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 for individuals who want to re-encounter the self-being. Most villas in Bali take personal privacy into account, and this is in 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 surroundings 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 to sometimes as a boutique resort. The beginning of new super luxury trend began at the end of the 1980s, 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 a 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.Â
The detailed concepts of boutique resorts and villas have developed since the days of Muller and Zecher, who initiated the rejuvenation of the Balinese traditional village living within their architectural 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 plenty of villas in some of Bali’s more remote locations.
As a result, according to Popo, the sense of simplicity is becoming stronger.
Initially, simple village living has been blended with a luxurious urban lifestyle. Nowadays, however, the sensation of simplicity has built a luxurious atmosphere. Details of the 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 on the island, has been utilized to strengthen the traditional senses of the villa building.
The presence of angkul-angkul has given a particular atmosphere to villages living in many villa resorts. Almost all villa designers’ in Bali, seemingly, consider angkul-angkul as a standard feature for Balinese-designed villas. 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 and 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 its own details according to the sense of its 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 your 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, 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.
Kadek Sudarsana is the Managing Director of Natan Bali, an internet-based company that creates and manages websites that are all directly related to hospitality services in Bali.
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