Steep stone steps bordered by lush foliage and a man-made waterfall lead down to the villa’s main entrance: a large rust-red cantilevered door that opens onto a fish-filled lotus pond traversed by stepping stones.
Beyond the pond, and overlooking the pool and river, is the dining pavilion which also houses an informal living area and, to one side, the kitchen. Downstream is the open-sided TV lounge and three stand-alone bedroom suites, while upstream lies the riverside lounge terrace, relaxation balé and master suite. Two more bedrooms are located on a terrace higher in the gorge, accessed by stairs to the rear of the kitchen and master suite.
From the moment you descend the broad stone staircase that carves its way down the river gorge, Villa Maya Retreat will captivate you with its beauty and tranquillity. Jungle vines hang from mature trees, moss and lichen cling to carved statues and a waterfall cascades all the way to the villa hidden below.
By the time you reach the villa it really sinks in that this is your own private paradise. A huge rust-red door swings open to reveal a lush and secluded oasis. Traditional thatch-roofed pavilions overlook the Penet River and clusters of towering bamboo, while a 12 x 5-metre swimming pool with timber deck provides the perfect spot to soak up the forest ambiance.
With six stand-alone bedrooms (three with plunge pools), Villa Maya Retreat is perfect for families, friends or groups looking to share their holiday experience but who also desire privacy and room to breathe. Designed with space in mind there are plenty of places to take in the views and absorb the solitude; from the curtained relaxation balés to the secret garden alcoves to the sunset lounge at the river’s edge.
The Villa is set in true rural Bali with everything you need at your fingertips. A full complement of staff, including an experienced chef, is on hand to prepare and serve delicious home-cooked Asian and Western meals. A car and driver (additional daily charge) is also on standby for those eager to explore the island or indulge in Seminyak’s trendy restaurants, bars and shops (a 45 minute drive).
A stay at Villa Maya Retreat is not complete without exploring the pretty neighbouring village of Cepaka, located in the heart of Bali’s ‘rice bowl’. Here, guests are privy to local traditions that have been practiced for centuries. Whether it happens while you’re witnessing a temple ceremony, watching farmers tend their fields or simply playing with the village children in the street, it’s hard not to fall under the spell of the Island of the Gods, its magicleaving you refreshed and rejuvenated for your return home.