Located in Bali's east cost, far enough from the busy areas in the south and Ubud but still within reach of all the tourist attractions in Bali. This is the perfect place for a family holiday. If you are looking into partying and night life this is not your choice. The property is exactly as described in the reviews... but once you get there it is even better! Spaceful, very clean, incredible views, unspoilt, incredibly well taken care by the crew led by Ayu.
But let's start from the begining: the decorations and layout are just what you would expect of luxury in Bali. Congratulations to the owners, Iouri and Lynn, for their taste and for keeping the atmosphere with the right balance of luxury and the balinese ambience. To us this was a key element as the villas had great personality.
The grounds, a big garden, the tennis court, the infinte pool and the almost-private beach were all very carefully designed and mantained. All very spacious.
What to say about Ayu, the house manager and her staff. Just unbelievable! Calling "service" their love and care for their guests is almost insulting. They were always available, always smiling, always finding solutions and giving answers.
As you read, our party (a whole family with 11 people, ranging from grandmother to 6-year old kids) fell in love with the place and the people... and we saw in their guest book that we were not the first! We will return as soon as we have an opportunity.
Finally, some advice: we stayed at "home" for most meals, having nasi goreng, mie goreng and satay prepared by the cooks, or food delivery: fresh fish and deserts from Hungry Cocrodile, pasta from Warung Padang and pizzas from The Dining Room. All very good, quick and inexpensive.
And for moving around, Tomi (the wonderful in-house driver) can take you for short trips to Cadidasa, or Ayu can arrange for longer excursions (around RP 1 milion for the day). Another very good option is to rent scooters (very affordable 4U$ x day).
We also had a local dance performance organised privately for us in the house. Not cheap (RP 3.2 milion) but absolutely a must. More than 20 performers for the private function about the tale of the prince and the frog!
Sorry for such a long review... but Citakara Sari deserves it!
This by far the best villas (with all the surroundings) we have had stayed while in the island! The kids loved it. We, grown-ups adored it. I even had a ride with one of Ayu's assistants to get food from locals. Just fun. And another fun little thing, when we found the shelf in the main house/villa full with cool stuff like games and Tuttle flash cards! It's the best; we were thinking of bringing our all Americans family the next time we go visit Indonesia.
There is a serene magic in the air of Mendira, an untouched seaside village in the east of Bali!
I first discovered the paradise that is Citikara Sari when I was staying in a humble little love shack, a few doors up from the luxurious estate.
It was Christmas and my (now) husband proposed to me on a little wooden verandah, just after sunset. The following day we caught a fishing boat to Virgin beach and lay in the sun drinking beer, collecting coral and playing with the local kids. On our way home, cruising the calm sea, sun kissed and in love the boat drifted past Citikara Sari and from the moment we laid eyes on this magical retreat we knew this is where we wanted to bring our family and friends for our wedding.
We booked a 3 night stay for 7 family members at Citikara, to trial the experience (before the wedding) and our feelings were confirmed. There are three accommodation options, all are beautifully designed spaces, private and comfortable, overlooking the impeccable grounds and all facing the ocean. You can book a villa individually or choose to Rent the entire property, we have done both options and enjoyed each trip immensely.
On our first visit, we hired 2 of the villas, the owner, by chance, was staying in the 3rd, he took the time to introduce himself and treated us like family by ensuring his wonderful staff took good care of us, whilst giving us plenty of privacy to feel like we were at home. He is a charming, easy-going man, so friendly, accommodating and generous, it is no wonder he has cultivated such a remarkable retreat and attracted a loving team to care for it.
I have stayed all over the world in various grades of accommodation and never have I been so wonderfully taken care of, the heart of each and every person nurturing Citikara Estate to make it such a jewel is very obvious as the property is so perfectly run and maintained and as a guest here you feel as if 'the every day reality of mundane worries are lifted and your transported to a space that dreams are made of.
The team at Citikara are genuine, caring, fun, sweet and very hardworking, a reflection no doubt of the Wonder Woman Ayu who is the manager. Ayu quite frankly blew our minds with the elegance in which she so efficiently pulled things together... nothing is too hard for Ayu and I really cannot express enough my thanks and appreciation for everything she did for us during our wedding and family holiday. I have the utmost respect and admiration for Ayu and she will be in our hearts forever... Especially after having the privilege to share with her our Balinese wedding ceremony she organised... Ayu you are a bright star that never stops shining and it was a gift and privilege to have your support and presence at such an important and special time in our lives.
It seems Citikara Sari is so inspiring I am set to write a short book instead of the succinct review I had intended but considering the impact this one of a kind retreat left on us I feel I must take the time such a place deserves. This authentic, exquisitely designed retreat offers an extremely special, very personable and organized service that is of a standard and quality that is hard to find. If you seek paradise, somewhere to be silent to Be creative, somewhere to experience culture, or time alone and stillness to reboot your inspiration for life or a family getaway, lounging by the pool, drinking fresh coconuts collect from the towering coconut palms that frame exQuiste Skies, if you want to eat good food - never having to leave the villa, a precious memory with your loved ones in a magical land.... then stay at Citikara as it has it all.
The precious time at Citikara was priceless and cannot be quantify or explained in words, it will remain in our hearts, spirits and minds for life.
Bonuses and Highlights
The Kecak performance Ayu organised at our wedding was the best performance I've seen in Bali and I have seen them all... These talented spirited men gave us goosebumps head to toe and were so incredibly authentic and unreal.... Really 5 star artist offering a moving, fun and absolutely sensational show... Highly recommended!
Citikara beautifully catered and serviced our very happy guests with delicious food!
Wedding: I did not have a wedding planner and the owner was sooooo helpful, patient and generous with me, his care and communication throughout the process made everything so easy. He was supportive and officiant and helped me organise and fine tune all my details so I could create our vision and enjoy our special day.
He even considered my uncle in a wheelchair and built a new floor in one of the rooms to make things more comfortable for him.
The tennis court on the property good for family bonding and fun!
The people of Mendira Village - such beautiful smiling faces... Thanks for having us.
The honour of having a special Balinese blessing ceremony for our wedding was a profound and magical experience, the Balinese culture is so rich and powerful and to be honoured with the gift of sharing in their culture and entering our marriage the way they do was beyond compare to anything we've experienced and we feel blessed. Gratitude, love and warm wishes to the incredibly lovely priest and his supporters who initiated and cleansed us for the beginning of our new life together and again sincere thanks to Ayu for arranging, facilitating and guiding us so presently through the experience... We will never forget it!
Vincent's for dinner: serves an incredibly high standard of delicious food, with great staff and very nice ambience (jazz on Thursday nights not to be missed)
Best time ever... thank you Citikara Sari estate we will remember our time there always and hope to return for a reunion!
Thank you to the owner & staff at Citakara, our family enjoyed a fun holiday at your exceptional paradise! The grounds & villas sit in perfect harmony on stunning landscape by the sea. Created with love, comfortable & elegant, we all felt at home. Great pool, sunset, snorkelling, beach, food, tennis & massages! Special thanks to Kadek, absolute star, Ayu & Putu, every face at Citakar held a smile! The memories we created here will resonate in our hearts forever.
We hired the estate as a large group of 12 adults and 4 children and stayed for 7 amazing nights.
The photos online for this estate just don't do justice to how beautiful it is - we arrived and our jaws hit the ground! It is absolutely breathtaking!
The 3 separate 2 bedroom villas are constructed from the finest materials and no detail has been spared. From the furnishings and the artwork to the soaring ceilings and beautiful bathrooms, this place is literally heaven on earth. The beds are enormous and so comfortable, each villa enjoys a sea breeze during the day and with so many areas to spread out and relax it was impossible to feel cramped.
The infinity swimming pool overlooking the private beach was an absolute dream, with plenty of sun loungers and seats to suit our group and gorgeous palm trees and umbrellas for shade. The beach is spotlessly clean with turquoise waters and easily accessible down a small set of stairs. We snorkelled right off the beach and the fish and coral were in abundance, it was just amazing.
Alongside one of the villas, your very own onsite spa awaits with a huge daybed, a full bathroom, water features, 2 massage beds, sauna and an enormous stone bath. We kept the local spa service very busy during our stay, you simply let the villa staff know what treatments you would like from the extensive menu and they come to you! Prices were very reasonable with a 60 min massage a mere $17.00aud!
To the staff; Ayu and the team of incredible staff are really what makes this place so special. They are the loveliest people and work so hard to make sure every guest is happy and well taken care of. I arranged a lunch for my best friends birthday cooked and served by staff, we had babi guling (whole pig), salads, breads, rice and desserts and it was the most delicious and well presented meal we had on the island!
It was so good that for many of the other nights we picked from the villa menu which is served "family style" with many dishes to choose from - the freshest ingredients were used and the meal was always served exactly on time. The breakfasts which are included in the price were also awesome, bacon and eggs, nasi or mie goreng, toast, fruit, juices, coffee and tea and always served on time. We also had some travelling with us who have food intolerances, again it was never a problem to cater for them.
Nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff, from arranging spa treatments, snorkelling equipment, transportation and local restaurant dinner reservations - they do it all!
Needless to say, we will be back!!! If you are thinking of staying here - stop thinking and start booking!!
This place holds such a special place in our hearts and we cant wait to come back to beautiful Citakara Sari - thankyou Iouri and Ayu xx