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Everything we love about our exclusive luxury holiday rentals

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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Bali’s West Side Story

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“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 or the charming Dutch-colonial-styled 3-bedroom Villa Mako.

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. Those looking for a dreamy, romantic getaway will be enchanted by the 2-bedroomed Villa Belong Dua set in a whimsical walled garden,

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6 Stunning Beachfront Villas In Bali

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Beachfront Villa

Bali’s beautiful white and shimmering black sand beaches fringe the entire island. But if your dream is to enjoy the ocean away from the crowds, check into one of these 6 stunning beachfront villas in Bali where the best beaches are just a barefoot step away, and you’ll be lulled to sleep by the soothing sounds of the surf.

1. Villa Bayu Gita, Ketewel

Six-bedroom Villa Bayu Gita faces Pabean Beach, a renowned surf spot. Take a dip in the beautiful pool and indulge in stunning views over the Badung Straits. Life doesn’t get much better than this.

2. Villa Pushpapuri, Sanur

Situated absolutely beachfront, where river meets ocean on south-east Bali’s near-deserted Pabean Beach, Villa Pushpapuri will treat you to captivating views of the pounding surf, mystical Mount Agung and the island of Nusa Penida.

3. Villa Voyage, Nusa Lembongan

At Villa Voyage you will enjoy the right-on-the-beach tropical island setting, gorgeous sea vistas, glamorous ‘luxe nomad’ themed interiors and gourmet cuisine.

4. Majapahit Villas, Ketewel

Bordered by rice fields and coconut groves, Majapahit Beach Villas is a three-villa complex near Ketewel on Bali’s southeast coast. From Villa Maya’s absolute beachfront position you can cozy up to wide sea views.

5. Villa Atas Ombak, Batu Belig Beach

Villa Atas Ombak is a beachfront estate set in one and a half acres of mature tropical gardens. Stroll across the villa’s manicured lawns dotted with lotus ponds and ancient frangipani trees to the beach and watch the towering waves break onto the sand.

6. Villa Taman Ahimsa, Cemagi

Taman Ahimsa means ‘Garden of Peace’ and as soon as you enter this magical oasis, you will surrender yourself to the seductive charms of this seven-bedroom luxury oceanfront villa in Cemagi, on Bali’s southwest coast.

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Through The Keyhole: The Iman Villa

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Villa Iman

Elite Havens’ villas come in many shapes and sizes, yet each has its own distinctive character. Many are the fulfilment of their owners’ dreams and have interesting stories attached to their creation. ‘Behind The Scenes’ chats with some villa owners to find out how the dream became a reality.

This month the owners of Villa Iman tell us how they came to design and build their brand new luxury villa in Canggu.

So, Why Bali?

We came to Bali more than 10 years ago and instantly fell in love with the island’s breathtaking beauty, cultural complexity and the warmth and hospitality of the Balinese. When you think of building your dream home you want a dream location and Bali perfectly fits that mould for us.

What made you decide to hire architect Gary Fell and go for a custom designed villa instead of just buying something already built?

The pre-existing villas we saw in Bali did not match our needs in terms of location, style, or size so we had no choice but go down the far harder route of buying the land and then building the villa ourselves.

In 2008 we stayed at Villa Niloufar, one of Gary Fell’s first villa projects in Bali. We loved the design and hunted Gary down to see if he would design our villa for us, which he thankfully agreed to. We coupled Gary with our close friend, Rima Bokhari, who herself is an amazing architect, to create a powerful tag team.

How did the environment, neighbourhood and culture affect your design brief?

Our goal was to leverage on the natural beauty of our Canggu surroundings, so, for example, we orientated the covered area to the right-hand-side of the land to allow for stunning sunset views over the paddy fields.

We believe in honouring tradition, and invited the local Mangku (priest) to advise us where to position our house temples. We then held an all-day blessing ceremony, for which the local community prepared incredible hand-made offerings.

What is unique about Villa Iman’s location?

We are uniquely located in a part of Canggu that allows guests to have the flexibility to align their holiday to their own needs. If they want to relax in the villa’s swimming pool and TV room all day they can.

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