Luxury Explorer Review

Luxury Villa Review

Villa Sungai

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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Villa Sungai
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Villa Sungai

Bedrooms

6

Sleeps

2-12

Location

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 >

Suite, Lovely, Sungai

Unlike anywhere else we have ever been, nothing of any consequence interfered with us having a great family holiday - and there were so many things that kept adding to the quality of the experience.

To make sense of this I need to separate Bali from Villa Sungai.

The most welcoming of countries

Bali is the kindest and most welcoming country I have ever visited. Everyone we met was helpful, cheerful and appeared to be genuinely pleased that we were there. It seems that it is a direct consequence of a unique Hindu based culture that holds at its heart, and expresses in everyday life, the simple values of respect, honesty and kindness, coupled with an intense commitment to one's local community. Virtually every home has its own temple to honour the manifestations of their God, as well as their ancestors and it's often larger than their actual house. Every local community has some form of celebration at least once a week and everyone believes that if they live by these values they will be reincarnated into a better life next time round. The results of all this are extraordinary and should serve as a lesson to us all. In the village we stayed in there were no police because there is no crime. Villa Sungai has been operating for seven years and in that time nothing has ever been reported stolen.

Nearby there are restaurants that are of the highest quality and very reasonable, such as the famous Made's Warung in Seminyak, where we went for New Year's Eve. We had four delicious courses, cocktails, champagne and Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc. We were treated to hours of beautiful Balinese dancing and fussed over by the most attentive waiters, all for less than £20 a head! Even somewhere like the Elephant Park was so well constructed and beautifully maintained. The variety and quality of the shops had the girls gasping, but I liked the Bali Deli, which is where all our food came from. It could have been carved out of the Harrods food halls, with every treat you could wish for on the most indulgent holiday - and it had a bar and a restaurant attached!

Finally on Bali, there is so much to do on a family holiday - we scuba dived, we snorkelled, we jet skied, we even went on the Flying Fish - a scary new contraption like a giant lilo that is dragged into the air from a speed boat. We went down water slides and we climbed up hundreds of steps to many beautiful temples. We went on boats of all sizes to paradise coves and turtle farms; we held bats, toucans, pythons and eagles - and we played with elephants. We ate at numerous excellent restaurants in beautiful locations from which we watched many perfect sunsets, and we relaxed, on the beach and, of course, at the villa - which brings us on to Sungai:

Villa Sungai and Sungai Gold combined

Sungai is World Class. It is the perfect combination of a top 5 star hotel, and no other guests. It is very difficult to adequately describe Sungai without stringing together a list of superlatives, although I can now report that the photographs on the web site are very accurate. In these brief notes I would divide my description of Sungai into three parts.


The first is the style and the design of the Villa. It really is stunning. It is perched on the banks of a river (Sungai means river in Balinese) and the two main features are an 18 metre turquoise infinity lap pool that dog legs at one end around the steps. This is without doubt the most stylish pool I have ever seen and it is the central feature of Sungai, even in the evening, when it is often covered with flower petals and floating tea lights. The second main feature is the Great Room that runs alongside the pool and contains the main dining area, a large seating area and a day bed. It is a traditional Balinese Great Room, rising to about twenty feel at the full height of the ceiling, in a construction of white wood and thatch. All the furniture is locally produced and beautifully made. The overall effect is one of cool serenity, perfectly captured by the centrally positioned Buda. Beyond these two features there are three incredibly stylish en suite bedrooms with outside showers; there is a second dining area, which is used for breakfast or candlelit dinners under the stars and there is a small thatched bar at the end of the pool, which serves as a perfect vantage point for both the river and the villa.

The second aspect of Sungai is in the detail. Everything I have described above could not exist without the need for the extraordinary attention to detail. The beds are as comfortable as being at home. The towels, which never run out, are all beautifully scented. In the bathrooms the toiletries are by Bvlgari. The overall effect is to make you feel immediately at home, to relax and recover from the jet lag in uncompromising comfort.

The third, and really the most important, are the people at Sungai. In a country of very nice people, the people of Sungai stand out as being the nicest. You are pampered by seven of the nicest people on the planet. They cook beautiful food from an extensive menu, which includes yummy little snacks with cocktails - oh, and the cocktails would put the Dorchester to shame. But at the centre of all this is a person of rare serenity, intelligence and sensitivity - Made, pronounced Maday, who is in charge of Sungai and all the staff. He is also in charge of your daily itinerary and he will organise whatever you want, from massages at the villa to booking restaurants. He will also drive you where ever you need to go and, with perfect discretion, he will suggest detours to visit places of special interest. He is very proud of his beautiful country and was clearly delighted that we so obviously loved Bali. The truth is that Made was one of the main reasons we loved Bali so much.

The overall effect of Sungai is of a World Class tropical retreat, at which you could not fail to relax and shed whatever stresses you arrived with. Our view was that nowhere's perfect, but Sungai comes very close.

Read the full specification for Villa Sungai

Toby Marchant
Toby Marchant


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