Thursday, February 22, 2007

Villa Satya - Bali

Every trip we make to Bali as a group, I usually try to hook up a new villa. It works out a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel and the overall experience is incomparable. Last year we rented the Canggu Sunset Villa. It was an awesome place to stay with the family but about 20-30 minutes drive from Seminyak. The 6 room villa was more traditional than some of the minimalist modern villas on the island today but it was still spectacular with great service. This time around we rented Villa Satya in Peti Tengget, which is located just behind the Trattoria Restaurant. Neatly tucked away within small narrow streets this complex of about 4 villas is very secluded, although only a stones throw away from where the action is. From the driveway the only entrance into the villa is this small red door.

The passage leads down through a small rock garden and pond into the house. The design is specifically minimalist and modern. The Balinese gardens are spectacular and upon entering this house you can immediately appreciate the intentions of the architect and interior designer.

The living room area is a smooth open area with only one seating arrangement and a large dining table. There is no clutter at all but there is a large projection TV with cable service, DVD player, and a cool selection of DVD’s to choose from. I think the place could have done with out the TV altogether but if the kids were with us I would have thought otherwise.

One of the coolest features in Villa Satya however had to be the iPod boom box. The villa actually came with the boom box and an iPod nano. They had about 75 songs on there but we mostly rotated our own iPods. To me it is these little considerations that make all the difference.

From the living room you can look out over the pond and garden to the pool. With only rice paddies on the other side of the short wall, the view and atmosphere is austere. To the right of the living room there is a two story wing that houses the 4 bedrooms each with their own bathrooms.

Each room is a different color scheme with matching linen and artwork on the walls. The 2 rooms downstairs have large out door bowl style tubs and standing showers whereas the 2 rooms upstairs have only standing showers. But the facilities are new, clean, and well maintained. There is not much in terms of entertainment in the rooms but what should one expect really, a closet with some whips, leather outfits, and lubrication?

The pool side is ideal with a large comfortable bale in the corner, a few deck chairs, and a not so comfortable hammock. The wind blows across the rice fields into the pool area maintaining a cool temperature in the shade.

In the upstairs balcony there are also 2 deckchairs that are exposed to the sun through out the morning till about 3 in the afternoon. It is an ideal spot for those private moments as well because of the unrestricted view it offers of the sky. Every morning the friendly staff insures that all deck chairs are covered with dry cushions and a warm dry towel is rolled up at the base.

The upstairs balcony offers commanding views of the neighboring rice paddies and village. In the 5 days we spent there I did not see even one person wander around the area or make any noise at all. The problem with many villas in Bali is that they built on land surround by rice paddies and then after a few years other villas or structures come up in that area destroying the serene views.

Another amazing feature of Villa Satya is the rock garden. Even though it is not very large, it is lush with plant and animal life. It is apparent that a lot of work and thought has been put into the garden with large trees overhanging the pool with small waterfalls emitting relaxing sounds. The building has maintained some balance and unity with nature and in my opinion that is the most challenging aspect of good architecture. Other villas I have seen try too hard to be modern and loose that Balinese touch.

With a setup like this it is hard to come up with any reason to leave. I have done the whole party circuit in Bali too many times to recount. Days and nights spent in locations like this are what make for an ideal vacation now, with a few side trips to the beach of course. We had a house party on the first night that only dies when we blew an electricity fuse. That is a whole story on its own. The villa is still new so they had some tweaks to work out.

There were some other electricity problems over the next few days we spent there. My room in particular kept having trouble with the air conditioner. It was tripping off in the middle of the night. But I usually fell asleep on the couch in the living room and B passed out in the bale so it was quite comfortable till the sun came up. Small problems are to be expected anywhere but the house staff was very helpful. Villa Satya was a very pleasant place to stay in Bali and only one of many villas up for rent. One might think renting a villa like this is way too expensive compared to a hotel but with 4 rooms and 8 guests it only works out to less than $50 per head!!! Plus this included a fresh breakfast cooked every morning by the house staff that surpasses any buffet I have had at a hotel. How can you go wrong?

No comments: