Luxury Explorer Review

Luxury Villa Review

Sungai Jungle Villas

Indonesia, Bali

Two luxury villas offering spacious suites and 5-star service, but with the privacy and exclusivity of a private residence

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Sungai Jungle Villas






Set in a tranquil country village in the island's south-west, yet just 35 minutes from action-packed Seminyak Beach

Travel Information

Ngurah Rai International Airport: 45-60 mins transfer

Top Tips

Each villa is ideal for families, or, when combined for larger groups

Full Villa Details >

Stay in Paradise

If you can't escape to spruce it up in spring, then spring into planning an exotic summer escape instead. I'm not quite sure whether we came across Pamela Hayes, Villa owner extraordinaire, or whether she found us, but, somewhere in our luxury travel life plan, we were destined to meet and now it feels like the perfect juncture.

Once or twice a yer most of us find it's time to start planning the big holiday. As a general rule for this chunky two or three week break, particularly in summer, we favour a villa holiday adequately staffed and, usually in Italy or the Southern France or, if France, to be a little more precise, St Tropez. This year the children have begged for a change. Although I can't help feeling they must be utterly indulged and far too privileged to consider yet another trip to glossy St Tropez cumbersome, it does actually make sense. There is only so much you can do with and around a pool in France: a view is appreciated by the over 16's, the shopping is mine, the restaurants are now so familiar that we don't even bother with the menus and the beach is for babe watching. Ergo, they need a break.

The family is now truly loaded with excitement and expectation because we are taking them to Bali. I assumed, incorrectly, that the idea of temples might not appeal; after all, they are all post Romancing the Stone (shot in Sri Lanka), and Pokemon, which is fed into their helix at conception does not "do Bali". However, they actually feel a little cheated out of exotica and eastern mystique, and it does really fascinate their fertile imaginations. Maybe they snuck off and watched "Dance Of the Virgins" 1935? These pre-programmed gizmo junkies are going to have their senses re-tuned: all batteries (aside from on the flight of course) will be locked up, all snacks will be nutritious and a new love of a different culture in a tropical setting will be born. Well, that's the plan.

So, returning to Pamela, who has two mind-blowing villas in the lush interior and all about 40 minutes from the airport. Of the two I have chosen Villa Sungai because, every essential and non-essential on my wish list was ticked off. Just the name of the road leading to the Villa, Sunset Road, set me off; but, once my mind took its wander around the setting in a lush tropical valley engorged by the Penet River with banks covered in rainforest magnificus, where frogs bark instead of dogs, next door to a temple and surrounded by Frangipani trees, I was stirred. But, when I studied the style and layout of the interior; expansive off-white terrazzo floors, impressive Armani-style furnishings, enormous four posters draped in net, gorgeous indoor and outdoor bathrooms, an inifinity pool surrounding the pavilion, I was shaken with desire. I thought it couldn't get any better, but then I scrutinized the personal service on offer: friendly highly trained Balinese, on hand all hours, offering drinks and massages around the pool, there is at least a member of staff per person (excluding the two skilled chefs and the chauffeur) and a margarita on arrival. That was it. Singapore Airlines schedule direct flights to Singapore or Hong Kong from most international airports, and, from there, you connect to Bali.

There are several amazing villas on Bali, but we genuinely felt that Pamela's Sungai not only had all the ingredients to make this an experience of a life time but she is also so warm and accommodating that it seems a waste of time looking elsewhere. This sort of holiday is a little like downsizing a perfect boutique-style hotel but the obvious difference is the privacy, and with children, this is sometimes necessary.

However, it is also a wonderful opportunity for a group of friends who want the perfect retreat to bond and enjoy life, playing music and dancing till frogs bark and the tropical dawn chorus breaks into song across the cool misty tranquillity of a tropical haven. Honeymooners and couples also have total and exclusive use of the facilities, including the entire staff (chefs, room, pool, bar and dining attendants, drivers, manager/concierge) and luxurious surrounds.

With the surrounding towns and villages and the Indian Ocean only fifteen minutes away, you can allow for much variety both culturally and physically; and with a villa manager who can organise 'the' table in acclaimed restaurants, such as Mozaic in Ubud, and a chauffeur on call to explore the outcome of this rich and ancient world, what are we all waiting for? Enjoy a stay in paradise where 'less' really does mean 'more'.

Sophie Marchant
Sophie Marchant

Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer
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