Villa Zelie Photos

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Entering through the colossal wooden doors of Villa Zelie is like stepping back in time.

Four open-sided, fan-cooled teak pavilions, linked by covered walkways over fishponds, make up the villa’s communal areas. The main lounge is set in a stunning, intricately carved, open-sided joglo overlooking the pool and gardens, furnished with immense sofas covered in raw silk and arranged around heavy teak coffee tables. In a second lounge/TV room, alcoves are filled with a museum-like display of antiques, while furnishings include a table with four easy chairs and a long wooden bar concealing the master controls for the audio system wired to all the living areas. Satellite TV and movies on the drop-down projection screen can be enjoyed from an enormous daybed.

Adjoining the main lounge is the kitchen, with stone island/breakfast counter, wine fridge, plethora of appliances and shelves stocked with herbs and spices; the adjacent dining pavilion is dominated by a wood banquet table for 12. Giant copper lamps cast light, and a long upholstered sofa and cushioned benches provide seating. Tribal headpieces cover the sideboard and a wood-fired barbecue is built into a stone alcove. Carved wooden birds are draped from the ceiling of the sofa-filled pool pavilion, while the serene 20m pool is watched over by statues of monks bowed in prayer, and daybeds nestle in the foliage.

Private sleeping quarters are arranged around the garden, with a beautifully carved joglo housing the master suite and four air-conditioned gladak serving as guestrooms – each named after the predominant colour themes of their soft furnishings; Purple, Brown, Turquoise and Orange. All bedrooms are equipped with an iPod dock, king-size bed with customised linen, ceiling fan, antique occasional furniture and carved wall panels as elaborate headboards. Walk-in wardrobes include a bar fridge and safe. Distinctive semi-outdoor bathrooms, each with bathtub and private garden, highlight natural materials including stone and petrified wood. The extravagant master suite features a magnificent tiered wooden ceiling supported by ornamented pillars draped with golden fabric, and is equipped with a Satellite TV and DVD player. Two double-storey spa balés (pavilions) each have a pair of massage beds, one is adjoined by a semi-outdoor bathroom, while the other doubles as gatehouse leading to the neighbouring villa.

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