Soothe your Soul: Villa Samadhana
Published 03 August 2012
With stunning ocean views across neighbouring rice fields, tantalising glimpses of sacred Mount Agung in the distance and the sound of rolling waves, calming water features and twittering birds to lull you to sleep at night, Villa Samadhana is the ideal place to find your inner peace.
Text: Jo Hocking
Photos by Christopher Leggett
For many, the seaside village of Ketewel is relatively unknown. Characterised by rice fields, tobacco plantations, and papaya, banana and coconut groves that hug the glistening black volcanic sands of Pabean Beach, Ketewel is a pocket of paradise that remains relatively untouched by Bali’s burgeoning tourism industry.
Searching for a bit of peace and quiet myself, I headed to Villa Samadhana in this seemingly remote location. Just thirteen kilometres north of Sanur, directly off the busy bypass that runs along Bali’s southeast coast, my destination was surprisingly accessible. As soon as I turned off the main highway onto the narrow street leading to the water’s edge I was captivated by the overhanging frangipani trees and traditional way of life that presented itself. However, nothing really could prepare me for the real treat that lay ahead – the magical Villa Samadhana itself.
Hidden behind coral-limestone walls and tall trees I was brought to the main entrance where a large seated Buddha garlanded with flowers welcomed me to negotiate the wooden bridge traversing a lotus pond and I was awestruck at the size and space of the property that sprawled out before me. ‘Was this really all for me?’
Crossing the expansive lawns, which were big enough for a football match or a wedding party I headed for the main house that beckoned me with its large open-sided living and dining pavilion that oozed style and sophistication.
Created by renowned Malaysian architect, Cheong Yew Kuan (Aman Resorts, Como Shambala) and professional landscaper Trevor Hilliar, this five-bedroom property has combined contemporary and traditional influences to deliver a chic and comfortable home respectful of its natural and cultural surrounds. It is accompanied by Thai silk furnishings and a collection of Asian antiques that reflect the owner’s taste and style.
Resting on an impressive 7,400 square metres, there is oodles of space to hangout, including a stunning 25-metre infinity pool with adjoining entertainment pavilion offering ocean views. I found it hard to prise myself out of the swimming pool that was deliciously warm as the cool sea-breeze swirled around me.
Dinner was prepared by the villa’s very own private chef in the restaurant-grade kitchen that stands as a feature of the house. With its gleaming black granite worktops and modern appliances, is in itself a work of art. Smiling from ear-to-ear the chef told me it was probably the best villa kitchen in Bali and he was very happy with his workplace. His enthusiasm flowed through in his cooking where I was served a succulent feast including barbecue chicken with Balinese spices. After my day of indulgence I decided to retire to my ever-so-comfortable king-size bed and drifted off to sleep to the sound of crashing waves.
When I woke in the morning and it was time to leave, ‘absolute bliss” were the only words I could find to describe my stay, and I was just sorry I had not brought friends along for the experience. Named after the ancient Sanskrit word for ‘inner peace’, Villa Samadhana had allowed me to obtain just that and I was extremely grateful to the villa and the staff for lulling me into restful submission. As fate would have it, a Balinese Hindu purification ceremony was taking place by the beach as I drove off, leaving me content and happy knowing my stay was round and complete.
Villa Samadhana is the idyllic setting for a wedding, party or special celebration, or simply a relaxing retreat for families, couples and groups seeking to spoil their senses.