Sometimes, you need a change of scenery. And so, on a Tuesday afternoon, our team in Bali made the drive from Seminyak up to the Bukit peninsula. This area occupies the southern tip of Bali and is home to ancient Hindu temples, magnificent surf breaks, local village life and luxury resorts. But even with so much to tempt us along the way, we had a clear destination in mind: we were checking into Villa Impian Manis. The name means “sweet dream” in Indonesian – and that’s exactly what our stay at this beautiful Balinese villa felt like.
We arrived at the villa just in time for sunset. We were greeted with fresh marigold blooms dotted across the grounds, framing the serene koi fish ponds and perfectly chilled young coconuts served by the villa staff. Relaxing in the garden, watching the sun sink into the horizon while painting the sky a dreamy shade of pink, we knew we were in for a truly magical stay.
Pop Art Meets Bali
After drinking in the views as well as our coconuts, it was time for a tour of Villa Impian Manis. The hilltop villa offers the perfect fusion of lush Balinese living and polished modern comfort. This dreamy blend is exemplified by the colourful art by Ubud based artist Symon which adorns the walls, mixing funky pop art with regal Balinese motifs. The paintings feel unmistakably Balinese and perfectly up to date at the same time – just like the villa itself.
On a more concrete level, Villa Impian Manis is divided into two pavilions. The main house has the living and dining areas on the ground floor and two bedrooms on the upper floor. The second building houses the spa on the ground floor, while the master bedroom is housed upstairs. Life flows effortlessly between the garden and the indoor spaces, but when you need a break from the elements, the living areas can be fully enclosed for air-conditioned comfort – always a plus in the tropical climate.
When it came time to choose bedrooms, there really was no need to worry about drawing the short straw. Sure, two of us immediately pounced for the beautiful master suite located above the spa – but the two guest bedrooms in the main house were far from a consolation price.
Each of the bedrooms (two with king beds and one with two singles) is uniquely designed, with a bespoke colour scheme and art pieces. The rooms are adjoined by a beautiful ensuite bathrooms with deep bathtubs, natural toiletries by Sensatia Botanicals and beautiful flower arrangements. Simply taking a shower felt like visiting the spa – speaking of which, the villa actually has its own spa! This relaxing space has two massage beds (and a cross-trainer for those looking to keep fit). The adjoining bathroom has a gorgeous sunken tub – perfect for slipping into an Instagrammable flower bath after a blissful massage.
A Foodie’s Paradise
After settling into our new tropical home, it was time for dinner. Thanks to the delicious smells drifting from the kitchen where the chef was hard at work, we knew we were in for a real feast. We were delighted to learn that dinner would be served outside in the poolside bale, allowing us to make the most of this balmy summer’s night.
In short, the food was amazing. The staff laid out a beautiful spread of Indonesian delights: ikan pepes (mahi mahi steamed in banana leaves), chicken curry, urap (steamed vegetables with grated coconut) and lumpia (spring rolls) served with a side of red rice. We ate and ate until we could eat no more… and then we ate some more. For dessert, we had fresh bananas with a scoop of ice cream – the perfect capper for our Indonesian feast.
The next morning, I got up early and headed for the pool. The water was the perfect temperature and the pool long enough for clocking some leisurely laps before breakfast while gazing out at the serene views. While the island is beautiful any old time of day, there’s nothing quite like Bali in the early mornings.
Our breakfast started with a rainbow of tropical fruit: watermelon, mango, banana, papaya and mangosteen. We also ordered eggs to our liking, served with chicken sausage, bacon and toast with an assortment of artisanal jams (the cherry one was my favourite). Washed down with tea and coffee, this was more than enough to fuel us up for a busy day ahead.
All About the Service
Villa Impian Manis’s staff is a real asset to the villa. From the moment we arrived, from serving our welcomes drinks to guiding us through the villa, it was clear that villa manager Wayan is hospitality personified. The whole team was polite and friendly without even feeling intrusive – we had all the space and privacy we needed to really enjoy the villa.
As the property is hidden off on a scenic hilltop away from the beaten track, the villa provides a car and driver for eight hours a day, so getting around the area is made very easy. Descending from the hill, it’s just a 15-minute drive to Balangan Beach and a short stint to iconic clifftop venues like El Kabron and Single Fin. It’s also just a five-minute drive to the main street of Jalan Raya Uluwatu where you’ll find plenty of restaurants and shops.
Our stay at Villa Impian Manis felt like a dream we didn’t want to wake up from. Besides the beautiful design and serene locale, we fell in love with the heartfelt service, delicious cuisine and thoughtful details (I still miss the toiletries!). Villa Impian Manis has fast become one of our new favourites in Bali – reach out to our team for more details or to book your stay.