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Savour Seventh Heaven at The Layar

in Dining by

A perfect blend of modern sophistication and the traditional warmth of an Italian kitchen.

Settimo Cielo (Seventh Heaven), a contemporary Italian restaurant in Seminyak’s Jalan Pankung Sari area, welcomes you for breakfast, lunch, cocktails or dinner. The restaurant shares its neighbourhood with The Layar Designer Villas and Spa, Gallery Randelli, Kendra Gallery of Contemporary Art and the trendy Seminyak beach scene.

The Design

This lovely restaurant is tucked amongst the lush tropical gardens of The Layar Designer Villas and Spa. A path leads over a pond and past a dramatic fire feature to the cocktail terrace. Beyond, in the main restaurant, a glass ceiling creates an alfresco dining experience, rain or shine. 

The interiors include quirky hanging lamps and a bar topped by bamboo-inspired objects. The feeling is tropical-meets-Italian with the green chairs and red pillows. Yet, there is a classic and welcoming feel in the space, much like the personalities of the Balinese themselves. Italians, we know as well, are equally a warm group people.

The Chef

‘’I started as a chef in my mom’s kitchen,”says Chef Alberto Pancio. “My mom is like a traditional Italian mom and grandmother who makes everything homemade.” Thus begins the story of Chef Pancio, as he’s called by his friends, before the long journey to his current post as chef of Settimo Cielo at The Layar Designer Villas and Spa.

Upon entering his teens, Chef Pancio decided to go to a school in Italy from where many successful chefs hail. General education before specialization included formation on food and beverage management, concierge management and staff management. He then worked in several restaurants before ending up in China, working as a chef for El Willy. El Willy, says Chef Pancio, “is a big group with a great and friendly Spanish owner. The concept is Mediterranean food with a flair.”

Although El Willy isn’t a find dining restaurant, it uses traditional methods to make dishes. It then presents the food in a fine-dining manner. “We made the work on fine bowls and ceramics. I used to shape them and it was pretty fun.”

Pancio then had the opportunity to work in Bali. “I really love Settimo Cielo and I love the style because we also have villas. They are amazing. We have a lot of room to improve and we use the freshest ingredients.”

The Food

Chef Pancio says that pasta is made fresh everyday in Settimo Cielo,

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Must-See 3-Bedroom Villas in Art-Filled Seminyak

in Destinations/Families/News/Recreation/Tips by
The Layar

Decadent restaurants, classy drinks and shopping galore. Welcome to Seminyak, where bars and cafes that line the roads outdo each other in trendiness and sophistication. Besides shopping for the latest in designer wear and international brands, Seminyak is also big on art and local finds. Its major landmark, Petitenget Temple is hundreds of years old and also the namesake of the street that runs parallel to the beach. Gorgeous sunsets can be witnessed at Petitenget, which sits beside Masceti Ulun Tanjung Temple, where local villagers pray.

If you’re looking for activities for children, head down to Dream Museum Zone (DMZ) for a fun and interactive experience. The kids will love it, it has three large levels to discover. For an intimate art experience, Nyaman Gallery has a range of pieces by local Balinese and Indonesian artists. International talents’ works are also on display. Top off your day of art-sightseeing at the Biasa Art Space, where you’ll find conceptual and avant-garde pieces. Biasa focuses on emerging, progressive art to ensure adequate exposure to young Javanese artists. Make Theatre Art Gallery your last stop. Beautiful Indonesian puppets called wayang will delight you here.

You might be tired after a day of culture—but you’ve come to the right town. Seminyak is famous for its abundance of spas. Bodyworks is known for soothing massages and various treatments. If yoga is more your thing, Seminyak Yoga Shala is popular. You can also opt to stay in your villa, get an expert massage, and have a yoga teacher come to you.

Here, we list five 3-bedroom villas in the heart of Seminyak where you and your family can enjoy the Easter holidays.

The Layar

The Layar, as it’s famously known, was once Paris Hilton’s temporary lair. The star stayed here several years ago—which is not a surprise. The Layar is upscale and chic, yet has all the comforts of home. Most of all, it is design-savvy, with angled walls and large living and dining rooms that open onto an inviting swimming pool. Various floor levels create an interesting play for the eye. Under overlapping roofs, each of the eleven 3-bedroom suites has an outdoor space —whether a deck, a terrace, or a bathroom garden.

You’ll feel a sense of privacy in The Layar, down to the dining and lounging space in the garden beside the pool.

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Romantic Seminyak: Rekindle Love in Bali

in Destinations/Dining/Wellness by
The Layar Romantic Seminyak Villas

The number one place for a romantic getaway? The dream honeymoon destination? The primo anniversary escape?

It’s got to be the Bali,Indonesia. Beach lovers can’t resist the lure of this spiritual island, where tropical luxury is at its best (and lovers can’t resist each other). 

More specifically, it’s got to be Seminyak, where wining and dining is effortless and hideaways like The Layar are kitted out for high-end leisure.

The Layar Private Pool Villa in Seminyak

Feel The Romance

First, get comfortable with cool spacious interiors, zillion thread count sheets and an open living area. Next, a private swimming pool and manicured tropical garden await nearby. A dramatic slanted ceiling overhead also makes your very private villa a personal theatre. Finally, display your affection. O Romeo! 

The Layar Seminyak One Bedroom Villa

If Shakespeare’s famed duo had dashed off to Bali, theirs would be a very different play with all the passion and none of the tragedy because this place is a romantic’s Heaven on Earth. Thus, thanks to the natural beauty and wealth of things to do, it’s the couple’s getaway of a lifetime. So forget R+J and take your cues for romance from this script instead.

The Layar Romantic Seminyak Villas

Act I. Scene I. Luxury one-bedroom villa. A warm welcome note and chilled champagne on the table.

To borrow a page from The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene, surprise is an easy road to romance. Being in a new place for the first time also serves up a bit of wonder, but a love of travel doesn’t necessarily bring people together. It’s the thoughtful surprises (and bold moves, says Greene) planned by one person for the other that bring back flutters of new love.

A simple request when booking is all it takes. Hence, set the scene for arrival however you’d like. Arrange special occasions and activities in advance. Also, leave the legwork to your hosts while you go barefoot. Enjoy your holiday worry free.

Seek Adventures in Sync

Act II. Scene II. The beach. Golden sand surrounds. Palm trees sway in the pleasant sea breeze.

Roses, chocolates and sweet surprises are strong symbols in the book of love. But the best romances have more to the plot. Love psychologist Barbara Frederickson agrees that feelings of awe and excitement make love blossom. 

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The Magic of Nyepi: Bali’s Unique Day of Silence

in Culture by
Villa Zelie - Staff praying

While most cultures celebrate the new year with rowdy celebrations, revelry and fireworks, in Bali the dawning of a new year is ushered in with a unique day of silence, known as Nyepi.

This year Nyepi falls on 7 March and for 24 hours shops and restaurants will stay closed, the streets and markets will remain empty, the beaches will be deserted and the waves un-surfed. Even the airport is shut down as Bali falls under a magnificent cloak of silence.

Ocean Temple - Tanah Lot

In order to understand Nyepi, is it necessary to briefly dip into the dualistic world of Balinese Hinduism which is woven into the very fabric of life on the island. Imagine a cosmic dance in which the forces of good and evil are in constant play. Order is represented by the gods, known as dewa and dewi, while disorder is represented by the earth demons known as bhutas and kalas.

Balance must be maintained so that evil doesn’t get the upper hand. Through a myriad of religious offerings and rituals, the gods are thanked and asked for blessings, while the forces of darkness who seek to upset the equilibrium are appeased. Of all the ceremonial days on the island, Nyepi is one of the most important.

Des Indes I

Why the silence?

Theological explanations vary. Some say that by staying hidden the evil spirits will think the island has been abandoned and will pass by, thus bringing an auspicious start to the new year. But Hindu scholars say that the noise and revelry of the preceding evening, Nyepi Eve, wakes up the demons so that they will see the offerings, including blood sacrifice that have been laid out for them. In this view, the silence is a symbol of contentment and gratitude that the demons have been appeased for another year. Regardless of theological explanations, Nyepi is a day reserved for quiet contemplation and self-reflection and Balinese Hindus are prohibited from work, entertainment, travel and lighting fires. Priests and those with a higher spiritual calling will also fast, observe total silence and pass the day in prayer.

nyepi ogoh ogoh bali art

How does Nyepi effect visitors to the island?

Even tourists must respect Nyepi and stay within the grounds of their accommodation and keep noise and lights to a minimum.

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Bali Souvenirs Worth Buying

in Destinations/Shops by
Textiles outside a Bali souvenir shop

Bali holiday agendas can quickly fill up trying to satisfy everyone’s expectations – I want relaxation, you want adventure and our kids need to upload impressive new images on Instagram. Let’s do this!  In-villa spa therapist: check, romantic dinner: check, snorkelling trip: check, WIFI: check – and at the end of a satisfying stay, everyone wants the same thing: Souvenirs. 

Picking up gifts and treating yourself to something exotic is part of a good tourist experience. This is especially true in Bali, where there is a great selection of things to buy – genuine leather bags, wallets and sun hats are priced at a good value, but are not only found in this locale. Souvenirs which scream “I <3 Bali” are indeed popular buys, like key chains, pens, T-shirts and even tattoos of Mt. Agung. Although they’re all Island of the Gods exclusives, those aren’t the quality goods I recommend to my guests. 

My idea of the best Bali souvenirs are goods made from local materials that represent Balinese culture and traditions of artistic expression. The ornately carved statues, exotic Batik patterns, beautifully adorned temples and carefully handcrafted everyday items are what make Bali so special and memorable. Well, not all of these fit nicely into a suitcase.

So which asli (real) products from Bali are beautiful, useful items you can easily carry with you to be reminded of Bali for years to come? 

With a bit of effort, you can take home keepsakes that are true to their origins. This list of souvenirs worth buying has pictures to inspire your shopping wish list and tips about where to go to find Bali’s treasure without a time-consuming hunt. 

Patung Kayu  (Wood Carvings)

Wood Barong mask Bali souvenir

Barong masks are a prevailing Bali souvenir. Barong is Bali’s guardian spirit, and masks worn to play Barong and Rangda in the traditional dance about good and evil are sacred. Nothing is more representative of Balinese art and culture than a hand-carved Barong mask made from local wood.

Painted wood figures from Bali

Matching wood figures seated together to bring good luck and fertility to couples. Balinese pairs sit with their hands together in a welcoming gesture, making them easy to tell apart from similar Javanese dolls.

Wood bowls from Bali

Wooden bowls, serving trays and other dishes are great for serving food or as décor.

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