The Pala is truly epic. The sense of scale inspires awe the moment you enter, starting with the towering, carved and gilded entrance doors. Dangling from the glazed roof of the light-filled double-height entrance hall, four bronze birdcage lights cast artistic shadows on the floor of polished-to-sheen marble. This is a place that doesn't do anything by halves – a fact confirmed on stepping into the enormous second-level living room and setting eyes on the ocean panorama. Break away from this vista if you will, and look up; like an Italian palazzo, the ceiling is adorned with an extraordinary Wayang Kamasan-style Balinese painting depicting scenes from the Hindu epic, the Ramayana.
Popo Danes is a Balinese architect of international repute, and his design is city-chic contemporary with shades of 1930s influence in the curved balconies and semi-circular verandas. There's a stunning amount of indoor and outdoor living space, encouraging social interaction while providing quiet corners for those who want to escape from the crowd. Animating the acres of space are some gorgeous Balinese design details, such as walls of sculptured sandstone, bronze latticework lamps and large ceramics.
Families should be happy here. Four of the bedrooms have anterooms that can be partitioned off to create a separate bedroom for little ones – a plus for parents seeking privacy. The kids themselves get to rule the roost in their own playroom brimming with toys, books and games; they've even got their own TV room with Nintendo Wii and a separate shallow section by the pool. And while they're happy, parents will be in heaven ensconced in the master wing
For larger gatherings The Pala can be booked together with the four-bedroom Villa Rose and six-bedroom Villa Marie; collectively they offer a total of 16 bedrooms accommodating 32 adults (with room for up to 10 children on extra beds). The villas share the 40-strong staff who provide courteous service, while the chef and kitchen team whip up wonderful meals from a priced menu of Indonesian and western dishes. Guests also enjoy access to the estate's private sports centre, with tennis court, air-conditioned squash court, gym and spa.
|Size||Sleeps up to 12, 6 bedrooms|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Private indoor pool|
|Pool||Private indoor pool|
|General||Air conditioning, TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Rooms||6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms of which 6 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (6)|
|Outdoors||Private indoor pool|
Bali is Indonesia's most popular tourist location and is considered one of Asia's premier tropical island destinations. Steeped in history and renowned for its artistic way of life, Bali is a peaceful contrast to some of the more frantic destinations Asia has to offer.
The inner peace and creative talents of the Balinese has attracted artists the world over fascinated by local dancers, silversmiths, wood carvers, potters and painters that seem to pervade throughout the island. The abundant verdant fields and surrounding sea have long supplied Bali with an easy surplus of food leaving time for life's more artistic past times. As a result everything in Bali has a creative and religious element centred around the local Banjar (residents association) – little, adorned temples are everywhere, doors are covered in intricate carvings, huge kites ward off evil spirits and colourful roadside ceremonies bring traffic to a standstill.
Bali is a popular destination principally from Australia and Asia but also from all over Europe. The island welcomes thousands of visitors each year to a relaxing lifestyle, stunning beaches, world class surf, vibrant villages, and spectacular scenery all with an exquisite tropical climate. Located approximately two hours' flying time from Singapore the island is serviced by an international airport at Denpasar with direct flights to and from many major cities in Asia, Europe and Australia and many more via Jakarta, Indonesia's capital.
The island offers an impressive range of leisure and lifestyle amenities including world-class golf courses, wonderful seascapes for surfing, diving and snorkelling as well as luxurious spas, chic boutiques, tropical forests, towering volcanoes and international cuisine.
The Bukit (which means 'hill' in Indonesian) is a 140-square-kilometre rugged limestone peninsula that dangles like a pendant upon a chain at the southern tip of Bali. Until recently, this windswept outcrop - revered by the Balinese who have built a series of temples around its perimeter, including the spectacular Pura Luhur Uluwatu - was home solely to seaweed farmers, fisherman and die-hard surfers. In recent years, however, it has reinvented itself to become the most upmarket destination on the island.
The Bukit now boasts some of Bali's most opulent destination villas, glamorous private estates, internationally-branded boutique hotels, and 'One of Asia's 5 Best Golf Courses' according to Fortune Magazine, making it the area of choice for discerning travellers and residents. Most development has taken place along the isthmus connecting The Bukit to the rest of Bali, with the beautiful sunsets and sandy beaches of Jimbaran to the west and Benoa Harbour to the east. Further along the coast to the east, are a string of resorts and hotels set along the pretty swimming beaches of Nusa Dua.
Despite recent development, The Bukit remains sparsely populated and has retained a desolate beauty. Its turquoise waters are the playground of migrating whales, and when the waves are calm and the tide is full, turtles and dugongs can be seen swimming close to the shore. The rocky landscape is dotted with wild flowers, manioc, prickly pear cactus, scarlet flowering flamboyants and fascinating kapok trees. The Bukit is also home to some of the most idyllic beaches in Bali; hidden sandy coves – a dream for both surfers and non-surfers alike (although not always safe for swimming). Even in the rainy season The Bukit is a reliable sun-trap.