Sand, sea & sun
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Indonesia » Bali » Canggu » Villa Arika
Built to a contemporary Balinese design and infused with an elegant simplicity, Villa Arika spreads over a series of pavilions incorporating four bedrooms, a spacious lounge area and dining room, all with ocean views. In fact, Villa Arika is all about the views, and provides a supremely comfortable and uncluttered setting in which to relax and enjoy them. Elaborate carved wooden doorways throughout hint at exotic Indonesia, as do a smattering of antiques, including winged statues, occasional furniture and Balinese Hindu-inspired paintings. Sandstone exteriors contrast with dark wood interiors accented with hints of marble, rattan and colourful silks.
A hectare of garden features well tended lawns, lily ponds with water fountains, bird of paradise flowers, pandanus palms and hardy coastal plants. The beach can be directly accessed from a private gate at the bottom of the garden, however the ocean is current-prone here, and not ideal for swimming. The sea is perhaps best enjoyed from the refreshing confines of the pool, which makes an attractive centrepiece in the garden.
Facilities include a tennis court and gym for those who want to be active, and plenty of books, board games and day beds for those who would rather lounge around. Well-trained staff are kind and accommodating, and the villa rate includes daily breakfast. Guests are welcome to self cater, but with talented Chef Ibu Yuli on hand there is little need; she will do all the shopping (on guest account) and prepare gourmet meals from an extensive suggestion menu.
Villa Arika is set right on the beach in Pererenan, Canggu, a peaceful village typified by traditional Balinese houses and an increasing number of private villas. The village has local shops selling Indonesian-style snacks and drinks. Echo Beach with its string of warungs and restaurants is just a few hundred metres to the left and easily reached on foot. Roads are quiet enough to explore by bicycle, and you will still find traditional rural scenes and rice fields.
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: 8.60
For those who love the ocean (like us), there are few experiences that can match staying right on the beach – especially in a spacious and luxurious tropical villa – so Villa Arika definitely ticked all our boxes. The views are quintessential Bali; everything we expected and more – especially from the master bedroom, which has a lovely private deck. With the huge lawns, the rugged coastline in both directions, and the ocean stretching to the horizon, there is a fabulous feeling of space and openness. Landscaping is thoughtful, with rounded garden beds that mimic the curves of the shore and are filled with low shrubs that complement, rather than distract from the ocean views.
We quickly adapted to the rhythms of nature – lounging by the pool, exploring rock pools on the beach exposed at low tide, languishing in the flamboyant sunsets. Evenings had their own gentle allure with the soft glow of candles and hurricane lanterns. Dinners at the wonderful marble dining table were particularly memorable, surrounded by magically lit lily ponds. Pererenan is delightfully sleepy and serene, and most of the time we were really happy just to chill at the villa and relax, but it was great to have a driver on hand when we managed to tear ourselves away.
Sleeping Capacity: 8
A statue-lined path leads past the tennis court, across wide lawns and over a fishpond to a sandstone foyer that opens onto a bright and airy wantilan – a traditional open-sided Balinese pavilion with a tiered thatched roof. This is the main lounge area, furnished with a daybed, round table with four chairs, and sofas scattered with purple and yellow silk cushions.
Stairs lead to the wide expanse of lawn and the swimming pool, edged by a pavilion and four deck chairs overlooking the ocean. Lotus ponds surround the main pavilion, with covered walkways leading to further pavilions. To one side of the lounge a sunny conservatory-style dining room is surrounded by folding glass doors and furnished with a circular marble table for ten. The adjoining building houses a functional and well-equipped kitchen and, in front of that, a small gym with weights, a couple of exercise machines (including exercise bike) and guest bathroom.
To the other side of the lounge, stepping stones lead to a connecting pavilion, housing two bedrooms and a bright and cheerful television room equipped with a satellite TV, DVD, an oversized sofa and a colourful Balinese painting. Ceiling-high shelves are filled with magazines, books and ornaments. All four bedrooms at Villa Arika are air-conditioned and fitted with a king-size bed, stylish reading lights, TV with DVD player and ensuite bathroom. The first bedroom, which lies next to the television room, is a spacious room with wooden flooring and furniture. Antiques include a giant ceramic urn and Javanese shadow puppets, while glass doors open onto a deck with sun loungers. The courtyard garden bathroom features a sunken bathtub with Roman-style plaster relief, and shower area fringed by tropical foliage.
The master bedroom occupies the top floor of the pavilion. Panoramic views are complemented by a large sun deck, Balinese artwork, four-poster bed, desk, and occasional furniture. The walk-through dressing room leads to a large bathroom with stone floors, twin vanity and tub with sea views.
Two thatched guest pavilions overlook the gardens and sea. Both have wood floors, and antique wooden wardrobes, as well as glass sliding doors leading to terraces furnished with daybeds, a round table and two chairs. Generous bathrooms with tubs are finished in creamy terrazzo, with large mirrors, built in wardrobes and garden showers.