About Villa Batujimbar – If anywhere epitomizes the authentic ‘Bali style’ that has enraptured so many over the past decades, it is Villa Batujimbar – a treasure-filled travel destination in itself.
This sublime property, which sits on over an acre of beachfront land, was originally the home of long-time Bali resident and Australian artist Donald Friend who, in 1970, invited Sri Lankan ‘tropical modernism’ architect Geoffrey Bawa – celebrated for breaking down barriers and creating harmonious relationships between buildings and landscape – to collaborate in developing the beachfront estate.
The Balinese palaces at Amlapura and Klungkung plus the famed water gardens of Tirta Gangga influenced his ideas – clearly expressed in the two-storey moat-encircled Lembu Balé that commands centre stage within the meticulously designed gardens.
The lower gallery of the Lembu Balé houses the current Australian owner’s astonishing collection of Balinese art – including the Donald Friend painting he bought from the artist himself on first visiting Villa Batujimbar in 1972.
This private collection rivals the island’s finest galleries and museums and is a unique feature of the villa. Guests are welcome to view the collection on special request. Yet art is not confined to this space alone throughout the living and sleeping pavilions you’ll come across architectural treasures, rare artefacts, painted antique doors and windows, and heirloom paintings that reveal the owner’s passion for Balinese art and craftsmanship.
And within the expansive gardens are myriad moss-encrusted statuary and intricately carved stone reliefs. Bali’s beauty shines in the materials used too – vaulted alang-alang thatched roofs, lava stone steps, coral walls, and terrazzo and teakwood floors.
With such a fascinating history, no wonder Villa Batujimbar has attracted celebrity guests over the years. Today’s guests are following in the footsteps of Mick Jagger and Jerry Hall (who got married here), Sting (who gave an impromptu concert), Yoko Ono, and members of the Thai and Malaysian and British royal families. In such splendid surroundings, and pampered by a team of staff that includes a private chef, personal butlers and villa manager, you can look forward to royal treatment too.
Villa layout – Influenced by traditional Balinese family living, Villa Batujimbar comprises a series of alang-alang thatched pavilions spread through the substantial estate.
At its centre is the Lembu Bale – a moated double-storey brick-built pavilion which houses an open-sided lounge on its upper floor looking onto the swimming pool on one side and across the gardens to the ocean on the other.
Closest to the beach are the living pavilion and the dining bale, and to one side is the Longhouse, comprising two bedroom suites, a formal dining room and professionally equipped kitchen. Opposite is the Bali Pavilion, with two bedrooms, garden bathrooms and courtyard.
Furthest from the beach, two more guest bedroom suites occupy the two-storey Pool Pavilion and share an open-fronted living area looking onto the 20-metre swimming pool. Two additional bedrooms are housed in the Family Pavilion situated above the gym near the villa entrance, while a tennis court and shower room lie just across the driveway.
Villa Batujimbar offers eight spacious air-conditioned bedrooms, each oriented for privacy in four separate pavilions. Six have ensuite bathrooms while the two Family Pavilion bedrooms – one designed for kids – share a shower room. All have contemporary luxuries such as 40-inch or 32-inch satellite channel TVs, safes and bar fridges, matched with historic paintings, collectibles, furniture and oriental rugs that hark back to the villa’s distinguished heritage.
The two large master bedrooms in the Longhouse open onto lawns on one side and a water garden terrace on the other. In each, a super-king four-poster rests under a soaring pavilion roof on a polished terrazzo floor that flows into the dressing area. Flanking the mirrored vanity alcove sliding doors lead to the stately WC enclosure and a large shower area that opens onto the water garden.
The Bali Pavilion
Within this most romantic of pavilions, with its brightly painted antique Balinese doors and teakwood parquet floor, are two inter-connecting bedrooms with king-size beds swathed in mosquito nets, and inter-connecting garden bathrooms with alfresco showers. Beyond sliding double doors lies a walled garden with private relaxation bale, huge shade-giving Jewent tree, and a separate entrance to the main villa gardens. The second room also has a small private courtyard with seating.
The Pool Pavilion
On the upper level of the Pool Pavilion are two king-bedded guest suites, with bengkirai-wood floors, ceilings of bedeg (woven rattan) and delightful treetop views beyond full-width windows. The suites are split-level, and each has its own entrance from the garden, ensuring complete privacy. At ground level are dressing areas, bathrooms with Palimanan-lined showers and statement bathtubs, and spiral staircases. Conveniently, WCs and washbasins adjoin the bedrooms upstairs.
The Family Pavilion
On the second level of a building tucked away behind the villa entrance are two more bedrooms – one with a king bed and the other with small twin beds – that share a bathroom with separate WC and shower. They are ideal for a family, or as a separate enclave for up to four kids who will appreciate a little independence.
One of the pleasures of a sojourn at Villa Batujimbar is the sheer amount of living space. While there’s plenty of room for a full house to socialise under the same roof, there are also lots of quiet corners for breaking away from the crowd.
The main living pavilion is open to the garden alongside the beach; its soaring alang-alang roof supported by towering coconut columns. Three sides of the pavilion are lined with comfortably upholstered built-in benches and at its centre four traditional Indonesian sofas with curved teakwood frames are set around an elaborately carved coffee table.
A breezy, fan-cooled lounge graces the upper level of the historic Lembu Balé, reached by a pair of stately staircases. With its roof supported by elaborate columns rooted in sandstone plinths carved in the shape of animals and mythical figures, this space is defined by two monumental bovine statues (lembu means cow in the Indonesian language). Cane and teak colonial-style seating provides the perfect spot to enjoy the sea view.
The Poolside Pavilion’s living area provides yet another space for relaxation, with clusters of handsome seating, an alcove carpeted with thick comfy cushions, and a breakfast table facing the pool. There’s a small kitchenette and a guest shower room tucked out of sight.
Guests have a choice of dining areas. Towards the beach is an enchanting raised dining bale with antique marble table and ten rattan chairs set under a thatched roof. For formal meals, there’s an air-conditioned dining room in the Longhouse, where a 12-seater stunning teakwood table faces sliding glass doors that open onto fish ponds. Next to the dining room is a huge professionally equipped kitchen and, behind, a staff service kitchen and laundry.
In Villa Batujimbar’s fabulous formal gardens ancient moss-encrusted statues stand sentinel by the 20-metre pool whose stone terrace is lined with sun-loungers and parasols. Seemingly floating above a lotus pond is a large relaxation balé – the perfect spot for afternoon tea while admiring scenes from the Ramayana and Mahabarata carved into the wall behind.
From the beachfront balé glorious views across the sea to the sacred Mount Agung and the island of Nusa Penida can be enjoyed; Sanur’s acclaimed sandy beach and sheltered waters lie just beyond the traditional gate in the boundary wall. Elsewhere on the estate are the tennis court and gym, refreshment area and sports shower.
A key part of the villa experience is the opportunity to enjoy and discover regional and international dishes cooked to order by your personal chef. Villa Batujimbar’s chef is at your service to prepare daily breakfast, lunch and dinner in the villa’s professionally equipped kitchen.
Breakfast is a leisurely affair taken in the dining bale and accompanied by birdsong, and guests have the choice of American, continental or Indonesian breakfast according to their preference. Complimentary afternoon tea with kue (Balinese cake) is served between 3pm and 5pm .
Let the villa chef whip up gourmet meals, served on Jenggala tableware (another nod to the villa’s history; Bali’s beloved ceramics brand was created on the Batujimbar Estate in the 1970s). For lunch and dinner, there’s a suggestion menu of delicious home-style meals featuring Asian and international dishes to cater to all tastes. The chef is also more than happy to tailor meals to accommodate any special dietary requirements.
The villa’s food and beverage service is operated on a cash basis and all provisions are charged at the market cost plus 20% handling fee which is subject to service charge and government tax. Staff will request a cash float when you arrive, and ask for top-ups when necessary.
To allow the kitchen staff time to shop and prepare, it’s necessary to order in advance – either the evening before (for special requests) or at breakfast time each day. Receipts will be provided for an end-of-stay reconciliation.
One of the greatest advantages of staying in a villa is the personalised service provided by dedicated staff. Villa Batujimbar’s staff have been professionally trained and will do their utmost to please with their warm and friendly Balinese hospitality.
Villa Batujimbar’s manager is responsible for the overall operation of the villa, including overseeing the staff, maintaining service standards, and coordinating guest activities.
The villa’s skilled chef is experienced in Balinese, Indonesian and international cuisine, and is in charge of shopping for provisions as well as preparation of meals.
Butlers attend to guests, serve meals, and take care of daily housekeeping and domestic duties. They are mindful of guest privacy and clean rooms with discretion, working in shifts that ensure round the-clock-service.
The villa is kept safe and secure by the Batujimbar estate team. In addition, security staff are stationed at the villa itself from 7pm to 7am.
An engineer is on hand to look after all maintenance on the estate.
The garden is beautifully tended by a team of gardeners and pool attendants.
Villa Batujimbar is a great villa for families. There’s plenty of room to play outside, with a tennis court for ball games, lawns to let off steam, and a gate leading directly to the beach – perfect for creating sandcastles, and swimming or canoeing in the calm lagoon waters. Those with toddlers will need to be vigilant, however, due to the numerous fish ponds and water features.
The villa’s team of friendly staff will make children feel welcome, and full-time babysitters can be organised (extra charge) if parents want the freedom to do their own exploring beyond the villa grounds.
Although the equipped kitchen allows you to prepare meals for fussy eaters or babies with ease, staff will happily to do this for you – just talk through your requirements and meal schedules with the villa manager or chef and they will take care of the rest. The chef can customise all meals to suit children’s taste buds.
Feel like a body scrub or massage? Just ask our staff to bring the spa to you! We can recommend deluxe treatments, carried out by fully trained therapists (extra charges apply), in one of the many peaceful corners tucked within the grounds of Villa Batujimbar or in the privacy of your room. Here’s a sample of what’s on the menu:
Release built up tension with a traditional Balinese massage. Using a combination of gentle stretches, acupressure and aromatherapy oils to stimulate the flow of blood, oxygen and energy around your body you will feel totally relaxed in no time.
Foot reflexology is a natural healing art based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet that correspond to every part of the body. Through application of pressure on these reflexes tension is relieved and circulation improved leaving you feeling balanced.
A full body scrub will exfoliate and hydrate your skin leaving it soft and smooth. A rejuvenating scrub combines an abrasive material such as salt, coffee, rice bran or pecan hulls with essential oils to remove any impurities and make your skin glow.
Our hands and feet work hard for us every day but rarely get the attention they deserve. Treat them to a manicure or pedicure, which usually comes with the added bonus of a quick hand or foot massage.
Villa Batujimbar accords guests an extraordinary location right on the edge of Sanur Beach: a private gate leads directly from the villa gardens onto the footpath that stretches the length of the white sand swimming beach in both directions. Privacy and peace are the promise of its privileged setting within the exclusive Batujimbar Estate, yet just 150 metres away is the buzz of Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur’s main street, with its throng of restaurants, bars and boutiques.
Guests may pick up Bali’s famous Jenggala ceramics (originally created in the villa’s grounds decades ago), enjoy an espresso at Café Batu Jimbar, snack on sushi at Ryoshi, or dance to live music at Three Monkeys – all within a five-minute walk. There’s a good choice of water sports along the beach, a nine-hole golf course within a few kilometres, and the delights of dive- and surf-spot Nusa Lembongan a half-hour boat ride away.