The Great Outdoors Villas

Lazing by the pool all day not your idea of fun? Try one of these villas which are perfectly placed for discovering the great outdoors – be it hiking or biking, bird-spotting or white-water-rafting – there will be something nearby to suit those who prefer a more active holiday.

Search Results: 225 Villa(s) in 23 page(s)
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Villa Bodhi

Villa Bodhi

Indonesia » Bali » Ubud

Villa Bodhi is a breath of fresh air. Amos Kotomori (a gifted clothing designer) has created a lush, art-filled residence within easy reach of Ubud that, luckily for us, is now available for holiday rental. On the drive up to the villa along Jalan Raya Sayan, the major luxury hotels - Four Seasons, Aman, Alila, and Como Shambahala – are all vying for that magical million-dollar river valley view. Kotomori has matched that same magical ambiance at Villa Bodhi, except with two major differences – no neighbours in sight and a nightly rate that sleeps eight people very comfortably instead of two.

Being the consummate artist, Kotomori has done things a little differently at Villa Bodhi. Instead of the quintessential frangipani flowers found everywhere in Bali, I am greeted by the cheerful sight of vibrant marigold blossoms, carefully placed along stone ledges and statues. The garden is alive with butterflies and dragonflies in a rainbow spectrum from butterscotch to pomegranate. The villa manager, Made (pronounced mah-day), welcomes me with a cold towel and refreshing drink, and as he gives me a tour of the villa I feel like I have stepped back in time to the 1930s, when the likes of European painter Walter Spies spent languid days at Ubud Palace, capturing on canvas the never-before-seen landscapes that lured the West to explore this side of paradise.

A perfect blend of traditional and modern, the villa’s antique joglo structures are enhanced with contemporary polished concrete floors, air conditioning, modern timber and glass construction to showcase the outstanding views, and well chosen teak accents that uplift the ambiance. Kotomori’s style is whimsically elegant: antique stone statues wear colourful beaded necklaces, reclaimed sailboat wood in royal blue and sea-foam green add playful character against museum quality pieces, and the mesmerising views from the swimming pool make attending that wood carving class in Ubud seem less of a priority.
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Villa Bodhi

Villa Bodhi

Indonesia » Bali » Ubud

Villa Bodhi is a breath of fresh air. Amos Kotomori (a gifted clothing designer) has created a lush, art-filled residence within easy reach of Ubud that, luckily for us, is now available for holiday rental. On the drive up to the villa along Jalan Raya Sayan, the major luxury hotels - Four Seasons, Aman, Alila, and Como Shambahala – are all vying for that magical million-dollar river valley view. Kotomori has matched that same magical ambiance at Villa Bodhi, except with two major differences – no neighbours in sight and a nightly rate that sleeps eight people very comfortably instead of two.

Being the consummate artist, Kotomori has done things a little differently at Villa Bodhi. Instead of the quintessential frangipani flowers found everywhere in Bali, I am greeted by the cheerful sight of vibrant marigold blossoms, carefully placed along stone ledges and statues. The garden is alive with butterflies and dragonflies in a rainbow spectrum from butterscotch to pomegranate. The villa manager, Made (pronounced mah-day), welcomes me with a cold towel and refreshing drink, and as he gives me a tour of the villa I feel like I have stepped back in time to the 1930s, when the likes of European painter Walter Spies spent languid days at Ubud Palace, capturing on canvas the never-before-seen landscapes that lured the West to explore this side of paradise.

A perfect blend of traditional and modern, the villa’s antique joglo structures are enhanced with contemporary polished concrete floors, air conditioning, modern timber and glass construction to showcase the outstanding views, and well chosen teak accents that uplift the ambiance. Kotomori’s style is whimsically elegant: antique stone statues wear colourful beaded necklaces, reclaimed sailboat wood in royal blue and sea-foam green add playful character against museum quality pieces, and the mesmerising views from the swimming pool make attending that wood carving class in Ubud seem less of a priority.
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Brockenhurst

Brockenhurst

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Nuwara Eliya

Brockenhurst is a good private base for visiting Nuwara Eliya town and nearby attractions. Although there are few facilities – the kitchen is basic and there is no swimming pool – Brockenhurst does represent very good value.

The house can accommodate up to twelve guests; since the master bedroom has space for five (rather like a dorm room we thought) and the second bedroom can sleep three, it’s a great house for a couple of families. We felt that the ground floor bedroom would be suitable for elderly relatives who weren’t keen on stairs, making the house a good choice for extended family holidays too. Whilst the number of bathrooms equals the number of bedrooms, only two are ensuite, but this doesn’t really pose a problem. We felt that the house reflected bygone days when entertainment was made, not provided, which is certainly part of its charm.

Whilst Brockenhurst has probably changed little aesthetically since its colonial days, it has been updated; bathrooms are modern and have scorching hot showers (although the bathtubs could do with a few touch-ups here and there), and whilst the bedrooms are comfortable, they are sparsely furnished. The Sri Lankan-style kitchen is practical for staff use only. There are no menus, you can discuss meal requirements daily with Godwin, the chef, and buy your own groceries or give money to Karu, the multi-tasking caretaker of Brockenhurst, to buy them on your behalf. The chef lives in and his English is good so we didn’t have any difficulties.

Brockenhurst has been refurbished since our first visit. The hallway and living room floors have been laid with timber, which feels much warmer underfoot and more homely than the previous cement flooring. The sofas in the living room have been replaced, and the fireplace here has also been remodelled. These upgrades all make the room feel more sophisticated than it did before.

There’s a new flat-screen TV, a DVD player (although no DVDs) and WiFi internet (works best downstairs). Karu and Godwin are both still there, and were as warm and friendly as ever. They have a third team member helping them out now too. The kitchen remains fairly basic (although with Godwin cooking there’s really no reason to use this room at all) and we noticed that two of the bathrooms have been slightly upgraded.

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Bulan Putih

Bulan Putih

Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran - Bukit » The Bukit

Villa Bulan Putih is a great place to get hitched! The grounds are the perfect size and the ocean backdrop will live on in photos forever. 

And those views! Since the villa faces north east, the ocean doesn’t turn inky black come night-time but instead takes in the twinkling lights and energy of southern Bali in a broad arc. On clear mornings, the mountains that form Bali’s backbone fill the horizon, while the crashing waves of nearby Bingin Beach can be heard 24/7. The views get even better from the first- and second-floor balconies; a quick glance from here in the early mornings will ascertain whether or not the waves are worth getting out of bed for.

Having seven bedrooms provides a lot of space for family and friends, and there’s even up to four extra beds and a TV room that can be converted to a bedroom for any overflow. Kids will love the size of the villa grounds, where they can run around to their hearts’ content. The staff are a real treat and never missed a beat.

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Bulan Putih

Bulan Putih

Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran - Bukit » The Bukit

Villa Bulan Putih is a great place to get hitched! The grounds are the perfect size and the ocean backdrop will live on in photos forever. 

And those views! Since the villa faces north east, the ocean doesn’t turn inky black come night-time but instead takes in the twinkling lights and energy of southern Bali in a broad arc. On clear mornings, the mountains that form Bali’s backbone fill the horizon, while the crashing waves of nearby Bingin Beach can be heard 24/7. The views get even better from the first- and second-floor balconies; a quick glance from here in the early mornings will ascertain whether or not the waves are worth getting out of bed for.

Having seven bedrooms provides a lot of space for family and friends, and there’s even up to four extra beds and a TV room that can be converted to a bedroom for any overflow. Kids will love the size of the villa grounds, where they can run around to their hearts’ content. The staff are a real treat and never missed a beat.

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Villa Bungadesa I (5BR + 1)

Villa Bungadesa I (5BR + 1)

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

This little enclave across the river from Batubelig beach is as peaceful and quiet as the day is long. All we could hear at night was the sound of the rolling surf through the open windows. And the early morning view  -  from the bed in the master suite  -  over the pink-capped waves of the Indian Ocean was inspiration... at its very best! The gardens at Bungadesa are huge  -  filled with soft lawns, flowering tropical plants, fruit trees (you’ve got to taste the homegrown passion fruit) and a wonderful mix of Indonesian architecture and indigenous statues. This place catches the sun and the cooling sea breezes in equal parts making for perfect sunbathing conditions beside the pool. And the villa staff are great  -  funny, sassy, chatty when needed and gone like the wind when we wanted to be alone. A sweet touch was a surprise gift for the ladies, while Nana’s home-cooking proved to be superb, especially her seafood curry.
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Bungadesa Villas (7BR + 3)

Bungadesa Villas (7BR + 3)

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

This little enclave across the river from Batubelig beach is as peaceful and quiet as the day is long.  All we could hear at night was the sound of the rolling surf through the open windows. And the early morning view  -  from the bed in the master suite  -  over the pink-capped waves of the Indian Ocean was inspiration… at its very best!

The gardens at Bungadesa are huge and filled with soft lawns, flowering tropical plants, fruit trees (you’ve got to taste the homegrown passion fruit) and a wonderful mix of Indonesian architecture and indigenous statues. This place catches the sun and the cooling sea breezes in equal parts making for perfect sunbathing conditions beside either of the two pools.

Make sure you take the time to nip down the local lagoon-side restaurant on your way back from the beach. It’s charming and rustic and, as well as a great menu of holiday favourites, can rustle up a half-decent pizza in a flash... and the beer is always icy cold. The villa staff were great  -  funny, sassy, chatty when needed and gone like the wind when we wanted to be alone. A sweet touch was a gift for the ladies, while Nana’s home-cooking proved to be superb, especially her seafood curry.
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Claughton House

Claughton House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Dickwella

Without doubt, this is one of Sri Lanka’s most engaging villas and in one of the most breathtaking locations on the island – the views are nothing short of spectacular. Its links to Geoffrey Bawa and its interesting, yet short, history makes a stay here all the more engaging. The house itself is fairly modest – there are no fancy mod cons and the simple yet imaginative design evokes the past as much as the present – however the new owners are currently upgrading the house. The interiors have already been given a sensitive facelift, and look lovely, whilst two more bedrooms and a TV lounge are due to be completed by the end of 2014; they were renovating existing buildings for these behind the main house at the time of our visit (March 2014) but we were not disturbed by the work at all.

Our favourite place to pass the time was around the main swimming pool (there is a second pool to the side of the property, close to the driveway). This cliff-top pool complements the house – it’s been here for a few decades and we liked its old-school geometric design. The different shades of blue reflected the sea beyond and the terrace surrounding it was scattered with sun loungers and beanbags, one of which was placed on a protruding corner from where we could sit and watch surfers in the bay below. A little staircase leads down the hillside to the beach, and it’s a lovely spot for long strolls, swimming or body boarding (there’s a big collection of boards in the house) with care for much of the year – the sea is fairly shallow.

The staff really went out of their way to ensure that we had everything we needed, in particular the lovely chef who produced some heart-warming food. We recommend his rice and curry, which we enjoyed by candlelight down by the pool. Make sure you have a chat to the maintenance manager who’s worked at the house from the very beginning. He showed us some 25-year-old photos of the house.
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Craig Appin Bungalow

Craig Appin Bungalow

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Hatton

We really liked Craig Appin. The rooms are all very comfortable and the four-poster beds in the two front rooms certainly look very grand. Although most of the furnishings are new, their style is redolent of the past. Bedrooms 4 and 5 are situated closest to the kitchen so in the morning, the noise of the staff preparing breakfast can sometimes be heard. Bedrooms 2 and 3 share a bathroom (you need to walk through bedroom 2 to reach it) although there is a guest WC along the corridor that occupants of bedroom 3 can use during the night. Having two living rooms was handy, so everyone can find their own space. We found the staff to be efficient, and meals were always served promptly, however only the chef spoke an acceptable level of English. Siri, the bungalow manager, drops by daily and is available at all times by phone, so it’s better to communicate any complicated requests to him, and he’ll relay the information to the staff. Lunches and dinners tend to be quite formal three-course affairs (pick from a limited set menu or let Siri know if there’s anything you would particularly like), featuring British style dishes and Sri Lankan cuisine. We preferred the local dishes, and particularly enjoyed the Sri Lankan breakfast curry spread.
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Anilana Craigbank Nuwara Eliya

Anilana Craigbank Nuwara Eliya

Sri Lanka » Hill Country » Nuwara Eliya

Anilana Craigbank is wonderfully warm and welcoming. Décor is contemporary colonial as befits this 160-year-old house which was expertly renovated and modernised by a previous French owner who lived here for many years. Despite the grand feel of the house and the enjoyable formalities of a good staff team, the atmosphere is relaxed. Each of the bedrooms is very comfortable with wonderful garden views. A selection of magazines, books, board games, DVDs and satellite TV kept us well occupied in the evenings. The Drawing Room is a cosy place to curl up with a book, and the DVD library in the TV room will keep the kids amused. It can get quite cold at night, so rooms are heated by working fireplaces whilst heavy curtains, knitted bedspreads and draught excluders all help to keep you toasty and warm.

The staff are friendly, warm and eager to make your stay as comfortable as possible; their natural hospitality also adds to the charm of staying at Anilana Craigbank. On our most recent visit, the house had come under new management. They have refurbished the house, replacing soft furnishings – the dusky walls of the bedrooms are brightened up by a contrasting collection of vibrant Sri Lankan artwork, colonial prints and Ceylonese maps; installed WiFi and brought in a few new staff. There are now a selection of priced menus for all meals, including breakfast. Two to three-course set menus for lunch and dinner always list a local and a western option, and tend to change daily. There is also a snack menu available. No alcohol is served at the house, however guests can bring their own tipples and no corkage will be charged. The house’s two tubby yet adorable labradors – Gin and Tonic – are still popular characters on the property, but can be shut away if guests would prefer. Hot water still takes a little time to work its way through the pipes!

During Sri Lankan New Year in April (typically the 13th and 14th) many Colombo residents flock here for family holidays. During this time the town is in full bloom and has a carnival atmosphere with many events – horse racing, car rallies, motor cross, golf tournaments, garden competitions and discos – being held. Prices often triple during this period and the town can get very noisy and busy. Unless you would particularly like to be here for this occasion, it is probably better avoided.

 
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 225 Villa(s) in 23 page(s)
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