Bali has always been an island where the architectural fantasies of expat residents have been allowed to run riot. Some have built hideous monstrosities of outlandish proportions but mostly they have created astonishing and delightful flights of fancy; elegant and comfortable villas with room to breathe. Many of these are available to rent and provide the ultimate in luxury for your Bali holiday whether you are alone or with a party of 20 people!
Your Bali dream villa is probably waiting for you right now. Whether it is a palatial estate with views of rice paddies and mountains, a high-walled ultra chic cliff top castle or a laid back collection of wooden ‘huts’ right on the beach Bali has something which will match the villa of your dreams.
Decorated with great taste, the Bali villa is a modern space with ancient style. Some are ultra minimalist with steel worktops and appliances, polished terrazzo and teak floors, high tech entertainments and fittings; while others are faux-colonial with antique tiled floors, and furniture, stippled walls and potted plants. Many villas are constructed from traditional Indonesian houses; bought on other islands and rebuilt in Bali with open sides facing a subtly lit swimming pool. Open air or semi open air living spaces are the norm in Bali; the climate is perfect and when the breezes blow they afford natural air conditioning which is the perfect accompaniment to a glass of chilled Merlot with the one(s) you love.
There is a house in Ubud, at the top of the Sayan Ridge, which from the approach is barely visible. Entered through a tiny little antique door, the inside is completely astonishing. Created more than 25 years ago, from reclaimed teak, it is a warren of small rooms with hidden nesting places, opening into a vast studio space filled with the accoutrements of the professional artist owner. One of the highlights is a lavatory, without walls, perched right on the edge of the cliffs with astonishing views over the magnificent rice terraces tumbling down the steep slopes of the Ayung River valley.
This villa is available for rent but most Bali rental villas with open air bathrooms don’t offer such amazing views of rice farming or afford the rice farmers a view of you sitting on the pot! Open air bathrooms are one of the joys of a Bali villa – and a surprise treat is that showering during a rain storm is a delicious treat with the cold drops mixing with the hot shower and invigorating your skin.
For some, the dream villa is ultra-modern with fittings from Japan, Italy and Germany, huge flat screen TV’s, mainline espresso and an in-floor wine cellar suited straight out of House & Garden Magazine. For others it is a flurry of Colonial chic – accommodation in which a heroine of Jane Austin’s would be comfortable – a flurry of lace and cotton voile, antique crockery and elegant porcelain figurines. Most villas combine both extremes but lean towards one or another end of the scale. When choosing your Bali accommodation you can pretty much get whatever you want. If you already know what you want, then your accommodation agent will be able to suggest villas to suit your taste.