Gastronomic Delights Villas in Indonesia

Food, glorious food! Hot sausage and mustard! Cold Jelly and custard! Perhaps not quite, but these villas have been specially selected for their exceptional chef, marvellous menus, cookery courses or other culinary specialties. No Oliver, or Olivia for that matter, will be going hungry here.

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Villa Aiko

Villa Aiko

Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran - Bukit » Jimbaran

This luxury hillcrest villa packs a punch with its panoramic views across Jimbaran Bay. We soaked up the vista from Aiko’s infinity pool, second-level terraces, enormous find-me-if-you-can bed – even from our bathtub-for-two!

If you’re looking for traditional Bali-style architecture, Villa Aiko may not be your first choice. But while resolutely city-chic contemporary in design, the villa makes abundant use of natural materials in its construction - think reclaimed ironwood and river-stone walls, teakwood floors, Benkirai-wood decking and ironwood shingle roof. And the essence of Bali is evident in the charming and attentive-but-discreet staff.

The villa manager/executive chef Putu was an absolute treasure. He was completely unfazed by my vegetarian request and created a memorable dinner – spring rolls, pumpkin and basil soup, beetroot and orange appetiser, and Portobello mushrooms en croute with perfectly cooked vegetables and the best mashed potatoes in Bali. And his Eggs Florentine  – the egg poached to perfection, the Hollandaise cancelling days of dedicated Pilates practice – was a fabulous way to kick-start the morning. No wonder some guests stay away from Jimbaran Bay’s seafood restaurants and choose instead to eat in every day, as the visitor’s book attests.

We think Aiko would be a great villa for large family groups. There are so many independent seating areas to break away to for some peace and quiet, and it’s great to find a library in a Bali villa; we really appreciated the wide choice of books. Though all four bedrooms have king-size beds  – no twins – there’s a single bed discreetly designed into the foot of each bed. We thought the fourth bedroom might be best for kids (who tend not to be so view-hungry) as the outlook is partly blocked by the guest pavilion and spiral staircase. One note of caution: there are steep drops from the pool and terraces but, thankfully for parents, glass barriers line both second floor terraces.

 
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The Anandita

The Anandita

Indonesia » Lombok » Northwest Lombok » Tanjung

Anandita is exactly what a ‘destination villa’ should be.  It was lovely to be surrounded by calm seas, very comfortable lodgings and a team of staff who really know what they are doing.  Everything is laid on and we really had no desire go out, feeling so relaxed and content that all we did was swim, eat and sleep in the sun, with a little bit of volleyball and billiards thrown in for good measure.  The beach is ultra safe making it a great place for children to paddle and play; we felt that families would love this place given the choice of activities, and the room layout and bed configuration.  That said, the rooms would work equally well for four couples.

Something that really impressed us was the way the staff stopped what they were doing when we invited them to make up the numbers for a game of volleyball. It is rare to find a villa where the owner has encouraged his staff to go the extra mile to please guests in this way.  To quote from the visitors’ book, “The staff are truly the heart of Anandita”.  The kitchen produces some fine meals, with the emphasis on fresh fish and local produce - but remember that (if you wish to order from the suggestion menu) you need to give a bit of notice when ordering your meals or making your grocery list as the villa is a long way from the nearest shops.  An easy alternative is to opt for the all inclusive meal package offered at the villa which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.

Nothing changes very much in Lombok, so when we returned to Villa Anandita for our three-year-update we were delighted to find that everything was very much as it had been, including most of the staff who remembered us from our first visit.  Gusti the manager/activities manager delighted us with his energy and enthusiasm, taking us out for a long bicycle ride across the golf course and along rough tracks through the fields to the traditional market at Tanjung.  Since our last visit, the complement of bicycles has gone up to 13 and the owners have added a spa pavilion with two massage beds (professional therapists will come to the villa to deliver soothing treatments).  We were also pleased to find that the villa now has a WiFi internet connection, so it doesn’t feel quite so detached from the world.  The property has been well maintained but the beach bordering the garden has suffered from a bit of erosion so it has got narrower, but it is still beautiful to look at and you only have to walk a short distance to reach a wider section of sand.  Oh yes, there’s a new international airport in Lombok now, which is further away from the villa, so the journey is longer but you’ll see some gorgeous rural countryside en route.

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From $1,320 ++ Special 3br Rate

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 6

Our
Rating 8.6
Guest Rating 8.8

Real-time Availability

The Anandita

The Anandita

Indonesia » Lombok » Northwest Lombok » Tanjung

Anandita is exactly what a ‘destination villa’ should be.  It was lovely to be surrounded by calm seas, very comfortable lodgings and a team of staff who really know what they are doing.  Everything is laid on and we really had no desire go out, feeling so relaxed and content that all we did was swim, eat and sleep in the sun, with a little bit of volleyball and billiards thrown in for good measure.  The beach is ultra safe making it a great place for children to paddle and play; we felt that families would love this place given the choice of activities, and the room layout and bed configuration.  That said, the rooms would work equally well for four couples.

Something that really impressed us was the way the staff stopped what they were doing when we invited them to make up the numbers for a game of volleyball. It is rare to find a villa where the owner has encouraged his staff to go the extra mile to please guests in this way.  To quote from the visitors’ book, “The staff are truly the heart of Anandita”.  The kitchen produces some fine meals, with the emphasis on fresh fish and local produce - but remember that (if you wish to order from the suggestion menu) you need to give a bit of notice when ordering your meals or making your grocery list as the villa is a long way from the nearest shops.  An easy alternative is to opt for the all inclusive meal package offered at the villa which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea.

Nothing changes very much in Lombok, so when we returned to Villa Anandita for our three-year-update we were delighted to find that everything was very much as it had been, including most of the staff who remembered us from our first visit.  Gusti the manager/activities manager delighted us with his energy and enthusiasm, taking us out for a long bicycle ride across the golf course and along rough tracks through the fields to the traditional market at Tanjung.  Since our last visit, the complement of bicycles has gone up to 13 and the owners have added a spa pavilion with two massage beds (professional therapists will come to the villa to deliver soothing treatments).  We were also pleased to find that the villa now has a WiFi internet connection, so it doesn’t feel quite so detached from the world.  The property has been well maintained but the beach bordering the garden has suffered from a bit of erosion so it has got narrower, but it is still beautiful to look at and you only have to walk a short distance to reach a wider section of sand.  Oh yes, there’s a new international airport in Lombok now, which is further away from the villa, so the journey is longer but you’ll see some gorgeous rural countryside en route.

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Villa Anucara

Villa Anucara

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Seseh-Tanah Lot

Villa Anucara’s stark, modernist design may not suit everyone — stripped of its Indonesian artefacts, it could be at home in Miami, Monaco or any number of expensive beachside playgrounds. But this reviewer swooned over the purity of the design, pleasing symmetry, and sense of space and light. The white and ivory colours splashed with aqua create a restful and restorative palette to counter the rectilinear strictness of the architecture. We liked the counterbalance of avant garde with antique, the textural play with Palimanan stone, teakwood planks, polished concrete, fossilized wood, gnarled tree roots and granite. And we loved the artistic flourishes and deliciously thought out details.

One overlooked detail, however, was the choice of cut flowers in every room: the garishly coloured marigolds seemed out of place in such sophisticated surroundings (even the flowers in the garden are all pure white). But this small ‘peeve’ will easily dissipate when the owner’s impeccable taste directs the staff’s flower arranging skills. (And let’s face it, how uptight do you have to be to even notice!)

Unusually, those who don’t draw straws for the master suites will not feel short-changed. (Magnificent though our master suite was, we would have been delighted to stay in guestroom 3 with its shaded grove of palms and its stunning outdoor bathroom with monsoon shower arch and lava-stone wall of water cascading down to a sunken hamam-style bath.) In this respect the villa is highly suited to groups of friends and families — who will also appreciate the many private spaces that allow for quiet as well as social holiday time. We would perhaps be nervous of bringing very young children here because of the stretches of unfenced water, unguarded stairs and upper deck, but note that baby cots and high chairs can be provided; indeed the party before us included several toddlers — and they stayed for a month!

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From $1,090 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 7.9
Guest Rating 8.6

Real-time Availability

Villa Anucara

Villa Anucara

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Seseh-Tanah Lot

Villa Anucara’s stark, modernist design may not suit everyone — stripped of its Indonesian artefacts, it could be at home in Miami, Monaco or any number of expensive beachside playgrounds. But this reviewer swooned over the purity of the design, pleasing symmetry, and sense of space and light. The white and ivory colours splashed with aqua create a restful and restorative palette to counter the rectilinear strictness of the architecture. We liked the counterbalance of avant garde with antique, the textural play with Palimanan stone, teakwood planks, polished concrete, fossilized wood, gnarled tree roots and granite. And we loved the artistic flourishes and deliciously thought out details.

One overlooked detail, however, was the choice of cut flowers in every room: the garishly coloured marigolds seemed out of place in such sophisticated surroundings (even the flowers in the garden are all pure white). But this small ‘peeve’ will easily dissipate when the owner’s impeccable taste directs the staff’s flower arranging skills. (And let’s face it, how uptight do you have to be to even notice!)

Unusually, those who don’t draw straws for the master suites will not feel short-changed. (Magnificent though our master suite was, we would have been delighted to stay in guestroom 3 with its shaded grove of palms and its stunning outdoor bathroom with monsoon shower arch and lava-stone wall of water cascading down to a sunken hamam-style bath.) In this respect the villa is highly suited to groups of friends and families — who will also appreciate the many private spaces that allow for quiet as well as social holiday time. We would perhaps be nervous of bringing very young children here because of the stretches of unfenced water, unguarded stairs and upper deck, but note that baby cots and high chairs can be provided; indeed the party before us included several toddlers — and they stayed for a month!

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The Arsana Estate

The Arsana Estate

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

It is difficult to pinpoint what’s best about The Arsana Estate. During our stay the chef cooked an exquisite dinner which was served fabulously by the staff. With the windows open, the sound of the waterfall and distant wildlife and a gentle breeze drifting in it was a delight. The so-cool pool leads off into the jungle, and with the Boss sound system cranked up, a G&T in hand and a masseuse on call, what more could one ask?

The staff were a pleasure – especially the villa manager – always attentive and smiling but nicely discreet. We could hardly believe it when the manager chased us on his motorbike for seven kilometres to return our laptop cable after we checked out. Such care! The bedrooms have superb views, ‘top’ bathrooms and ever-so-comfortable beds: closing the blackout curtains led to a deeply enjoyable but totally unplanned lie in!

Game of billards? DVD on the big screen? Walk in the village? There’s so much to do and yet it’s so easy to chill. To be honest there was no one thing that makes this villa shine, it all works really well and we could not recommend it enough.
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Bendega Nui

Bendega Nui

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

Staying at Bendega Nui is a wonderful way to experience Bali. The neighbouring paddy fields scattered with colourful flags and tinkling bells to scare the birds away from the ripening rice; the crowing cockerels; clear blue skies and amazing sunsets were a delight in themselves, but to enjoy all of this from the luxurious surroundings of this stunning new villa (completed end 2009) was a real privilege. 

The super-comfortable beds (I felt like Alice in Wonderland climbing up onto the deep mattress of the canopied four-poster in our bedroom!), bold colourful fabrics, tasteful pieces of art, impressive sound system and blissful swimming pool were just some of the features that made a very clear statement about how much care and thought Bendega Nui's owners (who regularly stay there themselves) have put into the design and finish of their tropical holiday home. 

In recent years, the Canggu area has sprouted some exciting new venues for drinks and/or dinner – several of which you can walk to from the villa. That said, we felt no desire to eat out after sampling the chef's culinary creations: From roasted vegetable salads, to steak and chips, to chicken curry, cheesecakes and crème brulée – everything was beautifully presented, absolutely delicious, and served with a smile.

Bendega Nui is a peaceful retreat; breezes from the nearby coast kept things cool wherever we chose to relax – and there was no shortage of options, from the hidden deck beyond the pool, to the shady reading pavilion next to one of the pretty ponds, to the bedroom balconies with their lovely views. And what better way to round off the day than with a glass of wine and a good movie on the big-screen plasma TV, or a social game of pool over a couple of beers – listening to whatever takes your fancy from the vast selection on the Sonos sound system (or bring your own – iPod docks in every bedroom). We felt that Bendega has something to please everyone in the family and would also make a great place for a group of friends to get together for a holiday, as well as (especially if you rent the one-bedroom suite and three-bedroom Bendega Rato next door) an exceptional and truly memorable wedding venue.

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From $1,400 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.7
Guest Rating 8.9

Real-time Availability

Bendega Nui

Bendega Nui

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

Staying at Bendega Nui is a wonderful way to experience Bali. The neighbouring paddy fields scattered with colourful flags and tinkling bells to scare the birds away from the ripening rice; the crowing cockerels; clear blue skies and amazing sunsets were a delight in themselves, but to enjoy all of this from the luxurious surroundings of this stunning new villa (completed end 2009) was a real privilege. 

The super-comfortable beds (I felt like Alice in Wonderland climbing up onto the deep mattress of the canopied four-poster in our bedroom!), bold colourful fabrics, tasteful pieces of art, impressive sound system and blissful swimming pool were just some of the features that made a very clear statement about how much care and thought Bendega Nui's owners (who regularly stay there themselves) have put into the design and finish of their tropical holiday home. 

In recent years, the Canggu area has sprouted some exciting new venues for drinks and/or dinner – several of which you can walk to from the villa. That said, we felt no desire to eat out after sampling the chef's culinary creations: From roasted vegetable salads, to steak and chips, to chicken curry, cheesecakes and crème brulée – everything was beautifully presented, absolutely delicious, and served with a smile.

Bendega Nui is a peaceful retreat; breezes from the nearby coast kept things cool wherever we chose to relax – and there was no shortage of options, from the hidden deck beyond the pool, to the shady reading pavilion next to one of the pretty ponds, to the bedroom balconies with their lovely views. And what better way to round off the day than with a glass of wine and a good movie on the big-screen plasma TV, or a social game of pool over a couple of beers – listening to whatever takes your fancy from the vast selection on the Sonos sound system (or bring your own – iPod docks in every bedroom). We felt that Bendega has something to please everyone in the family and would also make a great place for a group of friends to get together for a holiday, as well as (especially if you rent the one-bedroom suite and three-bedroom Bendega Rato next door) an exceptional and truly memorable wedding venue.

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Bendega Rato

Bendega Rato

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

Sipping a cold glass of something while watching a spectacular Bali sunset from the roof-garden balé at Bendega Rato is a memorable experience in itself. And the experience is enhanced by the super-comfortable beds, bold fabrics, tasteful pieces of art and furniture, impressive sound system and blissful swimming pool – all indicative of the care and thought Bendega Villas’ owners have put into their their tropical holiday home.

There is no shortage of places to relax here, from the roof-garden to the convivial pool pavilion, to the upstairs bedroom balconies with their lovely views. And for those who’d rather retreat indoors to the media room there’s a vast choice of movies and music to be enjoyed on the 55-inch plasma screen with Apple TV and a blue-ray DVD player, or on the integrated Sonos sound system.

Although there is an ever-growing selection of restaurants and cafes within walking distance of the villa, we felt no desire to eat out after sampling Chef Dewa's culinary delights: from pizza cooked to order in the wood-burning brick oven, to roast vegetable salad, chicken curry, cheesecake and crème brulée – everything was beautifully presented, absolutely delicious, and served with a smile. While Bendega Rato comes across as quite a grown-up villa, there’s still something to please everyone in the family and, with the option of renting the adjoining one bedroom pavilion, or even sister villa, 5-bedroom Bendega Nui, it also becomes a great place for a big group of friends to get together, or a terrific wedding venue.
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Villa Canggu North

Villa Canggu North

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Canggu

Our inspection revealed that Villa Canggu North would be a great choice for a small family or four friends who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of Seminyak.  The pool and its deck is an extension of the large living and dining room, which can be alternatively be closed off for air-conditioned comfort.  The beach is not a great swimming beach – this is a coast surfing Mecca – so do take care.  It is fascinating, however, watching the local community at work. The boat sculpture in the living space is a work of art, not a toy, so if you have young children you will need to keep little fingers in check!
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* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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