The entrance walls drip with creepers, lichen covers the statues and clusters of giant bamboo stand proudly on guard. A broad stone balustrade covered in moss leads you down the gorge through terraced gardens of palms and ferns to the Penet River. Thatched roofs poke out from the lush green canopy below. An imposing cantilevered rust-red door opens onto green lawns and lily-filled ponds spotted with fountains and carvings. Dense gardens have splashes of colour from bougainvilleas, frangipanis and wild ginger. Welcome to Villa Maya Retreat.
Housed in eight pavilions strung along the lazy Penet River, Villa Maya has a warm Balinese feel: traditional roofs and intricate stone facades; polished concrete tiles and bathrooms open to the sky; white washed walls and a strong emphasis of wood. The six bedrooms, all ensuite and three with private plunge pools, have natural very private bathrooms in pretty walled gardens and peaceful timber terraces overlooking the river. Doors fold away to create a pleasant inside–outside space. At the centre of the villa is a traditional wantilan (twin roofed meeting room) open on all sides, a 13m swimming pool, a TV pavilion and a sprinkling of balés (relaxation pavilions).
Villa Maya employs a team of staff under the control of the villa manager, including a chef, 24-hour security, housekeepers and waiting staff, and a driver (complete with car). Spa treatments carried out by professional therapists from nearby spas can easily be arranged. Meals can be chosen from a suggestion menu, but the chef can cook a good selection of Asian and Western fare and will handle all provisioning (on guest account).
|Size||Sleeps up to 12, 6 bedrooms|
|Rooms||6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms of which 6 Family bathrooms|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Private indoor pool|
|Pool||Private indoor pool|
|General||TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Furniture||Double beds (6)|
|Outdoors||Private indoor pool|
|Access||Suitable for people with restricted mobility, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
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.
Tabanan has a 30-kilometre-long coastline, which presents isolated coves and rocky outcrops and is famous for its surf beaches, including Medewi and Balian, offering the longest point breaks in Bali. (The drawbacks if you're not a surfer are the sometimes-three-metre-high waves and the undertows). The beaches are sloping and lovely to walk along; covered with black sand which is regarded for its curative, therapeutic properties and especially helpful for arthritis.
The Regency is known as Bali's 'rice bowl' – the most agriculturally productive region on the island, with rice fields stretching from the coast to as high as 700 metres above sea level, where the terraces are reminiscent of amphitheatres. Besides rice, there are crops of coconuts, coffee, cacao, spices and tropical fruits. This area is also home to Mount Batukau (2276m), the higher slopes of which are alpine, with mountain streams, ferns, wildflowers, creepers and orchids, as well as the rare, black, leaf-eating monkey, the kijang (small forest deer), large butterflies and moths, flying lizards, the landak (porcupine) and the lubak (mongoose). It is also a bird watchers' paradise, habitat of the Bali black eagle.
There are no western-style shops or bars in this area, and restaurants serving international cuisine are few and far between, mainly adjoined to the region's limited number of small and remote hotels.