Villa Zelie owners tell us about their unique private pool villa in Canggu, Bali.
People have described Villa Zelie as a private Eden or Heaven on Earth (and we agree!). How do you describe it?
It is a garden of Eden. Villa Zelie is a haven of peace and calm in the middle of Seminyak and Canggu. You forget about the world, the heat, the dampness, the noise and the traffic as you arrive at the villa. There is only peace and harmony there. That’s why I do not hesitate, several times a year, to make this long trip just to relax a few days. There are only good energies at Zelie, where stress is unknown.
Where is your favourite place to relax in your villa?
I actually have two. During the daytime, the pool house by the pool, from which you can hear the sound of birds and the rippling water. Simple pleasure but so relaxing. In the evening, the sofa in the living room, facing the garden, which is adorned with all its lights. I can watch this for hours, with a glass of wine, it’s magic.
You clearly have a collector’s eye. What can you tell us about the interiors and artwork Villa Zelie?
We wanted to build a house in the purest Balinese tradition with the most beautiful materials we could find on the island. We found old joglos in Jakarta, including one that is over 200 years old, which is now in the Master bedroom. We have worked with Balinese artisans for woodworking. We only wanted noble materials like silk. Each piece of art has been carefully purchased during our “promenades” around the island or were given by friends. We wanted everything to be harmonious.
The grounds of Villa Zelie are beautifully terraced like the surrounding rice fields, and the sight of the swimming pool spanning the width of the property is stunning. How did you arrive at this unique layout?
The garden was indeed treated like a rice field, but it is the specificity of the ground that led us there. We wanted to have a good perspective of the living area from the garden and the pool. The garden has been designed to enhance the latter. Each gladak has its own terrace with very different points of view. And, it is indeed rare in Canggu and Seminyak to experience such a haven of tranquillity and peace.
How did you decide on the location of Villa Zelie in Bali?
The choice of location is pure chance, we bought the land without ever being in Bali before. We had friends who had a house and offered us the land, and we wanted to make a big house to receive our children and our friends. It was bought and enlarged from another land. The adventure began.
What was the most surprising aspect for you whilst building this villa in Bali?
Apart from all the technical aspect related to a wooden house, the Balinese’s relationship to spirituality, chasing evil spirits, daily offerings, and blessing the land, building and inhabitants. Their relationship to time, but especially the kindness and devotion of the people who participated.
Assuming you enjoy the free time now when you visit the island, what do you like to do outside Villa Zelie?
When we come on vacation to Bali, our priority is to take our time. You have a mind on this island that prohibits any form of stress. I wake up naturally, I swim, I go for a long walk on the beach. The children go to their surfing class which is on the beach, just 400 meters away from Zelie. We go for a long bike ride in the middle of rice fields. We enjoy the dishes of our Chef Made. We get massaged. The main agenda is to live at our own pace and let each day lead us where it may.