Houses rule

Three is­land vil­las with max­i­mum brag­ging rights

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - DESTINATION TRAVEL - VANESSA MULQUINEY

Villa life is more per­son­alised than stay­ing at a five-star ho­tel. It’s about hav­ing full­time staff avail­able around the clock, from per­sonal chefs to concierges, house­keep­ers to nan­nies and but­lers.

Pri­vate vil­las also come with con­sid­er­able brag­ging rights — who wouldn’t love to live like a pam­pered A-list celebrity for a week? And is­land vil­las are not as pro­hib­i­tively ex­pen­sive as they once were, es­pe­cially if you’re trav­el­ling as a fam­ily or in a house-party group.

Here are three T&I favourites. and, come even­ing, head to Ku De Ta or Sarong, both ranked on The Miele Guide’s Top 20 restau­rants in Asia. AND SO TO BED: There are three en­suite bed­rooms: one king­size and two with a choice of twins or kings, plus two ex­tra beds on re­quest; events can be held for up to 25 peo­ple. VIBE: The villa is con­tem­po­rary in style, but there are plenty of beau­ti­ful Ba­li­nese touches. The 80sqm liv­ing pavil­ion fea­tures a tra­di­tional thatched roof, sand­stone walls and a ter­razzo floor lined by a fish pond with an­tique stone wa­ter fea­tures on one side, pool wall on the other. Soft cream so­fas are punc­tu­ated with colour­ful batik cush­ions, while a teak din­ing ta­ble with wicker arm­chairs pro­vides seat­ing for eight. Ad­ja­cent to the green­tiled swim­ming pool, the kitchen’s white­washed shut­ters slide open to a bar fash­ioned from re­cy­cled teak. DIN­ING: Villa Adasa’s fully equipped kitchen is staffed by a pri­vate chef and ev­ery­thing from an af­ter­noon snack to five-course din­ners and bar­be­cues can be pre­pared, as well as a kids’ meal plan. Trop­i­cal hol­i­day G&Ts by the pool are prac­ti­cally oblig­a­tory. HIGHLIGHTS: Food­ies can join the chef on shop­ping trips to lo­cal open-air mar­kets, in­clud­ing the seafood mar­ket at Jim­baran where catches come straight from the ad­ja­cent wa­ters. TIP: This villa is a celebrity haunt. “Guests might be sleep­ing, sit­ting, swim­ming and din­ing at the same spot as Paris Hil­ton,” says Linda Lim of Elite Havens, which man­ages Villa Adasa. “She was here last week with a friend.” More: elite­havens.com.

Amilla Fushi in The Mal­dives, top; Villa Adasa, Bali, above; Vomo Re­sort, Fiji, be­low

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