The 22km drive to The property from Bali's airport takes you through Jimbaran and across the centre of the Bukit to the revered Uluwatu Temple. En route there are glimpses of the beautiful, if slightly arid, scenery but nothing can prepare you for the dramatic views from The property . Imax style panoramas from 60m up on the cliff. Surfers catch waves in the turquoise waters below, fishing boats trawl offshore and the evening sun slides over the uninterrupted horizon. Absolutely magical.
Everything about The property verges on palatial, from the grand entrance to the commercial kitchens complete with walk-in chillers; from the movie room with 92-inch projection screen to the secluded master suite with sunken bath and private 5m x 8m swimming pool. It is, however, difficult to focus on anything but the spectacular 180-degree views fronted by a magnificent 32m swimming pool set in lawns and dotted with coconut palms. For the best views of all, try the cliff-top balé (gazebo) where blinds glide down at the touch of a button if the glare (or breeze) gets too much.
The contemporary-classic-styled low-rise main building houses an additional four generous ensuite bedrooms, a formal dining room for 14, a casual media room and an open lounge which flows seamlessly onto the lawns. Off the back is the kitchen, home to three of the 31 staff (yes, 31!). There is also a kids' area which comprises a large games room and two simple bedrooms for up to five children, plus a spa complete with massage rooms.
Interiors throughout Villa Istana are well proportioned and tastefully finished - good understated design with a strong emphasis on local woods and stone. The workmanship, materials and finish are generally excellent. Soft furnishings are stylish but practical and comfortable.
The chefs will undertake the provisioning either based on a priced menu or on your account plus a handling fee. Butlers are available 24/7, maids clean discreetly and drivers ferry around. Gardeners and engineers keep the place ticking over whilst 24-hour security ensures total privacy. There is even an in-house masseur although a local spa company comes for more sophisticated treatments – the villa manager is there to facilitate. How little or much the staff are seen is very much down to the guest.
The property is splendid in its almost total isolation on Bali's recently trendy Bukit. It shares its magnificent views with a spattering of villas and Uluwatu's famous temple two kilometres along the cliff face. A few hundred metres down the road, at the bottom of a series of steep steps, is a small hidden away collection of shacks, hostels and cafes, as well as the more upmarket and highly recommended, Single Fin, which offers great pizzas, wonderful sunset views and live music on Sunday nights. All of these places are frequented by the surfers whose mecca is the waves off Suluban Point. These world class breaks can be watched from the quiet comfort of the Istana's balé. The Blue Point Villa complex is hidden round to the north as is Padang Padang Beach and the nearest noticeable village is Pecatu.
There are no shops in the area, apart from surfwear at Single Fin, the boutiques at the upmarket hotels, and the beachsellers' stalls. For a shopping excursion, visit 'Bali Collection', at Nusa Dua shopping mall (20km).
|Size||Sleeps up to 14, 7 bedrooms|
|Access||Car not necessary|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages, Suitable for people with restricted mobility|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Internet access, DVD player|
|General||Air conditioning, Fax machine, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Iron, Hair dryer|
|Rooms||7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms of which 7 Family bathrooms|
|Furniture||Double beds (7)|