living areas - the istana
The Istana – Uluwatu 5 bedroom clifftop villa and luxury venue The Istana – Uluwatu 5 bedroom clifftop villa and luxury venue

With its dream location high above the Indian Ocean on a Bali cliff-top, The Istana is regarded by many as the ultimate luxury villa, and has won the hearts of the world’s most discerning travellers.

‘Istana’ means palace in Indonesian, and The Istana is truly palatial in every sense: in its profuse living space, in the symmetrical elegance of its architecture, in its stunning interior design, and in the impeccable service provided by its staff. Indeed, one can be forgiven for feeling like royalty in this sublime setting where attention to detail is second to none and every wish is fulfilled.  

The views are beyond spectacular. On a clear day Bali’s necklace of volcanoes to the north are visible on the horizon, while 60 metres below, world-class surf breaks attract seasoned wave riders. The sky blazes with fiery oranges and pinks as the sun sets on a perfect day, and when darkness deepens the sea sparkles with a latticework of lights from the fishing boats of Jimbaran Bay.

It is little wonder that the Istana is one of the most sought-after wedding venues in Bali; celebrated for its cliff-top ceremonies, candlelit poolside dinners, and dance floor under the stars. Adding to the romance is the secluded master suite, which has its own private pool and is positioned well away from the four guest bedrooms in the main villa.

The space and facilities at The Istana have huge family appeal. When not cavorting in the 32-metre infinity pool, kids will be thrilled to have the run of their own special wing, where a games room is equipped with pool table, Wii and PS3, and every night is sleepover night in the four-bedded bunk room. Parents can play too – a couples’ massage at the spa perhaps, followed by sunset cocktails and a gourmet dinner to rival the best of Bali’s restaurants, capped with a Cognac and Cuban cigar.

Such is The Istana’s magic that many guests choose not to stray far. But for those few who do have the urge to explore, Suluban Beach is only a five-minute walk away, and a seven-seat chauffeur driven car is on stand-by to whisk guests across the isthmus to Seminyak or further afield into Bali’s rural and cultural heart.

The Istana
8 out of 10 based on 1 user reviews.
US$ 2470++ US$ 3945++ out of 1

Living areas

Living room

Lying at the heart of The Istana is the living room. This highly sociable space is open on two sides and features a black marble cocktail bar and silk-cushion-covered contemporary seating arranged in a U-shape around a huge coffee table – all oriented towards the ocean view. Walls feature panels of tropical wood carved with ancient tales of Ramayana, and prized ethnic artefacts are artfully dotted around the space.

Dining room

The Istana’s formal dining room is a delightful setting for gourmet meals and dinner parties, served at a stately teakwood table for 12. The interior is handsomely decorated, with a wall of Thai silk panels, an antique hand-woven songket and an eclectic collection of oceanic curios. Looking out onto stellar ocean views, glass doors can be closed for air-conditioned comfort or thrown open for sea-breeze-cooled dining.

Media room

In this decadent home-theatre-with-a-killer-view, villa guests can lounge in comfort before the 92-inch projector screen with Bose surround-sound for a full-on immersive experience. Automatic black-out blinds veil or reveal the ocean and garden beyond at the touch of a button, and the butler is on hand to serve movie snacks.

Games room

Kids of all ages will love the games room, with its full-size pool table, library of books, board games and toys, and L-shaped sofas defining a video games section complete with PS3 and Wii supported by Bose sound system.


While the living room may be the heart of the Istana, the cliff-edge balé is unquestionably its soul. Here, guests can celebrate a spectacular Bali sunset with cocktails in the comfortable sitting area before enjoying a sumptuous seafood feast at the sunken dining table set in front of a monolithic slab of granite that forms the bar and barbecue station.