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Hotel Highlights

  • Private villas with personalised hotel-style service
  • Can't-do-enough-for-you staff, including 24-hour butler
  • Blissful village setting within reach of buzzy Seminyak

Overview

Blending indulgent 5-star hotel service with the privacy of your own home, Villa Sungai is Bali’s luxury option of choice, located in a tranquil village just a short-hop from Seminyak Beach. This stylish three-suite palace is for exclusive-hire only and comes with a coddling staff, replete with a 24-hour butler, a chauffeur and chefs cooking up choice cuisine on demand.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Villa Sungai with us:

A 90-minute spa treatment for each adult guest and a 30-minute massage for each child under 15

Facilities

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Need To Know

Rooms

Three suites, or five if you commandeer nearby two-bedroom Sungai Gold, too (Villa Sungai also has a fourth space that can be transformed into a bedroom at night). Each villa is exclusive-hire only.

Check–out

11am, but flexible for a half-night's extra fee. Late check-out to suit departure flights can be arranged when no new guests are checking in. Check-in, anytime if no guests are arriving that day.

Rates

Double rooms from $959.09 (AU$1,100), excluding tax at 15 per cent.

More details

Rates include welcome drinks, à la carte breakfast, evening canapés, chefs (ingredients cost extra), tea, coffee and bottled water, laundry, 24-hour butler service, concierge, eight-seater vehicle and chauffeur-driven airport transfers.

Also

Villa Sungai offers a pre-arrival guest preference and planning service to help you make the most of your stay. As well as a staff of around 12, including chefs, drivers, butlers, bar staff, maids and gardeners, plus spa therapists, you'll get the support of a manager/concierge who acts as your PA and tour guide, booking you into restaurants or activities and arranging bespoke Bali experiences.

Hotel closed

No check-ins or check-outs are allowed on 21 March 2015, when Bali observes Nyepi Day (Day of Silence), although stays are still possible. Bali’s airport also closes for the day.

At the hotel

Spa, yoga, gardens, WiFi throughout (around US$10 for 50MB). In rooms: Tivoli Audio sound system, preloaded iPod, LED reading lights, Acqua di Parma toiletries, sarongs, sandals/slippers and shopping baskets, spa gowns, flowers.

Our favourite rooms

All suites are soothing, with neutral decor in white, cream and wood, net-draped king-size beds and ensuites. Bedroom 3 just edges it in the romance stakes, with a spacious alfresco bathroom in a walled garden with a double bath and rain shower. On the guilty pleasure front, it's also home to the villa's only plasma TV and a DVD library (Sungai sticks up for the art of conversation, keeping interruptive gadgetry to a minimum).

Poolside

Float to the infinity-edge of the 18-metre pool lining Villa Sungai for heady tropical jungle and river views. Loungers beckon beside it and the villa itself opens out onto the poolside.

Packing tips

Your iPod to soundtrack your sojourn; a hand fan for wafting lazily; this season's yoga kit.

Also

Smoking is allowed in open pavilions, but not in bedrooms.

Children

Children are very welcome. Babysitting, including overnight cover, is available for around US$5 an hour, ideally with half a day's notice.

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Food & Drink

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Villa Sungai Hotel – Bali – Indonesia

Hotel Restaurant

Chef Wayan heads up the kitchen, whipping up delicious pan-Asian and Australian dishes, including Thai fare, drawing on fresh local market produce. Modern interpretations of Indonesian treats include baby snapper steamed with Balinese spices, duck nasi goreng and a decadent full tasting dinner with suckling pig. Leave room for lemongrass and palm sugar panna cotta with orange and chilli caramel, washed down with lemon sorbet vodka shots. The eatery is exclusive to villa guests and their pals, so feel free to put in requests and time meals to suit your plans.

Hotel Bar

Tropical open-air Sungai bar is perched above the pool and river below, and is open 24-hours from Bloody Marys at breakfast to champagne come sundown. On arrival you'll be treated to a free signature cocktail, a luscious blend of vodka, lime juice and palm sugar with kaffir, lemongrass infusions and soda. You're welcome to bring your own duty-free spirits to whip up with the bar's mixers or to help yourself anytime to drinks, which will be charged back to your room (there are no in-suite minibars, as sociable quaffing in the open-air bar balé is the norm). You can also dictate the tunes so bring your iPod, check out the villa's music selection or hire a DJ for special events.

Last orders

Breakfast is served from 5am, but otherwise there are no meal time restrictions. Last orders fit around the last guest standing.

Room service

There's 24-hour room service, with pretty much anything you want up for grabs anytime, from noodles to steak or burgers. Take a look at chef Wayan's menus for inspiration or indulge in all-day free Nespresso coffee with chocolate biscotti.

Smith Insider

Dress code

This place has kaftan (or its 21st-century relative the maxi dress) written all over it. Guys can rock a sarong, David Beckham-style. The villas are exclusive hire, so you set the sartorial tone.

Top table

Villa Sungai's breakfast table overlooks the river ringed by palms and bougainvilleas. But it's hard to beat the romantic dining balé, an open pavilion with space for 16 beside the pool and river, fringed by fragrant frangipanis and tuberoses.

Local Guide

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Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Villa Sungai offers an extensive spa and yoga programme, with a dedicated two-room treatment space for massages, body scrubs, waxing, facials or mani-pedis. There are international therapies on offer, such as Swedish, Thai and Shiatsu massage, but we like the idea of the Indonesian local healing arts. The circulation-boosting Balinese deep-tissue massage combines stretching, acupressure and aromatherapy oils to strengthen and balance the body (think rigorous yet luxurious). The body scrubs also draw on regional ingredients, such as mountain coffee, white lulur (a mix of Javanese and Balinese herbs and spices) and Boreh Bali (a blend of fresh clove, pepper, cardamom, ginger and galangal) to make skin smooth and supple. Yoga classes cover various schools, from hatha to ashtanga, with pregnancy and children's yoga available by request.

Further afield, staff can organise village tours, visits to markets, shopping for sarongs and fabrics in local town Kediri or a trip to an elephant park. Nearby resorts offer Sungai guests preferential rates for golf, tennis and the gym. Hiking, white-water rafting and cycling are all options if you want to get your heart pumping, or head for the coast for a spot of swimming, surfing or diving (watch out for those pesky Balinese rips though).

On a cultural tip, you're not far from Bali's artistic heart Ubud, a country town that's home to world-renowned dance, gamelan orchestra music and galleries aplenty, as well as some fun shopping. You'd also be mad to miss a trip to romantic seaside temple Pura Tanah Lot, 15-minutes' drive away on the west coast, which you can team with some beach downtime and a visit to its quirky local markets.

For more sophisticated shopping, as well as some stylish bar- and restaurant-hopping, you'll need to drive down to Seminyak, Bali's beachside take on glam.

Local restaurants

Head towards Seminyak – about a 20-minute drive – to enjoy some of Bali’s finest restaurants and bars. Newcomer Métis (+62 (0)361 847 5472), at Jalan Petitenget No 6, has a tempting Gallic menu, superb service and a gorgeous rice-paddy setting. Watch the sun set with a cocktail, then indulge in tasty Italian fare at beachside La Lucciola (+62 (0)361 730 838), on Oberoi Road. Sit in the frangipani-fringed courtyard or under the thatched roof upstairs.

Local bars

Beach club, restaurant and lounge bar Ku De Ta, at 9 Jalan Kayu Aya in Seminyak (+62 (0)361 736969), is a long-standing favourite.

+ Enlarge
Charming Cepaka village

Villa Sungai

Canggu, Bali, 82171

Just a 20-minute drive north of stylish central hub Seminyak, Legian and Kuta Beach, Villa Sungai is tucked away in the tranquil traditional village of Cepaka in the Tabanan Regency just inland from Bali's south-west coast. You'll find it hidden between the local temple and the river.

Planes

Fly into Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport (www.baliairport.com), just south of capital Denpasar, a 35- to 40-minute drive from Villa Sungai. There are direct flights from London Heathrow or transatlantic flights connect via Shanghai Pudong International Airport (www.shairport.com). Flights across the Pacific arrive at Denpasar via Shanghai or Hong Kong International Airport. You can buy a visa on arrival, if required, which costs US$25 for 30 days payable in cash, and the hotel provides chauffeured transfers.

Automobiles

Self-drive isn't the norm for visitors to Bali, and why would you when Sungai's rates include use of the villa's round-the-clock eight-seater chauffered vehicles. The villa is a 35- to 40-minute drive from Seminyak and Denpasar, and an hour’s drive from Ubud or Jimbaran. Expect to see verdant terraced rice fields and lush scenery en route.

Reviews

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Anonymous review

by Steven Blick , Hairstylist extraordinaire

Lovely sun-filled days, babi guling (suckling pig) for lunch and rain on cue in the afternoons signalling gin o’clock… We had been in Ubud, in the heart of Bali, for three days and everything had been perfect. Does life get any better? Despite suffering from a serious case of Paradise Syndrome already, half-way through our trip we have a hot date to review Villa Sungai for Smith. &ls…
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Villa Sungai

Anonymous review by Steven Blick, Hairstylist extraordinaire

Lovely sun-filled days, babi guling (suckling pig) for lunch and rain on cue in the afternoons signalling gin o’clock… We had been in Ubud, in the heart of Bali, for three days and everything had been perfect. Does life get any better?

Despite suffering from a serious case of Paradise Syndrome already, half-way through our trip we have a hot date to review Villa Sungai for Smith. ‘Poor fellow,’ I hear you say! Having bagged a slew of awards as a top villa over a decade, this luxe retreat in Cepaka village near the west coast has a great rep. I can be a fussy sod, though, and places that are out of place often fail in my book, especially if they make you feel like you’re in a Disneyfied version of the country you’re visiting. Reading up on Sungai, however, I’m completely intrigued.

It feels a bit weird being picked up in a people-carrier with a Sungai crest on it, but all is forgiven as we weave through some of Bali's most lively, rural roads. We arrive 30 minutes later at the villa and are greeted by eight members of staff bearing welcome flowers for us to wear behind our ears. The entrance is quite unassuming, but as we descend three mysterious flights of stairs I get that feeling of anticipation usually reserved for the ‘reveal’ on extreme makeover shows. We all walk through the double doors into the villa and coo with wonder.

Miss Smith, our seven-year-old, is especially overcome by the vista of the outrageous pool backed by lush green jungle, tropical foliage plunging to the river below. My emotions can best be described as ‘overwhelmed’.

Very rock 'n' roll in an Asian glam way, the covered living area is huge. Cool marble flooring stretches throughout the amazing dining space which boasts a giant day-bed. Villa Sungai has the knack of being everyone's cup of tea. It's not overly garish or overflowing with gadgets, and it could work equally well for a hedonistic bash or relaxing downtime. But this does not stop me from imagining myself doing a Keith Moon for a couple of days – although I’ll probably stop short of driving a Rolls-Royce into the pool, as the Who’s drummer was wont to do. Let the party/family holiday commence!

You are in the jungle. The natural sounds and rhythms remind you of this, constantly murmuring and chattering in the background over the subtle lilt of the flowing river below. You have the sensation of sailing on the canopy of green which engulfs you and with every sip of gin I feel Villa Sungai tighten its luxurious grip. My Paradise Syndrome symptoms are now reaching a critical level.

Slick service is something we all enjoy, and expect when you’re paying a premium for it, and this is where Villa Sungai comes into its own. The villa has about 14 staff in total, yet I never see more than one or two of the team at a time. Used bath towels magically disappear; cool water is replaced by invisible fairies. The level of service is very high but not fussy or overbearing, never bombarding you with offers of coffee or nibbles. It's all there for the taking but they let you get on with it at your own pace. The well-stocked fridge is testament to this relaxed attitude, with all alcohol charged at cost price.

A quick catnap is in order while our driver picks up our guests from Ubud, expected for a tasting dinner on the second night. On waking before the evening kicks off, we’re surprised to see the living area has been transformed into an exclusive restaurant-style space, with white linen draped between pillars and our own mini gamelan orchestra. Dining at Villa Sungai is pretty delicious even when you’re not entertaining, as you pre-order whatever you want from the staff so they can pick it up fresh from the market each morning. Everything is cooked to perfection, as befits this bespoke sanctuary.

You don't just open a villa and automatically have the standard of service and womb-like comfort found at Sungai. It feels like it has been earned through being completely uncompromising when it comes to quality, even over the smallest details, teamed with having the good taste to pare the experience back to simple luxury. We conclude that the villa is a result of years of fine-tuning and responding to guests’ feedback. On leaving, we all wish Villa Sungai a fond farewell, as if it is an old friend that we hope to see again. In future, Paradise Syndrome will have a lot to live up to…
 

 

The Guestbook

Reviews of Villa Sungai from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

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