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: 223 Villa(s) in 23 page(s)
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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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Des Indes I

Des Indes I

Indonesia » Bali » Greater Seminyak » Seminyak

Our 2017 re-inspection of Villa Des Indes I revealed an immaculate, eclectic home that has been lovingly furnished by its owners to celebrate the rich heritage of Indonesia through a fine collection of antiques, artefacts, curios, local artwork, colonial prints and classic sculptures. The villa is a true delight, enhanced by its central location but very quiet and private feel. Once inside you are truly in your own world and, given the very gracious staff, a wonderfully enjoyable one at that. The chef prepared an excellent and beautifully presented meal during our stay – the Dory dish and ikan lilit (fish satay) were delicious; so it’s easy to imagine a full-blown dinner party in this gorgeous setting, illuminated by scores of flickering candles. Des Indes I will delight families and groups who appreciate being surrounded by a sense of history alongside the villa’s many contemporary luxuries.

In our opinion, it is still one of the most unique East-meets-West, old-meets-new villas in Bali.
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From $890 ++

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.8

Real-time Availability

Villa Hansa

Villa Hansa

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

As spiritual souls with environmentally and community-aware leanings and a thirst for local culture, this one-of-a-kind villa has our name all over it.  Villa Hansa (no coincidence it’s named after the Goddess of Knowledge) offers visitors so much more than just another Balinese deluxe villa (although the design is pretty gorgeous too).  The devoted staff and ever-smiling manager sustain the Hansa philosophy when the owners are away.  As the villa’s spiritual advisor, the manager is amazingly knowledgeable about Balinese culture and traditions, he was happy to divulge all over dinner and accompany us to a traditional Hindu ceremony in the local village.  If you’re lucky enough to stay during a full or new moon (like we did), you also get a rare opportunity to watch Hindu priests bless the property.  Staff, too, went out of their way to introduce us to daily Balinese life:  teaching us how to make traditional palm leaf offerings and Indonesian delicacies in the kitchen – activities that the children really enjoyed.

And it’s refreshing to find a villa where the owners are committed to eco-friendly practices, a healthy lifestyle and giving back to the community.  These surfing and yoga devotees support local organic farmers, practice recycling in the kitchens and insist on biodegrable household cleaning.  We also learnt about their wonderful trust fund, the Hansa Foundation, set-up to educate local children in traditional culture, arts, music and the environment.

We thought that Villa Hansa would be ideal for groups of friends and for family groups spanning a wide age range – there are bedroom configurations here to suit all.
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From $740 ++ Special 5br Rate

Bedrooms 7

Sleeps 10

Our
Rating 7.8
Guest Rating 8.3

Real-time Availability

Villa Hansa

Villa Hansa

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

As spiritual souls with environmentally and community-aware leanings and a thirst for local culture, this one-of-a-kind villa has our name all over it.  Villa Hansa (no coincidence it’s named after the Goddess of Knowledge) offers visitors so much more than just another Balinese deluxe villa (although the design is pretty gorgeous too).  The devoted staff and ever-smiling manager sustain the Hansa philosophy when the owners are away.  As the villa’s spiritual advisor, the manager is amazingly knowledgeable about Balinese culture and traditions, he was happy to divulge all over dinner and accompany us to a traditional Hindu ceremony in the local village.  If you’re lucky enough to stay during a full or new moon (like we did), you also get a rare opportunity to watch Hindu priests bless the property.  Staff, too, went out of their way to introduce us to daily Balinese life:  teaching us how to make traditional palm leaf offerings and Indonesian delicacies in the kitchen – activities that the children really enjoyed.

And it’s refreshing to find a villa where the owners are committed to eco-friendly practices, a healthy lifestyle and giving back to the community.  These surfing and yoga devotees support local organic farmers, practice recycling in the kitchens and insist on biodegrable household cleaning.  We also learnt about their wonderful trust fund, the Hansa Foundation, set-up to educate local children in traditional culture, arts, music and the environment.

We thought that Villa Hansa would be ideal for groups of friends and for family groups spanning a wide age range – there are bedroom configurations here to suit all.
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Villa Iskandar

Villa Iskandar

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Seseh-Tanah Lot

Ahhh the serenity...we enjoy coming to places out in the countryside like Villa Iskandar where you have to make your own fun. No shops, no water parks, no restaurants, no bars, certainly no other tourists, just good old fashioned self sufficiency. We walked in the rice fields, did some bird and butterfly watching, swam in the pool, explored the river bank, had massages and lay for long periods of time in the sun reading books and magazines. There were no distractions whatsoever and we loved every second. We stayed at Villa Iskandar early in the rainy season (December) and, although the sun shone most of the time, even in a torrential downpour it was magical. By around 3pm, after a morning outside by the pool working on our tans, the rain arrived with an almighty crash and a bang, like only a tropical monsoon can. And so we sat sipping cocktails, warm and dry under the cover of the dining room and watched it bucket down. We lazed about watching a couple of blockbusters on the big TV upstairs after dinner (delicious) with the volume up loud on the home cinema system. Easy peasy and lots of low energy fun. For a blockbuster of the natural variety, head down to the local beach (car and driver included) for a late afternoon walk on the deserted black sands. Sunsets and serenity never felt so good.
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Ivory House

Ivory House

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

The rural setting of Ivory House is undeniably idyllic.  Often when you stay on the coast you miss out on experiencing the island’s lush, rural hinterland.  Here you can enjoy the best of both worlds as beaches are accessible in 10-15 minutes (there are plenty of local sprays of sand for sunbathing).  Families will find this house suits them well; the gentle lawns and shallow ledge of the pool are both child-friendly.

The villa’s wraparound veranda makes the most of the rural environs, and although it is scantily furnished with only a round table for six, there are loungers in the garden and beside the pool.  Wide folding doors bridge the gap between indoors and out, and thanks to their location to the front of the house, the huge living room and the front master suite benefit most from the rural vistas.  The second master bedroom is tucked behind, but has its own side veranda, whilst the remaining two bedrooms – one of which is very small and would suit a single traveller, a child or perhaps even a nanny – open onto the living room.

The staff looked after us well and we were happy with the chef’s cooking – amongst other items, his sweet potato and coriander soup was delicious.  We’d also recommend the Sri Lankan breakfast.  Also try to visit the nearby Kahanda Kanda hotel for afternoon tea or a meal at least once during your stay.
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From $575 ++ Special 5br Rate

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 10

Our
Rating 7.6

Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
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From $1,590 ++ Special 5br Rate

Bedrooms 8

Sleeps 10

Our
Rating 9.3

Real-time Availability

Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
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From $1,790 ++ Special 6br Rate

Bedrooms 8

Sleeps 12

Our
Rating 9.3

Real-time Availability

Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
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From $1,990 ++ Special 7br Rate

Bedrooms 8

Sleeps 14

Our
Rating 9.3

Real-time Availability

Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
more...
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From $2,760 ++

Bedrooms 8

Sleeps 14-18*

Our
Rating 9.3

Real-time Availability

* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 223 Villa(s) in 23 page(s)
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