If you’re rich and famous and travelling in Asia, then this is true: Bali, Indonesia is on your… Keep Reading
Your weekly up-close view of those wow factor extras that make our villas outstanding. After all, attention to detail always makes a difference.
If you’re a golfer looking for a lavish base for a golfing holiday, you’ll love this hand-picked list of luxury Bali golf villas conveniently located no more than 10km away from a spectacular world-class golf course. Enjoy sublime views of the beautiful sea temple of Tanah Lot from the award-winning 18-hole course at Nirwana Bali Golf Club designed by legendary golfer Greg Norman.
Sungai Tinggi Beach Villa, Canggu
The traditionally styled Sungai Tinggi rests on the shores of black-sand beach in the peaceful village of Pererenan. It comprises 6 bedrooms, a glorious open-sided living and dining pavilion and an 18-metre infinity edge pool.
Distance to the course: 10km
Villa Maya Retreat, Tabanan
Villa Maya Retreat rests at the base of a gorge on the banks of the Penet River in the pretty village of Cepaka. The tropical architecture and interiors pay tribute to traditional Balinese design, with open-sided alang- alang thatched living pavilions facing the 12-metre green-stone swimming pool, and 6 individual bedroom pavilions.
Distance to the course: 10km
The Arsana Estate, Tabanan
Set in a beautiful rural area of rice fields and jungle-clad river valleys in Tabanan, this splendid 5-bedroom villa occupies an expansive estate flowing down a terraced hillside in the hinterland of southwest Bali. The Arsana Estate offers the perfect setting for weddings, events, or large family and group retreats.
Distance to the course: 10km
Villa Pangi Gita, Canggu
Echoing the lush green rice terraces that surround it, the enchanting 3-bedroom Villa Pangi Gita gently flows down the hillside to the banks of the tranquil Pangi River in the sleepy village of Pererenan. It presents traditional-style living and sleeping spaces and expanses of glass that open out to the lush green surrounds.
Distance to the course: 8.7km
Seseh Beach Villa I, Seseh
This 5-bedroom luxury home overlooks the Indian Ocean. It’s location in the traditional village of Seseh offers guests the opportunity to witness the daily rural life of the Balinese, enjoy the beauty of the rice fields, take bicycle rides through the country lanes or walks along the beach.
Distance to the course: 9km
Kaba Kaba Estate,
The south coast Galle region is one of the most complete tourist destinations in Sri Lanka. The historic UNESCO-certified Galle Fort is the region’s foremost attraction but there are many more activities and attractions in the local area to keep you busy for days. Here are some of our favourites:
Galle Fort Walk
Local author Juliet Coombe hosts a variety of guided walking tours in historic Galle Fort, focusing on architecture, people and food. The walks last for around 90-minutes and include a stop for refreshments. Galle Fort’s historic streets, lined with cafés and boutiques and home to European churches, mosques, old spice warehouses and museums, are also ripe for exploring on your own.
Galle is blessed with a great variety of beaches. Galle Fort itself has a pretty beach just south of the lighthouse that can be lovely for an early morning swim before anyone else is about. Other favourites are Dalawella Beach, beside the popular Wijeya Beach Restaurant, and Unawatuna Beach whose wide horseshoe-shaped bay offers safe swimming throughout the year. From Unawatuna you can also arrange diving, deep-sea fishing and snorkelling.
Idle Bikes & Boats
Explore Galle’s picturesque interior by bicycle on a guided tour of the region’s verdant hills, sleepy villages, paddy fields and jungle. You can pick from a variety of trails; each route takes in the quietest, most scenic back roads and bunds. Idle Tours also offer boat trips on the Gin Ganga River west of Galle, a peaceful waterway home to a Sri Lanka’s aquatic wildlife and birds.
Looking for a perfect spot for lunch or dinner? Have a look at our favourite restaurants in the South of Sri Lanka.
Handunugoda Tea Estate
Tea is grown across Sri Lanka, and The Handunugoda Tea Estate is one of the closest tea plantations to the coast. Here you can take a tour of the estate, have a nosy around the factory and enjoy a tasting and buying session of the many types of tea. The estate is also famous for producing white tea, a delicate variety that retails for around US$1500 a kilo.
Habaraduwa Turtle Hatchery
Sri Lanka’s sandy shores are prime targets for nesting marine turtles who come ashore to lay their eggs in the very same place they were born.
Elite Havens’ villas come in many shapes and sizes. That they are all luxurious homes in some of Asia’s most prized locations, brimming with first-class facilities and tended to by a caring team of staff, goes without saying, but beyond that, each and every villa has its own distinctive character. Many are the fulfilment of their owners’ dreams and have interesting stories attached to their creation. ‘Through the Keyhole’ takes a peek behind the scenes and chats with some of our villa owners to find out how the dream became a reality.
Sungai Tinggi Beach Villa owners tell us about their stunning oceanfront home on Bali’s south-west coast.
How long have you owned the villa?
We built it over 15 years ago, when I was engaged in developing a wide range of luxury residences throughout Bali for expatriate families. We needed a show villa to demonstrate our design and exhibit the wide range of construction materials available in Indonesia. We had already been living in Bali for over 10 years and it had taken that long to find the perfect location. There were obstacles to overcome regarding the land purchase, but we now own close to 12,000 sqm of beachfront land.
Can you share your insights on the design and construction process with us?
My company was involved in the construction of the Four Seasons Jimbaran and the Nirwana Resort in Tanah Lot. We borrowed a lot of ideas from both of these resorts when we came to design and build Sungai Tinggi Beach Villa.
The design combines the best of Western and Balinese architecture and materials and is testament to what good design and careful choice of materials can produce. We’ve been gratified to receive many comments about how well the villa fits into the environment. It was an important consideration for us to maintain the surrounding natural beauty by careful choice of materials that blend with the ever-changing landscape. For example, the river mouth next to the villa can quickly change from a canyon to a lake; viewed at dawn and sunset it presents two completely opposing views. Design is paramount in such situations because to dominate an environment is to detract from Bali’s natural beauty, which is what attracted us here in the first place.
What makes Sungai Tinggi Beach Villa unique?
Elite Havens villas are synonymous with superb dining, prepared by skilled chefs – many of whom have trained in internationally renowned restaurants. Villa menus include an extensive range of Western and Asian suggestions, and our chefs will also do their best to cater to guests’ special requests. But, of course, every chef has his or her own ‘special’ dishes – the ones that guests ask for again and again. With much coaxing and cajoling, we’ve prised some of these secret recipes from our chefs to share with you here.
In this issue, the outstanding private chef at The Longhouse in Jimbaran reveals how to make one of Indonesia’s most popular dishes. Gado-Gado, with its spicy peanut sauce poured over blanched veggies, is a delicious treat. At the Longhouse, spices are ground and the sauce is made before your eyes at the dining table. Here is the recipe.
The Longhouse Gado-Gado
Special equipment: pestle and mortar/grinding stone. (If not available, you can substitute with a food processor.)
100g spinach, washed and blanched
100g bean sprout, washed and blanched
100g long beans (green beans), cut into 5cm pieces, washed and boiled
1 large fresh tomato, washed and cut into wedges
1 fresh cucumber, washed and cut into half-moons
200g fresh tofu, cut into 2cm cubes and deep fried
4 tbsp sweet soy sauce to serve
Fried shallot to serve
Prawn cracker to serve
400g fried peanuts
4 fresh shallots, peeled and cut in half
4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
2 tsp black soy bean paste (available in Asian Markets)
1 fresh bird eye chili
4 tbsp palm sugar (brown sugar is a substitute)
3 cups water
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp salt
“Go West young man, and into the country”, instructs American author Horace Greeley in his oft-quoted phrase, and on The Island of the Gods, as in The Land of the Brave, once you leave the crowded streets (in this case, those of Kuta and Seminyak) behind and head west, a whole different world is revealed. A more traditional Bali, a picturesque rural scene of gently terraced rice fields, quiet villages, dramatic sea temples clinging to rocky islands and deserted ocean beaches.
Pererenan, to the west of Canggu, is an increasingly popular area for holidaymakers as it’s close enough to Seminyak (10km) for an evening out at one of many gourmet restaurants or for an afternoon shopping trip, but still possesses a serene laid-back village vibe. The beach here, with its rugged rocky outcrops and tidal pools, is undeveloped, except for a couple of local warungs and basic kiosks selling Bintang beer, soft drinks and coconuts. It can be a little stony for swimming – best to stay between the flags at neighbouring surf break, Echo Beach, which is just a couple of hundred metres further along the sand and has a great selection of cosy eateries offering music, beer and sunset seafood barbecues. Villas in and around Pererenan include the gorgeous beachside 4-7 bedroom Sungai Tinggi Beach Villa, ocean-view 6-bedroom Villa Luwih and grand 8-bedroom Villa Manis. Moving slightly further from the beach, among the rippling rice fields are 4-bedroom Villa Hansa, the 6-bedroom Chalina Estate and the 3-bedroom riverside hideaway, Villa Pangi Gita. For a real rural retreat (but still only 12km or so from Seminyak and 4-5km from the ocean) try the chic 5-bedroom Iman Villa, charming Dutch-colonial-styled 3-bedroom Villa Mako or the three Canggu Terrace villas which offer either 2 or 3 bedrooms a piece and overlook a particularly beautiful expanse of paddyfield.
Heading further westwards brings you to the peaceful fishing village of Seseh, where narrow country lanes leading to the coast call for leisurely bike rides and afternoon strolls. Farmers work in the rice paddies, children fly kites in the fields and cows take shelter from the midday sun under the shade of mango trees.