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Pondok Matekap is one of those places you'll arrange your life plans around. It's only available on such-and-such date? I'll reschedule everything so we can stay there. Yes, it's that special – and if there's one villa we'd choose to book for a family holiday or weekend with friends, this would likely be it.
What's the appeal?
Pondok Matekap is a dreamy three-bedroom villa that overlooks terraced rice paddies, and onto a row of palm trees that fringe the beach near Balian. It's quiet; it's breezy; it's considerate to the environment. There are quiet nooks for reading; a freshwater pool with a view; stunning bathrooms – and, throughout the property, you get a wonderfully evocative sense that you're somewhere... exotic, yet earthly, homely, somewhere you don't want to leave.
Conscious travel & eco efforts
This beautiful, energy-efficient villa has been carefully constructed from reclaimed wood, and local materials. The property has been carefully landscaped to ensure visual privacy and to maximise the cooling benefits of vegetation (the bedrooms are air-conditioned, should you wish to use it). The swimming pool is freshwater, filtered by plants.
Guests are welcome to bring their pets to Pondok Matekap – but please do communicate in advance with the villa owners that you'll be bringing your pets along.
Pondok Matekap has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a well-equipped kitchen and a superbly comfortable living area. This living area opens up onto the garden, which has views across the pool and paddies towards the ocean; the roof here is high and the front doors open the area up completely, blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. Dotted around the villa and garden are large floor cushions, hanging chairs, sun-loungers and daybeds – places that invite you get lost in a good book, and enjoy time ins a shady part of the garden. The bedrooms are situated on either end of this living area – the two bedrooms adjacent to each other are well suited to those travelling with young children. The bathrooms are large, en-suite and are open-air.
If you're looking for a comfortable home from home, Pondok Matekap will probably tick all of your boxes. It is set on a vast property with a big private garden, has its own freshwater pool, plenty of places in which to relax (and to get some work done, if need be). There is also a good selection of books and board games, as well as racquets, balls and other games available, too. The kitchen is very well equipped for a comfortable long self-catering stay – and if you'd prefer to have meals arranged for you, this can be easily done. Ibu Putu will come to the villa and cook your meals there. The owners, who live next-door, have a young son and so they're well aware of what's needed to make a stay comfortable for families travelling with kids; a high chair, crib and children's toys are available, and a wonderful babysitter can be easily arranged.
Pondok Matekap is located a few kilometres west of Balian. It's set in a beautiful rice-farming area, and is just 200m from a very quiet beach. We consider Pondok Matekap a place to settle into and enjoy time spent there – but Balian is a 10-minute drive if you want to head there to surf, take a yoga class or eat at one of the village's restaurants.