Information before you go
The number of villas on Bali is countless. The lists which you can find on the internet just goes on and on. With so much choice you will probably soon get the feeling that you don't know where to start.
The last couple of years the amount of luxury villas has grown considerably and today you can find them in all forms and sizes. So not surprisingly it can all get very confusing.
For us, after visiting many villas we now know that despite the beauty and high standards of luxury, there are several aspects that make one villa more suitable for someone than another. These little aspects and details make a whole difference to your experience.
So to avoid any disappointments during your stay, here are several points that you should keep in mind before booking your villa in Bali.
If you are going to spend money on a nice and special accommodation why not search for an eco villa first. These villas are often beautifully designed and made entirely from natural materials. Imagine walking up bamboo stairs and falling asleep under the mosquito net with the sounds of crickets in the background while waking up the next morning to a delicious and healthy organic breakfast.
Your stay will not only be luxurious but unique as well. The eco villas in Bali are usually part of a resort yet it guarantees more privacy during your stay.
Narrow down the options by deciding in which part of Bali you want to stay before scrolling through the long list of villas. If you don't mind being far from the crowd and surrounded by nature and Balinese villages then you don't really need to worry in which village the villa is exactly located.
But if you have pictured yourself strolling from your villa to nearby shops and restaurants make sure you double check the villa's address and map.
Many private villas tend to say they are located in a specific village but in reality you'll need to drive a long way to get to a restaurant or shop.
An advantage of staying in a somewhat isolated villa is that you can expect a lot of space and privacy plus your villa is set in a stunning location. The disadvantage is that you will probably end up having a lot of meals there making it more expensive. But then again, if they are serving delicious organic food with ingredients straight from their garden then you wouldn't want to miss out on that now would you?
Being a green travel guide we do not really promote staying at villas that have a private pool. We still find it strange that there are a lot of villas and resorts located in arid parts of the island, such as the Bukit region where each accommodation has its own private pool.
Bali is struggling with lack of water and in some regions local people have to walk a long way to collect some. Additionally the chemicals used in pools can harm the environment. If you are feeling guilty at this point don't go for a villa with a private pool...;-)
If you really want to experience a villa with your very own pool go for a villa located in an area where water isn't that scarce such as in the mountain regions or choose one that uses salt water.
Not feeling guilty at all? That's OK. But then there remains one final point you should be aware of.
A villa pool can be two things: a plunge pool or a real pool. If being environmentally conscious isn't a priority on your holiday and you picture yourself swimming lapses then make sure you double check the size of the pool. A plunge pool is usually as large a the biggest bathtub. So the word 'plunge' should be taken literally....
Basically there are three types of Bali villas which can determine your choice. First of all you have the “Villa Complex” which means that there are more villas on the premises.
The advantage of staying at a Villa Complex is that you can expect high service and standards, especially in interior design, facilities and activities offered.
Everything is focused on providing the feeling of exclusiveness...
Another option is the "Villa Resort" which is a villa on the premises of a big resort meaning that you can use all the facilities that resort guests use too.
The advantages are somewhat similar to that of a Villa Complex such as an in-house spa building, good restaurant menu and wonderful location but there will be more guests making it lively and less 'stiff'. (The latter is just our own opinion since we still have a hard time feeling 100% ourselves in super luxury accommodations).
The last option is the "privately owned villa". Here the owner has one unique villa which is designed according to his/her taste. The nice thing about this type of villa is the personal service. You will get to know the small team of staff members who will be at your assistance every day.
This very informal and comfortable atmosphere gives many possibilities for guests to ask for special requests. So you can be ensured that you have everything you need.
These privately owned villas do however have fewer facilities than the other two mentioned earlier but they are able to arrange spas, tours, pick-up etc if requested.
I just want to emphasise again the importance of finding out where the villa is located. Some privately owned villas are pretty much in the middle of nowhere...
This might sound weird but believe me, in Bali a villa isn't per se a villa. Some consider an unattached little building with its own terrace and kitchen facilities a villa while others would consider it a deluxe suite.
Whatever your definition is of a private luxury villa, make sure it will meet your expectations. Read the description and facilities carefully to make sure you won't be disappointed.
Some Bali island villas have great package deals that include a candlelight dinner, tours or traditional massages. You should check the packages too because it can save you some money at the end.
Packages are especially attractive for honeymooners (second honeymooners are always welcome as well), for families or groups of friends who want to do day-tours around the island.
Last but not least, you have to know what type of experience you want to have. The luxury villas in Bali can be really exclusive and have unbelievable services that can dazzle you. The interior in these villas usually go beyond your imagination and it looks as if it comes straight from a magazine.
However if you are looking for comfortable luxury where you will feel more like home, then there are many other options as well.
Look at the pictures carefully to see what kind of interior design they have. This often indicates what type of service you can expect: informal to formal.
However in both cases, the Balinese service always meets or exceeds the Western standards.
I hope I have given you some great points to keep in mind when looking for your villa in Bali.
So for now all I have to say is: Happy Villa Hunting…
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If you want to be surrounded by the Balinese culture 24/7 then this resort is the ultimate experience in Ubud village center. Book a villa and stay like royalty.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.