Set upon 5,000 square metres of glorious garden next to Cemagi Beach, Villa Semarapura more than lives up to its Sanskrit name, which translates as ‘temple of peace’. Beyond the villa’s rolling lawns of Japanese grass, the sacred sea temple Pura Gede Luhur Batungaus rises above the Indian Ocean, an iconic silhouette against the coast’s famed crimson sunsets.
Villa Semarapura was originally designed by long-term Asia-based expats as a spacious family home in classic Balinese compound style. After a no-expenses-spared architect-led transformation, it is now available to guests as a stunning contemporary-meets-traditional sanctuary with an abundance of both social and private living spaces, and a charming staff with strong attachments to the villa and total focus on making their guests happy.
A leisurely lunch prepared by the villa chef and served in the dining pavilion’s air-conditioned cool might be followed by a little siesta or a reviving dip in the master suite’s jacuzzi, then a visit to the spa balé for a restorative massage. Evenings at Villa Semarapura are equally enchanting: sundowners at the sunset balé; a welcome dance performed by local villagers; a seafood barbecue on the pool terrace to the hum of the bamboo rindik played under a canopy of stars.
Venturing beyond Semarapura’s grounds, the villa’s insightful attendant leads fascinating tours of the neighbourhood, or why not head to Echo Beach for a surf lesson, or a pilgrimage at the sacred Tanah Lot sea temple? Exploring further afield for a day’s sight-seeing is easy too, courtesy of Villa Semarapura’s 16-seat minibus and driver (extra charge). Those seeking boutiques, bars, restaurants and bright lights can head to Seminyak 15km away: the beauty of Villa Semarapura is that it’s far enough from the hustle of Bali’s most popular spots to forget they exist, yet convenient enough to explore them should the mood take you.