Dea Villas is located in a quiet street in the rural district of Berawa, near Canggu. There’s not much in the immediate area apart from a number of luxury villas, acres of rice fields and the rugged surf beach of Berawa (2km). Within a two-kilometre radius of Dea villas are a number of café-style restaurants, a delicatessen, some simple spas, and a yoga venue.
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.
Two-and-a-bit years on from our original visit, Villa Sarasvati has matured and multiplied but lost none of its former beauty. Sarasvati is now part of an enclave of five villas (known as Dea Villas), so some of the neighbouring rice field land has been forfeited but there are still rice field views from the upper floor and all of the new buildings within the Dea Villa complex are now complete and available for holiday rentals, offering a whole host of renting options for large groups. The next-door Villa Radha (formerly known as the Gladak House) and its garden is now a separate entity (unless rented in conjunction with Sarasvati), but that’s okay because this is compensated by some new communal facilities, including a children’s playground, a gym and a dedicated spa. Overall, we concluded that Villa Sarasvati has been exceptionally well maintained and is still as eclectic as ever. With the addition of two more properties, the Dea Villas enclave is now busier and more commercial, so while the ambiance may have lost a little bit of its original laidback vibe, the team of staff has of course grown (they serve the whole enclave) and they have become even more slick and professional, yet we still found the service to be very personal.
Sarasvati is accessed via stepping stones over a lotus pond and a long entrance hall adorned with striking photographs taken by the owner. The four air-conditioned bedrooms are arranged on two floors, presenting a coffee and cream colour theme. Each has a king-size bed (two of which can be converted to twins), a TV/DVD player, a dressing area, and a built-in cushioned window seat that doubles as an extra single bed for a child. The sunlit indoor/outdoor bathrooms are delightful; each fitted with twin washbasins, a walk-in rain shower and a bathtub. The master bathroom (downstairs) offers a semi-open-air bathing experience with a freestanding terrazzo tub for two, positioned beside a glass wall with doors that slide open to a private garden. The other downstairs bathroom is bordered by an ornamental pond with statues spouting running water, while the two upstairs bathrooms feature rooftop terraces, each with a dreamy outdoor bathtub resting beneath a pergola. The air conditioned living/dining pavilion runs the length of the pool with glass doors that open onto the deck and a majestic dining table for 14, with a huge cane planters’ chair at either end. Five glass bell-jar lanterns overhang the table and the room is lovingly adorned with a collection of antique wooden artefacts. The living area is furnished with sofas, armchairs and a coffee table, while, overlooking the rice field at the far end, is an open-air garden room with a pergola roof draped in cascading thunbergia. This enchanting, sunny room flows into the living pavilion, yet can be a separate area when the glass doors are closed. Sarasvati’s immaculate, designer kitchen is fashioned in creamy marble, with pots and pans hanging from the ceiling above a central island next to the dining area. The cosy, air conditioned TV lounge is on the upper floor. Sofas hug the walls and the room is equipped with a large LCD satellite-channel TV/DVD player with surround sound. Bordered by a deck crafted from lovely reclaimed wood, the 20m lap pool is furnished with sun loungers and umbrellas. A flat lawn extends into a magical garden, abundant with flowering trees, antique gazebos and garden games. At the entrance to the villa is a self-contained multipurpose studio, unfurnished and ideal for parties, while shared facilities include: Dea Spa, with massage room, outdoor treatment area, sauna, jacuzzi and showers; a fully-equipped, air-conditioned gym, and a children’s playground with sandpit, Wendy house, swings and slides. Here, parents can relax on cushions within an antique balé while they watch over their kids.