East Bali – The Magic of Villa Campuhan

The main villa (left) and communal area (right) at Villa Campuhan, tucked away in the shadows of Mt Agung.

We stayed for 3 blissful nights at Villa Campuhan, in East Bali. It is a magical place of six villas organized at the ocean’s edge with a surf break right out front.

Also a house of 2500 sq ft, which serves as the shared living/dining room. Being the only guests, we had the place to ourselves.


Villa Campuhan was designed by Linda Garland, an Irish-born interior and landscape designer and environmentalist who has lived on Bali for 35 years. Garland had long been fascinated by the Minangkabau buildings of Western Sumatra and proposed to Rob Cohen, the American director of action-adventure films, who owns Villa Campuhan, that they revive the architecture on his seven acres. The project was built by a team of Sumatran master carpenters.

No expense was spared in making the villas environmentally friendly and seamlessly integrated into the natural setting. The resort sits on the scared ground where two fresh-water rivers run into the Lombok straights of the Indian Ocean.

Cohen’s furniture specifications included “oversize and comfortable, whether family and guests are in wet bathing suits or evening wear”

Garland designed three 10-foot-long black bamboo sofas for the living room and covered then in newly loomed Timorese cloth.

There was no reason to leave, so we didn’t.

The staff are seamless, invisible yet attentive. The food is Indonesian only, fresh and beautiful. This was introduced by Penny Williams now of Bali Asli restaurant (blog to follow), who managed Villa Campuhan before moving onto her own dream. So if you have a craving for steak or burgers or pizza it will be a trip into Candi Dasa, a 15 minute drive away.

If you do want to branch out and see some of the local area, have a talk to Ketuk, a gem, and the manager of Villa Campuhan who is full of local and cultural knowledge.

Because the villas are isolated you will have to use the Villa’s car and driver which will be more expensive than using the local drivers.

I would strongly recommend a trip around East Bali including a meal at Bali Asli with its spectacular views of the active volcano Mt Agung, or a trip into Amlapura to visit the markets.

Villa Campuhan is a truly beautiful and unique ‘bucket list’ destination. It was so so hard to leave after our four days there, but Ubud was calling …..

Other blogs about the villa we stayed in “Lumbung”, and the very special “Bali Aga Statues”, will follow.




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