The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel

Seminyak, Denpasar & South, Indonesia Book from

Reviewed by Viv Monahan
Cubist oasis in fashionable Seminyak, with private pools, a sensory spa and a sharp eye for style
Upmarket Seminyak is the home of the all-day, all-night party, with hip beachside venues turning insomnia into an art form. And when you've just rocked for 24 hours, The Elysian Boutique Villa Hotel (previously The Elysian) is a short roll away from the hottest nightspots. And it's just about the sleekest, chic-est and down-right sexiest place to recover.

As soon as you arrive at this all-villa hotel, which is squished between a cluster of new developments and the aristocratic Oberoi, The Elysian’s clean, contemporary lines invite you to chill in linen draped cabanas around the pool, collapse onto people-shaped loungers or tempt you towards the huge variety of aromatic unguents and treatments at the upstairs spa. As an alternative, you can retreat to your minimalist, high-ceilinged villa for a snooze, or soak up the tropical sun beside your own very private pool. And if you do eventually make it into bed, you'll be lulled to sleep between the softest cotton sheets on the planet, whether it's the moon or the sun that's in the heavens when you get there.

Highs

  • It's only a short taxi hop to some of Bali's best boutiques, restaurants and nightspots
  • Private pools and a sundeck at your villa guarantee no tan lines
  • There are gorgeous bouncy beds to cuddle up close in when the time's right - and plenty of breathing space when it's not
  • It's a peaceful bolthole in a buzzing neighbourhood
  • A veritable army of tiptoeing staff keeps your villa spruced twice a day
  • iPads, pre-loaded iPod Nanos and Bose Sound docks are standard
  • All your needs are spookily anticipated, from 'pleasure enhancing lotions' to tomorrow's weather forecast delivered to your room the night before

Lows

  • The pot-holed lane leading to the villas is so narrow that the traffic's controlled by security guards wielding walkie-talkies
  • The common areas aren't built for comfort - you have to perch, flop or lounge rather than simply sit
  • High walls and the lack of mature greenery make the resort feel generally Asian rather than specifically Balinese
  • Style takes precedence over homeliness: we longed to see a tatty old cushion out of place
  • There are no views from the villas (other than of your walled garden and the usually blue sky) and no beachfront, though pale sands are just a 5-minute walk away
  • Though the cooking's adequate, you're going to be heading into town for a memorable meal

Best time to go

Bali’s dry season lasts from April to September, so April to June represents the best all-round value for money at The Elysian.

Our top tips

Seminyak is Bali’s nightlife capital. If you can keep up the pace (and you’ll have those sunlight hours to recover in), then stay for a week. Relax for another week afterwards at one of our favourite haunts on the quieter north coast beach or take in the culture from Ubud.

Great for...

Beach
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 26
  • Restaurant and bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
Room:

Rooms

Hidden behind high walls, each of the 27 private villas at The Elysian is essentially identical, with a large wooden sundeck, a private 8x3m pool and a flat-roofed, chalet-style bungalow in its own little garden. The doors are the first thing you'll notice: they're built for giants and need a good heave. Tall, thin windows concertina back to give you the option of making your day space indoors or outdoors.

The villas all feature a comfy chill-out corner with window seats and a pair of coffee tables made out of wooden cubes. This can convert to a second sleeping area for the kids if you've brought them. There’s a dining area and a kitchenette with tea and coffee-making facilities and, as well as the generously equipped minibar, there's a pantry of selected teas and coffees (and prophylactics too, just in case). Walk through the big dressing area, with cupboards deep enough to hang long frocks (hurrah!), and you'll find the bathroom, which is partly open to the sky. The power shower doubles as a square sunken bath, and clever use is made of smoked glass walls and mirrors to make you feel just a bit like a shrunken Alice in Wonderland.

Décor is cool, contemporary and bright (predominantly white and green, with splashes of orange). Subtle touches of Bali include the culturally significant black and white check cloth used for accessories, and the Kerobokan stone used for building. Good lighting ensures you won't strain your eyes over your bedtime reading, and natural light filters in exotically through netted, louvered windows. The beds themselves are a real highlight - they’re big and spotless and feel brand spanking new with their cosseting King Koil mattresses. The bedlinen is as soft as silk and will help you get over your jetlag (or your all-night partying).

There is also one 2 bedroom villa available - perfect for a family or couples travelling together. Each of its bedrooms has a kingsize bed, 2 daybeds and a Jacuzzi, with a living and dining area and a kitchen shared between them. Outside is a 14x4m lap pool, a sundeck with loungers, and a private cabana for shaded snoozing.

All mod cons - cable TV, DVD/CD players, Bose Sound docks for your iPod, WiFi, air conditioning and even iPads - come as standard in all villas.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Cd player
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • IPad
  • Ipod dock
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Pre-loaded iPod
  • Safe box
  • Swimming pool
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

The hotel restaurant and bar are open-plan, with poolside tables and an open kitchen which gives you a chance to see that the chefs are smiling while they prepare your food (a good sign).

Breakfasts are yummy: the usual suspects, all cooked to order, are supplemented by eggs Benedict, smoked salmon omelettes and mango lassis, as well as exotic dishes such as nasi lemak and Japanese fried rice with acar. Expect a cosmopolitan selection of coffees, extending beyond the ubiquitous Bali Kopi found in most hotel across the island.

Cooking later in the day, however, can lack flair: you get the feeling that each dish (from the standard spring rolls to the more adventurous chocolate samosas) is put together from a template. Never fear though, there are plenty of options for eating out and you're just two minutes from famous Jl. Laksmana (“Eat Street”), so you're not going to lose an ounce in weight while you're staying here unless you're trying very hard to do so. The staff can recommend the best eateries, but sunset cocktails at nearby Ku de Ta are a must. If you don't want to move from your villa, simply opt for the 24-hour room service.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Take a walk on wide sandy Petitenget beach to catch the sunset at world-class nightspot Ku de Ta, or a sun-downer at the breeze-cooled celeb hang-out of La Lucciola

  • Most of the area's upmarket bars and restaurants are close at hand on Jl. Laksmana (“Eat Street”) or on Jl. Petitenget. Bali's hottest nightlife is on Jl. Dhyana Pura and Jl. 66 ("Club 66"), a slightly seedy but interesting district about ten minutes away by taxi

  • Work on your all-over tan on your private sun deck, chill in one of the shady poolside cabanas and take a dip in your pool when the going gets tough

  • Practise your salsa moves to the sounds pre-loaded onto your personal iPod. They’re updated every month so regular guests won’t suffer track fatigue

  • A yoga teacher can come to your villa for a private lesson and you can indulge yourself at the spa, where the treatments are heavenly.

  • You can ride along the sands here on horseback, or take your surfboard to Kuta to catch the more challenging waves

  • Water sports and dive centres abound; the best diving is to the north of the island

  • Staff can arrange for bicycles to be hired nearby and you can play tennis at the Sofitel 3 minutes away

  • The Nusa Dua Bali golf course is about 30 minutes' drive and Bali Nirwana Golf is about 45 minutes away

  • If you need a bit more adrenaline in your life, the staff will organise bungy jumping, rafting (Ayung river in Ubud is 1 hour and 30 minutes by road; Telaga Waja is river about 2 hours away) or mountain trekking for you

  • The island’s signature photo opportunity, Tanah Lot, with its dramatic ocean-front location, is a 45-minute drive away. Brave the tacky stalls that line the route there to capture the sunset shot of a lifetime

  • Go shopping: Jl. Raya Seminyak is within walking distance. Try Havelli for housewares that will still look good when you get them home. While you're there, the upmarket Bali Deli is just round the corner in case you desperately need a tube of vanilla pods, a Chateau Lynch-Bages or a birthday card. Further afield check out the art town of Ubud

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Horse-riding
  • Nightlife
  • Rafting
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Well being
  • Windsurfing
  • Yoga

Kids

Children are welcome but due to safety considerations in the villas, reservations for children under 12 years of age are not recommended. Under 6s stay for free when sharing their parents' villa; those aged 6-12 incur a small charge for breakfast. Cots, babysitting and extra beds are all available on request.

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • Kids cooking classes
  • Pool
  • Bicycles

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Waterborn Park

Families Should Know:

Youngsters need to be well supervised as the private pools are just too tempting... and deep.

Kid Friendly:

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