Set on two acres of prime ocean-front land with extensive lawns and tropical gardens, the private villa is rooted in the owner’s love of Bali. The location is part of the lure, set on a small cliff about 30 feet above the water, with a black sand beach surrounded by rice paddy fields.
‘Jiva’ means immortal essence of a living being in Hindu and ‘Puri’ refers to a place or dwelling in Sanskrit, a name that describes the beauty and tranquillity of this private home.
Ernesto Bedmar, a Singapore-based Argentine architect, designed The Jiva Puri. His work shows how traditional Balinese design concepts relate to the rich landscape. The concept is to start with the Balinese design precepts of organized living spaces around a courtyard and open views of verdant green living spaces and the sea, and then update them for the 21st century.
The property consists of five spacious bedroom pavilions, each of which have their own private outdoor ponds and gardens. Each pavilion feels like an independent villa with a tennis court-sized lawn punctuated by wooden tribal art leading to the common living areas. There is a large living room with wraparound views of the sea and a dining pavilion – with 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, a striking black structure 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, as well as wood carvings from a village chief’s house in Borneo, a stone Shiva Lingam from Java, a canoe from Medan, near Malaysia, and stone carvings from the Sumba islands.
As a counterpoint there are large black and white photographs of Balinese ceremonies taken by noted Bali-based photographer, Rio Helmi, within the bedrooms.
A 30-meter swimming pool and a separate pavilion with a large dining area, plus a professional kitchen with a private herb and vegetable garden, are part of the villa. In addition, there is separate accommodation for an entourage or accompanying staff members.
Staff on site include a highly experienced manager with over 20 years of experience with an international hotel company, an Executive Chef (co-author of the famous Food of Bali Cookbook), sous-chef, short-order cook, driver and housekeeping team, 24-hour security and maintenance teams. The staff can cater for up to 40 people with customized menus.
The owner, a former Indian banker based in both Hong Kong and Delhi, has had a 20-year love affair with Bali, finding it to be the one of the only vacation destinations in Asia that has retained a character and culture independent of the tourism industry. He did not want to be part of an enclave built for tourism.
Bali’s rich history of music, theater, art and religion were the inspiration for the location of Jiva Puri and 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.
The nearby village of Cemagi is one of the prettiest in the area of Jiva Puri, which is also perfectly located for side trips to Ubud and Seminyak. The last stretch of the drive to the villa is through rolling paddy fields. The sense of arrival is worth the journey from any corner of the globe.
Ideal for private visits when privacy is key, for family escapes or romantic holidays, Jiva Puri costs from $5,000 per night (minimum three-night stay).