This quite extraordinary dwelling is one of Bali’s newest and most opulent mansions, and yet the moment you enter Villa RaJa, it’s as if you’ve taken a time machine back to Bali’s golden era of architecture. Tired of the plethora of minimalist “Bali Zen” villas springing up across the island, owners Ralph and Janet Hogan set out to turn back the clock and create an architectural masterpiece to showcase the myriad textures, styles, arts and crafts for which Bali is so rightly famous. Crafted by two of the island’s most talented traditional builders, this is a structure of great beauty with a timeless patina which weaves state of the art technology into a fabulous fabric of antiquity. 400 year old timbers, richly carved paneling, coral, pebbles, limestone, marble and even re-cut Art Deco roof tiles decorate every aspect of the building.
Beneath this dramatic exterior, new buildings frame and stabilise an ancient 12 metre high ironwood and teak “jineng”, containing the ground floor media room (complete with giant cinema screen and foundation-shaking Yamaha sound system.) Upstairs, an unforgettable master bedroom, with soaring 6 metre ceilings and sweeping views of the surrounding rice paddies. The massive antique carved bedhead frames a king size bed and was once a prestigious house façade in Java. One visitor likens spending a night here to “sleeping in the world’s sexiest art gallery,” with waxed, black ironwood floors, massive teak beams and, wrapping around the room, the unfolding saga of the Ramayana in beautiful, softly lit kamisan paintings.
The bedroom leads onto a separate walk in robe (huge) complete with safe, and an exotic, hand-formed ensuite bathroom that’s straight out of the Arabian nights. This in turn opens onto the eye-popping Gaudi-esque outdoor shower, patterned entirely underfoot and on all sides with a dazzling collection of 1920s terrazzo tiles rescued from mansions being demolished in Java.
The villa features another 3 stunning bedrooms with beautiful ensuite bathrooms. One forms the upper floor of a separate smaller timber jineng which overhangs the huge 20 metre lpool, rimmed with carved stone and fed by spouting, 2 metre stone statues. Here you swim in drinkable water produced by a sophisticated colloidal silver purification plant. The pool also features an 8 metre waterslide made by the builders of Bali’s famous roller coaster waterslide centre, “Waterbom” in Kuta.
Like the country which inspired it, Villa Raja is itself an unforgettable cultural experience. From the huge ‘fantastic creatures” front door (carved out of a 1000 year old sprawling lychee root) to the magnificent, carved Borobodur style taro stone gate; or the priceless antique Sumba stone ceremonial slab which serves as a bridge to the dining gazebo, which “floats” on a water lily pond, replete with giant fish. This is indeed a photographer’s paradise.
Insect screens protect all bedroom and bathroom windows at Villa Raja. All rooms are air conditioned and supplied with fans as well. The buildings have been built to Western safety design standards. Kitchen staff have been trained in Western standards of hygiene and prepare food in two impeccably clean and modern kitchens.
• Situated in the heart of tranquil Canggu, a traditional Balinese village, with postcard views onto rice paddies, well away from night club noise yet only 10 minutes from Seminyak
• 4 air conditioned bedrooms, all with ensuites and walk in robes
• Cinema RaJa: a separate media room with satellite TV, DVD, indoor and outdoor sound system, giant movie screen plus reclining leather cinema lounges.
• Separate office with Broadband satellite internet connection
• Dining gazebo with seating for 10
• 20 metre lap pool with waterslide
• Purified tap water throughout
• 2 state of the art kitchens, one for guests, one for kitchen staff
• Internal laundry
• Full house capacity generator
• Carport with parking for 2 cars
• 24 hour security
• Window screening and vermin proof construction throughout
• A full complement of staff, including the housekeepers Wayan, Made and Iluh who prepare delicious traditional and Western cuisine on request.
Accommodates: 8 people
* Normal Season: US$ 550
* High Season: US$ 650
* Peak Season: US$ 950
Rates are inclusive of taxes and full staff.
* High Season: Chinese New Year, Easter Week, July 15 – Sep 15
* Peak Season: Aug 1 – 31, Dec 15 – Jan 8
Minimum Stay Requirements
* Low Season: 3 nights
* High Season: 7 nights
* Peak Season: 10 nights