“Mount Batu Karu, visible beyond the expansive green of the jungle, is a reminder of how Bali earned the nickname ‘the island of the gods’”
Breakfast on the terrace: The sliced tropical fruit and coffee are delicious – perfect, in fact – but the visual feast spread before you is truly exceptional. As the sun rises behind a rugged hillside, your gaze roams across a deep forested gorge with no evidence of human habitation as far as the eye can see. This is your private domain, in the heart of the tropical rainforest. When the legendary American inventor and vintner Bob Davids decided to create a residential estate in Ubud, Bali, his main criterion was absolute privacy. He
absolutely succeeded: No holiday retreat in Bali exceeds the sense of wilderness seclusion that is Villa Keliki, which occupies a rocky promontory with a sheer, 180-foot drop to a pair of rushing rivers that merge in the gorge below. The estate unrolls across a full hectare, two and a half acres of wilderness and exquisite gardens, bounded by waterfalls and streams crossed by bamboo bridges.
Davids engaged the renowned Bali-based architect and designer Made Wijaya to create four fine country houses for the estate, each completely private and individual in character. The result is a masterpiece, or rather four masterpieces, celebrated by a lavish feature in Architectural Digest. The facilities are unparalleled, with two infinity-edge swimming pools, a gym, sauna and spa open to the outdoors, two baronial kitchens capable of cooking a banquet, and a wine cave carved directly into the rock, stocked with Davids’ legendary Sea Smoke Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The miracle of Villa Keliki is that this pocket dominion is a ten-minute drive from the cultural treasures of Ubud, the most famous village in the tropics, where art museums and ancient temples comfortably coexist with fine dining and fabulous shopping that are the equal of any resort destination in the southern hemisphere. The only limits to the possibilities of a stay at Villa Keliki are the visitor’s imagination – and the sky.