Who says a trip to Bali can’t be unconventional? Bali is an extremely large island and it offers more than what most international visitors know of. Beyond the crowd in Kuta, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, Denpasar and even Ubud, lays the unexplored beauty of Northern Bali.
Getting to NusaBay Menjangan Resort
NusaBay Menjangan is located at the West Bali National Park and can only be accessed via a short 20-minutes boat ride from Bali’s main island. The boat leaves from Lalang Port, a 4-hour drive from Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport. You can also get to the port from Banyuwangi – where Mount Ijen is, if you are coming from Java Island. Take a one-hour ferry ride from Ketapang Ferry Terminal in Banyuwangi to Gilimanuk. Lalang Port is just a 15-minutes drive from Gilimanuk Port.
Upon your arrival at Lalang Port, make your way to the ‘office’ to let them know that you are NusaBay Menjangan‘s guest and they will let you know when the next boat will arrive. When the boat is ready, the staff will help you with your bags and you will be on your way!
The NusaBay Menjangan Experience
I honestly did not know what to expect when we arrived. My mom did the booking without much research – we did not even know how that the resort was located on a completely isolated national park! However our worries quickly melted away when we arrived. The resort staff warmly welcomed us at the jetty, introducing us to the estate and making it feel like home!
The resort is located along a beautiful beach shore and the atmosphere was very peaceful and calming. Menjangan is means “deer” in Bahasa Indonesia and sure enough, the shores were filled with wild deers. No need to worry though, these deers will not attack as long as you do not bother them. We were also told that there are many black monkeys around the area since there is a jungle right behind the resort but we did not see any during our stay.
After checking in at the reception and paying the compulsory West Bali National Park entrance fee of 10,000 IDR (~ 1 SGD) per person, we were escorted to our villa – the Lanai Cottage with Ocean View. There are only 14 villas in the resort; some with 1-bedroom and others with 2-bedrooms. There were also Jungle villas which are closer to the jungle than the ocean.
The rooms were exactly like what we saw in Booking.com. It was clean, spacious and nicely decorated. The only thing to look out for is the insects especially at night – not surprising since the villas are located right next to the jungle. Thankfully there’s an insect canopy covering the bed and many types of insect repellent were provided.
We stayed at NusaBay Menjangan on Christmas Eve and the resort restaurant was serving a Christmas-eve special set menu. We started our dinner with heartwarming freshly-baked bread and Marinated Tuna Teriyaki salad. For main course, we had an option of Steamed Black Bass Fillet or Duck with Mushroom Ravioli and the meal ended of with a platter of sweet Menjangan Dessert.
It was a sumptuous three course meal with well-made food and generous portions. The service and hospitality by the waitresses were top notch as well! There’s nothing more to ask for really. The chef even came out to greet us & ask us for feedback on the food. He also offered to send us the dessert recipe when we told him we enjoyed it!
Since the resort is located in a secluded area, there are no other dining options other than the resort’s restaurant and we were quite worried about the food prices. However we were glad to find out that the food was not only (really) delicious, it was also affordable! Our set meal costed us 300,000 IDR ++ (~ 30 SGD ++) per person and it was totally worth it.
Other than the special Christmas Eve dinner, we also had breakfast which is included in every booking and lunch at the resort. There were 4 delectable set menus to select from for breakfast – Indonesian, Vegan, Western or Protein set. Needless to say, all the options were well prepared and tasty!
After a three hours of snorkelling (read next part), our stomachs were ready for lunch. We tried their ala carte menu and ordered the Bebek Betutu (Balinese-style duck), Ayam Pepes (Indonesian otah) and a few other dishes. We were blown away by how the food were consistently delicious regardless of what we ordered! Most of the items were also below 10 SGD which was great! Rest assured, you will not grow hungry even when there seems to be no food option here!
Activities Offered and Facilities
Like other resorts, NusaBay Menjangan offers basic facilities like a spa center and swimming pool too although why would you swim in a pool when there’s a beautiful beach right next to it. Anyway…
There are many interesting activities from forest trekking, cycling, bird watching to canoeing, diving and snorkeling, that you can try out during your stay at NusaBay Menjangan. We only had time for one activity since we were only there for one night so we chose to snorkel!
You can either rent the snorkeling gear to snorkel at the bay of the resort or join a snorkeling tour to Menjangan Island, 20-minutes away from the resort. We decided to go for the tour in the morning and left immediately after breakfast. If you did not prepare any swimsuit, you can also borrow one from the diving center together with your gear for no extra charge!
It was a three-hour trip with 2 snorkeling spots and a 30-minute break in between for 550,000 IDR (~ 55 SGD) per person inclusive of the boat ride and a guide. The price is adjusted depending on how big the group is. The guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. It was also one of the best snorkeling spots I’ve ever seen!
We loved our stay at NusaBay Menjangan and would highly recommend it. It’s a perfect place to relax and escape from the business of life – the villa was nice, food was amazing and the hospitality was unrivaled!
Rooms start from ~ 140 SGD and if you book from Booking.com, you can enjoy special benefits like free cancellation and no prepayment!