The magical appeal of Bali has enchanted people from around the world for over a hundred years. The island’s charm continues to inspire people to create including Beatrice Loong and her son, TV personality and entrepreneur Max Loong, who decided to design and build a collection of luxury villas on a remarkable hill in Uluwatu. Thus Hidden Hills Villas was born at the end of 2015.
Story by Erza S. T. Photo by Hidden Hills Villas
It was Beatrice’s wish to retire to Bali and in 2008 they finally found a large plot of land in a beautiful hillside location where they could build a private villa on the hill with five bungalows and an antique Javanese joglo house lower down on the site. The land in Uluwatu was the perfect discovery as they were both looking for a beautiful and unobstructed ocean view on a hillside in the south of the island. Having acquired the site it then took them 16 months to build the villas.
The result is ten exclusive bedrooms, spread over the six private luxury villas, that feature eclectic designs which combine the influence of Greek, Chinese, Moroccan, Persian and traditional Balinese styles with a contemporary slant. All of these elements are reflected in the curated furniture, décor, and in the choice of materials.
During our visit, Beatrice, who worked for over 23 years in the art world including Christie’s Auction House and the Swiss Institute of Art Science, told us that her dream was to create a few wooden bungalows with a combination of traditional and classic-modern styles with design elements from all over the world. Beatrice went on to explain, “our architect was educated in architecture at Yogyakarta. His name is Robin Bimantoro from Triloka design firm. He quickly understood our vision and was able to translate that perfectly into the final design. "Our villas have a nearly identical exterior design, but each has a completely different interior design. We wanted to achieve a unique energy and different look for each villa while affirming our slogan: Bringing the world together in Bali.”
Each of Hidden Hills Villas’ one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom boasts a large private pool, a garden and living room, customised butler service, ensuite bathrooms, kitchen and dining areas, and stunning 180-degree views of the Indian Ocean, mountains and even more.
As mentioned above, the names of the villas reflect their unique interior design. The one-bedroom Villa Santorini, for example, features an all white, Greek-inspired theme while Villa Marrakesh is decorated in an exotic Moroccan style. The two-bedroom Villa Sekapa reflects a modern Indonesian approach and Villa Sanya a contemporary Chinese look, with the largest, three-bedroom, Villa Grande adopting a contemporary Balinese style. The latest addition to Hidden Hills Villas come in the form of an antique Javanese joglo house which is made of teak wood and is home to the yoga pavilion as well as the spa area.
A wide range of carefully chosen materials have been used in the making of Hidden Hills Villas. The villa construction is mainly made out of bangkirai wood, while the roofs are built using ulin shingles, and the terraces constructed using recycled ulin wood. They also brought in special stone materials such as slate, palimanan, volcanic stone, Singaraja stone, marble, Sukabumi stone and terracotta. The bathrooms in each villa have a different design with wall cladding using woven bamboo, vintage motif tiles from Tegel Kunci, coloured cement and even Himalayan mosaic adding unique decorative elements. We also found various types of wash basins made from onyx, fossil stone, marble and even brass.
Hidden Hills Villas is a project that has been designed and executed with passion through the vision of Beatrice. The villas mix different cultures, in a different environment and with a different way of working. Beatrice told us that during the making of these villas, she adapted to the Balinese way of living, which was different from what she was used to. She also acknowledged that this was a very challenging project which would not have been possible without the support of her husband, Khaled Sammar, and Heny Apryianto, her long-time assistant.
The passion at this resort is not only reflected throughout the design, but also through the high quality of service. “We want each of our guests to feel that they are special and cared for. That they are at home, away from home!” said Beatrice.