The Istana rests upon 5,200 square metres of prime, cliff top land, 100 metres above the rolling surf of the Indian Ocean on the southwestern tip of the Island of Bali.
This five-suite estate overlooks white sand beaches and a lagoon abundant with sea life and coral, and in the evenings, magical sunsets. When the trade winds blow, a massive swell crashes onto the surrounding reef, crafting waves that attract worldwide surfing attention; the breaks are rated the fifth best in the world. Uluwatu beach is only a ten-minute walk from the villa.
Set back 40 metres from the cliff face, The Istana is a gated property comprised of two swimming pools, a relaxation bale, the main house, the self-contained, single-storey master suite, and a children’s wing located above the staff service area. The single-storey main house is a study in perfect symmetry, architecturally inspired by an Indonesian long house. It presents a living room, dining room, an audio-video room and four identical bedroom suites. The overall style is a medley between understated modern architecture and traditional Indonesian detailing. The artwork represents a mixture of primitive art and antiques originating from Indonesia, keeping with the aura of tradition and style.
The open air living room is designed to maximise the view. Accessed via the main entrance, from the garden, or via colonnaded walkways on either side, it features a honey-coloured teakwood floor and is furnished with segmented daybed-style sofas and ottomans. Bubbling water features in the adjacent ponds enhance the ambience with the tranquil sound of running water. The room is cooled by natural breezes and ceiling fans positioned within the high roof. Palimanan stone walls on either side of the room are embellished with alcoves and decorative features. There is also a large bar fashioned in black marble, complete with chic barstools; this is a perfect spot for enjoying a cocktail, and is fully stocked with international wines, spirits liqueurs & mixers. Two symmetrical wings attached to the living room accommodate the dining room to one side, and the AV room to the other.
This air-conditioned dining room is fully panelled internally and externally with teakwood, evoking a warm comfortable feel. The room is enclosed by four sets of swinging glass doors that can open up if desired to overlook the water lily gardens to one side, and the ocean to the other. The solid teakwood feature table comfortably seats twelve, and the specially designed mood lighting provides an intimate atmosphere, complemented by the meditative sounds of the water feature in the garden. A guest toilet is located next door.
The AV room is an air-conditioned home theatre with timber-clad walls and bookshelves. Glass doors can be opened to overlook both the front and back of the estate. A massive relaxation couch easily seats the guest capacity. Covered in Thai silk pillows, it faces a wide-screen projection TV and entertainment centre. A guest toilet is located next door.
Spectacularly positioned on the cliff top with breathtaking views of the ocean and Suluban Beach, the large relaxation balé incorporates a lounging area, a bar, and a sunken tatami table with cushioned seating for twelve. Furthermore, it is fitted with a monolithic slab of black granite that extends into the garden to form a gas barbeque. Music speakers are installed in the roof and the cushioned lounge area provides the perfect space to chill and enjoy a sunset cocktail. Automatic blinds and a half-wall of glass protect guests from the elements. The panoramic view spans the Indian Ocean and Bali’s spectacular coastline. To the north, the narrow isthmus that links the Bukit with the rest of the island is clearly visible, with the view extending past the crescent-shaped Jimbaran Bay and the airport to Bali's sunset coast, incorporating the settlements of Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu, before reaching inland to the highlands of Bedugul. On a clear day, the awesome vista takes in Bali’s chain of volcanoes from the mighty Mt Agung in the east and Mt Batur in the northeast, to Mt Pohen, Mt Sangkiang and Mt Batukaru, extending across the highlands of West Bali National Park towards the distant volcanoes of East Java. The lights of the fishing boats at night also provide a magical backdrop.
One wing, located on an upper floor at the back of the property, is devoted entirely to children. It features a lounge/living space complete with sofas, a pool table, Playstation, TV/DVD and Bose sound system. A bedroom with fitted bunks provides sleeping space for five kids.
The master bedroom is located within a self-contained, single-storey guesthouse, which is separate from and slightly more elevated than the main building, and set back so as to offer complete privacy. It has its own entrance way, parking facilities, and private L-shaped 12 x 5 metre swimming pool, lined with black volcanic stone. There is also a pool shower, sunloungers and umbrella.
The bedroom features a soaring roof, timber-clad walls and a recycled teakwood floor. It is furnished with a king-size bed complete with a padded headboard. At the base of the bed, a flat screen ‘Pioneer’ TV with DVD is hidden within a rising cabinet that appears at the press of a button. Additionally, a large daybed affords a stunning view of the ocean. French windows open onto a timber-floored verandah, sheltered by a roof.
The expansive ensuite bathroom is fashioned in cream terrazzo and fitted with a sunken bathtub. There is also a walk-in shower and a toilet hidden behind frosted glass. Twin marble washbasins rest on a long vanity unit complete with large wall mirrors. Wardrobes with mirrored doors present plenty of hanging and storage space. Glass doors open to an outside walled area complete with an outdoor rainshower and a cushioned daybed.
The ocean suites open up to the dramatic ocean, while the garden suites open up to the gardens facing the entrance. The garden suites are equipped with TV/DVD players and each garden suite is complemented by a private walled sun lounging area with a raised wooden deck and daybeds for relaxing.
Each suite entry is decorated with carved limestone blocks representing traditional Ikat weavings from the islands of Flores and Sumba. Each of the matching suites is comprised of a bedroom with a capacious walk-in closet, and indoor and outdoor Bali-style bathrooms. All of the bedroom walls are faced with timber panelling to mid-height with white sand wash on top, leading up to the high cathedral timber-lined ceilings with ceiling fans and air-conditioning. The furniture in the bedrooms was designed especially for The Istana, as were the exquisite lighting fixtures, and are made exclusively of recycled teakwood. The décor in each room is primarily the same, with differences in the colour schemes. All of the bedrooms are walled on two sides by folding glass doors which open up to the private gardens in the case of the bedrooms facing the entrance of the property, and on the other side which open onto the ocean.
Each ensuite bathroom is walled in white sandstone and features bands of intricate designs in carved stone. Each features huge teak-framed mirrors above twin vanities set in wood. The indoor rain-head showers are enclosed on two sides with glass but open to open-air private gardens with sunken bathtubs, allowing for immersion al fresco.
Garden & Swimming Pool
Stretching 32 metres along the front of the estate, The Istana's main swimming pool has a breathtaking side to side infinity edge on the ocean side. West Javanese green granite stone lines the pool which, when lit, glows aquamarine and provides one of the Estate's most aesthetic elements. The two-level lawn is bordered by flowering bougainvillea and dotted with coconut palms.
The Istana is located on the most southwesterly tip of the beautiful area known as The Bukit – a limestone plateau rising sharply from the sea, fringed by steep cliffs and some of the most idyllic beaches in Bali. Characterised by wide open spaces and clear blue skies, the turquoise waters are the playground of migrating whales. A tropical, equatorial climate means year-round balmy temperatures and, even in the rainy season, The Bukit – which is much drier than the rest of the island – is a reliable sun-trap. When the southeast trade winds blow offshore and the southern ocean swells hit the reefs, the barrelling surf breaks are among the best in the world. The only other activity along the coastline is seaweed farming, still traditionally practiced by the original Balinese coastal families.
The Istana is only 30 minutes’ drive from Bali’s International Airport and no more than 45 minutes’ from the endless shopping, vibrant nightlife and international restaurants of Kuta and Seminyak. The world-class Bali Golf and Country Club in Nusa Dua is a mere 15 minutes’ drive, and Ubud – Bali’s centre for fine arts and cultural performances – is about 90 minutes’ drive to the north. The remainder of the island offers a rich mosaic of cultures, tastes, sights and sounds, together with a wide array of activities.
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