The Mandala House is an eclectic Berawa villa that sets the stage as a prodigious party house. Ondy Sweeting checks in.
The Mandala House, a rock star haven in prodigiously hip Canggu, makes an excellent case for fusing bold antiques and contemporary design into a dream Bali pad. Created by lauded Spanish architects SUKYF and the Californian interior design supremo Four-Corners Design, it offers a hidden library, five king suites, an underground cinema and a gym. Oh, and a glass bottomed pool to complete the imposing picture.
The huge living space has a sunken sitting area of the most beautiful light teal blue, big ceiling-to-floor walls of glass frame and metal overlook the swim up bar and multi level pool. The raw concrete ceiling adds a masculine industrial texture. A huge tree trunk is redefined as a high-gloss dining table for 12 people and a large recessed picture window is postcard perfect – as well as being a hugely comfortable sofa. Sink in and enjoy that timeless view over the neighbouring rice farms. Hand-pierced metal of massive Moroccan lights cast pretty shadows while an open plan kitchen provides the necessities of life, such as refrigerator drawers, a wine fridge, a coffee machine and rose gold cocktail shakers. The butler’s kitchen and pantry are discreetly tucked away where, behind closed doors, a team of wonderful staff and private chef keep this peachy villa running seamlessly.
Once you arrive at such a place, there is no way of unknowing the space that is curated to be social while at the same time offering ample retreats. The philosophy is clearly about the good life, entertaining, eating and sharing. The vibration is inclusive and comfortable. Sound comes compliments of a Sonos system controlled from a smart phone – just download the app.
Four bedrooms flank one side of a 20-plus metre long pool. This is no ordinary swimming pool as it stretches from the bar – which sits under the cover of a glass bottom pool – until a set of purpose built sun loungers at the shallow end, perfect for catching some rays. A corner is carved out for the Jacuzzi and overlooks the Balinese rice fields.
There is something unique about sipping a curated cocktail at a private swim up bar and to look up and see a friend frolicking in the pool above. It becomes even more beautiful at night when the expert lighting switch is on.
Each of the five-ensuite bathrooms are uniquely styled with no cookie-cutter master plan – each has different custom tiles and a mix of stone, resin, wood and concrete. The only constant are the rain showers and bespoke Mandala House Apothecary toiletries. Two ensuites have black stone outdoor jungle bathtubs set into lush gardens with a wall of mirror making the garden double in size. The lush view from the tub is through the decorative cinder blocks, which are a neat retro design reference used to great effect.
Each bedroom has it’s own style – a hand woven cane desk in one, live plants in glass decorating the walls in another and wallpaper of light refracting off blue water covers the ceiling of the suite that fronts the sun lounge pool.
The master suite claims most of the top floor and has sweeping views of Bali’s hottest hood, an immense bathroom with a giant black tub, a balcony shower and a private sunset terrace covered with flowering vines. It steps away from the transparent pool that is perfect for a morning dip.
The master retreat shares the top floor space with a ‘secret’ library behind a wall of shelving and glass. A central panel swings open to deliver access to this room and its sloped gabled walls. The collection of curiosities here will keep an inquiring mind busy. There are beaten old metal army helmets, piles of vinyl records, and pieces of whale backbone, tribal art, old posters, paintings and some excellent album covers. Vintage art is a leitmotif. Chill on huge soft velvet sofas and appreciate the assemblage.
The Mandala House art collection is fun and interesting and traverses sepia images of old Bali, antique metal stamps used to make Indonesia’s superb batik and a ships lifebuoy from Jakarta.
An underground cinema is purpose built for great sound and is next to a gym stocked with free weights and boxing gear and has a personal trainer on speed dial.
If you must leave the villa, the many delights that Canggu has to offer are mostly within walking distance. Cafes, bars, cool beach clubs and fine dining restaurants are close by in the village and so is the brilliant Berawa surf beach.
The Mandala House is a standout holiday destination in an island of exquisite estates and the whisper is that it is set to be the premier property with a series of divine little sisters soon be released and ready to take guests.