|The Breath of Villas in Bali Feb 13 2007
A villa is basically a house where a family can spend
their time together. In Bali however, a villa is a breath of nature for the
family, for first time honeymooners, or individuals who want to re-encounter the
self being. Most villas in Bali take personal privacy into
account, and this is at harmony with nature. The detailed concept of their
respective architectures can be various, but privacy and luxury play an important role in the basic
concept of many villas.
Luxurious, sometimes superbly luxurious, the architecture of many villas in
Bali is breathing in the rhythm of space that plays on the silence of the
surrounds and fits effortlessly and discreetly into the small community.
In recent years the island of the Gods has become the site for many villas,
or a cluster of villas referred sometimes as a boutique resort. The beginning of
the new super luxury trend began at the end of the 1980’s, precisely with the
opening of the Amandari, perched on the edge of Ubud’s Sayan Gorge. The mind
behind the resort was renowned Australian architect Peter Muller along with
owner Adrian Zecher.
Hotels of that era were built with many rooms. Villas, however, have
different approach. It is not simply how many hotel rooms you have, but how
wonderful they are. Luxury, too, is not only determined by expensive materials
for many of these resorts often use the simplest of local materials.
The detail of concepts of boutique resorts and villas have developed since
the days of Muller and Zecher, who has initiated the rejuvenation of the
Balinese traditional village living within their architecture design. “Nowadays,
modern touches are an important component in the design of villas in Bali,” said
Popo Danes, a reputable Balinese architect who has designed a plenty of villas
in some of Bali’s more remote locations.
As a result, according to Popo, the sense of simplicity is becoming
Initially, simple village living has been blended with a luxurious urban
lifestyle. Nowadays, however, the sensation of simplicity has built the
luxurious atmosphere. Details of architecture of many Balinese villas have
beautifully combined the traditional and modern elements and features.
There is one feature almost always seen: Balinese traditional gate
angkul-angkul, which usually gives access to Balinese compounds in many places
of the island, has been utilized to strengthen the traditional senses of the
The presence of angkul-angkul has given a particular atmosphere of village
living in many villa resorts. Almost all villa designers’ in Bali, seemingly,
consider angkul-angkul as a standard feature for Balinese designed villa.
However, the popularity of angkul-angkul has expanded beyond the boundaries of
the island. In Jakarta as well as in many places in Java, including in
Jogyakarta and in Surabaya, angkul-angkul has gained a particular place in villa
design, it is often applied to give access to many private villas even luxurious
residences. Perhaps it is to remind them of Bali, to bring about the nuances of
Balinese harmony of living.
Once you pass the villa’s angkul-angkul, a serene garden awaits you. A garden
is apparently another ‘compulsory zone of beauty’ for Bali-based villa
designers. With lines of colorful flowering plants or decorative leaves,
tropical gardens bring nature into the villas, each of which with their own
details according to the sense of their respective landscape designer. The
garden is not merely decorating the villa; it is so much important for the image
that some villas in Bali use it as a marketing tool and promote the property as
a ‘garden villa’.
Adjacent to the garden, often under the shadow of a frangipani tree, often
lays the swimming pool. Private pools have been another luxurious trend in villa
design. Nowadays, it seems that a villa is not a ‘real’ villa without a private
pool. It can be a small swimming pool or even a plunge pool where you guests
spend time relaxing and basking under the sun.
The garden and the pool sometimes (not sometimes, often!) are perfected with
a spectacular backdrop of green rice fields, of mountainside, of river flow or
beachfront: according to the blessing of the beauty of the villa’s location.
This is Bali, where the stunning panorama of nature has long become an important
element of beauty.
A villa, by this very definition must be small and limited. Above all, it
should have its own recognizable flavor and character. The only similarity
between many villas in Bali is the level of luxury and excellence.
If you have the money and want to really relax and enjoy yourself while
visiting Bali, make sure that you reward yourself by staying in one or more of
the world’s best resorts.