In a nutshell: Villa Nilaya is a private retreat in the quiet area of Candidasa, east Bali, where guests can feel peace, practice yoga, and absorb the energy of the ocean.
What I liked about Villa Nilaya
On a secluded property between wild, dense mangroves and the Balinese Sea rests Villa Nilaya, named after the Sanskrit term for ‘nest’.
After departing the luscious heart of Bali for the eastern-most coast, the first thing that struck me about Villa Nilaya was the compelling presence of the ocean; a powerful and grounding energy source that coerced a subtle barrier between my busy, business-oriented self, and my gentler, vacation-mode side, softening any mental clutter that had been causing static in my mind. The sea sets the tone for inner peace and reflection, and for the first time in months, I was able to sink into my book, feel the benefits of yoga, and take in a daily deep-tissue massage that coerced all remaining static away.
I was alone at Villa Nilaya, which made it easy to enjoy the peace and solitude, and I very much appreciated the thoughtful arrangement of resting nooks tucked amongst the palms and within the open air home. A traditional hand-carved bungalow draped in flowing white linen sits across from the television on the second floor, adjacent to a balcony day bed on the polished terrazzo verandah overlooking the sea. My personal favourite alcove was directly beneath the verandah: an exotic double swing bed, imported from Rajasthan, India. Privacy and comfort can always be found in the villa, even when the house is at it’s full eight-person capacity. And the bathtub – oh, this bathtub. This lush, standalone, raw marble tub, fit for two, or even three – find your novel, Madé will brew a cup of herbal tea; add a few drops of rose petal essential oil from the royal blue tincture sitting atop the shelf near your fresh, cotton bathrobe, and you’ll find yourself with afternoon well spent.
Things to note
Let your mind clear of any day-to-day tasks, and allow the four, full-time, English-speaking, Balinese staff members to facilitate whatever experiences you seek. Two women who are are professionally-trained chefs and masseuses, and an expert yoga teacher can be brought in for daily classes, held on the yoga deck upstairs – a space that holds up to 18 mats comfortably.
The villa owner, Anna, is an art gallery director who resides in Australia and hosts various art and yoga retreats at Villa Nilaya throughout the year. The villa itself is an embodiment of her own worldly travels and personal artistic expression – decorated with hand-woven rugs she has collected from a desert village in Rajasthan, to hand-painted tiles from the famous blue pottery in Jaipur, India. The Balinese experience at Villa Nilaya goes well beyond the expression of Indonesia, immersing guests in warmth and grace from around the world.
Full resort album: flickr