Villa on View.
Your weekly up-close view of those wow factor extras that make our villas outstanding. After all, attention to detail always makes a difference.
One of the best things about private villas in Bali is that none of them are the same. Forget uniform lobbies, drab bedding and boring white walls. Think fascinating artefacts, colourful furnishings, amazing art and unique design from around the world, all representing the heritage and lifestyle of their owners. To give you an idea of the delights on offer, we’ve scoured Bali for ‘art-full’ villas that will win over the heart of even the most sophisticated art connoisseur.
Villa Asada, Candidasa
Villa Asada is a contemporary expression of Balinese style, filled with antiques and comfortable furnishings. In every corner is a spot of simple elegance and luxury, lovingly strewn with Oriental decor. Buddha and other characters in Asian history take centre stage. Little pockets of space prove that in decorating, as in life, less is truly more.
Villa Canggu, Canggu
Indonesian contemporary artists turn Villa Canggu into a living exhibition that could easily compete with many art galleries around the world. Eddy Susanto’s visual interpretation on the heritage of the Mayan people, who scandalised the world with their 2012 Armageddon prediction, is displayed here just around the corner from Yudi Sulistyo’s interpretation of modern-day life: a hanging metal spaceship entitled “World Without Sea”. Ronald Apriyan’s series of three paintings represents how modern-day women can choose to be whatever they want to be. Grab a glass of wine and start exploring.
Kaba Kaba Estate, Tabanan
For more than 20 years, the owners of Kaba Kaba Estate have been avid art collectors, and the villa serves as a showcase for their beloved treasures, which range from fascinating antiques to contemporary works of art displayed throughout the gardens and pavilions. These include Cai Zhi Song’s Ode to Motherland #5, a striking 2013 bronze of a male figure, inspired by an ancient image of a Qin dynasty warrior, to Sohan Jakhar’s Untitled (2009), which hangs above a guest bedroom headboard, and Hannes D’Haese’s sculpture Just a Dog, a pink resin bulldog that, along with its yellow counterpart, guards the entrance to the guesthouse.
Then there’s the surprisingly recent (three decades old) 8-foot-long Indonesian carving of paddlers in a boat, displayed above a puckish Dodit Artawan oil on canvas depicting Barbie dolls and liquor bottles; Dadi Setiyadi’s White Goat, a 2011 canvas that reimagines Caravaggio’s John the Baptist as a loincloth-clad figure festooned with swirling Dayak tattoos,
You’ve arrived on the Island of the Gods. There is so much to do on your bucket list, so many cultural, spiritual, artistic and gastronomical places to visit. Don’t forget to unwind from it all with a delicious cocktail, vibrant beats, gorgeous people and an equally stunning view. You are, after all, on the vacation of a lifetime! Dance the night or day away, Bali-style!
The absolute beachfront club offers another level of beach club chic. Choose from Meditteranean dining on a vast oceanfront lawn, dining al fresco on a terrace, having powerhouse meetings in the VIP Lounge or the fabulous Rooftop Bar. Be mesmerised by the stunning Instagram-worthy sunsets and the quirky nighttime surfing under spotlights.
SUNDAYS BEACH CLUB
Kick back and enjoy life at this chic day retreat that is nestled on a white sandy crescent beach on Bali’s Bukit peninsula. Pull up a beanbag or sun lounger and enjoy a day of sea kayaking, snorkelling or stand up paddle boarding while listening to cool island beats and grazing from a perfect beachside menu. Expect butter-soft yellow fin tuna sushi, burgers and pulled pork sandwiches. Sip hand crafted cocktails and watch the sun set while making fabulous holiday memories.
A restaurant, bar and beach lounge is coupled with eclectic soulful soundtracks and panoramic views. The club is known as Bali’s original sunset-watching venue, and rightfully so. It boasts not just magnificent views but amazing sounds that set it apart from the others.
Enter one of the globe’s hottest beach clubs high above the glittering azure ocean. Ride an inclinator down the limestone cliff to a white crescent of sandy beach that is perfect for a party. Bamboo and thatch buildings encircle an intimate scene, with hedonistic drinks and delectable food completing the whole experience.
Women’s International Tennis Singapore (WITS) is a tennis league where the women play tennis for competitive challenge and social camaraderie. The league began in 2000 with just a handful of members and has grown to over 650 women. WITS has several philanthropic missions, and the women bond over these and their love for the sport. They’ve also spent time together in an Elite Havens villa and we asked some members to describe their stay.
Past WITS President Louise Martin describes herself as “a professional trailing spouse.” Martin has live in 9 countries over the past 25 years. Besides tennis, she loves the gym and reading a book, cup of coffee in hand. Louise has stayed in Arnalaya Beach House, Villa Ramadewa and Villa Sapi.
EH: Hi, Louise. When did you have stay in an Elite Havens villa?
LM: I have stayed at 4 different EH villas over the past 5 years.
EH: What did you like best about the villas?
LM: I love the the feeling of total pampering. Each property is different but similar in the standard it offers it’s visitor – superb!
EH: What did you do at the villas everyday?
LM: There is usually so much to do at the villa – you can sunbath, swim, play tennis (2 out of the 4 villas I stayed at had tennis courts), have massages, practice yoga, eat fabulous food!!! What ever your heart desires.
EH: How long have you been playing tennis?
LM: I’ve only been playing tennis for the last six years of so.
EH: What do you think of the Elite Havens tennis courts?
LM: On both occasions the courts were excellently maintained and the I even remember flood lights on the one in Lombok. I would absolutely recommend them to a friend.
EH: Any anecdotes about your stay you can tell us?
LM: I don’t have a personal one but a friend of mine told me about something that happened to her when she stayed ….
She is a busy mother of 3 young kids. She and her family were all packed up and in your Elite Havens transport on their way to the airport when she suddenly realised that she had left her brand-new remodelled diamond ring by the sink in their suite!!
Close your eyes for a moment. Picture unobstructed endless views from atop lush hills. Green paddy fields tumbling down towards azure waters. An aquamarine bay that changes colours as the day goes by, finally donning a dark black cloak at night, studded with twinkling lights from lobster fishing boats. Imagine gazing at these mesmerising vistas sitting on a wooden deck, next to your own private infinity pool, sipping a refreshing beverage as the tropical breeze brushes by.
Meanwhile, the children play indoors within the air-conditioned comfort of the villa’s sprawling living room, while you keep an eye on them through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Comforted that all’s well, you turn your eyes back to the views, slip your sunglasses into place and lay back on the lounger as the spa therapist works wonders on your feet.
Sounds like the perfect holiday, doesn’t it?
What if we told you that this is not just a dream. It can be your reality, the next time you need to take a break from urban life. Retreat to the unexplored island of Lombok, where you wake up to the chirping of birds and sleep to the tropical sound of crickets. An unbelievable world where the stresses of urban life seem to ebb away, and all that is left is you, nature’s enchanting beauty and the sound of silence.
Selong Selo Resort and Residences is a sprawling estate in southern Lombok with more than 22 luxury villas, nestled into the hills above Selong Belanak Beach. Each villa is unique and reflects the owners’ personality. Some are built over various levels while others stretch out on terraced gardens. Sophisticated interiors open up through sliding glass doors onto expansive outdoor living spaces, including a private infinity pool in each villa. The last word in luxury, the villas are elegantly designed and decorated with local artefacts and eclectic art from across the world.
Dining options aplenty
Fully equipped open-plan kitchens are available should you want to cook a meal. However, if you just want to sit back and relax, you can always order-in from the menu or enjoy meals at Aura, the estate’s in-house restaurant and lounge. Set in an open-sided pavilion, Aura is also a great place to sip on sundowners at dusk.
Selong Selo offers shuttle service within the estate and down to Selong Belanak Beach.
As well as its wealth of historic temples and rich culture, Sri Lanka’s wellness traditions are a feast to discover on a trip to its picturesque shores. Among them is the ancient healing system of Ayurveda, which is still practiced widely in Sri Lanka and neighbouring India.
Ayurvedic traditions are thousands of years old; some estimate they have been passed from master to disciple for more than 5,000 years and that Ayurveda is the oldest healing methodology in the world. The beliefs and practices central to Ayurveda have given birth to other natural healing methods, such as homeopathy and polarity therapy, while Sri Lankan massage therapies use the age-old healing techniques of Ayurveda to restore the body and balance the mind.
Indeed, Ayurveda means ‘knowledge of life’, and the core philosophy of the Ayurvedic system is that the key to health is a balance of your three doshas – energies we all have in our bodies, known as Vata, Pitta and Kappa.
As a form of traditional medicine, Ayurveda uses plant-based treatments to heal and boost physical and mental strength to prevent illness. For many locals in Sri Lanka, Ayurveda is a total way of life that incorporates diet, daily yoga practice and regular meditation. But you don’t have to go the whole hog to appreciate the benefits of Ayurveda. Massage therapies are an important part of Ayurvedic medicine, and as well as having many reputed health benefits, they are also deeply relaxing.
We’ve got the low down on ayurvedic massage treatments and what to expect.
Ayurvedic Body Massage
Ayurvedic massage is a great introduction to the ancient practice of Ayurveda. Aficionados believe massage plays an important role in healthcare, helping to detoxify the skin and body, and improve digestion. Hard-core Ayurveda purists will have a full body massage – known as abhyana in Sanskrit – everyday, for general mind/body support.
We’re not saying a daily massage is de rigueur (although there’s no reason why you shouldn’t –you’re on holiday after all, so why not treat yourself?). One will be enough to give you a taste of the traditions that are interwoven in Sri Lankan culture, plus it’s a wonderful way to relax on vacation. That said, once you’ve tried it, chances are you’ll soon be booking another.
WHAT TO EXPECT: You may start with a consultation about your health,