Villa Melati is a triumph, emerging from its idyllic position high on Sayan Ridge as if sown there purely to benefit from some of the most awesome views around Ubud. A thoughtful design and the abundant use of natural materials, including wood, stone, tile and alang alang thatch, combine to provide a deliciously serene experience.
That experience begins with a long flight of stone steps which descend steeply from the streetlevel carpark through the forest toward the villa (a funicular lift ferries stair-shy guests back up again). At the base of the steps, a wooden bridge crosses flowing ponds to arrive at the villa's inverted V-shaped foyer. Melati is essentially divided into two wings positioned either side of a courtyard and a fanshaped pool that hovers above the tree tops offering a gorgeous vista of the patchwork of paddies in the valley below.
Wood has been used in much of the furnishing and fittings, and for the supporting pillars of the lofty, but warm and homely, living room which opens on three sides and leads out to a broad sunny viewing balcony. In the opposite wing a timber-floored mezzanine furnished with twin beds looks out over the valley from its position above the dining room, where glass doors swing open to reveal yet more splendid views. From the open-plan kitchen villa staff serve delicious meals either inside at the solid teak table, or outside on the large dining balcony.
Two identical master bedrooms flank the foyer in the main building while the third bedroom is housed in a traditional wooden rice barn, reminiscent of a tree house. Here a TV room lies downstairs and a sleeping loft is accessed via a ladder - perfect for younger guests. Directly below is a bathroom that, with clever placement of boulders, appears to have been converted from a cave. In total harmony with its environment, peaceful - even romantic - Villa Melati is Bali at its best.