On the second tier, we also enjoyed some intimate moments in the waterfall pool which cascades from the main infinity pool. It was lovely to be set right on the beach, but do note that the plunge pool is very shallow, so it’s excellent for a soak but if you want a swim, stay in the infinity pool!
3. Relax at the oceanview spa and let your mind float away – Pasir Putih Spa
Receiving our spa treatments surrounded by nature, to the soothing sounds of the sea was an incredibly relaxing experience. It was not only about the sound of the ocean but also clear unforgettable views of it.
I still can’t get over the scents of the massage oils combined with the scents of salty ocean air; these instantly charged us with a positive energy while our muscles relaxed under the skilled hands of our masseuses who started with an indulging reflexology.
We enjoyed our body therapy in a private spa pod (it’s like a private room) while enjoying panoramic views of the Banyuwedang Bay. The massage cabana also features a bathtub where we got to soak in a flower bath with a warm cup of tea, while we listened to the waves and took in the healing ocean air.
I am one of those people who keep their eyes firmly shut (or even doze off) while getting a massage, but when our treatment room offers such panoramic views of the sea, it sure does awaken all your senses. We were so tempted to keep our eyes open the whole time! Another perk is the natural breeze that only complements the experience…
We left feeling rejuvenated from the treatments, sights and sounds of the beach.
4. Take a romantic beach stroll hand-in-hand in utmost privacy!
You have to agree with me, there is something so romantic about the beach… maybe it’s the soft touch of the sand as you walk or even the gentle caress of the ocean breeze – ahh the perfect place for lovers!
We usually never go fancy for our romantic dates, and in fact, most of our best couple memories are of evenings spent at the beach!
We decided to head out just before sunset, so we could see the colour-changing sky… We even took our shoes off as we strolled in the shallow waters! Nothing compares to a lovely stroll hand-in-hand with your loved one as you simply enjoy time spent together – that’s our ultimate beach protocol, something very special and meaningful for us!
Along the beach, we also found a place to settle at and chill to the gentle sound of the waves and enjoyed the picturesque ocean view. As you move into your lover’s arm, you know that pretty much nothing else matters!
5. Take a romantic walk along the jetty to… pop the big question!
How can you say “No” to the big question when it is asked in such beautiful natural setting?
You can either go straightforward or the total geeky route for your “Do You?” moment but make sure you get creative while you get down on one knee – why not do it on a jetty with endless sea views in all privacy and intimacy?
The private pier at Menjangan Dynasty Resort is a new feature (as of 2018) and we could not skip a short and sweet romantic walk along it, where we also settled in rocking chairs to enjoy chilled drinks while greeting farewell to the sun…
As real romantics, we are used to scouring the globe to seek for truly spectacular vantage points, and our intimate sunset time at the jetty did not disappoint as we enjoyed the most vibrant colours and swoon-worthy vistas.
The jetty is beautiful by day too but as the sun dips down, it’s simply breathtaking. The view is sure to put anyone in the mood for romance – cliché but true; falling in love is easy at sunset!
P.S. From atop the jetty, we could also spot some unusual marine creatures as the tide lowered… we truly enjoyed this special private moment together!
6. Sip on cocktails by the beach at Pasir Putih Beach Club
“Two glasses of wine please”, “Red or white?”, “Red for romance!”
For us, a day on the beach is never complete without icy cocktails or wine to cool from the heat and the best place for both while at Menjangan Dynasty Resort is at the Pasir Putih Beach Club.
Here, we got to enjoy cushy sun loungers with our toes in the sand, top-shelf beverages and playful light bites alongside endless panoramic ocean views… I truly loved how casual and laid-back the beach club is; you could be here in your swimsuit or your favourite evening wear but you can be sure your every seaside need will be satisfied.
It almost felt as though we were the only people in the whole resort, but we were told 90% of the tents were occupied (yet we could not feel it at all!). So you can be sure you’ll be rewarded with the serenity and privacy you need!
This is also where breakfast and dinner is served; do not expect a buffet as they promise to serve you freshly cooked meals! We enjoyed a healthy breaky after our morning yoga session and opted for a beachside seat to take our coffee with a side of oceanview; morning blues never looked so good!
In the afternoon we also enjoyed a delectable high tea with traditional Indonesian delicacies beautifully displayed on a 3-tier; while you can enjoy it at the beach club, we prefered having it by the pool before our sunset swim!
Dinner here was also great, with a varied menu ranging from traditional Indonesian dishes to other Asian dishes like their Sweet and Sour Pork Ribs, while their Beef Rendang is also a killer! If you are here on a long stay, the chef will also be glad to come up with other dishes based on your request!
P.S. We heard that their traditional rum is a must too; we could not try it as we had to wake up early and feared a hangover!
Note: All prices at Pasir Putih Beach Club are inclusive of taxes.
7. Surprise your sweetheart with a romantic dinner by the beach (or on the jetty!)
Want to impress your lover? You surely can’t go wrong with a romantic dinner on the beach… You’ll win her over a thousand times!
The romantic dinner set-up at Menjangan Dynasty Resort boasts of everything that’s eye candies of all the lovey-dovey – I got to dine at a candle-lit table right on the beach with toes in the sand but guess what’s the real deal?
Sunset views, delectable, saucy cuisine and a seductive wine list; no nothing cliché to expect here – it was not about long-stemmed roses or strolling violinists, thank goodness! Once directed to our private dinner table, I knew instantly that we were in for an absolute treat with amazing food and drinks, excellent service and a spectacular oceanfront ambience.
While the rollicking waves set the mood, you can choose from five different set menus for a 5-course dinner. Besides good food and amazing setting and views, I have to say that our personal butler was remarkable – I have never met such a happy, chirpy person! He definitely put us in a good mood while being very professional and ensuring we were having the most romantic time.
For a more unique experience, you can also opt to have your romantic dinner on the jetty – I found it far more private and intimate than the beach!
8. Who’s better at sea? Test each other with these water activities! – Kayaking/SUP
Love challenging yourselves? As a restless person, I personally think that living for the adrenaline rush is great but I enjoy it even better when shared with my special one. Besides the usual cooking classes, we wanted something fun with plenty of action – an experience that would make our hearts skip a beat!
And if just like us you decide to skip binge-watching Netflix while on a couple vacation, you might want to consider experiencing water activities such as kayaking and stand-up paddling (SUP) together at Menjangan Dynasty – because, how can you go to West Bali (where marine life is richest) and not do any water activities?!
I opted for the stand-up paddle as I had never tried it before while my boyfriend settled for the safer kayaking option (the future is female?!). 😉
Standing up on the paddle was not as tricky as I thought; it just required balance, patience and determination (3 qualities that women are generally better at!). I could even peek at the spectacular marine life under me from atop the paddle board but little did I know it required so much arm strength!
I know that as a couple we do a lot of weird things together but we also very often forget about the things we should do together, like having fun with no care in the world (because yes, I fell from the paddle while everyone else was watching!).
9. Be your lover’s mermaid and explore the magical underwater world as you dive and snorkel
As an active couple, we simply could not go to Menjangan without heading underwater! This marine oasis is one I am not ready to forget – an underwater sight that will make your jaw drop (if you aren’t breathing through a snorkel, of course!).
We took a 40-minute boat ride from the resort to Menjangan Island and explored a watery wonderland but also came face-to-face to wild deers. Regardless of whether you want to scuba dive and enjoy the most freedom to explore or simply snorkel, you are sure to get up close to friendly Nemos!
The underwater scenery here is largely untouched and we got to dive into the warm waters, swim atop giant sea urchins, ogle at the underwater coves, and follow turtles and angelfishes through the sunken jungles!
The waters at Menjangan Island are also home to technicolour corals and they make up a diverse ecosystem filled with unique and breathtaking wildlife. The marine reserve is protected and I was happy to see that this enabled corals and underwater life to flourish – even the carpet of sea urchins under the jetty area was left untouched!
Our trip to Menjangan Island was organised by the resort and we were accompanied by Bram, someone very passionate about the underwater world and life in Bali – he has been amazing throughout our day trip, making sure to bring us to the best spots, and was also professional as he also ensured our safety throughout the diving session!
The resort also features a coral reef plantation programme as part of efforts to restore the underwater ecosystem; you can also contribute to the conservation effort once on-site. Also, all boats used for water activities are rented by the resort from the locals as a way to contribute back to the community.
10. Challenge yourselves with exciting adventures in the wild!
10-a. Get sporty and support each other as you go jungle trekking
If you’ve never engaged in an outdoor activity together, now is the time! Going outside is good for your health but even better for a healthy relationship.
We recommend jungle trekking, a popular activity organised by Menjangan Dynasty Resort; this takes you to the nearby Menjangan National Park where you get to connect with nature and each other for a good 3 hours!
At the national park you will get to engage with each other in a natural setting while monkeys, wild chickens, monitor lizards and more surround you! I was surprised by how a change in scenery could reignite our passion, boost our moods and reduce all the stress…
Throughout the trek, you will also be able to cross a small river where you could decide to chill, and with the help of a park ranger you will also get to learn more about the park history and learn about its rich wildlife!
Time to think beyond the bar for your couple date and head to the great outdoors!
10-b. Discover new sceneries that will make your eyes glow – Salt Flats & Hot Spring Trail
Tired of trekking? How about going on a cycling trail?
The Salt Flats & Hot Spring trail starts within the resort and brings you around to explore nearby terrains and get closer to nature. I have to say that the activity is adequate for inexperienced cyclers as well since the plains are more or less flat – even young children are welcome to join!
You’ll cycle through the mangroves where you will even get to meet the locals and learn more about their daily lives, all the while at your own pace.
Further down, you will also pass through salt flats where you can see and learn everything about the salt filtration processes; the trail then ends at the hot spring – you can even request for the tour to be personalised according to your physical abilities and you can stop before the hot spring if you wish; the team is very flexible!
11. Connect your minds and souls through a morning yoga class
If you are standing in a circle of people in Bali, chances are that at least one of them is a yoga instructor or simply practises yoga regularly. Popular or trendy, call it as you want but I personally love yoga… but sadly it is a hobby that is not shared by my boyfriend.
So I decided to bring him along for the morning yoga class here. Although he started complaining only after the stretching exercises, I was proud to see his determination in staying over for the entire practice.
While I often practise yoga in a studio surrounded by four walls, I could not help but get excited about an outdoor yoga session with ocean views and fresh natural breeze! Tune in at sunrise and enjoy a serene atmosphere by the pool; perfect for stretching, toning and purifying your mind, body and soul!
As a weekly yoga practitioner, I found this experience exceptional as we got closer to the Earth and more in touch with ourselves and each other. And don’t worry if you have no experience, yoga is never about comparing yourself with others; the onsite instructor will be more than happy to introduce you to the basic poses.
Note: The yoga instructor only comes over on request so you will need to make a reservation prior to your session.
Why I said “Yes” to this stay?
I loved practically everything at Menjangan Dynasty Resort, it did not quite feel like we were in Bali as we are used to the madness of busy Kuta, and even Ubud has now gone off the peaceful radar, so escaping to a place that is lesser-known, untouched and secluded was an exclusive experience – the privacy and intimacy you will get there are two luxury factors to be thankful for!
It is not just another resort that claims to be green; yes we stayed in luxury tents but these surely have minimal environmental impact. We were given the choice to opt for the tent to be open at night, secured by the anti-insects nets only and we thoroughly enjoyed our night without the air-conditioning as it was so windy by the sea, to the sounds of crickets at night and chirping birds in the morning (no mosquitoes, guaranteed!).
I found it really special to be lounging in the outdoors with style. Of course it was not camping per se but we sure did commune with nature like Adam and Eve!
Now that you’ve found a tent you actually want to camp in with your sweetheart, let us know what you’re most excited to experience! Tag your loved one below!
Comment and share with us your experiences if you planning to stay or have stayed here before and we will PM you a special offer for this hotel!