If you don’t look carefully, you might miss it. Actually, even if you do, it’s quite likely you’ll miss it too. Apart from a non-descript glass reception with the smallest of signs that a few parked cars may obscure, there is no way of telling that you’re already there.
“Take me to Sarung,” was the refrain I found myself saying more than once. That famous Balinese restaurant in Seminyak sits directly opposite iVilla Bali. The brainchild of Kevin Kwee, executive director of Singapore’s Laguna National Golf & Country Club, the iVilla concept is simple: understated luxury with personal comfort tucked away from the vagaries of life.
What this means is that you will often find the only ones walking down that single lane stretch where the one and two-bedroom villas reside, are either guests or staff. No one else comes here, simply because they don’t even know it exists. But once you’ve entered the doorway to your safe haven, another world begins to dawn onto you.
Surrounded by lush foliage and natural forestry that has been left as much as possibly can, sits a long, private swimming pool with a queen-sized deck chair set in the water on the higher tier. This would become the single favourite site of my two girls, aged 5 and 2 years for the next four days. A woodpecker can even be spotted perched on the tallest branch right outside our doorway.
In the living area, high ceiling glass panels replace walls and ambient lighting both within and without casts a romantic glow at night. This is where we imbibe our meals. Breakfast comes daily but you’d have to order it the night before. However, there is no set time for you to do so, and the variety is tremendous! With eggs alone, there are three kinds of poached options - Benedict, Norwegian, Hollandaise – as well as the usual scrambled, fried or omelette. Fresh fruits, freshly squeezed juices with a frothy head and pulp, delicious French toasts and cereal for the health conscious, and even local favourite Nasi Goreng, makes ordering food an appetite-whetting process in itself.
Like many fine villa experiences, there is a 24-hour butler service. But complimentary transportation around Petitenget and Seminyak in its luxury MPV? A mobile phone with pre-credit for use throughout your stay? Free consumption of Mini bar, replenished daily with organic chocolate selection, unique Balinese delicacies and more? Early check-in and late check-out - our return flight was 930pm so we checked out at 6pm - whenever possible? This, together with attentive personalised service, makes iVilla an experience to savour and return to. Small, boutique stay? We’re converts now.
For enquiries and reservations, visit www.ivillabali.com.