Villa Maya Retreat
As it name suggests, Villa Maya Retreat is the perfect place to slow down and escape the frantic pace of everyday life. Resting on the banks of the Penet River, that winds through the rural village of Cepaka in the heart of Bali’s 'rice bowl', this six-bedroom villa will soothe your body, mind and soul. Shaded by lush tropical gardens and clusters of giant bamboo, the traditional-style living and sleeping pavilions have been designed to make the most of the natural surrounds. Featuring a 12 x 5-metre swimming pool, three plunge pools and numerous relaxation bales there is plenty of space for guests to unwind and recharge the batteries.
In the meantime, here is a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the villa.
- Villa Maya Retreat is close to the famous temple at Tanah Lot (12 km), although in peak season a few too many tourists may transform a sunset visit into more of a heaving photo opportunity than a moving experience. Visiting early in the morning (8-9am) provides a better idea of the power of the location and the chance to see it undisturbed apart from perhaps an offering ceremony.
- A nice sunset alternative is to head down to Echo Beach (8km) where a number of cafes offer good sunset views and cold beer. Note that the beach here is dark volcanic sand and the waters are better suited to surfing, having a pronounced swell and rip, rather than children’s swimming. Hotel Tugu, a very stylish and eclectic boutique hotel a few minutes further down the coast is also a good sunset spot.
- Fashionistas, trendies and shop-a-holics should hot-foot it down to Seminyak, Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave. Here, you can indulge for hours in the glut of stylish, chic boutiques. There is a wide choice of fine dining, mid range, and cheap ‘n cheerful restaurants in Seminyak too: fine dining venues include Sarong, the famous Ku Dé Ta, Mama San, La Lucciola, Sardine and Métis.
- Drive westwards to explore the charming Tabanan Regency, revealing terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black-sand beaches dotted with fishing communities. Or head north to explore the volcanic lakes near the mountain town of Bedugul, including Lake Bratan with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.
- The most exclusive Bali trekking tour promises breath-taking vistas and heart-warming encounters while supporting sustainable social change in the once-forgotten villages of Muntigunung. Elite Havens is a proud partner of Muntigunung Community Social Enterprise.
- Bali Treetop Adventure Park is near the town of Bedugal in northern central Bali (next to Lake Bratan). Five adventure circuits, with heights ranging from two to 20 metres, challenge all level and ages on suspended bridges, spider nets, Tarzan jumps and 12 flying foxes.
- Explore the scenic rice-field landscape and rural villages; a great way to get under the skin of the ‘real’ Bali. Stop off at a local warung (café) to sample some basic Balinese fare or cool off with a cold drink.
- Covering 3.8 hectares of tropical parkland in Kuta, Waterbom Bali has 16 water slides (including The Climax with its 360 degree loop) to entertain the young and the young at heart. A great family day out, but go early to beat the crowds.