"A sublimely accomplished architectural creation in a wild natural setting," is James Jayasundera of Ampersand Travel's verdict on this contemporary collection of 48 villas with private pools in south-west Bali. Designed, owned and operated by renowned Singaporean architect Soo K. Chan and his wife Ling Fu, the resort deftly fuses local materials such as volcanic lava stone with a clean, contemporary aesthetic, and aspires to be as environmentally sensitive as possible. Villas are clad in cool grey sandstone, with sliding glass doors to fame views of the black-sand beach and the terraced rice fields.
Reflective ponds and wooden screens create a serene, temple-like atmosphere. There's an infinity pool, a spa offering meditation and acupuncture treatments, and two restaurants serving Indonesian and European-influenced food. Guests can choose from an innovative selection of "journeys", which include craft workshops, Balinese dancing lessons, horse riding on the beach and visits to food markets and temples, including the spectacular Tanah Lot, a 16th-century Hindu sanctuary built on a rocky outcrop a 20-minute drive from the resort.