Even before stepping into The Pala's grand foyer you know you have arrived at a special place. The villa's double-height entrance, beautifully carved in gold, red and sea-green-painted wood and flanked by stone frescoes depicting the fragrant frangipani, is truly magnificent.
The Pala meaning "Nutmeg" is Pandawa Cliff Estate's flagship villa. Commanding unrivalled views over the ocean from its dramatic cliff-top setting, this fabulous six-bedroom property is destined to become one of Bali's most sought-after villas. Its thoughtful design makes The Pala as suitable for a grand wedding venue as it is for a special family holiday, or even as an extravagant hideaway for a romantic couple.
The splendid master suite looks majestically down over the white sands of Pandawa Beach through walls of floor-to-ceiling glass, while five generous ensuite guest rooms each provide a private sanctuary equipped with top-quality furnishings and facilities. Abundant indoor living space includes an exquisitely decorated upper-floor lounge with ocean-view balcony, a dining room with two dining tables, a spa treatment room, children's play room and fitness room.
Outside, the villa's potential as a second-to-none event venue becomes apparent. A wide lawn sweeps from the dining terrace towards the 20-metre infinity-edge swimming pool, to one side of which a ten-seater table is set up below a covered barbecue and bar area, and a stone amphitheatre makes the perfect setting for a traditional Balinese dance performance.
The Pala's garden links through to that of neighbouring Villa Rose, providing a spectacular cliff-top setting for events of up to 200 guests. The gardens have been purposefully designed with events in mind, providing plentiful washroom facilities and extensive deck and lawn areas.
A large team of professionally trained staff, including a villa manager, skilled chefs, chauffeurs and a veritable army of service, housekeeping and grounds staff, tend to your every need at Pandawa Cliff Estate, while the provision of a private sports centre with full-size tennis court, squash court and well-equipped gym, together with a dedicated spa staffed by trained therapists, means that guests will want for nothing at this superbly self-contained hidden paradise above the ocean on Bali's beautiful Bukit peninsula.
The Pala's grand entrance opens to a light-filled reception with "birdcage" chandeliers and plantation fans hanging from a double-height glass roof. Flanking the reception are four virtually identical guest suites, arranged over two floors.
A corridor of glass with cooling water features on either side guides you first to a foyer displaying colourful artwork, and then to a stately living room with a curved, glass-fronted, furnished balcony giving spectacular ocean views.
To left of the living room a corridor extends to the master bedroom wing which incorporates a comfortable TV lounge and a spiral wood staircase leads down to ground level and the sixth bedroom, dining room and superbly equipped professional kitchen. A hallway to the back of the dining room brings you to the spa treatment room, and pathways lead through the gardens to the back of the villa where a children's playroom and games room are neatly tucked away.
A covered dining area, the spectacular infinity pool, a sunken stone amphitheatre and a relaxation bale punctuate the villa's broad lawn, while colourful bougainvillea lines the cliff edge, beyond which stretches the mesmerising ocean panorama.
The Pala's splendid upper-floor living room is divided into two comfortable sitting areas, with massive sofas in blue and cream on either side. A highlight of this room is the tiered ceiling, which features a delicate fresco of natural scenes depicting flowing water, trees and birds. A curved, glass-fronted balcony to the front of the room looks out to the ocean, over the garden and pool. An intimate TV lounge lies just beyond the living room, at the entrance to the master bedroom wing.
Below the living room, the huge dining room, with a furnished balcony opening to the garden, offers a choice of dining options. For large formal dinners there's a 12 seater rectangular table to the far side of the room while, to the other side, in front of a bar counter and butler station, is a circular table for eight, ideal for more relaxed mealtimes. A door leads through to the villa's spacious professional kitchen, fitted with absolutely everything required to prepare exceptional feasts for guests.
Spa treatment room
Behind the dining room, a corridor leads to a peaceful spa treatment room with two professional massage beds and a shower room with lovely tiled feature wall and ornate mirror.
Children's playroom and games room
A winding pathway between The Pala and its boundary with Villa Rose leads to the children's play room and a games room. Warmly lit and painted in powder blue, the play room is equipped with toys and puzzles and there's a Nintendo Wii to keep young and old amused. A handy guest bathroom serves both of these rooms.
On the ground floor, at the front of the master bedroom wing, is covered outdoor dining area where a table and 10 chairs in ocean turquoise and sandy beige sit below a ceiling fan. A bar-style serving counter makes this an ideal spot for alfresco meals and two smart guest washrooms are conveniently situated for villa and party guests alike.
Just in front of the outdoor dining area, and virtually on the cliff edge, is a sunken stone amphitheatre specially designed for traditional dance performances. Next to this is the 20 x 5-metre pool with shallow section for toddlers, infinity edge at the front and broad wooden decking behind, furnished with all-weather lounge seating. On the cliff top, a relaxation bale looks down onto peaceful Pandawa Beach. Lie back here and be soothed by the sound of the waves breaking far below.
With floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides and a glass-fronted balcony looking down to the turquoise ocean and white sands of Pandawa Beach, The Pala's master bedroom wing is reminiscent of the prow of a fine ship.
A sitting area with 40-inch satellite channel TV and two comfy cream sofas leads through to the air-conditioned master bedroom itself, and its divine panorama. So as not to compete with the views perhaps, the bedroom is simply but stylishly furnished with a pair of two-seater sofas, a writing desk and a king-size bed below a brightly coloured, traditionally woven panel. Beyond the spacious walk-in dressing room is an equally spacious bathroom with double vanity, glassed in shower and freestanding tub.
Four of The Pala's five guest suites are arranged in pairs, one above the other, on either side of the villa's entrance with views over the gardens or the ocean. All are very private and will appeal to both families with young children and those who appreciate having some extra personal living space, thanks to the clever addition of a sliding partition wall that separates the sleeping area from a light-filled anteroom that works well as a study, sitting room or kids bedroom. The two lower suites are furnished with king beds and the two upper rooms with split-king beds giving plenty of flexibility for different guest group configurations.
All four suites feature cool marble floors, sofas or daybeds, writing desks, top of the range audio-visual equipment, bar fridges and attractive latticework panels between the beds and dressing areas. Bright ensuite bathrooms are fitted twin vanities, freestanding tubs and generous glass-fronted shower cubicles; all are finished in soothing white and cream marble. One of the lower-floor suites also boasts an outdoor shower.
At the front of the villa, a striking spiral staircase leads down to final guest suite, which is immediately below the master suite and opens onto the lawn. The room is furnished with a split-king bed and sofa and accented in warm reds. Its ensuite bathroom has both indoor and outdoor showers.
Peacefully and privately situated, at the end of a winding country lane on Bali's southernmost tip, Pandawa Cliff Estate is a hidden paradise overlooking the Indian ocean from its enchanting cliff-top setting.
Apart from a handful of other luxury villas sprinkling the top of the cliff, and the beach huts and local cafes bordering the white sands of Pandawa Beach far below (named after the five warrior brothers of the Mahabharata epic, whose white stone statues are carved into niches along the road leading down to the beach), there is little development in this unspoiled corner of Bali. But despite it's tranquil, rural setting, Pandawa Cliff Estate is less than 30 minutes drive from Bali's international airport, and within easy reach of several glorious surf beaches, the sacred sea temple of Uluwatu, and the many restaurants and beach bars of Jimbaran and Nusa Dua.