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The villa manager will typically have a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Do also ask the staff about the local area. Invariably some of them will live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.

In the meantime, here is a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the villa.

  1. If you’ve always dreamt of galloping along the beach at sunset, now’s your chance. Saba Bay stables, located in Saba village, can arrange horse riding trails along the black sands and crashing waves of Saba Beach, passing bamboo and alang-alang plantations, local temples – even the villa itself!
  2. You’re just 20 minutes’ drive from the historical village of Sanur, Bali’s original tourist enclave. Its lovely broad expanse of golden sands sheltered by a reef makes this for the perfect spot for safe swimming. Make the most of the diverse array of water sports available and some excellent eating places along the five-kilometre seafront promenade.  
  3. Don’t miss a trip up to Bali’s cultural and artistic hub, Ubud, a 25-minute scenic drive.
  4. This is the best place to catch traditional Balinese dance performances – especially at the town’s Royal Palace, magically illuminated at night. Ubud has also recently evolved as an upmarket destination, boasting cutting-edge restaurants like Mozaic and world-class spas such as award-winning COMO Shambhala.
  5. You can purchase plenty of arts, crafts and souvenirs in Ubud, but why not get them at source, at Ubud’s outlying traditional artisan villages? There’s wider options at great value to be found at Celuk, famous for silverware, Batubulan for stone carvings, Mas for wood carvings and Sukawati, for its arts and crafts market – all just 10 to 20-minutes drive away.
  6. Just off the mainland are the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida – both famous for their scuba diving and snorkeling, with excellent dive sites and rich marine life. Boat trips from Sanur or Padangbai can easily be arranged. Further along the east coast, Amed and Tulamben offer isolated reefs – the latter, also has shipwreck diving.  
  7. Plenty of family attractions in the area include Bali Safari & Marine Park, just five minutes away, home to hundreds of animals, with elephant back safari and marine park. Alternatively, just up the coast in Amuk Bay, marvel at stunning marine life and coral reefs without getting your feet wet, with Odyssey Submarine Adventure.
  8. The island’s world-famous Bali Spirit Festival of Dance, Music and Yoga is actually hosted only ten minutes from the villa, at Batuan. This annual celebration attracts thousands from around the globe, plus celebrated musicians, yogis and dancers. At other times, yoga devotees can book private yoga classes at the villa, or head to Ubud’s renowned Yoga Barn.
  9. Fashionistas and shop-a-holics should drive over to the west coast – around 45 minutes away – where you’ll find Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave, Seminyak. Here, indulge in globally-inspired gourmet restaurants, stylish boutiques and hipper-than-thou bars – including the much hyped Ku Dé Ta, on Seminyak beachfront.
  10. For a day of culture and dramatic landscapes elsewhere, drive north to the mountain town of Bedugul. From here, explore three volcanic lakes, including Bratan, with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most sacred temples.

an elite haven

The Ylang Ylang – Ketewel 6 bedroom beachfront villa, Bali Elite Havens

Approached through Saba village, with its idyllic scenery of verdant rice fields and coconut groves, this beachfront property resting on landscaped gardens and facing the Indian Ocean’s crashing surf is a spectacular sight. Contemporary Asian in design and lavishly appointed, the architectural grandeur of this six-bedroom property emphasises majestic dimensions to create an atmosphere of serenity and refinement.

At Villa Ylang Ylang, the pursuit of relaxation is amply catered for with a gym and infrared sauna, a top-notch theatre room and a series of intimate, luxurious outdoor spaces, while epicurean pursuits are more than satisfied by the kitchen, which produces fine dining par excellence.

Built in 2002 and lovingly designed and furnished by its owner, Villa Ylang Ylang hints of Versace and European sophistication: an elegant black and gold theme permeates throughout, while furnishings are fashioned from the finest imported fabrics. Food is served on gold plates, pool towels are by Chanel and several precious glass sculptures by the celebrated Japanese Artist Seiki ornament the villa. Guests have included international celebrities and royalty, discreetly served by the experienced yet charming villa staff.

Villa Ylang Ylang, however, is much, much more than a luxury beachside residence. The villa is named after the fragrant Ylang Ylang flower, renowned for bringing harmony, peace, warmth and passion, and its mantra is ‘passionate serenity’, which is exactly what you will find here. Radiating a positive and rejuvenating energy, Villa Ylang Ylang’s wildly beautiful beachside setting is therapeutic in itself, but add the yoga and spa treatments, health-conscious food and calming chill-out zones and you have a magical retreat. Secluded and peaceful, you may not want to leave this destination villa, but should you venture out you are within easy driving distance of many of Bali’s tourist attractions and natural splendours.

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