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Indonesia » Bali » Canggu » Pantai Lima - Villa Mary
The main sitting area is in a large, open-sided Balinese-style pavilion positioned to take in all three views and situated adjacent to the kids’ pool so the little ones never have to leave your sight. In contrast to this openness, there is a secret subterranean room that hides a massive home theatre with cinema-bed seating for 20.
The large infinity pool lies near the bottom of the garden under mature coconut trees and looks out to sea over the mouth of the river estuary. The pool flows over five stone buttresses that look like something from the Hoover Dam but with the graceful, feminine curves of a Buddhist stupa. Whether by design or accident, these smooth stones form the most perfect water-cooled sun loungers and kid’s water slides. Next to this is a hot-water, sunset jacuzzi.
If booked in conjunction with the other four Pantai Lima villas (offering a total of 26 bedrooms) – plus the impressive range of common facilities including a tennis court and seminar room – the enclave works particularly well as an executive retreat or wedding venue. There is both a menu and grocery system (provisions, at cost, on guest account) and a five-star French chef on site who will transform the most basic of ingredients into something magical. All the staff are trained to the highest standards, and through the clever use of shift work they are on call 24 hours a day. An added bonus is the inclusion of a car and driver for up to eight hours daily: Bali is yours to discover and enjoy.
The enclave of five villas known collectively as ‘Pantai Lima’ (which also includes Villa Waringin, Villa Melissa, Villa Ambra and Villa Sound of the Sea) 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 south-east 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
Villa Mary just keeps on giving, just when we thought there were enough facilities to keep guests going for a week or two, we found more. From the home cinema to the pool to the hot jacuzzi, to the tennis courts to the gym and the wide expanses of lawns for the kids to play tag, it just kept getting better. This is a villa that adults will love and kids will go mental over: there is a beach to comb and a river estuary to explore (Parental Guidance Recommended) and lots of fields to hunt for frogs and lizards.
The subterranean home ‘cinema’ is perfectly named. It is huge! There is nothing like seeing the open plains and dramatic wide angle shots of a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western to take you back in time. With a 5m screen and a couple of leather armchairs thrown in at the back for the folks who don’t do horizontal, this is a viewing experience that will really ‘make your day’. And just when you think it can’t get any better, the staff will microwave up a mean bowl of popcorn (make sure you pre-order).
The two upstairs bathrooms have large tubs set against picture windows that allow you to take in the views. After a blissful sleep, there was no better way to start the day than with an early morning soak in the claw foot bathtub. Lying there in the warm water with the dawn light reflecting through the rice fields against a backdrop of volcanoes, we decided that this was how every day should start! Checking out of Villa Mary really hurt.
Thanks to the in-house conference centre and all the other wonderful leisure activities, we feel that this is one of the very few villas in Bali that would be the perfect Executive Retreat. Rented as a whole, the five villas that make up Pantai Lima Estate have a total of 26 bedrooms.
GM, Singapore Overall Rating: 8.00
Unfortunately the beach area directly in front of the villa appeared to be a little polluted during low tide. The surroundings were conducive for many forms of wildlife, including geese, butterflies, frogs and especially lizards, which unfortunately, my family (we live in a city state) found a bit unsettling as they were present in large numbers especially at night. They also tended to leave their faeces around on the furniture, which was a little disturbing, although the villa staff were quick to clean it when notified. Do note as the villa is rather spread out, walking from room to room during a storm may be a bit problematic (as it is not sheltered). Umbrellas were provided, but lizards were hiding in them.....
Overall, it was a pleasant stay, somewhat affected by the presence of the lizards.
Jon S, Singapore Overall Rating: 9.30
Sleeping Capacity: 10
This thatched property comprises a series of one-and two-storey pavilions, positioned on different levels and integrated into the natural contours of the land. The pavilions are accessed by covered walkways, bridges and winding stone stairways, with some extraordinary surprises waiting in store.
Villa Mary is entered via a grand dining room, furnished with a table for 16 and fitted with folding glass doors that can be opened to allow the cool breezes to permeate (backed up by ceiling fans) or closed for air conditioned comfort. A professional kitchen, service bar and guest washroom rest to one side. The dining room opens directly onto a stone deck and open-sided living pavilion with a soaring roof and rustic tiled floor. This delightful space is furnished with sofas, chairs, coffee table and stools, as well as a circular breakfast table for four. A bridged walkway leads from here to a two-storey pavilion housing two bedrooms, each with a queen bed, private terrace or balcony and views of the rice fields, river estuary, mangroves, beach and sea. Another bedroom (with double bed) is positioned above the dining room, while the queen-bedded master and a twin room (ideal for kids) are situated in a stand-alone family pavilion complete with a private sitting room. All bedrooms are equipped with TV/DVD players and have ensuite bathrooms with double washbasins, walk-in rain showers and tubs, while the master has a bathtub resting in a pond under a thatched roof.
The magnificent terraced gardens are guarded by four towering coconut palms, and embellished with bushy flowering clumps of coral fountain. The upper lawn is a great spot for weddings and parties, while the large swimming pool affords privacy on a lower level, bordered by a stone deck. A children’s pool sits next to the living pavilion.
Out of sight is the underground cinema room, guarded by a solitary door which offers no clue to the extraordinary facility within – big enough to accommodate 25 people with a 5m screen and projector for screening satellite TV channels and movies with surround-sound. An open-sided gazebo with spectacular views is positioned close to the beach. It is furnished with sofas and a dining table for six, and features a hot circular jacuzzi to one side.