Rural Escape Villas

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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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Amilla – beach residence 4 bedroom 1

Amilla – beach residence 4 bedroom 1

Maldives » Maldives » Maldives

Pinch me, I’m dreaming!  Surely this is heaven on earth?  Flying over coral atolls strung like pearls on a necklace, and sandbanks that sparkle in the sunlight, I knew we were in for a treat long before we arrived.  By the time we stepped onto the jetty to a phalanx of staff welcoming us to our ‘island home’, I was head over heels in love.  The Amilla Beach Villa Residences really are very special.  This is an ultra-luxe destination with a relaxing island vibe and a generous heart-and-soul spirit. 

We kicked off our shoes and kicked into the island groove (even the seaplane pilot was barefoot):  swaying in the hammock alongside the hypnotic lagoon waters, listening to the serenade of the koveli bird; feasting on the many treats procured from the complimentary Providore grocery list, that filled our fridge as if by magic.  (Turns out the villa came with its own magician –  Munaadh, our hugely engaging Katheeb (house manager) who enriched our stay immeasurably.  He proved to be a mind reader able to anticipate our every whim, and shared his unbridled passion for the island with us.)  He also organised a fabulous seafood-and-champagne barbecue at home – one of the many culinary highlights of our stay.

Sauntering along sandy paths through coconut groves, past ancient Banyan trees, we were amazed by the number of activities available across the island. Sure, you can have the laziest, most relaxing vacation ever – I would gladly have spent my entire time at the sensational Javva Spa – but the chance to go dolphin watching and swimming with mantas was too tempting.

A shout-out for the astonishing array of restaurants with mouthwatering menus can’t be forgotten.  Sunset cocktails followed by a fresh-from-the-sea meal at the over-water Feeling Koi fusion restaurant is an absolute must; I admit to piling on the pounds during my stay.

It’s easy to lose all sense of time at Amilla Beach Villa Residences.  In fact, ‘island time’ really does exist here, as the Amilla visionaries set their clocks two hours ahead of Male so guests can enjoy extra hours of daylight; how’s that for above-and-beyond service!  A sign at the resort’s Empire Beach Club claims “Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life”.  What a perfect epithet for our stay!
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From $8,008 Special 3br Rate

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 6

Our
Rating 8.9

Amilla – beach residence 4 bedroom 1

Amilla – beach residence 4 bedroom 1

Maldives » Maldives » Maldives

Pinch me, I’m dreaming!  Surely this is heaven on earth?  Flying over coral atolls strung like pearls on a necklace, and sandbanks that sparkle in the sunlight, I knew we were in for a treat long before we arrived.  By the time we stepped onto the jetty to a phalanx of staff welcoming us to our ‘island home’, I was head over heels in love.  The Amilla Beach Villa Residences really are very special.  This is an ultra-luxe destination with a relaxing island vibe and a generous heart-and-soul spirit. 

We kicked off our shoes and kicked into the island groove (even the seaplane pilot was barefoot):  swaying in the hammock alongside the hypnotic lagoon waters, listening to the serenade of the koveli bird; feasting on the many treats procured from the complimentary Providore grocery list, that filled our fridge as if by magic.  (Turns out the villa came with its own magician –  Munaadh, our hugely engaging Katheeb (house manager) who enriched our stay immeasurably.  He proved to be a mind reader able to anticipate our every whim, and shared his unbridled passion for the island with us.)  He also organised a fabulous seafood-and-champagne barbecue at home – one of the many culinary highlights of our stay.

Sauntering along sandy paths through coconut groves, past ancient Banyan trees, we were amazed by the number of activities available across the island. Sure, you can have the laziest, most relaxing vacation ever – I would gladly have spent my entire time at the sensational Javva Spa – but the chance to go dolphin watching and swimming with mantas was too tempting.

A shout-out for the astonishing array of restaurants with mouthwatering menus can’t be forgotten.  Sunset cocktails followed by a fresh-from-the-sea meal at the over-water Feeling Koi fusion restaurant is an absolute must; I admit to piling on the pounds during my stay.

It’s easy to lose all sense of time at Amilla Beach Villa Residences.  In fact, ‘island time’ really does exist here, as the Amilla visionaries set their clocks two hours ahead of Male so guests can enjoy extra hours of daylight; how’s that for above-and-beyond service!  A sign at the resort’s Empire Beach Club claims “Happiness is not a destination, it’s a way of life”.  What a perfect epithet for our stay!
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From $9,240

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.9

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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From $901 Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 5

Sleeps 8-14*

Our
Rating 8.0
Guest Rating 8.7

Real-time Availability

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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Villa Asada

Villa Asada

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Candidasa

Returning to Villa Asada after three years we were really pleased by the way in which it has evolved to become a truly magnificent family holiday villa with stunning views over the spectacular Amuk Bay. Since our original visit, the property has changed hands and undergone an extensive upgrade, with an enormous amount of thought put into the provision of guest needs in the form of deep comfort and some great new facilities (including a poolside bar, and a gym).  The Asian food we had was excellent (best satay sauce ever!) – do note though that the villa is a good hour away from major provisioning so whilst local food can be provided at relatively short notice, more complex meals need a little more planning. As such there is a restaurant style house menu and an advanced order menu where 24 hours notice is requested. The chef (included) will help out with all your meal planning though.
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From $520 Special 3br Rate

Bedrooms 4

Sleeps 6

Our
Rating 9.0
Guest Rating 9.1

Real-time Availability

Villa Asada

Villa Asada

Indonesia » Bali » East Coast » Candidasa

Returning to Villa Asada after three years we were really pleased by the way in which it has evolved to become a truly magnificent family holiday villa with stunning views over the spectacular Amuk Bay. Since our original visit, the property has changed hands and undergone an extensive upgrade, with an enormous amount of thought put into the provision of guest needs in the form of deep comfort and some great new facilities (including a poolside bar, and a gym).  The Asian food we had was excellent (best satay sauce ever!) – do note though that the villa is a good hour away from major provisioning so whilst local food can be provided at relatively short notice, more complex meals need a little more planning. As such there is a restaurant style house menu and an advanced order menu where 24 hours notice is requested. The chef (included) will help out with all your meal planning though.
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Villa Belong Dua

Villa Belong Dua

Indonesia » Bali » Canggu area » Seseh-Tanah Lot

For a two-bedroom villa, Belong Dua delighted us with its generosity of space. The sitting room is huge and there’s a home theatre as well (a surprise, as this is usually reserved for at least a three-bedder). The garden and pool are also unusually large; the owners could have easily snuck one more bedroom pavilion in, but we are so happy they didn’t because it has left a wonderfully open space with wide sky views fringed by coconut palms and towering mature trees.     

This is a real Bali experience, well away from the fashionable see-and-be-seen café culture of downtown Bali, but still with four-poster beds and gorgeous outdoor bathrooms to rival any of the big boys. When swimming in the pool, make sure you look up at the reflection in the big mirror that sits on the living room wall: the illusion doubles the size of the villa’s garden. And when have you ever seen yourself swimming before!? Sunsets on the beach are a short stroll away and do jump on one of the villa’s bicycles and head off out among the rice fields to explore the real Bali even further. The area is relatively flat and shady and the local people will never let you get lost.

 
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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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Villa Kailasha

Villa Kailasha

Indonesia » Bali » Tabanan

Guests booking Villa Kailasha will hopefully have spotted that it’s in a remote location so there should be no surprise on arrival: we certainly thought the villa’s setting was sublime. Long stretches of black sand and marauding surf with hardly another tourist in sight. We spent most of our time stretched out by the pool enjoying the ministrations of the staff and soaking up the ocean views, but while we were there we were privileged to witness a village ceremony when the procession passed right by the villa’s front gate. We followed the merriment and colour down to the beach and experienced a Balinese event that, for us, was priceless.

For a change of scenery, take a stroll along the small roads and into the local villages for a slice of rural life. And for something a little more sophisticated, stop by the Alila Villas Soori Resort for dinner, or at least a sunset drink. The classy surroundings are pretty special and being so remote not many people drop in, so don’t miss the opportunity while you’re in the neighbourhood. We went for the said sunset drink but ended up staying for dinner – and really rated their kitchen. While their spa would probably welcome visitors as well, it’s perhaps more tempting to ask the villa staff to organise a therapist to come and give you a treatment at ‘home’.
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From $809 Special 4br Rate

Bedrooms 9

Sleeps 8

Our
Rating 8.0
Guest Rating 8.8

Real-time Availability

* Additional charges may apply for maximum occupancy
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