January 2012 sees the launch of Jiva Puri, a private home available to rent on the authentic and undeveloped south west coast of Bali. Set on two acres of prime ocean-front land with extensive lawns and tropical gardens the villa is the result of the owner’s 20-year love affair with the island. The location is truly exceptional - set on a small cliff, about thirty feet above the water, with a black sand beach surrounded by rice paddy fields. The villa has already been recognised by the design industry, being awarded the Asia Pacific Property Award in the residential Property Interiors category for its design.
The architecture and interiors are designed by Ernesto Bedmar - a Singapore based Argentine architect - and it is a contemporary Geoffrey Bawa inspired take on Balinese living. The concept, like Bawa's own, is to take the Balinese design precepts of organised living spaces around a courtyard and open views of verdant green living spaces and the sea and update them for the 21st century.
The property consists of five spacious bedroom pavilions, each with their own private outdoor spaces of ponds and gardens. They feel like independent villas with a tennis court-sized lawn punctuated by wooden tribal art leading to the common living areas. There is a large living and dining pavilion with wraparound views of the sea and a dining table that can seat 20 – plus a library, gym and spa. The views overlook not only the sea but one of Bali's most beautiful temples - black and set on rocks in the sea.
The villa also includes a private collection of Indonesian tribal antiques that set off the clean lines and tranquil spaces of the property and includes wood carvings from a village chief's house in Borneo, a stone Shiva Lingam from Java and a canoe from Medan, near Malaysia as well as stone carvings from the Sumba islands. As a counterpoint there are large black and white photographs of Balinese ceremonies taken by Rio Helmi within the bedrooms.
There is also a 30 metres swimming pool with a separate pavilion with a large dining area plus a professional kitchen with a private herb and vegetable garden. In addition, there is separate accommodation for any staff that a guest may choose to bring with them. Staff on site include a highly experienced manager with over 20 years experience with the Hyatt group, an Executive Chef (a former Grand Hyatt Executive Chef and co–author of the famous Food of Bali Cookbook), sous–chef, short–order cook, driver and 10 staff for housekeeping, 24 hours security and maintenance. The staff can cater for up to 40 people with bespoke menus.
The owner, a former Indian banker based between Hong Kong and India has had a 20 year love affair with Bali, finding it to be the one of the only vacation destinations in Asia that had retained a character and culture independent of the tourism industry. They did not want to be part of an enclave built for tourism. Bali’s rich history of music, theatre, art and religion were the lure of the island and the location for Jiva Puri was the result of a five year search to find the perfect place to build. Most luxury villas in Bali are set on plots that are a third to a half the size of Jiva Puri.
Jiva Puri is perfectly located for side trips to Ubud and Seminyak and the nearby village of Cemagi is one of the prettiest villages in the area. The last kilometer drive to the villa is through rolling paddy fields.