Serene, spacious and welcoming, Villa Surya Damai luxuriates within its mature tropical garden in the quiet village of Umalas, south-west Bali. Five comfortable guest suites with romantic garden bathrooms accommodate up to 14 guests, while meandering pathways lead to an open-sided living pavilion and elegant dining room. An 18-metre pool, tennis court and TV room provide entertainment and diversion. A gentle walk beyond the thatch-roofed pavilions of this superbly staffed villa will bring you to Batubelig beach, while the shops, restaurants and sophisticated nightlife of Seminyak are only a short drive away, and Surya Damai’s car and driver are at your disposal.
- Sports enthusiasts should head to Bali’s prestigious Finns Beach Club (a 5-10 minute short cut through the rice fields or 15 minutes by car) with its state-of-the-art gym and tennis and squash courts. After work-outs, reward yourself with gourmet goodies at the nearby Deli.
- A string of naturally beautiful beaches, some renowned for their surf, are all within relatively easy access along this southwest coastline. Nearest is Batubelig Beach, around 10 to 15 minutes by car, but for the area’s premier surf, head to legendary surfer’s haunt, Echo Beach (8km), which also provides handy post-surf sunset drinking. Whichever beach you choose, all are in prime position for fabulous sunsets.
- Alternatively, if you want to learn to surf, head down to Legian Beach, (25-30 minutes drive) and its Double Six area, home of reputable Rip School of Surf. With the surf school’s long experience and Legian’s manageable waves and sandy bottomed seas, this is a great spot for novice surfers, plus excellent brunches along the beachfront.
- Bali Equestrian Centre is conveniently located five kilometres away. Horse lovers will enjoy the extensive facilities on the 300 hectares of pristine rural land surrounded by rice fields and idyllic villages. Take the chance to learn tricks from the experienced and internationally-accredited instructors of BEC.
- Built in traditional Indonesian-style, with amazing antique wood dwellings, eco-friendly Desa Seni Village Resort (a 5-10 minute short-cut through the rice fields or 15 minutes by car) hosts excellent yoga and spiritual workshops in open-air pavilions. This acclaimed resort also boasts a health-giving, organic restaurant in rustic surrounds.
- Make the de rigueur pilgrimage to sacred Pura Tanah Lot (a 25 minute drive), one of Bali’s biggest tourist magnets. Perched high on a craggy wave-lashed rock, this ancient sea temple is best savored at sunset; make sure you receive a blessing from the Hindu Priests.
- Fashionistas and shop-a-holics should hotfoot it down to Bali’s hippest suburb, Seminyak, a 20-25 minute drive south. Here, you can indulge for hours in the globally-inspired gourmet restaurants, stylish designer boutiques and chic bars – including much hyped Ku Dé Ta, on Seminyak beachfront.
- Drive westwards to explore the unchartered West Bali region, where the charming Tabanan Regency reveals terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black sand beaches dotted with fishing communities – treasures that Bali is famed for.
- For a day of culture and dramatic landscapes, drive directly north from the villa for a couple of hours, up towards the mountain town of Bedugul. From here, explore three volcanic lakes, including Bratan, with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.