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Valerie Wang at Villa Joss

in Destinations by

Famous artist and lifestyle blogger Valerie Wang stays at our elegant Villa Joss in Batu Belig designed by one of Bali’s premier architects. The quality of the design and craftsmanship is evident throughout this four-bedroom villa, making ample use of leather, recycled teak and other beautiful organic materials, as well as a remarkable collection of fine art and Majapahit period stone carvings, to capture the style and spirit of Bali. See how Valerie captured this beauty through a collection of photos.

All photos are by @Valerie_Wang

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Best Golf Villas in Bali

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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

http://www.sungaitinggibeachvilla.com  

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

http://www.villamayaretreat.com

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

http://www.arsanavillaestate.com

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

http://www.pangigita.com

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

http://www.sesehbeachvillas.com/

Kaba Kaba Estate,

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8 Things To Do In Galle

in Recreation by

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.

Website: www.sriserendipity.com/walking_tours.html

Galle’s Beaches

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.

Website: www.idletours.com

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.

Website: www.virginwhitetea.com

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.

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The Changing Face of Bali Tourism

in News by

Australians have dominated Bali’s tourist market for years, but recent months have shown a huge shift towards a Chinese take-over of the lion’s share.

In February this year Chinese tourists accounted for 27.71% of visitors to Bali, with Australian arrivals accounting for 21.04%, and it is expected that this lead will grow exponentially with direct flights being introduced from first and second tier cities in China. In January, Garuda Indonesia introduced direct flights linking Bali and Shanghai and direct flights between Bali and Guangzhou commenced in May.

The Indonesian government has publicly recognised China as the number one tourist market of the immediate future. Back in June, the government relaxed its visa policy, waiving the US$35 tourist entry fee for Chinese nationals with the aim of increasing visits to 10 million people in the next few years. One major Chinese online travel agency said that they saw nearly a 50% growth over the previous month in bookings to Bali when the policy was announced.

While group tours are still dominating, there is a noticeable increase in well-educated, well-travelled and independent Chinese tourists who are leaning towards high-end luxury private villa experiences.

Here at Elite Havens, we understand the huge potential that this shift in Bali tourism represents and have been preparing to welcome Chinese visitors for the past 12 months. We have been growing relations with Chinese agents, especially those specialising in the luxury market. In May, we participated at the International Luxury Travel Management (ILTM) Conference in Shanghai; an invitation-only event at which we held one-on-one meetings with representatives of Asia’s sought-after market of luxury travellers.

We are also boosting our own personnel to include Mandarin-speaking staff, and will soon have a member of our team dedicated solely to the Chinese market, appealing to a particular style of business dealings and customs.

Looking for investment opportunities in Bali or Lombok? Get in touch with our experts at Elite Havens for more information.

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Through The Keyhole: Sungai Tinggi Beach Villa

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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?

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