Bali has long attracted savvy real estate investors who build bijoux villas in the middle of panoramic rice-fields or nudged up against tree-shrouded valleys – the capital costs offset by holiday rents when they’re not in residence. The original AirBnBs, if you will.
And then there are neophyte hybrid hoteliers like the Singapore-based M.Development group whose Mandala brand of luxury accommodation bridges what its owners call ‘the gap between branded boutique hotels and one-off, fully independent villas for those who want the consistency of a five star hotel while enjoying the exclusivity of a private home.’
The first two five-bedroomed properties in the stable – TheHouse and TheHome, both designed by Felipe Gonzalez and Design4Corners – debuted in 2016 in the still gilded Canggu neighbourhood, the former a palatial 6,500 sq ft pleasure dome overlooking a paddy field and featuring a boxing gym and a glass-bottomed pool, and the latter, clocking in at 5,000 sq ft, awash with natural light, local stone and ceramics, and meandering views of the local river.
A third property, Mandala.TheRocks, has just opened in Uluwatu. In-house creative director James Brown makes the most of the rocky sea-wet perch – accessible only by literally clambering over rocks and a flight of beach-fronting stairs – by dressing the white volumes and private terraces of the six-bedroom villa in timber furniture with turquoise shutters, all the while erasing the line between indoors and outdoors with airy lanais and clerestoried voids.
An on-call concierge dials in diversions, not least yoga, surf and fitness instructors, chefs and masseurs, whilst sundowners can be toasted at nearby private clubs including Ulu Cliffhouse.
Ever ambitious, M.Development is prepping a fourth five-bedroom property, 30 minutes by boat from Bali, for its close-up in January in Nusa Lembongan, an aquatic bolthole celebrated by insiders for its diving, surfing and snorkelling. §