Approached through Saba village, with its idyllic scenery of verdant rice fields and coconut groves, this beachfront property resting on landscaped gardens and facing the Indian Ocean’s crashing surf is a spectacular sight.
Contemporary Asian in design and lavishly appointed, the architectural grandeur of this six-bedroom property emphasises majestic dimensions to create an atmosphere of serenity and refinement.
At Villa Ylang Ylang, the pursuit of relaxation is amply catered for with a gym and infrared sauna, a top-notch theatre room and a series of intimate, luxurious outdoor spaces, while epicurean pursuits are more than satisfied by the kitchen, which produces fine dining par excellence.
Built in 2002 and lovingly designed and furnished by its owner, Villa Ylang Ylang hints of Versace and European sophistication: an elegant black and gold theme permeates throughout, while furnishings are fashioned from the finest imported fabrics.
Food is served on gold plates, pool towels are by Chanel and several precious glass sculptures by the celebrated Japanese Artist Seiki ornament the villa. Guests have included international celebrities and royalty, discreetly served by the experienced yet charming villa staff.
Villa Ylang Ylang, however, is much, much more than a luxury beachside residence.
The villa is named after the fragrant Ylang Ylang flower, renowned for bringing harmony, peace, warmth and passion, and its mantra is ‘passionate serenity’, which is exactly what you will find here.
Radiating a positive and rejuvenating energy, Villa Ylang Ylang’s wildly beautiful beachside setting is therapeutic in itself, but add the yoga and spa treatments, health-conscious food and calming chill-out zones and you have a magical retreat. Secluded and peaceful, you may not want to leave this destination villa, but should you venture out you are within easy driving distance of many of Bali’s tourist attractions and natural splendours.
Accessed through internal sliding doors from each of the Queen Rooms are adjoining Junior Rooms, each furnished with twin beds – one with canopied, mosquito nets – making them very suitable for children (these rooms are ideally positioned nearest to the living pavilion, so parental surveillance is easy in the evenings). Ensuites with showers are attached to both Junior Rooms.
Interiors in all four rooms follow the style of the master suites and all bathrooms are delightfully sunny, courtesy of a conservatory-style, sloping glass roof decorated with rattan.
Outside, intimate patios are edged with white pebbles, black tiles and tropical foliage; ornamented by glass standing candle-holders and furnished with a single, black reclining lounger.
Furthest away from the main pavilion and closest to the beach, the two luxurious master suites face each other across the pool. Similar in style, both come furnished with a king-size, contemporary, four-poster bed, vanity area and silk upholstered couch.
Their lavish bathrooms feature generous-sized sunken bathtubs, room-size walk-in rain shower, his n’ hers washbasins and, beyond, a small courtyard with modern glass sculptures contrasting with traditional-style Balinese water statue and pool.
At the opposite end, a terraced area features comfy cushioned outdoor furniture (with encircling silk drapes for privacy) and a relaxing private plunge pool, looking out over the sea.
Both master suites are additionally equipped with a satellite TV and DVD player.
Next to the master suites are two Queen Rooms featuring queen-size four-poster beds . Wood and glass sliding doors lead to chic ensuite bathrooms with mini-sunken baths that double as showers (massage and traditional Balinese style).
The heart of the villa, the main pavilion stands two storey’s tall, an impressive building with an 11-metre-high atrium, symmetrically balanced with cream-hued colonnades supporting a soaring, vaulted ceiling. The pavilion looks out across the gardens and pool to the beach
Mainly open-sided (protected by a combination of floor-to-ceiling wood doors, flowing silk curtains and lengthy bamboo blinds), the pavilion is cooled by refreshing sea breezes and ceiling fans. The living area is furnished with large floor cushions, a deep daybed draped in organza silk and flanking comfy sofas, all featuring rich designer fabrics and signature golden and black theme.
At the far end, under a low-ceiling, the formal dining area is dominated by a lacquered wood table accommodating 12 to 14 diners on incredibly comfortable cushioned chairs. As a backdrop to the dining table is a striking glass sculpture and wall-panel of gold-painted mirrored tiles. Separate, and behind closed doors, lies the fully-equipped kitchen.
At the opposite end of the living–dining area, black sliding doors reveal an air-conditioned theatre room– so called as satellite TV channels and DVDs are projected onto an extensive wall screen. Facing the screen, a black sofa bed is massive enough for the entire family to laze upon, enjoying the hundreds of DVDs available or top-of-the-range surround-sound music system.
This cozy room also doubles as a study, with well-stocked library, computer with broadband internet and printer provided for guest use.
Two black lacquered staircases at opposite ends of the living pavilion ground-floor lead up to a black timbered gallery. Mezzanine-style, this open-sided, space looks inwards over the living-dining area. Sunlit and airy, it contains two intimate dining tables and centrally-positioned balcony encased by folding glass doors.
This intimate lounging area with gigantic daybed reveals fabulous ocean views and comes flanked on opposite ends by a rooftop deck scattered with floor cushions – perfect for yoga or nighttime star gazing – and rooftop massage deck with two massage beds provided for spa treatments.
From the main pavilion, the 15-metre pool is the central point of landscaped seaside gardens, bounded by swaying coconut palms. Adorned with ornamental water fountains, the salt water pool is surrounded by a stone deck, supplying multi-functional sun beds fashioned from weatherproof rattan and cushioned with black mattresses and silk cushions.
From here, manicured lawns stretch down to a tidal river, glistening black sands and crashing surf; at the gardens’ end beside the river is a timbered sundeck, complete with sun-loungers with fabulous unobstructed views across the beach.
Lawns are dotted with Indonesian modern art sculptures mounted on stone and sweet-scented, frangipani trees. At each side, overlooking the beach, is a black, contemporary-take on the traditional balé pavilion: one, designed for romantic dining and sun-filled lunches and the other, for relaxation and massage.
These contrast with two miniscule Hindu shrines nearby. There’s also an oversized black sunbed with concertina-style cover and opposite, a small, glass-fronted gym containing a four-person, wooden infrared sauna.
The system Dining
The kitchen can provide breakfast, lunch and dinner. Extensive suggestion menus are available, including vegetarian and children’s, but if alternative options are required, the chef and assistant are flexible and more than happy to discuss. Guests are requested to order at least one day in advance so that staff can provision and prepare in good time.
While the villa has large food preparation areas and is highly capable, it cannot operate on the same basis as a restaurant, accepting individual orders for every guest. It is appreciated if groups select the same dish or order shared dishes.
The menu Dining
With Villa Ylang Ylang’s secluded location, the Villa’s chef is pivotal to guest enjoyment. Fortunately, resident chef Kadek is extremely talented; not only can she produce gourmet local specialties, Asian, European and fusion dishes, but on a fine-dining level you’d expect to find in an up market hotel.
Mealtimes here are an occasion; staff are well-versed in hosting guests ranging from families to VIPs, from buffets to elaborate sit-down dinners. In addition the villa’s multiple dining areas provide numerous possibilities, from poolside barbecues to three-course formal dinners at an exquisitely-set table.
Emphasis is on delicious, freshly-made and healthy food and Kadek can accommodate special diets such as Detox and South Beach, as well as other dietary requests. Even the beverages are discerning, with three coffee makers, 40 varieties of teas, a superb selection of fine wines and cosmopolitan cocktails.
Food and beverage charges Dining
All food and beverage items are charged at cost price, plus an additional 20% service charge. Guests are requested to provide cash in advance; staff will then purchase the goods and keep receipts for reference. Costs are tallied up at the end of the stay, but can be checked on a day-to-day basis if preferred.
Villa Ylang Ylang has nine key staff, including three senior members, working on an eight- hour shift system. Many of the team have multi-functional roles and have been employed from the start, so come armed with years of experience.
With the villa’s illustrious guest list and numerous high-brow events and gatherings hosted here, staff are proficient in service, social and entertainment skills, but still retain their unfailing Balinese charm. Additional staff can be hired for special functions.
Conceived in perfect symbiosis with its natural surroundings, Villa Ylang Ylang maintains a philosophy of living life with passion and serenity. Offering yoga and spa treatments, fresh, wholesome food, infrared sauna and Balinese healing, this therapeutic spot unsurprisingly helps balance mind, body and soul.\
The extensive in-house spa menu features local and Indonesian treatments such as Balinese massage, mandi lulur and cream bath, plus facials, pedicures and manicures. Spa treatments administered by outside spa providers can be enjoyed on the rooftop massage deck on two massage beds, within guestrooms and beachfront gazebo, or any other suitable outdoor setting. Staff can arrange appointments in advance.
The powerful spiritual vibe and glorious setting are also conducive to yoga and meditation. The owners have years of expertise in this field, gathering a discerning list of renowned yoga instructors and visiting yoga masters for private villa sessions. Yoga mats are provided, as is a delightful choice of peaceful places to practice, such as the river deck or rooftop yoga deck at dawn or sunset. Additionally, traditional Balinese healers can visit the villa for personalised health and cleansing ceremonies.
Located within the gym and overlooking the sea, the infrared sauna is a rejuvenating marvel. Health-giving benefits are extraordinary: a twenty-minute infrared session helps eliminate toxins, increase circulation, boost the immune system and promote weight loss and well-being.
Even the volcanic black sands on the beach offer therapeutic qualities – rich in minerals, locals are known to bury themselves in the sand here to maximize their healing properties!
Villa Ylang Ylang rests in the quiet coastal village of Saba, in an area collectively known as Ketewel, within Bali’s eastern Gianyar Regency.
This eastern coastal region is an exceptionally wonderful part of the island – naturally beautiful, amazingly unspoilt and packed with cultural and scenic attractions.
Saba is the quintessianal Balinese village, distinctive with its stretches of emerald rice fields and coconut groves, dotted with a harmonious mix of unobtrusive foreign residences and local dwellings.
Villa Ylang Ylang’s gardens stretch down to Saba Beach, with a reminder Bali is a volcanic island, as its sands are shimmering black. The deserted stretch of beach offers unobstructed panoramas with stunning views across the Badung Strait and Nusa Penida, opposite, one of Bali’s smaller sister islands. And on a clear day, the silhouette of towering volcano, Mount Agung, is visible in the distance. Sunrises are a spectacular treat here, especially over Nusa Penida’s limestone cliffs.
A tidal river flows between the beach and villa; Peanut River alters its course with every changing season, so access to the beach requires crossing the river half of the year by way of a small boat provided by the villa.
With strong currents directly in front, it’s safer to swim in a protected bay area just five minutes westwards (or head south to the calm waters of nearby Sanur).
The offshore reef here is renowned for its surf breaks, and there’s excellent surfing to be had ten minutes in either direction of the villa: nearby Mascheti Beach has world-class surf breaks and hosts international surfing tournaments.
Saba is famous for its traditional Gamalan music, producing some of the finest Legong dancers on the island; private performances at the villa by young traditional dancing girls can be arranged. Balinese Hindu purification ceremonies are held beside the sea at nearby sacred Pura Segara sea temple; the main temple stands at the entrance to the road leading to Villa Ylang Ylang, where prayer blessings are performed daily.