Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Weekend Getaway Pelabuhan Ratu – Part II

I took off to Jakarta last week and on my first day back we drove down to Ocean Queen in Pelabuhan Ratu. We would have loved to spend the whole weekend there but they were booked out from Saturday so the owner Nick was kind enough to hook us up with a private villa. I was actually really worried he would hook us up with something shitty, considering if it was really good he could potentially loose a good customer. But my woes were laid to rest when we pulled into Casa Pak Odi. His villa sits right on the South Java coast line.

The house is built on a fairly large piece of land with its rear facing the main road and 3 of the 5 bedrooms on the opposite side facing the garden and open ocean. The villa is sturdy and constructed with a combination of wood and concrete. It does not take a building contractor to notice that the owner has personally selected all the fittings with attention of quality and design. The floor plan of the house is also fairly simple and elegant with huge retractable doors that give each bedroom access to the spectacular view and cool ocean breeze. The 2 master bedrooms feature very unique open concept bathrooms with bathtubs that allow for one to enjoy a warm bath while taking I the gorgeous view. But what the rooms may lack in privacy, they make up for with 5 star comforts. Only 1 of the 5 rooms is air-conditioned but even on the hottest summer day you are sure to enjoy a cool summer breeze once the sun goes down.

The most awesome feature of Casa Pak Odi has to be the gazebo. It is right on the edges of the property where the garden meets the ocean waves. Over the years and more so recently, the tide has moved further up the beach and is constantly eating into the land so the owner has constructed a sort of wall to slow down the erosion process using natural elements like sand bags and a bamboo fence. This has left the gazebo standing on stilts with waves occasionally sliding underneath it. The platform also has to be reached by shimmying along a narrow wooden plank. This just adds to the rustic vibe of the house.

A hammock has strategically been placed in the pergola and it is the most coveted spot on the property for sure. Although no one put up a fight for the spot, you know everyone was waiting to jump in the hammock as soon as another moved along. I can’t even begin to describe how serene the spot was and how magically the cool breeze flowed through the hut constantly, even on the hottest afternoons. Lying ion that hammock I could not believe that only 2 days ago I was sitting behind my desk in the concrete jungle, fighting tooth and nail for my piece of the pie. Vegetating out there with a book in hand, my closest friends only a holler away, I could not imagine life getting any better.

Pelabuhan Ratu is quite well known to surfers in Indonesia for its awesome breaks. Ombak 7 (Tujuh) and Cimajah Beach have hosted pretty hot talent over the last few years from what I hear and since I have been coming down to the coast I have seen the number of foreign visitors increase mostly due to the tranquil breaks. But this coast is not for armatures. I put up my guard before jumping in for a swim in those waters so hopping on a board is out of the question. I have body boarded on previous trips but the waves and currents this time were noticeable stronger. I am not sure what beach Casa Pak Odi sits on, but there is an amazing break right in front of it and if you like to watch surfers, the view does not get any better than this. The owner of the villa is also an avid surfer and I believe he gets out there every morning. While I chilled in the pergola I watched numerous surfers attempt to paddle out to the break but only 2 people actually made it out there. As I said, this beach is not for armatures.

Once again the staff at the house hooked up a one of a kind BBQ. Pelabuhan Ratu is a fishing village so you get killer seafood at very reasonable prices. And it is always fresh. The local marinade is also unique and extremely spicy.

The lanai is a magnificent place to congregate over a meal and it is suited with a solid teak (I think) wood table. This is soul food. After eating Chinese food for 3 months straight I could not get enough of the Indonesian food. If there is one thing that was lacking at Casa Pak Odi, it would have to be a swimming pool. We made do by plying with the water hose in the garden so I am not really complaining. But a small plunge pool, elegantly planned and placed would totally take this villa to a whole new level. Plus a small area where visitors can have a bonfire at night is a simple addition that can be added. A small circular clearing on the garden surrounded by a few rocks to serve as chairs would fit in and add to the ambiance I am sure.

All being said and done, I would recommend anyone to spend a good 5 days at Casa Pak Odi in Pelabuhan Ratu to really unwind. Although being there is an escape from reality, it offers no escape from your self. The coast line is still fairly untouched and people like the owner of this villa have been living out here for over 10-15 years. The fact that there are no fancy hotels out there is what really makes the spot more appealing to me. And who the hell wants to stay in a 5 star hotel when you can while away your days in a villa for a fraction of the price. I do not take any discounts or payouts to write this shit, so this is not some paid advert. This truly was one of the best weekend getaways I have had in Indonesia, EVER! Mahalo Pak Odi.

No comments: