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Villa 1880

Villa 1880

Indonesia » Bali » Greater Seminyak » Seminyak

Wow. Wow. WOWWWWWWW. Villa 1880 took my breath away the moment I arrived — no mean feat for a seasoned and perhaps super-critical reviewer of luxury villas. What exquisite taste the owners must possess, to have created such an appealing vacation home … and filled it with such covetable furniture and curios.  This is surely a dream villa for anyone who appreciates inspiring design.

We loved the unique blend of old and new — how the 138-year old plantation house sat so comfortably (and seamlessly) between the contemporary buildings. And I admit swooning over the uber-photogenic interiors filled with achingly chic designer furniture sitting on extraordinary brass inlaid flooring. The media room was fabulously flamboyant with sprawl-inducive sofas covered in pink velvet, a cocktail cabinet …and whatever prompted them to think of a stuffed peacock?  Magic was in every detail — for example, our welcome drink was served in a hollowed-out pineapple, complete with bamboo straw, and breakfast included home-made strawberry jam, marmalade, and passion fruit preserve. And how sweet that half of the vanity in the kids’ bunkroom bathroom was set lower so little ones could reach the basin! (Though we were kid-free on our visit, we could imagine them cavorting around in the bunk room with glee).

But what made our experience truly special was the staff. On a tropical island awash with villas boasting well-trained staff, Villa 1880’s raises the bar. Gede the manager was so charming and helpful – and the same went for the butlers we met… even the gardener was chatty. And we cannot enthuse enough about Chef Adi — a rare find, passionate about food and with an inventive mind. The meals we had at Villa 1880 were absolutely superb — oh for another of his home-made panacottas! Ria the spa therapist was also excellent, with a decade working at Shiva Som in the Maldives….whatever you do, don’t leave without having at least one massage with her in the villa’s beautiful spa room.

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From $1,190 ++

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 8-16*

Our
Rating 8.8

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No. 39 Galle Fort

No. 39 Galle Fort

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

Atmospheric, well located and very comfortable sum up our stay at No.39. After the hustle and bustle of the fort, diving in and out of cafés and boutiques, and photographing iconic landmarks, it was heaven to return to our tranquil and comfortable abode, which was right at the heart of everything.

Ajith, the housekeeper, welcomed us in his quiet way, always with a shy smile and, with assistance from a second member of staff, kept the house clean and tidy.  He was also the cook, and although still a novice in the kitchen, we were pleased with his efforts, especially his curries.  The menu is fairly limited but included grilled fish, salads, sandwiches and kids’ meals – all dishes Ajith felt confidant cooking.

Although this is a great family house, the cement stairs (sans stairgates) and minimal kids’ facilities make it less suitable for toddlers.  That said, there are two daybeds at the entrance to the master bedroom that can sleep children up to ten years old.
 
The soft pillowy quilts made the beds very comfortable and we particularly loved the upstairs bedroom for its extra space and breezy rooftop views.  We found the bathrooms to be fairly small, but all were nicely finished in smooth polished cement. Note that Ajith is a live-in housekeeper and spends much of his time in the kitchen or discretely in his quarters, which are located next to the garden bedroom.
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From $330 Special 2br Rate

Bedrooms 3

Sleeps 4

Our
Rating 7.2
Guest Rating 8.9

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No. 39 Galle Fort

No. 39 Galle Fort

Sri Lanka » South Coast » Galle

Atmospheric, well located and very comfortable sum up our stay at No.39. After the hustle and bustle of the fort, diving in and out of cafés and boutiques, and photographing iconic landmarks, it was heaven to return to our tranquil and comfortable abode, which was right at the heart of everything.

Ajith, the housekeeper, welcomed us in his quiet way, always with a shy smile and, with assistance from a second member of staff, kept the house clean and tidy.  He was also the cook, and although still a novice in the kitchen, we were pleased with his efforts, especially his curries.  The menu is fairly limited but included grilled fish, salads, sandwiches and kids’ meals – all dishes Ajith felt confidant cooking.

Although this is a great family house, the cement stairs (sans stairgates) and minimal kids’ facilities make it less suitable for toddlers.  That said, there are two daybeds at the entrance to the master bedroom that can sleep children up to ten years old.
 
The soft pillowy quilts made the beds very comfortable and we particularly loved the upstairs bedroom for its extra space and breezy rooftop views.  We found the bathrooms to be fairly small, but all were nicely finished in smooth polished cement. Note that Ajith is a live-in housekeeper and spends much of his time in the kitchen or discretely in his quarters, which are located next to the garden bedroom.
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Villa Abiente

Villa Abiente

Thailand » Phuket » Cape Yamu

Abiente is a superb holiday villa for active, modern couples and groups of friends, with its chic styling and setting on Phuket’s east coast, on the doorstep of the region’s best sites for yachting, kayaking and other outdoor adventures.  For those of us with less ambitious holiday plans, it’s also a fine place to do absolutely nothing but relax poolside and bask in the tropical sun!  The open-plan layout invited us to gather, relax and flit between the cool white interior and the pool with ease.  Each of the three bedrooms is similarly designed and furnished with king-sized beds and TVs, though only two enjoy a sea view and poolside setting – so there might have to be a coin-toss on arrival.  We were among the first to visit this newly built villa (mid-2017) and loved its bright and welcoming ambiance with a no-fuss minimalist edge and a few touches of whimsy here and there including a big mural splashed across the entry hall.  Abiente is among the newer villas in Baan Yamu, a decade-old estate with exceptional guest facilities available including a well-equipped gym, which we didn’t try out (lazy!), and the huge 75-metre pool, a good option for serious swimmers.
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From $680 ++ Special 2br Rate

Bedrooms 3

Sleeps 4

Our
Rating 8.2

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Villa Abiente

Villa Abiente

Thailand » Phuket » Cape Yamu

Abiente is a superb holiday villa for active, modern couples and groups of friends, with its chic styling and setting on Phuket’s east coast, on the doorstep of the region’s best sites for yachting, kayaking and other outdoor adventures.  For those of us with less ambitious holiday plans, it’s also a fine place to do absolutely nothing but relax poolside and bask in the tropical sun!  The open-plan layout invited us to gather, relax and flit between the cool white interior and the pool with ease.  Each of the three bedrooms is similarly designed and furnished with king-sized beds and TVs, though only two enjoy a sea view and poolside setting – so there might have to be a coin-toss on arrival.  We were among the first to visit this newly built villa (mid-2017) and loved its bright and welcoming ambiance with a no-fuss minimalist edge and a few touches of whimsy here and there including a big mural splashed across the entry hall.  Abiente is among the newer villas in Baan Yamu, a decade-old estate with exceptional guest facilities available including a well-equipped gym, which we didn’t try out (lazy!), and the huge 75-metre pool, a good option for serious swimmers.
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From $800 ++

Bedrooms 3

Sleeps 6

Our
Rating 8.2

Real-time Availability

Villa Adasa

Villa Adasa

Indonesia » Bali » Greater Seminyak » Seminyak

I’m moving in! Put it another way, I don’t want to leave Villa Adasa, ever. Within moments of our arrival, the sounds of the gamelan gave way to early Dylan rasping from the Sonos sound system. How did they KNOW he’s this reviewer’s all-time favourite? Mind-reading was clearly second nature for Villa Adasa’s staff, who seemed to know what we wanted before we did, but were just as adept at giving us complete privacy when that was called for too. While this is a great villa for a family as well as for friends/couples sharing, Villa Adasa manages to achieve a rare intimacy that would make it equally appealing to a couple looking to splurge on space. Villa Adasa delights 24/7. Daytime, we were faced with the taxing decision of whether to dive into an ocean of colourful cushions carpeting the double bale (gazebo), relax on the loungers by the pool, strip to bare essentials on the sun-deck above, or remain supine on the myriad sofas in the living pavilion. At sundown it was no contest; the best place to soak up Bali’s famous purple-hued sunset was from the loveseat on the master bedroom loggia. The night-time atmosphere at Villa Adasa is charming, thanks to its clever ambient lighting and comfortable living area. So dining presented us with an equally weighty dilemma: Do we select from the excellent menu and have our accomplished villa chef whip up a five-course meal or seafood barbecue for us, or do we wander out and take our pick from the many world-class restaurants within moments of the villa? We loved hanging out in the huge master bedroom suite and enjoyed the best night’s sleep thanks to a fabulously comfy bed, luxury goose-down duvet and pillows and high thread-count cotton sateen bed linen. The Sonos music system was swish, and being able to control it from our phone and laptop was pretty cool. And it was heaven having such a wonderful library of coffee table books and glossy magazines to browse. All in all, staying here was like breathing pure oxygen — I was on a permanent health-inducing ‘high’ throughout our all-too-short-stay.
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Villa Adenium

Villa Adenium

Indonesia » Bali » Jimbaran - Bukit » Jimbaran

If you like your villas sleek and polished then you are going to love the gleaming surfaces and modern fixtures of Villa Adenium. I found myself constantly sliding my hands over the glossy furnishings and marvelling at the smooth surfaces under foot. Constructed in 2006, the villa has been beautifully maintained and everything feels so shiny and new, it could have been built just yesterday. The hard angles of the design were a little sharp for our taste, but the effect was softened in the evenings with the gentle glow of down-lights, hurricane lamps and wonderful wall lights stencilled from black steel. Views were limited from the ground floor and the pool takes up most of the outdoor space, leaving little room for a garden, but it is still a great spot for lounging, especially while sprawled across cushions in the balé. The views were better upstairs and our favourite spot was on the veranda, where we could ensconce ourselves in the comfy planters chairs, with feet resting on the foot stools – perfectly positioned for a sundowner!

Bedrooms are in the style of contemporary hotel suites, comfortable, minimalist and immaculate – if you’re looking for a rustic homely vibe this is not really the villa for you! With three floors to spread out across, the villa has plenty of space, and the well-equipped basement is an added bonus, especially for ping pong masters such as ourselves. The deliciously fluffy breakfast pancakes served with ornately carved tropical fruit and excellent coffee also deserve a mention.
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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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Villa Alamanda

Villa Alamanda

Indonesia » Bali » Ubud

This out-of-town villa is a little gem that offers the best of both worlds. On the one hand you will find all the serenity and peace that you would expect from a countryside location, together with the enchantment of a Balinese village, yet you are only five kilometres from the centre of Ubud, where there is plenty to do, including shopping, sightseeing, trekking, river rafting and eating out. The villa itself is romantic, charming and furnished with love, but don’t expect anything too high-tech or lots of fancy facilities because that’s not what Villa Alamanda is about. It’s more about rustic charm than funky architecture, and yes there might be one or two things that could be better maintained, but this is reflected in a very reasonable price. We found the staff to be efficient and friendly, and the chef’s cooking is excellent.
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Villa Amanzi

Villa Amanzi

Thailand » Phuket » Kata

    Settling quickly into the relaxed and cosseted ambiance of Villa Amanzi, we soon found our own favourite places to relax and enjoy the private facilities of this well-laid-out villa (of which there are many). Amanzi is an extremely comfortable and easy base from which to make the most of Phuket's tropical charms.   

We spent much of our time just chilling, chatting and feasting at the dining sala overlooking the pool; interspersed with a peaceful read on the private balcony outside our plush master suite. We never lost touch with the dreamy beach views, which are definitely one of the highlights at this villa – blemished only slightly at night by a brightly lit sign for the Katathani Hotel.   

With ten years’ experience in her role, Villa Amanzi’s manager is ultra-efficient. The food was fresh and delicious, always served in generous quantities, and with a barbecue ready and waiting we are already planning a pool party for our next visit!  

For us, the only slight disappointment was needing to wear flip-flops rather than pad around barefoot on the rough sand-washed pool terrace: it certainly wasn't a deal breaker though. There are a lot of steps at the villa, but the extra indulgence of a sauna and massage room more than made up for any strenuous climbs, and there’s always the lift for when a day by the pool leaves you just too exhausted to walk up to bed!
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From $925 ++ Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 6

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.2

Real-time Availability

* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
Search Results: 134 Villa(s) in 14 page(s)
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