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

loading
Reserve
Close
Special Offer
Close
Reserve via concierge
adults
+ -
check-in
weeks
+ -
children
+ -
reserve book now

Villa Sungai
  • Reserve
  • Contact Concierge
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

Read Our Villa Review

Stay in Paradise

Read Our Villa Review

Stay in Paradise

Villa Sungai

Villa Sungai and its sister Sungai Gold epitomise a very personal and choreographed experience. They are Bali’s version of a luxury lodge - intimate and bespoke, aimed unashamedly at the high-end international traveller looking for luxury experiential accommodation and adventure in Bali, but Sungai’s ‘luxury’ also comes from its restraint; its confidence in knowing that the spare beauty of this very special place needs little embellishment, and recognizing that travellers’ definition of extravagance has matured since the 90’s to become more experiential, more pared-back.

Read Toby's review - Sweet, Lovely, Sungai

Whether you need a break, a rest, a little pampering, some refreshment or just a whole lot of cosseting, there is nothing quite like this property which is an amazing synergy of comfort and indulgence, focusing on the luxury of time.

Villa Sungai and Sungai Gold each offer 3 spacious suites, but both villas can be combined to creat one vast 6-bedroom private residence.

 

VILLA SUNGAI

POOLSIDE SUITE 1 & 2

King + option of king single; indoor bathroom and toilet; outdoor shower

POOLSIDE SUITE 3

King + option of king single; outdoor bathroom with double showers and bath

SUNGAI GOLD

POOLSIDE SUITE 1

King; indoor bathroom with bath; outdoor double showers

POOLSIDE SUITE 2

King + king single (option of twin configuration); outdoor bathroom with double showers and bath

POOLSIDE SUITE 3

King; indoor bathroom with bath; outdoor double showers

GOLD has three dedicated guest suites with plush pillow-top mattressing and bedding and netted canopy over each bed. These are accompanied by huge signature indoor/outdoor bathrooms.

The pavilion cabana suite, with an ensuite bathroom, and there is a large armoire to unpack into opens up onto the pool. Many guests choose to leave some of the blinds up so as to have uninterrupted views of the pool and take in the stars and jungle in a similar way to the most luxurious tented camp experiences in Africa.

Sungai Bali is a distinguished luxury villa with the sophistication, inclusions and full service of the finest hotel, but with the privacy and exclusivity of a private residence. This isn't one of a complex of villas, not a villa within a hotel, but a truly private 'one-off'.

The overall vibe is white, bright and seriously sexy (bespoke white washed teak furniture and touches from Kartell/Philippe Starck ….the finest white linens and softest bath sheets…Acqua Di Parma toiletries). Minimal and understated the guest rooms may be, but modern comforts and deluxe touches have not been overlooked. Monochromatic and with an edited selection of furnishings, they provide comfortable spaces for retreat.

It's available for exclusive-hire only, with a 24-hour butler, chefs, chauffeurs and a team of staff to spoil you. Book the three-suite main Villa Sungai or its smaller sister the two-bedroom, couple-friendly Sungai Gold (aka the ‘Owners' Villa’); or take over both for the ultimate glamorous house party.

The service begins the moment you step off the plane with the VIP airport butler service and the chauffeured transfers that whisk you to the villa where the chefs and staff are dedicated to you alone. The overwhelming memories of a Sungai experience are the magical location, exquisite cuisine, flawless service and immaculately appointed guest rooms. The personal care extended to children, the round-the-clock chauffeur for touring, shopping and nightclubbing, and your personal PA/concierge are also defining features.

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

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
Luxury Explorer
Luxury Explorer

Similar villas in Indonesia, Bali