Cabinet of Curiosities

Photography By Bagus Tri Laksono

Surrounded by rice fields, a river, and panoramic views of Bali’s volcanoes, Maison Simba is the beautiful private home of a European interior designer, where colonial style meets Balinese culture. Four cosy suites offer guests a serene home away from home.

Take a four-kilometre trip from Tanah Lot Temple and you’ll find Maison Simba in a traditional Balinese village. Its facade, inspired by Singapore’s black and white bungalows, is a contrast to the lush foliage around, safe for its green verandah blinds.

Maison Simba is the opposite of minimalism. From antique furniture, artworks to colourful fabrics sourced from all around Asia, the interior is rich with details and objets d’art. There are mosquito nets made from embroidered sarees from India, a wall adorned with kuda lumping from Java, cushions dressed in Jim Thompson, silk from Cambodia, stencils from Laos, old trinquets from a market in Bangkok, and the list goes on.

If not carpeted with ethnic Balinese rugs, the floor is lined with patterned cement tiles from Yogyakarta. No matter where you step, it’s unlikely the floor or any part of the house is left undecorated.

Guests can choose from the Angkor, Borobudur and Luang Prabang suites, and a detached Javanese teak house (rumah geladak), all of which offer bed and breakfast. Each room’s decor is unique to its name, but guests would be delighted by a covered private terrace for enjoying the beautiful outdoors and other comfort and amenities commonly expected of five-star hotels.

Among the fantastic four, it’s the teak house that offers a different experience. Being a standalone unit with its own entrance, it offers the most privacy. It has a fully equipped kitchen and a private garden ideal for an extended family stay, but larger groups also have the option to rent the entire house.

The shared areas include three living rooms, a bar and dining area, and an outdoor pool that overlooks the river. One of the living rooms is blue and white-themed, designed to be like a cabinet of curiosities, filled with unique knick knacks and books for guests to pass time. Another complementary feature of the house is the pavilion (balé), usually reserved for massages with views of the waterfall and river.

Far away from Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu, there’s not a traffic jam in sight when exploring the area. Maison Simba staff will help you find nice and hidden temples closeby, underrated restaurants and other hidden gems in the area if you fancy discovering the wonders of this part of Bali.

“I am located in a small village where my ‘family’ (my staff) comes from,” says the owner, who regularly helps Ibu Wayan prepare delicious Indonesian food for guests’ dining experience. “My friends and clients appreciate the calm and the ‘like at home’ spirit I am trying to give, not only in the style of the house but also in the service,” he goes on. “One of our funniest reviews on Tripadvisor is ‘Like at home but...
much better’”.

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Natasha Gan
Natasha is a writer with 5+ years of experience and a digital marketing professional currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can view her past works on
Bagus Tri Laksono

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