Cocooned within Seminyak’s exclusive Laksmana private estate, less than five minutes’ walk from the beach, is the sublime Des Indes I. This fully staffed, four-bedroom multi-pavilion residence is distinguished by its heritage joglo – a centuries’ old, elaborately carved teakwood building that was once the home of a Javanese aristocrat and now forms a palatial open-plan living pavilion. The two master bedroom pavilions are just as generously proportioned, with deep verandas, den/libraries, air-conditioned bathrooms and tropical garden showers, while the two guest suites occupy a separate two-storey pavilion. Every impeccably decorated room features colonial-era furniture, oriental carpets, heirloom artefacts and curios, heritage posters and original art – animated by an experienced team that includes butlers and an accomplished chef.
Accommodation at Villa Des Indes I is spread across a series of pavilions encircling the well-established tropical garden. From the main entrance, steps lead across a large koi pond into the intricately carved antique teakwood joglo – the villa’s centrepiece. Across the lagoon pool that curves around this elegant living space lie two master bedroom bungalows. Tucked to one side of the garden, a two-storey building houses two guest suites. On the other side is another pavilion with guest bar, guest cloakroom and, behind, the kitchen and service area.
At the heart of Villa Des Indes I is the magnificent living pavilion – a centuries-old elaborately carved teakwood joglo, once the home of a Javanese aristocrat and believed to be the best preserved in Bali. Within this large open-sided living space are separate zones: a dining area with table for eight, and three different seating areas where colonial-style cane and rattan sofas and planters chairs cluster around coffee tables laden with books on culture and art. Oriental carpets, lacquer ware drums and stone statues are among the myriad decorative pieces embellishing this glorious space.
In a separate pavilion is the guest bar and butler’s pantry, with antique masks lining one wall, an old cabinet brimming with spirits, and bar chairs pulled up at the counter ready for sunset cocktails. Along a corridor is the well-equipped kitchen – the chef’s domain, though guests are welcome to use it if so inclined.
Further living spaces are found within the sleeping pavilions: an air-conditioned den/library in the master pavilions, and verandas off the guest rooms provide private corners for repose away from the crowd.
Within the garden is a cushioned balé that invites lengthy afternoon siestas. Even within the lagoon pool, there are places to sit, semi-submerged with a cocktail or good book.
In each of the two master suites, on an aged teakwood floor under a vaulted pavilion ceiling, sits an oversized four-poster bed, with King Koil mattress dressed in fine cotton bedding. Antique furniture and heritage artefacts enrich every surface, along with art books, magazines, and a 37-inch satellite-channel TV. An elegant dressing area leads to an enormous air-conditioned bathroom with twin basins, bathtub, walk-in shower and garden shower. Each master has its own air-conditioned den/library, with a fascinating collection of fiction and non-fiction, and a plushly upholstered sofa that doubles as an extra bed. All three rooms (bedroom, bathroom and den) open onto a wide veranda of Palimanan stone, where a marble-topped table and cane-backed chairs, planters chairs and comfortably cushioned steamer chairs provide yet more choice for private lounging.
Occupying a separate two-level building are the two beautifully furnished air-conditioned (and fan-cooled) guest bedrooms – each with a four-poster bed (which can be configured as two singles in the upper level room), a window-seat that doubles as a spare bed, and colonial-style seating set before a 37-inch TV. Both rooms open onto a veranda, and also have a walk-through dressing area and ensuite bathroom (the downstairs room with alfresco shower and bathtub). The upper level bedroom has its own entrance across the koi pond, and can also be accessed from the garden bedroom; useful for families who prefer inter-connecting rooms.