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Things to do

Your villa manager will typically have a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Do also ask the staff about the local area. Invariably some of them will live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.

In the meantime, here is a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the villa.

  1. Bali boasts hundreds of ancient temples (pura): at Petitenget Beach entrance (0.5km), Pura Dalem Petitenget appears unassuming, but is actually one of the island’s key temples, with sixteenth century origins. Considered sacred (and associated with spooky tales), visitors should be respectfully attired to enter. Regular colourful ceremonies are held here, or on a holy patch of beach opposite.
  2. Stylish nightspots are within staggering distance, located both in Petitenget and Seminyak; amongst all the hip bars, don’t miss one of Asia’s most prolific beach clubs, , Ku Dé Ta on Seminyak beachfront – an absolute must for sunset cocktails. Seminyak also boasts superb shopping, with designer boutiques, antique stores, art galleries and more – head for Jalan (street) Laksmana and surrounds, less than 2km away.
  3. Jet-lagged and can’t sleep? Need to glam-up before a big night out or pamper yourself after one? The Maharaj is surrounded by world-class spas but Away Spa, at all-new W Retreat Bali, a short stroll away, is one of Bali’s most glamorous and lavish: open 24/7, it has its own spa bar, hamam, plus detox room with oxygen masks. You may even spot a celebrity.
  4. A string of naturally beautiful beaches renowned for their excellent surf breaks are easily accessible along this southwest coastline. Known by surfers across the world, head to legendary surfer’s haunt, Echo Beach, a 15 to 20 minute drive to Canggu, which conveniently provides post-surf sunset drinking. Whichever, all are in prime position for fabulous sunsets.
  5. Alternatively, if you want to learn to surf, head down to the Double Six section of Legian Beach (8km), home to Rip Curl School of Surf. With the surf school’s long experience and Legian’s manageable waves and warm, sandy-bottomed seas, this is a great spot for novice surfers, and for excellent brunches at one of the beachfront restaurants.
  6. Bali’s original horse riding stables (established 1995), Umalas Equestrian Resort is located in Ulamas village, ten minutes drive north of Petitenget. These renowned stables offer small group horse-riding tours through the area’s picturesque rice-fields and farming villages and along nearby Batubelig Beach, as well as children’s pony rides.
  7. Make the de rigueur pilgrimage to sacred Pura Tanah Lot (20km), one of Bali’s biggest tourist magnets. Perched high on a craggy wave-lashed rock, this ancient sea temple is best savoured at sunset; make sure you receive a blessing from the resident Hindu Priests.
  8. Alternatively, view Tanah Lot from the 12th hole of Nirwana Bali Golf Club. Bordered by the Indian Ocean and rice-fields just down from the sea temple, no wonder this championship-standard course designed by golf legend, Greg Norman, is frequently voted Asia’s number one.
  9. To escape the crowds, drive westwards past Tanah lot, heading for the relatively unchartered West Bali region. Here, the charming Tabanan Regency reveals terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black sand beaches dotted with fishing communities – archetypal landscape for which Bali is famed.
  10. For a day of culture and dramatic landscapes, drive directly north from the villa for a couple of hours, heading towards the mountain town of Bedugul. From here, explore three volcanic lakes, including Bratan, with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.
  11. Pulau Dive Charters offers luxury boat charters around the beautiful islands and waters surrounding Bali. They specialise in private fishing, surfing and diving charters and also offer unique personalised day trips to Nusa Lembongan. Perfect for a family day out on the water or with a group of friends.
Villa Maharaj – Seminyak 4 bedroom luxury villa, Bali Elite Havens

The Maharaj appears understated and compact (covering 1,100sqm), but you’ll find this bijou family-oriented holiday villa worth its weight in gold during your Island of the God’s sojourn. Off a peaceful cul-de-sac in the chic urban village of Petitenget, narrow wooden entrance doors lead through to sweet tropical gardens and an utterly charming four-bedroom villa. In this peaceful hideaway, you are immediately embraced like one of the family.

Since 2002, the villa’s owners and informal but attentive staff have created a peaceful hideaway, ideal for families, where guests feel relaxed enough to pop in and out of the kitchen at mealtimes, or talk at length about local customs and recommended dining spots with the amiable – and consummate – villa manager. All modern comforts are supplied, such as two flat-screen TVs and DVDs, sound system, and shaded, free-form 12m pool, but there is a refreshing lack of pretentiousness and superfluous adornments. Sunlight-drenched interiors focus on comfort and are furnished in a simple yet tasteful style.

Calming spiritual elements further contribute to a blissfully peaceful stay, from garlanded Hindu stone deities watching over proceedings to a secret inner garden courtyard and the exquisite and omnipresent fragrance of jasmine. More earthly accoutrements include poolside massage beds for pampering treatments.

But for those wanting to shop, party and indulge, The Maharaj is also right in the centre of one of Bali’s most sought-after areas, the happening and trendy Petitenget district of Seminyak – the cosmopolitan heart of Bali. This jetsetter’s paradise, crammed with world-class gourmet restaurants, designer spas, boutiques and hip nightspots, is within walking distance, while beautiful Petitenget beach, with its renowned beach clubs, Indian Ocean surf and fabulous sunsets, is a pebbles’ throw away.

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