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.
On the 1st of October 2016, the Island of the Gods will host Tough Mudder, a world-renowned endurance event that is the ultimate test of strength, stamina, teamwork and mental grit. Whilst huge in the UK, USA, Australia and other countries, Tough Mudder Bali is the event’s debut in Southeast Asia and perhaps not many know of what this challenge entails…
Tough Mudder was founded in 2010 and is a fitness event series of up to 20km of military-style obstacle courses. It was styled around British Special Forces training and seriously tests the limits of people’s minds and bodies. Sure, it sounds daunting but NOW! Bali has come up with 5 reasons you have to join Tough Mudder Bali in October 2016.
1. This isn’t a race!
Here’s what makes Tough Mudder totally different, this is a challenge against yourself. It’s an opportunity to push yourself to new capabilities, a chance to train and get fit and see what you are capable of. You’ll be running, jumping, climbing, lifting, crawling, swinging and of course getting super muddy throughout the whole thing – but it’s all for you!
2. Tough Mudder is about camaraderie and teamwork.
Everyone there is there to help you through your struggles and difficulties, and this is embedded deep down into the culture of the whole series around the world. It is a hub for human positivity, something we are needing more and more in today’s world. So many runners from past events have commented on the new friends they made and the really positive atmosphere they felt throughout the challenge.
3. The Obstacles.
This is something that comes out of pure creativity. The Tough Mudder series is known for their huge obstacles, made to test the abilities of the human body. You’ll likely be amazed at what Bali has in store (yet to be revealed), but from NOW! Bali’s conversations with the Tough Mudder organisers, they said they have spared no expense in creating something epic for everyone to look forward to.
4. It’s Tough Mudder… in Bali !
Set on the rolling hills of Jimbaran, through sparse bushland, beach views and the waves of the Indian Ocean crashing at the feet of the bukit. It’s said to be the most idyllic, picturesque place that Tough Mudder has ever taken place.
Life is good in Bali. The greatest pleasures seem to come by the dozen here; beautiful beaches, magical views, and some of the world’s grandest villas, not to mention the delicious cuisine.
On an island like Bali, where good times flow as freely as the ocean all hours of the day, a scheduled dinner seems unnecessary; why plan your evening when you are on a holiday? Well, we think an unforgettable holiday is incomplete without wonderful memories made around dining tables. Take a look at our recommendations; venues perfect for any occasions, whether a romantic dinner for two or a large social event with family and friends. And, you get exclusive benefits with the Elite Experience app. Even better.
Why we love it: For a truly memorable Indonesian fine-dining experience, look no further. Merah Putih’s main dining atrium is stunning; it features impressive eco-sustainable design over two levels. Imagine full floor-to-ceiling glass windows where tables are laid out among towering indoor palm trees. Luminous ornamental columns rise into high-vaulted ceilings, adding to its cathedral-like grandeur.
What to order: Dishes are meant to be shared here. Order large plates selections such as Suckling Pig, Ikan Bakar Jimbaran (whole chargrilled reef fish with zucchini and razor clams) or Padang Duck Breast (duck leg rendang, cassava and radicchio).
Exclusive Elite Experience benefit: one complimentary dessert per person, up to nine guests.
Cuisine: Modern Chinese
Why we love it: Decorations such as bright red Chinese lanterns, ceramic vases and giant laughing ‘Happy Chappy’ statue at the restaurant’s centre provide the right Shanghai vibe – with hip, modern touches. Both the indoor air-conditioned banquet hall and spacious outdoor dining area is ideal for families, friends and couples; the latter is ideal for enjoying Bali’s gorgeous evenings under the stars.
What to order: Duck & Foie Gras Wonton Soup to start, BBQ Pork Brisket “Char Siu”, Shanghai Braised Pork Belly and any of the Hong Kong-style fried rice for the main course and finish with Cantonese style egg tarts. The steamed dim sum platter is also ideal for sharing if you want to taste a little bit of everything.
It is possible to work up a sweat and have an incredible vacation at the same time. If you feel inspired to pick up a new sport or simply be more active after watching the Rio Olympics 2016 games and planning for a holiday in Bali, we have the solution for you.
Doing sports during the holiday can be fun and relaxing, especially when done in lush surroundings and attended with cold drinks and clean towel afterwards by an attentive staff. Well, sporty-minded vacationer or not, book a stay in one of Elite Haven villas on your next trip to Bali and exercise in style.
The exclusive Batu Bolong beachfront Arnalaya Beach House is a sumptuous, fully staffed architect-designed estate with an international tennis court and facilities. The former Wimbledon tennis pro Rold Harrison took three years to build this lavish retreat. He was adamant to build a Plexipave tennis court – the same high-tech, all-weather, quick-drying playing surface used for the Australian Open at Melbourne Park. Not only that, he’s even trained some of the staff to be ball boys and hitting partners. Tennis, anyone?
View more Tennis villas.
Perched just 30m from the cliff face of the Bukit Peninsula on Bali’s south-west tip, The Istana estate is the ultimate in cliff-edge luxury. A marriage of modern architecture with traditional Indonesian detailing, the villa comprises of four separate guest buildings in addition to the main living pavilion and the master suite. The villa’s main swimming pool is longer than the “short course” Olympic-size pools – 32 metres in length and looks much better too. We assure you it won’t turn green like the Olympic diving pool.
Another top athlete’s retreat is the Villa Mandalay in the Seseh Tanah Lot area. Blessed with endless rice field views out to the glimmering Indian Ocean, out-of-this-world alfresco dining, sunsets and spaces designed for laid-back luxury, book a holiday here and be prepared for excellence. If you are a golf enthusiast, you can easily hop into the villa’s car and ask the driver to drive you to the picturesque (and challenging) world-class Nirwana Bali Golf Course.
I have never met a criminal before, let alone engaging in a conversation with one. But John Myatt, the man behind what Scotland Yard called “the biggest art fraud of the 20th century” is charming and likeable.
Together with John Drewe, Myatt was behind bars for selling more than 200 forgeries of famous 19th and 20th-century painters such as Monet, Picasso and Braque between 1986 and 1994. After his release, the arresting officer commissioned him to paint his family portrait and convinced him to return to his easel. Not long after that, he was making a legitimate living from his art.
Sitting comfortably in the grand living room in The Pala of Pandawa Cliff Estate, we chatted.
One man’s interest in painting brought John Myatt to the island of the Gods. “Anthony’s (Pandawa Cliff Estate’s owner) son Hanson wanted a professional art teacher. Anthony told Hanson it would be great if he can go out and find someone,” said John. Like what most youngsters do to find inspiration, Hanson found John on the largest global video-sharing website, YouTube.
Hanson and Clarisha (his fiance) took the private tuition and are aspiring artists – each with very distinguished styles. In describing his only two students in Bali, John said, “Hanson is very intuitive while Clarisha is very visual. Both of them are very eager to learn and have the right attitude.” John was also more focused on developing them as artists, rather than trying to stick another layer on what they already do.
The day before our chat, John ventured to Ubud and visited ARMA (Agung Rai Museum Art). “Agung Rai was in the garden, talking to us. We had a superb chat. I don’t know how he managed to do what he has done. I thought his work was stunning. Absolutely stunning. The details of the paintings are phenomenal and they just blew me away. Anthony actually bought some of his works from ARMA for the villa,” said John. He fixed his eyes at a pair of Balinese paintings which were hanging on the white walls behind us.
Not limited to those paintings only, just before entering the living room, guests will find an art gallery / hallway where Hanson’s painting creations are displayed – a reflection of the family’s passion for art.
How did Sri Lanka’s tea industry begin? It started with one Camellia Sinensis plant brought from China in 1824 by the British, who had colonised the island, then known as Ceylon, in 1801.
It has since become a $1.5 billion export industry for this exotic teardrop shaped island in the Indian Ocean.
Alongside a booming tea production industry, tea tourism is also becoming increasingly popular. Take a look at our pick of the best tea experiences in Sri Lanka.
It is here that you can find the prized rare white tea leaves, grown near sea level and never touched by human hands. Founded by Malinga Herman Gunaratne, the estate – also known as the Virgin White Tea Factory or Herman Teas – is located only 35 minutes drive from Galle Fort.
The well-equipped tea factory, with machinery over 140 years old is a living and working museum. Herman or one of his knowledgeable staff will personally give you a tour around the estate, where you will learn how one of the most expensive teas in the world (priced at over $1,500 per kilo) is plucked.
Handunugoda Tea Estate
+94 7771 3999
Perched 1,250 metres above sea level among the lush hills of the Bogawantalawa Valley, you are invited to embark on a journey through the scenic Ceylon tea gardens. A Resident Tea Planter is available to guide you through surrounding tea estates and trekking trails which roam tea-blanketed hills.
You can lose yourself in tea – literally.
Ceylon Tea Trails, Hatton
+94 11230 3888
Just like wine tasting, Dilmah’s headquarters outside Colombo arrange sip-and-spit sessions where tea enthusiasts learn to distinguish between different types of locally grown teas. Not only will you learn how to appreciate the unique flavour of each variety of tea, you might pick up a tip or two for making an amazing cup of tea as well. These exclusive tea tastings are available by appointment only.
Dilmah Private Tea Tastings
111 Negombo Road, Peliyagoda
+94 11 482 2000
Plan a trip! Elite Havens’ luxury villas make the perfect base for any of these tea experiences.