Travel | People | Culture

Villa Sungai, Bali

The Villa Sungai experience: a luxurious, secluded, five-star resort overlooking the Penet river and surrounded by lush tropical rainforest.

villa sungaiBy the pool at Villa Sungai.

On an adventurous whim, we decide to forgo the offer of transport from the airport to the villa and make our own way there instead. A few wrong turns later and we are in the midst of some of the most beautiful scenery in Bali, driving past palm trees and paddy fields that glow in the afternoon sun. There are hints that here at last we have discovered that mythical ‘real Bali’ that we have so often heard mentioned before by local expats.

Eventually, in a roundabout fashion, we somehow happen upon our destination, Cepaka village. There are no signposts, but some locals guide us off the road to where we find the spirit wall behind a Balinese gateway, on which are engraved the words ‘Villa Sungai’. But there is still no villa visible to us and, walking closer, the reason soon becomes apparent; we are standing at the edge of a steep rainforest valley. Steps cut into the side lead downwards into the lush green from which peep the thatched roofs of the villa. As we stand there wondering what awaits us below, Made comes up to greet us, amused that we have actually managed to find our way there…albeit an hour or two behind schedule.

The setting is stunning and as we descend into the valley we are enveloped by the sounds of the forest. We are shown the three bedrooms, each with a four-poster bed and indoor-outdoor bathroom replete with Aveda products. The ceilings are high, and