The name Villa Devatas is a bit misleading. It’s more like a grand estate than a villa.
Set over two hectares, it has its own river frontage overlooking virgin forest on the opposite bank. All this space is for a group of only four king-sized rooms and a separate private villa. Even in Bali it’s a luxury to have so much land, and this is only 20 minutes from Seminyak.
In architecture and design it’s fairly masculine – the one man in our group loved it – but the dark wood in the bedrooms was a bit heavy for my taste. However, it’s all beautifully done and the gorgeous bathrooms more than compensated: they have an enormous glass-enclosed indoor section and an outdoor shower, and Bulgari toiletries – my favourite – are the icing on the cake. The two upstairs rooms each have their own patio with wonderful views of the whole estate, if you are lucky to be in one of those it’s really like having your own apartment.
But the rooms are only a small part of the experience. The spacious lounge and dining area is positioned at the highest part of the property, giving you the feeling that you are in your castle surveying the lands below. Each night, you decide your own set menus for the next day. The 16-seater wooden dining table is majestic, and all the meals – three-course affairs served with good local wine – were exceptional.
Central to the design, an infinity pool ends in a dramatic drop to the river below. On one side is a glass-walled audio-visual room with a large flat-screen TV, chess and other games. This was the perfect spot to relax in during the heat of the day and after dinner.
We had pre-dinner drinks at the bar in the huge bale on the other side of the pool, which is ideal for a party. In fact, Villa Devatas is perfect for a gathering like a wedding or a special birthday celebration. It will comfortably accommodate five couples or three families, and you won’t have to worry about finding caterers or disturbing the neighbours.
The spa is in a beautiful location overlooking the river. Hearing the natural sound of running water is more pleasant than listening to fake recordings of waves, and having a manicure while looking at that view was fabulous. We booked some ladies to come in and braid the children’s hair for much less than we had paid on the beach during our previous visit.
I am uncomfortable with hovering staff members, but the ones here were almost invisible, though you knew where they were when you needed them. They bill you for food on a daily basis, which I wasn’t too keen on at first, but at least it helps you plan your finances.
The closest beach to Villa Devatas is about ten minutes away, and Legian with its beach and shopping is a 20-minute drive away. But Bali has heaps of other activities apart from shopping and surfing. There is quad-biking, rafting for the more adventurous, or you can take art or yoga classes. And, like anywhere in Asia, there’s always golf. Le Meridien Hotel, about 15 minutes north of the villa, has a beautiful course.
We had big plans to take part in some of the adventure options, but in the end, the villa and its surrounds were so idyllic that we did not leave the place (except to pop into a few clothing shops in Legian) for the three days and two nights of our stay. In itself, the villa was enough for us.