villa layout - 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
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US$ 2470++ US$ 3945++ out of 1

Villa layout

The Istana’s neatly symmetrical, ‘H’-shaped main building looks out towards the 32-metre pool, the lawn and the ocean beyond the cliff edge. At the heart of this building is a living room surrounded by koi ponds, and flanked by a formal dining room to one side and a media room to the other. Beyond these rooms are two identical wings, each housing an ocean-view and a garden-view guest suite.

The very private master suite, with its own swimming pool and sun deck, lies to the north of the main building in a separate pavilion facing the ocean and cliff-edge balé. Steps lead between the master and main building to the villa’s private spa, the games room and the children’s wing. The Istana’s professional kitchen, complete with its own herb garden is tucked discreetly to the rear of the villa.