Eat, pray, holiday

Bali: Villa Ombak

EatPray2This Balinese villa sits high on a cliff top, overlooking the ocean. If the dramatic view looks familiar, it’s probably because scenes from the Hollywood version of Eat, Pray, Love starring Julia Roberts, were filmed on this very spot.

Traditional > Peace and quiet live here. Villa Ombak is located on the southwest coast of the tiny Balinese island of Lembongan. One of the island’s three main villages is minutes away, while two of its best beaches are closer still. If you’re after peace and quiet, this is the place to find it.

Not so traditional > Cool and contemporary, the villa has a stylish pool area with wooden decking. Interiors are decorated in simple beach-house style: think twig side tables, limed-wood furniture, wooden dishes of shells, and sofas upholstered in a fresh, striped fabric. There are sun-dappled wooden floors throughout.

Lounge about > Scattered across the grounds are a number of separate seating areas, including a cliff-top gazebo from where you can enjoy the sunset, and a cool fire pit with seating for later in the day. There’s a massage area where you can arrange to have treatments fanned by the sea breeze.

Italy: Masseria L’Olivo, Puglia

EatPray3There’s a buzz about Puglia that lovers of Italy are discovering. A world away from the Tuscan landscapes, the coastal area has an identity all its own and there are charming villages for perfect lunch-stops.

Traditional > Newly built to reflect the old, a stone farmhouse in the style of the 15th century buildings of the area, with high vaulted stone ceilings, centred round two internal courtyards.

Not so traditional > A mosaic tiled infinity pool, barbecue and outdoor dining area overlooks five acres of olive groves.

Lounge about > On the beaches of Otranto which is an excellent dive location. Or mooch around Lecce, ‘the Florence of the South’, which has a half-buried Roman amphitheatre dating back to the 1st century.

Mauritius: Hibiscus

EatPray4Hibiscus is part of an exclusive development on Mauritius’s south coast. Set on a rolling hillside between the Valriche Nature Reserve and a number of luxurious beachfront hotels, Hibiscus enjoys close proximity to some of the island’s finest natural attractions.

Traditional > Hibiscus is built in contemporary plantation-house style, with open timber ceilings in several of the rooms. The villa wraps around an infinity pool on three sides, the covered, breeze-cooled terraces a natural extension of the interior living spaces.

Not so traditional > The private beach gives access to numerous water sports, including kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing and sailing.

Lounge about > On the terraces there is a relaxed dining area. At the far end of the pool is a shingle-roof pagoda with more seating – perfect for breakfast or early evening drinks while watching the sun set.

Morocco: Dar Lain, Marrakech

Your very own desert fortress. Dar Lain is set in landscaped grounds, just outside the picturesque town of Tahanoute near Marrakech, with fabulous views of the Atlas mountains. From the outside it looks like a Moroccan citadel, its traditional pink-orange walls the colour of local clay.

Traditional > On the inside, Dar Lain is decorated in the contemporary-Moroccan style. Carved wooden doors set in grand Moorish arches lead into the main living space.

No so traditional > The house has top-class audio-visual equipment, including flat screen TV, DVD player, iPod music system and Nintendo Wii games console.

Lounge about > Dive on brightly coloured daybeds scattered with red, pink and orange-striped cushions. The tiled mosaic floors are covered with Moroccan rugs. Dip into a glorious L-shaped pool fringed by manicured lawns and flowering shrubs.

Properties featured are part of Hideaways Club, a private investment club offering second homes. Two Property Funds, Classic and City, offer villas, chalets and apartments across the world. Members enjoy the services of a Personal Concierge. |