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|US$ 595 – US$ 795
|Ricefield View Villas
Nestled within the comfort of a small Balinese village, guests of all ages surrender to the care of the Villa’s professional and attentive staff. Pack lightly, for parents can rely upon the extremely child-oriented amenities and services. Families are instantly released from the hectic schedules of daily life, and parents can start to fully enjoy their precious time and surroundings.
Hidden away in the traditional Balinese village of Sogsogan, near Seseh, on Bali’s southwest coast, Villa Bangkuang rests within a coconut grove garden, unbroken by borders and fences, just a few hundred metres from a rugged surf beach.
The property was not built for business purposes; instead it is the realisation of a dream, a genuine home, lovingly designed to accommodate and fulfil the needs of a western family that has chosen to take holidays in Bali. Villa Bangkuang therefore merges the uniqueness of a comfortable private home with the indulgence of sumptuous vacation accommodation. Interior spaces display the idiosyncratic charm of an owner-decorated residence, imparting a restful, lived-in ambience from the very first day of occupancy.
The layout of the property utilises space, offering a captivating mix of luxury, recreation and privacy. Indeed, a group of eight people could stay here and still lose one other in the depths. Designed to blend with the environment and constructed with high quality local materials including creamy-white Palimanan stone, teak, bengkirai wood and ulin shingle, Villa Bangkuang combines traditional Balinese architectural elements with contemporary flair, counterpointing the lush external environment and presenting tropical living at its very best.
Villa Bangkuang is comprised of a main two-storey main building, an open-sided lounging and dining pavilion, and a separate two-bedroom guest pavilion. The style is calming, with a fresh cool decor; the modern fittings, fixtures and clean crisp design is harmonised with antique artifacts.
Flanked by ornamental ponds and guarded by a pair of griffin fountain-statues, the living pavilion overlooks the pool and is shaded from both the morning and afternoon sun. It is tastefully furnished with a dining table and chairs, seagrass sofas and ottomans. The comfort of the guests is ensured by yielding cushions and paddle ceiling fans. A hidden office-styled library is fitted with shelves and a desk. A compact, well-stocked bar and fully equipped, homely kitchen with glassless windows provides all the necessary dining and entertainment amenities.
There are four spacious air-conditioned bedrooms at Villa Bangkuang, each with an en-suite bathroom, a DVD player and a safe deposit box. The master suite, complete with full-length balcony, covers the whole of the upper floor, overlooking the garden and rice fields stretching infinitely towards the ocean. Characterised by a polished parquet floor and a soaring roof, the romantic bedroom is furnished with a king-size, four-poster bed swathed in snowy netting. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows slide open on three sides, presenting guests with the choice of air-conditioned comfort or a semi-alfresco sleeping experience, cooled by a ceiling fan and lulled by the distant sound of the waves. The room is equipped with a satellite channel TV and DVD player, and the large adjoining dressing area is fitted with wardrobes and storage space. The en-suite bathroom, with a sunken tub for two, twin washbasins and a standing raindrop shower, is bordered by glass walls, a small balcony and a thicket of trees, capturing the feeling of being in the jungle.
Downstairs, another spacious bedroom-suite proves to be an ideal space for kids, with a queen-size bed, sofa, TV/DVD, and a play area. Glass doors open into a pebbled courtyard bathroom, fitted with twin washbasins and rainshower, surrounded by tall trees and walls for privacy.
The guest pavilion is situated some distance from the main pavilion and pool, affording significant privacy. Two self-contained bedrooms, with king-size beds and open-air en-suite bathrooms, can accommodate four adults. Timber walls, window seats, lazy chairs and cushions create a cosy, chalet-like mood; glass doors open to a shared verandah, which literally overhangs the gently swaying fields of rice. Fly screens ensure bug-free nights, while the gorgeous bathrooms feature dreamy tubs, pebbled floors and rainshowers that are open to the sky.
The garden complements the native vegetation behind the pavilions and the dazzling rice fields to the front with a smooth, manicured lawn, where the 17 x 5 metre swimming pool appears to overflow into infinity. Sunloungers and shady umbrellas, together with an indulgent poolside bar, make this a very relaxing area in which to hang out. An old rudder from a traditional jukung fishing boat makes an interesting sculpture, while a flowering shrub adds a striking splash of colour. The coconut grove garden, dotted with frangipani blossoms, extends to a narrow brook, traversed by a wooden bridge, which separates the guest pavilion from the common area. A shaded platform, known as a ‘bale’ and used for lounging and chatting in a Balinese village, is here raised to new heights-treetop level, in fact. This elevated, thatched pavilion is open to cooling tropical breezes on the hottest of days, and affords a sweeping vista of the rice fields, mountains, and sea. In another corner of the garden a traditional ‘jineng’ rice barn presents the perfect spot for a pampering indulgent massage.
It is this abundance of space and natural beauty that makes Villa Bangkuang the perfect venue for weddings and small events; guests can spill out on to the smooth manicured lawns, which are also ideal for barbeques and Balinese cultural performances.
At night the villa takes on a different persona with cleverly arranged lighting softly illuminating the trees. As the chirruping cicadas finish their day shift, guests will be serenaded by a chorus of frog song. Numerous trails offer memorable walks and visitors will have the opportunity to witness time-honoured methods of agriculture before tasting the produce of the land.
Villa Bangkuang is an ideal choice for those looking for modern luxury in tranquil surroundings; an enchanting retreat where guests can enjoy a relaxing experience with personalised service. In fact, Villa Bangkuang will continue to enchant guests, and its magic will follow them, long after they’ve left the island.
Villa Bangkuang is supported by a cherished ‘family’ of friendly staff who fulfil their duties with enthusiasm and smiles. They are never intrusive, yet are always there to ensure that their guests experience a truly enjoyable stay in Bali. Their genuine enthusiasm, warmth, and service from the heart is charming, modest and unassuming.
The team is headed by a Kadek Santri, the villa manager. She is always on hand to oversee and coordinate the staff and property, and to assist guests during their stay. Mundri, the cook, is trained in the preparation of both local and international cuisine, and is responsible for all the market shopping, in accordance with the needs and the whims of the guests. Iluh fulfils the housekeeping duties while also taking care of the daily laundry. Wayan and Pak Agus are the night security guards. Their duties are to guard the villa to ensure your security and safety. Dewa is the gardener; he has looked after the gardens since the villa was first built. Finally, Komang is the pool attendant.
Baby-sitting and massage services and the facilities of a car and driver are also available on request at an extra charge. The team also includes an in-house concierge service; Kadek Edu, with her quiet efficiency and profound knowledge of the locale, is responsible for booking restaurants, organising tours, daytrips and ticketing. By getting to know this lovely group of people, guests will gain privileged insights into the traditions of rural Bali and the Balinese Hindu culture.
Villa Bangkuang is located in Sogsogan, a charming seaside village surrounded by rice fields and set against the twin backdrops of misty volcanoes and pounding surf. Although only 25 minutes’ drive from the cosmopolitan glamour of Seminyak, Sosogan and the neighbouring Seseh village retain the customs and culture of old Bali. Cows are herded through the fields, rice is planted and harvested throughout year, and the sound of ritual music is carried on the breeze. The approach to Seseh is by way of a country lane; emerald rice fields line the road as it meanders through an avenue of coconut palms. Farmers in conical hats riding rusty old upright bicycles are a common sight-the bucolic daily life of the village has not been dented by tourism.
Furthermore, there are frequent, colourful processions to Seseh’s beachside Hindu temple. On special festival days, thousands of devout Hindus from neighbouring villages wearing ceremonial dress-the women carrying huge pyramids of fruit and flower offerings on their heads-converge on this important temple to perform cleansing rituals beside the ocean. On other occasions, the air is thick with the scent of burning incense and the clear metallic sound of the gamelan orchestra, as the white clad priests symbolically sever their connection with the everyday world and invite the gods to “come down and join us”.
Echo Beach at Canggu, which is bordered by a surfing reef and noted for a casual and lively beach-side dining scene, is a pleasant one-kilometre walk along the seashore. This is the place where the local community gathers in the evenings to watch the legendary sunsets. A variety of eating areas and tables spill out onto a beachside buff; there is a daily barbeque and live music on Sunday evenings.
The trendy Seminyak area, with its wide choice of international restaurants-including the famous ‘Ku De Ta’, ‘Kafe Warisan’, ‘Living Room’, ‘Hu’u’, ‘La Lucciola’, ‘Sarong’ and Blossom-together with a plethora of chic cocktail bars, exciting nightclubs, lavish spas and elegant boutiques, is 25 minutes’ drive away.
The location offers easy access up to the mountains and rice terraces on the western slopes of the island; it is 70 minutes’ drive from the famous cultural and artistic town of Ubud, and just 20 minutes’ drive from the Sunset Route, gateway to the eastern side of the island. It is also convenient for all of Bali’s shopping malls and main tourist attractions. The international airport is 45 minutes’ drive. The nearby ‘Nirwana Bali Golf Course’ was designed by Greg Norman, and was voted the number 1 golf course in Asia; it is situated beside the dramatic, waved-lashed sea temple of Tanah Lot.For horse lovers, the ‘Umalas Equestrian Centre’ is just a few kilometres away.
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