Villa Simona Oasis is situated in a small valley where two sacred streams join on their way down to the nearby sea. Wedged between the tiny villages of Padang Linjong and Pererenan, in the popular district of Canggu, the villa is surrounded by lush trees along the riverbanks and rice terraces. The villa backs onto a few village houses and is near a revered local temple.
Echo Beach is just over a kilometre away (a 15-minute walk) – a busy social scene where locals, expats, surfers and visitors, gather in the evenings to watch the legendary sunsets and catch a few waves. An impressive variety of eateries spill out onto a beachside bluff here and there's a daily barbecue and live music on Sunday evenings. Many more dining options and watering holes can be found on up-and-coming Jalan Batu Bolong, just two kilometres away, and in less than 20 minutes’ drive and you can reach the trendy shops and restaurants of Seminyak. Regular rates at Villa Simona Oasis include the use of a car and driver for up to eight hours a day at a special discounted rate (petrol extra).
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.
The focal point of Villa Simona Oasis is the large open-sided living and dining pavilion, off which is a small bar and modern guest kitchen. Stylishly furbished with clusters of comfortable chairs, a huge teak daybed and a beautiful long dining table for ten, this pavilion commands views down over the chequerboard lawn and paved terraces to the stone swimming pool which edges one of the streams. Behind the pool is a delightful ‘balé bengong’, meaning ‘a place to relax, dream and do nothing’.
Overlooking the pool are the Darma Suite and Bima Suite, each with floor-to-ceiling windows. In the open-air bathroom of the Dharma Suite, entered via a colonnade walkway, you can enjoy a private jacuzzi under a curtained balé beside the Pangi River. A wraparound terrace off the bedroom enjoys similar views.
Two of the guest suites – one beside the pool (Bima) and one set privately at the back of the villa (Arjuna) overlooking the river – have huge garden bathrooms with outdoor tubs and rain showers – complemented by twin washbasins, premium Italian bath products and fluffy towels. The two remaining guest bedrooms, Nakula and Sahadewa, have equally attractive outdoor walled garden bathrooms, though not quite as large. Four rooms are furnished with a king bed each, one of which is convertible to twins, one has a queen size bed. The bedrooms, each named after the Pandawa brothers from the Mahabharata Indian epic, are equipped with air-conditioning, individually controlled LCD satellite TV, accompanying DVD player, mini fridge and safe.
At the apex of the villa’s grounds, accessed by a pretty bridge, is the private spa. Here, two round pavilions tucked away along the river's edge house massage beds and ornately carved stone baths.