Bendega Rato lies off a grassy lane among a scattering of other private villas and the luxuriant rice terraces that define the Balinese countryside. The sound of the waves can be heard from the villa’s immaculate, though modestly sized garden and a walk westwards along the beach (good for surfing and walking but currents make it unsuited for swimming) will bring you to a sea temple and the glorious museum-like Hotel Tugu. Also within walking distance of the villa are several great places to stop for a coffee, breakfast, dinner or evening cocktails - including Deues Ex Machina, Betelnut, Old Man's and Monsieur Spoon, but for even more sophisticated pleasures, Seminyak is only a short drive away.
Canggu has become the collective name for a number of villages (including Berawa, Tegal Gundul, Tiyingtukul, Pererenan, Nelayan and Babakan), which, until very recently, could still be described as a sleepy coastal locale. It's now one of Bali's coolest districts.
Here, amongst the rice fields which extend all the way down to the beach, you will not only find some of the most luxurious private residences on the island, but also a great selection of eclectic restaurants, cafes, bakeries, boutiques and beach bars – especially along Jalan Batu Bolong, which runs right down to the beach. Popular spots include Finns Beach Club, Old Mans, La Laguna, The Lawn and Ji @ Bale Sutra.
Canggu is also an area that most surfers will know about, with reef swells that are larger than those you will find further south in Kuta and Seminyak. Swimming isn’t advisable however as the rips can be dangerous, but there are plenty of other things to do from horseback riding to cooking classes. Finns Recreation Club (for which many holiday villas in the area include guest membership) offers social and leisure amenities, including Splash waterpark, Bounce trampoline centre, Strike bowling, a state-of-the art gym, a 25m swimming pool and a tennis and squash centre.
Along the coast to the north of Canggu is Pura Tanah Lot; a sea temple perched high on a craggy wave-lashed rock and probably the most photographed sight in Bali. Sophisticated Seminyak, a few kilometres south of Canggu, lays claim to the highest concentration of independent fine-dining restaurants on the island, including Sarong, La Lucciola and Ku Dé Ta, together with a wide choice of chic cocktail bars, exciting nightclubs, lavish spas and elegant boutiques.
Bali is Indonesia’s most popular tourist location and is considered one of Asia's premier tropical island destinations. Steeped in history and renowned for its artistic way of life, Bali is a peaceful contrast to some of the more frantic destinations Asia has to offer.
The inner peace and creative talents of the Balinese has attracted artists the world over fascinated by local dancers, silversmiths, wood carvers, potters and painters that seem to pervade throughout the island. The abundant verdant fields and surrounding sea have long supplied Bali with an easy surplus of food leaving time for life’s more artistic past times. As a result everything in Bali has a creative and religious element centred around the local Banjar (residents association) – little, adorned temples are everywhere, doors are covered in intricate carvings, huge kites ward off evil spirits and colourful roadside ceremonies bring traffic to a standstill.
Bali is a popular destination principally from Australia and Asia but also from all over Europe. The island welcomes thousands of visitors each year to a relaxing lifestyle, stunning beaches, world class surf, vibrant villages, and spectacular scenery all with an exquisite tropical climate. Located approximately two hours’ flying time from Singapore the island is serviced by an international airport at Denpasar with direct flights to and from many major cities in Asia, Europe and Australia and many more via Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.
The island offers an impressive range of leisure and lifestyle amenities including world-class golf courses, wonderful seascapes for surfing, diving and snorkelling as well as luxurious spas, chic boutiques, tropical forests, towering volcanoes and international cuisine.
Antique Javanese doors open into Bendega Rato’s entranceway and wide stepping stones over a pond lead to the walled villa grounds. Here, the 18m pool is flanked by a soft lawn and colourful foliage. At one end of the pool is a large pavilion complete with bar, sound system, bright seating and a dining table for ten. Opposite is a pretty guest bathroom with outdoor shower.
Wide sliding glass doors lead from the garden into a double height, fan-cooled living area where smart sofas and armchairs are arranged around coffee tables on a polished black-stone floor. Adding a splash of colour to the otherwise black-and-white-themed room are a pair of huge ceramic vases either side of an antique rice chest. To one side of the living area is a dining room with a handsome black table seating ten on lime-washed rattan armchairs, and facing this is the gleaming, well-equipped kitchen with a staff serving area lying to one end. Beyond the dining room is a comfortable media room furnished with black leather seating in front of a 55-inch, wall-mounted screen, with Apple TV and blue-ray DVD player, plus a library and computer for guest use.
The villa’s master Garden suite faces the pool through floor-to-ceiling windows. The suite has a king-size four-poster bed and a huge dressing area, plus a large, sunny, private living room/study furnished with a desk, computer, daybed, sofa and armchairs, and a 43-inch flat-screen TV. The large bathroom is fitted with a grey marble vanity, semi-outdoor shower and a river-rock bath set in a koi-filled pond within a walled garden. Outside the master suite, a stone staircase leads up to the sunset balé where blue cushioned seating and two sun loungers on a pebbled terrace offer splendid views towards the ocean.
An open staircase from the living area leads to bedrooms ‘Sea’ and ‘Sky’, which are connected by a mezzanine walkway. These rooms are identical in size and layout, but with differentiating colour themes. Each has a furnished terrace, while the rooms themselves feature king-size beds and attractive colour-washed furniture. Their bright ensuite bathrooms are fitted with freestanding tubs, large showers and double vanities.
For larger groups, a private master suite, complete with its own plunge pool and relaxation bale set in a walled garden is available (extra cost). This suite is furnished with a king-size four poster bed and its ensuite garden bathroom features a river-rock tub for two.