First impressions – Welcome to your home in Bali – we heard at the beginning, as we entered our secluded getaway. Our villa was hidden in the jungle. We arrived after midnight – couldn’t see much, but the atmosphere of luxury was easy to spot even in the dark. Drinks and plates of delicious snacks were served, the speakers were filled with delicate rhythms, but the fatigue quickly took over … Good that someone turned the lights out.
The rooster and the barking dog woke me up just after sunrise. I opened the curtain and … We had it all to ourselves! Soon I was sitting in the pool, drinking watermelon juice. The waiters always came out of nowhere, exactly at the moment at which you wanted them. What more do you want on holidays? In the afternoon our driver took us on a trip to a little-known temple where only the locals go. For some balance, at sunset, we went to the popular, crowded Tanah Lot Temple. We had a nice dinner in the evening, back in the Villa, with the mood of melting candles and live music. Two players were sitting in the garden, playing Balinese rhythms. The next day we were offered a walk in the village of Cepaka and among the rice fields. Within the few hours we only met a couple of tourists – they rode down the street on a scooter. Cepaka is clean and well taken care of, which unfortunately is not always the case in Bali.
Hotel Villa Sungai is located in the mountains, in the village of Cepaka, in southwestern Bali. The villa is not too far from the airport, but unfortunately through the traffic jams in Kuta, it takes over an hour. Guests arriving at the airport are picked up by a driver, who may also be available for the duration of their stay. Villa Sungai is not a typical hotel – it’s a private residence that you can rent out all to yourself and your group of friends, hidden away, among the trees – a perfect location for any special occasion or a quiet holiday with your family. It consists of three rooms and a common area with a dining room, bar, comfortable lounge’s and a swimming pool – all open air. There is also a small SPA where you can enjoy relaxing massages and beauty treatments. There is no reception or typical lobby. The staff are available 24 hours a day, but appear only when needed – there is a door bell in the dining area that facilitates communication. Next to it is a second, more luxurious facility – Sungai Gold. Villa Sungai has been awarded many times by Luxury Travel magazine.
Room There are three rooms in the Villa. All are spacious and bright, designed in modern Balinese style. Large four poster beds add to the luxurious atmosphere. The rooms have air conditioning and thick curtains, making it easy to stay in the tropics. All bathrooms are located outside. Rooms have showers and the main one also has an outdoor bath. Bathing in plumeria flowers, under the blue sky, is an unforgettable experience!
Food Staying at Villa Sungai, comes with breakfas and dinner. The breakfast is served with juicy fruit and good coffee. In addition, you can choose something from the menu – we really enjoyed the banana pancakes. The freshly squeezed juices were also great. The dinner menu is set before your arrival and consists of several dishes. The food really deserves the five stars – the combination of local flavors with good quality products, equates to some amazing meals. Here we ate the best grilled chicken – it doesn’t sound very special, but it really just tasted amazing!
Summary Villa Sungai is the Bali that everyone dreams of. Beautiful, a great atmosphere with good food. A dream residence with the atmosphere of jungle sounds. It allows you to escape from your daily routine and simply reset. It is an ideal choice for a romantic getaway, a trip with friends or a family vacation. Villa Sungai
Website: https://bali-villasungai.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VillaSungai/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/villasungai/ NOTE: We were guests at Villa Sungai. Our opinion is sincere and based only on our own experiences.
If you’re looking for a 5 star luxury villa experience.
Villa Sungai is located in the rural village of Cepaka, just a short drive from Canggu. It’s perfectly suited for families or groups of friends traveling together, with the choice of two 1-3-bedroom suite villas. There’s of course always the option to take over both villas for the ultimate holiday experience. Both villas are perched along the banks of a small river that’s surrounded by jungle and offers complete privacy. The local village also features sprawling green rice fields, temples and marigold fields (my new favourite flower). Staying here not only gives you the experience of living in a local village, but it also feels a world away from the congested roads and tourist filled paths of Seminyak.
The overall vibe and design of the villas is a mix of white and neutral colours so as to not detract from its stunning natural surroundings, and it works as everything seems to blend in seamlessly. All rooms of course feature an outdoor shower, with the master room also having a bathtub. I mean are you even in Bali if there isn’t an outdoor shower?? However, the main feature of the 3-bedroom suite villa we stayed in is clearly the 18m-lap pool with an infinity edge that plunges into the river and jungle below. There’s also a spa facility where you can indulge in anything your heart desires, from massages to facials or manicures.
The staff at Villa Sungai have been exceptionally trained to ensure every guest feels truly looked after. This all started from the moment I was picked up from my previous accommodation by the villa manager Made, with the car stocked with water, peanuts and cold towels. It’s the small details like this that really sets Villa Sungai apart. Made also offers tours of the local Cepaka village where he and the majority of the villa staff live. I was able to spend a morning walking around with Made through the quiet streets visiting the local shop where families buy their supplies each morning, through the rice fields and my personal favourite the marigold fields. We also visited his home to see the difference between the design and layout of a Balinese family compound compared to homes in the Western world. Made also hosts an English program in a make shift classroom that’s been built at his house for the children in his village. Guests at Villa Sungai are encouraged during the reservation process to bring pencils and books or simply make a donation to the English program. It really is great to see when hotels and guests are able to give back to the local community.
Villa Sungai also has perhaps the world’s largest movie collection, which comes in very handy during those rainy days. With an entire booklet listing every single movie including a synopsis, they’d clearly gone to quiet some effort to ensure you have a never-ending supply of movies. In regards to the meals at Villa Sungai, they were easily on par with the most well known fine dining and award-winning restaurants in Bali. With fresh locally sourced ingredients and their innovative approach to food (in particular their Indonesian dishes), their 6 star quality meals were truly the highlight of my time there and what I’ll remember most.
9 years since I have been to Bali and first O/S holiday as a family of 5! I couldn’t wait to show Bali off to the husband and escape the Sydney Winter!!
I literally booked this holiday a year ago after being introduced to Villa Sungai through a friend. The photos looked beautiful and a family friendly Villa just out of Canngu (the new Seminyak) was exactly what the Dr ordered!
What’s special about Villa Sungai is the location. Surrounding you is dense luscious greenery, yet you are also within a local quiet village of Warungs and rice paddies. No tourists, just the real Bali.
The villa itself is in Cepaka, on the fashionable West coast and is the most luxurious and secluded Villa I have seen.
From the gorgeous terrazzo floors, white on white interiors and timber furniture to the luxurious four poster bed, stunning outdoor bathrooms with shower or bath for star gazing!! and lovely open plan living, You are surrounded by tranquil sounds of flowing water, crickets and local farm animals. The stunning crystal clear infinity pool is a stand out feature, as well as the exquisite service and cuisine!
Let me touch on the service as seriously it is beyond! Our driver Made was waiting for us at the airport (literally as the plane door opened) fast tracked us through customs and we were chauffeur driven (with snacks and refreshments) to the Villa to be greeted by our lovely staff with a welcome cocktail in hand – Vodka, lime juice and palm sugar with kaffir and lemongrass infusions mind you!
The Villa owner Pamela was extremely helpful, coordinating room configurations for the kids, car seats, meals on arrival etc! She has really created something so special and unique here!
The biggest decisions were what we were going to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner so the staff could shop and prepare for us. The food choices were amazing!! 5 star restaurant quality (with Noosa Spirit House influences) and great kids menu too!
We had a driver on hand whenever we were ready to shop, eat out or explore and a massage room ready whenever we were! The hot stone massage was bliss!!
Do yourself a favour and explore this stunning Villa with a group of friends or family (Villa Sungai consists of 3 bedrooms all with ensuite bathrooms) and Villa Gold has 2 seperate bedrooms with ensuites too. My parents stayed next to us in Villa Gold and was great to meet up for meals but still have our own space.
A few faves from our adventures into Canngu… image 1 and 3 is the very cool The Slow…funky new hotel and minimal fitout. We had lunch here and a look at some of the cool clothes stores next door. Middle pic is The Lawn, grab a spot under the brollies poolside to sip the day away overlooking Canggu beach.
Image 4 and 5 from Goldust Bali… in the middle of the cool cafs and shops is this gold haven…the most amazing stress buster massage and 24k gold facials!! Book it now! And maybe have a delicious smoothie at Crate cafe when you are done! Yaaaas!
Bali is such a special place and everything you’ve heard and read about it being one-of-a-kind is true. Because it is such an amazing island and an immensely popular destination, resorts across the spectrum have staked their claim here, along with countless boutique hotels and private villas. Search Hotels.com and there are 3,298 results that come up. How did I choose where to stay?
The more I travel, the more I seek out experiences that are new and different and they truly make traveling worth it. That was my criteria for this Bali trip, a unique place to stay. After a few hours of researching, I came across Villa Sungai and read the detailed press and reviews and noted the peace, privacy and service that is now synonymous with the property. But what I read didn’t even begin to fully capture the personal touch.
Personal Touch: First Contact I began emailing with Pamela to book my stay and she asked every question under the sun, about prior visits to Bali, the purpose of my trip, what I wanted from it, activities I was interested in, dietary restrictions and preferences and so much more. The attention to detail was enormous and it wasn’t fully realized until I arrived and everything was set to my exact specifications.
Checking In Once you confirm your trip with Pamela, you are asked to send through all of your travel documents and travel details because Villa Sungai does not have a front desk or a formal check in. Initially, providing all of that information upfront was another thing to add to my to-do list, but once I got to the property, I immediately understood why Pamela and team set it up that way and it made all the difference. I was greeted and picked up by Made, was escorted to the villa and was free to enjoy everything as soon as I got there, no check in, no front desk, no hassle.
Personal Touch: Service All of my preferences came alive throughout my stay: Delicious meals when I wanted to eat (8am breakfast, noon lunch, snacks in between and 7pm dinner), plenty of seafood menu options (I am pescatarian) along with meat choices (my guest was not), an arrival spa treatment, a trip to Tanah Lot and Seminyak and additional service whenever you needed it. Because I was asked what I wanted out of my stay, which was rest and relaxation, the staff knew exactly when and when not to check in. I think they caught on pretty quickly that my photographer Becca and I were very low-key.
The wifi cut out during an evening storm and we both had a lot of work to get done that evening. Putu was very quick to call a service provider to check on the connection and get someone sent out the next morning. We needed internet before then and the staff helped search for places that were open with wifi. Thankfully they were able to resolve and get the connection back up shortly after. The wifi in Bali is not the most reliable and you would be surprised at how many hotels, villas, restaurants and cafes (even the best and highest rated) just blame the connection when you ask them to reset it. I get that it is an issue across the island but the response and reaction at Sungai was on point and so appreciated. Sometimes it is nice to know that people care!
A Return to Nature I love the bustle and energy of being in a city but I need to disconnect and escape to the countryside. Villa Sungai was that much needed return to nature, literally surrounded by a lush jungle and river, rice terraces along with my favorite kinds of neighbors including frogs, roosters, birds and geckos.
Personal Touch: Giving Back There is so much havoc that tourism wrecks in every destination whether you are able to see it or not. That is why I am a huge proponent of giving back wherever I travel in whatever form I can, especially in culture, education and/or the environment, which are some of the most directly impacted areas by tourism. I was thrilled to hear that Villa Sungai has a direct program to give back to the local primary school, whether it is providing pencils, pens and other school supplies or visiting the English class program held in Made’s home that friends of the villa continue to contribute to. I scheduled a visit to drop off some supplies and meet the children but unfortunately school was closed that Monday before checking out. I will definitely be stopping by the next time I visit Bali!
Overall My stay was bliss. Bliss bliss bliss. The personal touch was above and beyond what I have experienced in the past and it will be difficult for any place to try and top in the near future.
I haven’t mentioned much about the location (in a village 15-20 minutes outside of Canggu), the pool (inviting and refreshing) or the decor (teak furniture, Phillipe Starck pieces, white linens and Turkish pool towels, flowers everywhere, amazing day beds and lounges (there are too many to count!) because plenty of people have covered them here and here. But I did get a drone to capture the amazingness of the full property.
The Dose Bali The personal touch in Bali doesn’t stop there. I found The Dose Bali on Instagram and reached out about their vitamin IV therapy. The next thing I know, they are are at my villa with a package of The Dose Collection, one of their signature offerings which include IV hydration, Vitamin B energy & mood booster, vitamin C immunity booster and detoxifying antioxidant. In addition, there is also a food poisoning recovery, anti-aging detox and even dengue recovery.
Naomi, one of the co-founders, shared that she saw an opportunity for IV hydration and vitamins in Bali and decided to launch their business. Instead of having a clinic, it made more sense to travel to where people were, especially if they were sick with food poisoning or dengue fever. Deenda was my nurse and she was so thoughtful and told me what to expect at every step. I felt energetic after the IV treatment and it definitely helped lift my mood. The personally tailored experience is definitely something I would recommend. I’ll be booking an appointment the next time I fly in!
It is a foodies paradise at Villa Sungai Bali. Looking for a fabulous luxury Balinese Villa that caters for foodies. Our Sungai Bali chefs Wayan (x 3), Yuyun, Bumi and their team prepare creative dishes of primarily contemporary Asian-style cuisine and Indonesian specialties using only the freshest ingredients shopped for daily, and complemented by excellence in service that continues Sungai’s dining reputation.
Setting high expectations for Foodies
All meals at Sungai and Sungai Gold are a lavish, but unpretentious affair. They always exude a sense of occasion with elegant table settings and candlelight at night. The transition from afternoon activities to dinner is marked by the presentation of Sungai canapés for guests – mouth-watering creations that you would expect from a five-star luxury hotel with an internationally-renowned chef, complemented by a broad selection of beverages and cocktails.
Lime and cashew blue-eye cod rolls with Chinese black vinegar dipping sauce, Crab, coconut and kaffir lime on betel leaves, Crisp fish, green mango and roasted coconut salad with sweet and sour chilli sauce, Balinese lamb stew with yellow rice, Lemongrass and palm sugar panna cotta with orange and chilli caramel, Coconut jellies with coconut caramel and minted pineapple, to name a few…
Foodies that love to entertain?
Dinner parties are something the villa specialises in, and they can be as formal and glamorous, or as casual as you choose. Unlike many villas, the chefs are available full-time – not just on call – and will prepare delicious, made-to-order meals using the freshest available ingredients that their staff will purchase for you at cost each day (full tropical and cooked breakfasts are included in the tariff), and Sungai desserts are truly “to-die-for!” It is hardly surprising that Villa Sungai’s guests dine in >75% of the time.
Luxury Girls Retreat – sisters Rachel Kara and Emma Birdsall enjoy some chill out time at Villa Sungai Bali. Creative sisters Rachel Kara and Emma Birdsall spent a little time out at Villa Sungai recently. After a few delays getting there (yes the ash cloud!) they finally landed in Bali, and managed to sneak in a few days of R&R at luxurious Villa Sungai Bali. Rachel has beautifully captured the best of Villa Sungai and the surrounding village of Cepaka on film. You can see just how perfect the Villa is for a girls retreat with 24/7 pampering, cocktails, pool time and more. Stay busy shopping, visiting markets, touring the nearby villages…or simply just do nothing at all and soak in the sounds and smells of our little slice of Paradise.
Rachel Kara is a travel and lifestyle photographer based in Sydney. Rachel has worked for many years with Broadsheet and The Design Files and has a beautiful portfolio and soul to match. Rachel has photographed a few of my special events, and it is always a joy to see life through Rachel’s lense. Emma Birdsall, well known Australian singer and songwriter, is a passionate foodie and dedicated to health & nutrition, recently creating My Whole Life – an online creative space dedicated to wholesome thinking with fresh and healthy recipes and inspiring imagery.
Thanks to both Rachel and Emma for sharing their lovely adventure with us!