A stepping-stone path leads across a flourishing lily pond to the entrance of Villa Mandalay, whose symmetrical design creates a tasteful and elegant ambiance. Single storey contemporary Balinese-style pavilions are arranged in a U-shape around a long rectangular swimming pool, with two guest bedrooms bordering each side and the two master suites flanking the main living and dining area. Stairs lead down to a studio bedroom adjacent to the sauna overlooking the ‘pitch and putt’ golf lawns.
The villa’s entrance is dominated by a large Palimanan stone frieze flanked by elegant Javanese statues, leading to the fan-cooled living and dining pavilion with its wooden floors, soaring ceiling and evocative Indonesian artwork. A glass-topped dining table seats 12, with an additional small table seating four. Large alcoves on either side have built-in sofas upholstered in earthy hues, and coffee tables strewn with magazines. A bar at the back is equipped with an iPod dock and surround-sound system, while ethnic artefacts are displayed against a red feature wall. A guest washroom lies to one side and on the other is a kitchen equipped with everything required to cook up a storm. The steep sloping rattan ceilings of the mezzanine media room create an atmospheric air-conditioned space for reclining on mattresses and cushions, and watching the 62-inch TV and movies with surround-sound. Shelves are filled with DVD’s and novels.
Steps lead down from the living room to the 25-metre swimming pool tiled in green stone and surrounded by sun loungers shaded by stylish parasols. Walk along the timber deck to the atmospheric bamboo bale pavilion set in water gardens flourishing with brightly hued calla lilies and colourful fish. Furnished with a dining table, eight chairs, and comfortable rattan lounge suite, the bale offers stunning rice-terrace views stretching towards the ocean. Descending to the lower level and adjacent to the studio bedroom, the aroma of cedar wood awaits in a full-sized Finnish-style sauna with lovely garden outlook, and a separate shower room.
The whole property is ringed with flourishing foliage, from frangipani to palms, and birds of paradise flowers. The six-tee pitch and putt golf course is laid out on perfectly manicured lawns but gives the sensation of being right in the middle of the rice fields. A thatched bale (pavilion) at the far side of the garden provides a place for peaceful respite.
All bedrooms are air conditioned, with ceiling fans, king-size beds furnished with crisp white linens and flat-screen TV’s with DVD players. Walk-through dressing rooms lead to stately ensuite bathrooms tiled in grey andesite stone, with twin vanities (except for the studio), statue-filled alcoves and customised amenities.
Two generously sized master bedrooms flank the living room, identical but for their artwork. Ceilings are gracefully tiered and softly illuminated in the evenings, long wooden desks nestle in window alcoves with garden outlooks, and each has a timber deck encircled by hedges and flower boxes, and furnished with a table, chairs and daybed. Large bathrooms include separate his-and-hers vanities and oversize terrazzo bathtubs.
Villa Mandalay's four guest bedrooms are arranged around the swimming pool, opening onto timber decking at the front and to gardens at the back, via sets of glass doors. Two of the rooms have views over the lush rice fields, and are fitted with attractive window seats from which to enjoy them. The other two rooms have window alcoves with built-in desks overlooking tropical gardens.
Tucked away below the main villa, at garden level, the studio is the most private of the bedrooms (although slightly smaller than the others) and has an enchanting timber deck, furnished with sun loungers, set on a thriving lotus pond. The bathroom is tiled in gleaming Indian stone, with a single vanity and walk-in shower. This room is adjacent to the sauna.