Sand, sea & sun
a perfect combination for a perfect holiday.
These villas are all right on the beach.
Feel the sand, listen to the waves... start to relax.
Indonesia » Bali » Canggu » Pantai Lima - Villa Ambra
Wake up to the sound of the surf, and step out onto your balcony to survey the ever-shifting boundaries of an estuary lagoon as the river meets the waves, carving through the sand and redefining its course with the changing of the tides.
Inhale the cool sea air, and start the day with a platter of tropical fruits, before exploring an abundance of relaxation areas, each one blessed with a glorious view.
Laze in a swinging chair, bird-watch from a breezy upstairs veranda, lie back on a sun lounger and allow the ‘nothing-is-too-much-trouble’ staff to serve you drinks and homemade cookies. Punctuate this with a few laps of the sparkling swimming pool while the kids play safely in their own pool, and then sit down to a gourmet lunch.
Later, marvel at a crimson sunset from a built-in garden daybed, fittingly fashioned to resemble the sun’s rays, be indulged with a massage on a bamboo-shaded rooftop deck, and relish a fresh seafood barbeque. Finally, enjoy a classic movie in a huge home cinema before slipping into a rolltop copper bathtub followed by a yielding bed. Such is a typical day at Villa Ambra.
This beautiful thatched property is comprised of three buildings and a series of covered walkways, stairways, and ponds filled with water-lilies and fat, happy koi fish. Natural-styled gardens reach out to meet the beach, bordered by ornamental grasses, aromatic lantana, and balustrades crafted from volcanic river rock.
If booked in conjunction with the other four Pantai Lima villas (offering a total of 26 bedrooms plus an impressive range of common facilities including a tennis court and seminar room) the enclave works particularly well as an executive retreat or wedding venue. Meals are prepared by Pantai Lima’s five-star French chef who will transform the most basic of ingredients into something magical (provisions, at cost, on guest account). All the staff are trained to the highest standards, and are on call 24 hours a day. An added bonus is the inclusion of a car and driver for up to eight hours daily.
The enclave of five villas known collectively as ‘Pantai Lima’ (which also includes Villa Waringin, Villa Melissa, Villa Sound of the Sea and Villa Mary) is situated eight kilometres north of trendy Seminyak on an isolated beach peopled only by a few hard-core surfers, the villa security guards, and the odd fisherman. On one side is a river estuary, on the other a field of cows, and inland are rice fields as far as the eye can see. If you walk along the beach the villa is just 700m southeast of the small, friendly village of Seseh, although it falls on the Canggu side of the river estuary.
Canggu has become the collective name for a number of villages (including Berawa, Tegal Gundul, Tiyingtukul, Pererenan, Nelayan and Babakan), which, until very recently, could still be described as a sleepy coastal locale. It's now one of Bali's coolest districts.
Here, amongst the rice fields which extend all the way down to the beach, you will not only find some of the most luxurious private residences on the island, but also a great selection of eclectic restaurants, cafes, bakeries, boutiques and beach bars – especially along Jalan Batu Bolong, which runs right down to the beach. Popular spots include Finns Beach Club, Old Mans, La Laguna, The Lawn and Ji @ Bale Sutra.
Canggu is also an area that most surfers will know about, with reef swells that are larger than those you will find further south in Kuta and Seminyak. Swimming isn’t advisable however as the rips can be dangerous, but there are plenty of other things to do from horseback riding to cooking classes. Finns Recreation Club (for which many holiday villas in the area include guest membership) offers social and leisure amenities, including Splash waterpark, Bounce trampoline centre, Strike bowling, a state-of-the art gym, a 25m swimming pool and a tennis and squash centre.
Along the coast to the north of Canggu is Pura Tanah Lot; a sea temple perched high on a craggy wave-lashed rock and probably the most photographed sight in Bali. Sophisticated Seminyak, a few kilometres south of Canggu, lays claim to the highest concentration of independent fine-dining restaurants on the island, including Sarong, La Lucciola and Ku Dé Ta, together with a wide choice of chic cocktail bars, exciting nightclubs, lavish spas and elegant boutiques.
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.
Our review Overall Rating: 8.90
Our personal favourite of the five Pantai Lima beachfront properties, Villa Ambra gave us everything we could have wanted. The views are nigh on 180 degrees from any of the balcony or poolside vantage points and privacy is guaranteed. We lazed beside the pool on our first day, waited on by a great team of staff and musing on the ebb and flow of the house design, which is both modern and traditional with lots of interesting touches ranging from antiques to funky furnishings, and a healthy dose of comfortable couches, beds and sun loungers.
Our stay couldn’t have been timed better: it coincided with a full moon which meant a very low tide and practically the whole of the local village coming down to have fun on the sand or swim in the lagoon. The energy was boundless and one of us – unable to resist the pleas to join in – got caught up in a game of beach football. Afterwards, the staff served us a barbeque dinner of fresh lobster, snapper and prawns, which they prepared in situ under the stars. This was followed by a quick post-prandial cocktail and a dip in the jacuzzi. A perfect evening ... but wait, there’s more! The Pantai Lima villas are renowned for their attention-to-cinema-viewing detail and Villa Ambra has a huge home theatre with a projector and a 5 x 3m screen. We finally fell asleep to the sound of the crashing waves and the falling rain.
The next morning the sky was clear, the sea was blue and the day was perfect again for an alfresco breakfast and a lazy day by the pool. You get the picture!
Sleeping Capacity: 10
Villa Ambra is built into the contours of the land, with two triple-level buildings linked by a single-storey wantilan pavilion. Each of the five bedrooms has a balcony or terrace with fabulous views, a walk-in dressing room, a double or queen bed, and a 37-inch TV/DVD player. The ensuite bathrooms are fitted with powerful monsoon showers and bathtubs, and each is individually styled with funky tactile materials ranging from bamboo and stacked slate to marble, timber and pebbles. Three of the bathrooms are partially open-air.
The main building incorporates a cinema room on the lowest level with a high definition movie projection system and a big ‘cinema bed’ along the back wall. On the central level is a bedroom with a wide balcony overlooking the lagoon and a dining room with a table for ten opening out onto the pool deck (where another table and a barbecue promote alfresco dining). The master suite covers the upper floor, complete with an open-sided sitting room, bedroom, ensuite and rooftop massage deck.
The wantilan pavilion is bounded by a fishpond and fashioned in the architectural style of a Balinese village meeting place with open sides, antique-style Javanese floor tiles, and a soaring, two-tiered roof supported by wooden pillars. This eclectic living space is furnished with three sofas arranged around a coffee table, two swinging chairs, and a pair of low colonial chairs. It also features a bar with a mirrored façade and two stools, a set of rotating woven screens on one side for privacy, a water cascade, and a decorative collection of watering cans.
The third building presents a guest washroom on the lowest level and a second master suite on ground level adjoined by a private study furnished with a desk and a set of 20 antique medicine chests. This master bedroom opens onto a covered garden terrace that looks directly over the ocean. An impressive stairway with a Javanese tiled floor sweeps up to two more bedrooms past a wall embellished with woven leaf and rattan hats. This floor is ideal for families.
Guests can enjoy the 20m infinity pool, which is surrounded by a timber deck. There is also a shallow children’s pool and an eight-person hot jacuzzi tub positioned beachside.