villa21

Full moon rising above Villa Dermawan

One of the things I love most about blogging is the support of fellow writers. Over the years, many of us travel bloggers have gotten to know each other pretty well despite never having met in person. Hearing from these people puts a smile on my face and inspires me to write more. Yesterday, Gallivance liked a post I wrote several years ago about Bali and Lombok. Their “like” got me thinking about Bali — which is never a bad thing. In doing so, I realized I haven’t written about one of the most enjoyable aspects of visiting Bali: renting a villa! If you haven’t yet experienced this, I hope you’ll add it to your travel bucket list.

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Our one-bedroom hut at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary Resort in Bali

The first time I visited Bali, I was on my honeymoon and we stayed at two boutique hotels during the trip. The hotels were wonderful and there are certainly many great options around the island if you choose this type of accommodation. But while living in Singapore, I was fortunate to return to Bali for several long weekends with friends. Instead of staying at a hotel, we rented a villa each time and relished every moment of having a private home and pool all to ourselves.

Our villa experiences were made most enjoyable by the hospitality of the Balinese staff tending the villas. Every villa typically employs at least two people who take care of the home and make sure you have an excellent stay. Their service is included in the cost of the villa, and they can help arrange other things like transportation and massages by the pool. Best of all, you can usually hire your villa staff to cook authentic Indonesian meals for you throughout your stay. Your villa vacation, already pretty spectacular, becomes even more delicious when you wake up to nasi uduk and fresh fruit or savor a poolside dinner of nasi goreng and satay.

So, need some villa recommendations? Villa Dermawan is located down a tiny brick lane about five minutes from the beach in Seminyak. A high gate and a Buddha statue greet you as you walk through the large front doors. An open-air kitchen and living room overlook the pool, which is next to the main master bedroom. A second master bedroom, open bathroom and sitting area are located at the far end of the grassy lawn. This villa is paradise for couples wanting space and privacy with authentic Balinese character.

Also in Seminyak, Villa Ipanema is modern in design with two stories and five huge bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom. An open-air living room, dining room and kitchen face the pool. For a group of ten adults, this villa brings the pool and the party together for a super fun experience. (I saw it happen. I took part.)

Villa Phalosa hosted the wedding of two of my friends, on a large lawn with a pool facing the ocean. Both of their extended families stayed at this villa during the week leading up to the wedding. Rain was a possibility on wedding day so the bride and groom hired a Tukang Terang (rain stopper) — a Balinese man who held off the precipitation by performing a ritual at a local temple. He did a great job, as you can see in the photos — such a great job, in fact, that temps were sweltering and the wedding party and guests dove in the pool fully clothed shortly after dinner. What a night! (Bali creates these kinds of memories. I took part in this, too.)

And finally, Villa Kaira near Canggu offers everything needed for a luxurious group stay — private cottages, koi pond, spiral staircase, grassy lawn, pool and leafy view of the ocean. I attended a wedding here last May and thoroughly enjoyed seeing another awesome villa amid the idyllic beauty of Bali.

I’m barely scratching the surface here. Whatever your needs and preferences, there is likely an irresistible villa awaiting your arrival. Should you choose to tick this box on your bucket list, you’ll find there are loads of rental agencies with an endless number of villas to choose from. I have experience booking with Villa-Bali and recommend this company as they thoroughly inspect all the villas they represent (dream job!) and I can vouch for their office in Singapore (which may offer some comfort if you’re considering booking a villa but you’re a little scared of wiring your money overseas to places unknown).

So there you have it — a brief look at what you can expect when you rent a villa in Bali. And bonus! In terms of price, villas are often cheaper than neighboring hotels, especially if you’re traveling with a group that can share the cost. What you gain in private amenities and beauty is priceless, and should definitely be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Go, and see for yourself!

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Thanks, James and Terri, for the “like” that inspired this post!

26 comments

  1. Kelly, That’s amazing. I just read your Bali post because tomorrow we’re starting a series on Bali and we wanted to feature YOUR post in the series. Thanks so much for your very kind words – we are definitely of like minds. The villas you featured look so inviting. Although we’ve been to Bali twice we’ve never rented a villa … yet! We definitely will next time. Thanks again. I hope you do more posts on Bali, one of my all-time favorite places. πŸ™‚ ~Terri

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    1. Terri! No way! That is TOO funny! πŸ™‚ What a fantastic coincidence! I can’t wait to read your series and see what you’ve experienced in Bali. It’s such a beautiful, elegant destination. Since leaving Singapore I find myself thinking about it (pining for it?) more than I expected. Can’t wait for you to enjoy the villa experience when you return someday. Terima kasih to you and James for the Bali connection. Hope you’re enjoying the weekend. πŸ™‚ K.

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  2. Ooooo Kelly this looks and sounds fabulous. I wouldn’t have thought of renting a villa but I’ll sure keep it in mind for if we ever go back. Luxury!
    And now I know why James and Terri were suddenly looking at my Bali posts too πŸ™‚
    Alison

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  3. Now ALL of you are going to send me to your Bali posts! I have not been there (for shame!) and am dying to go. This sounds like a great way to stay, especially if we went with friends or our kids …. now my mental gears are clicking in a way that will distress my husband!

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    1. Well, I PROMISE that as as soon as your husband walks into your villa, all that distress will just melt away!! And going with friends and/or kids is the best way to go because you can lavish in your private pool and share the experience of this amazing way to enjoy the island. There is nothing like it. Go, Lex, go!!! πŸ™‚

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  4. Kelly: well, I’ve been waiting for the cosmos to inform me of just what was what with the next three months of my life, and no message has been dropping in my lap. I can’t even get a place in Amsterdam! I can get a cheap price on a boat that floats the Danube through Eastern Europe countries…might be cool, but sounds like something you want to do with a partner, not alone. And Bali, well, it’s not only my favorite place, it’s always my go-to place. And so…if I’m going to just “follow Kelly” again…maybe it’s go back to Bali for me? You do make life easy, you know. Great post. These places look huge. I usually rent a villa when I go, but much smaller ones; I like my own place much better than a hotel, and you’re right, usually they are cheaper, especially if you stay a month or two!

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    1. Wow, I’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see where you were headed. But I think it’s cool that you’re selective and since nothing new is speaking to you, you’ve remained still. I would go with Bali. There’s incredible comfort and excitement that comes with returning to somewhere that you love. And I was just commenting to Gallivance that since leaving Singapore, Bali has been on my mind more than ever. Those weekend getaways were bliss and the villas took it to a whole new level. I imagine being there, feeling the breeze, hearing the ocean, watching the sunset. It’s one of the world’s best places for doing nothing, and I know you appreciate that, languish in that. Go for ME so I can languish in your words and photos!!! P.S. I just booked Cuba in July. πŸ™‚

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      1. Kelly…I love your advice. And right, I can do nothing at the Olympic Gold Medal level. And Bali is my place for doing that.
        But get this: my original plan for this summer was a yoga course in the Bahamas for a month and then Cuba. I made all the plans, figuring dates and flights, but not purchasing tickets. Next day I get up and say: “do I really want to do this?” I wasn’t sure I wanted the discipline of a yoga ashram after working–doing nothing is my usual MO during summer break. So I stall. Been stalled ever since. Waitinf for a sign from the cosmos. I’ve recently even considered doing exactly that again, yoga and Cuba. Life is so complicated when you have so many options. And nothing is black and white in my life, it’s a gazillion shades of gray. Yesterday I discovered that for the next couple weeks I can rent the canal house apartment I stay in when I visit Amsterdam. Maybe I’ll go there and see what evolves…while doing nothing there? If I could be one of those authors, or rich people, who live in two places, I’d choose Bali and Amsterdam.

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      2. Very interesting that you “discovered” you can rent the canal apartment in Amsterdam. I think your intuition to not book anything was spot on! The stars were busy aligning to present you with this opportunity. So, what will you do? Amsterdam sounds like a wonderful option. I’ve never been. You can lead the way for me. Can you do Amsterdam and then Bali, too?? Win-win for the summer? Or, leave the ticket open so you can decide the rest after you get there? Love your options! They are blessings, not complications! πŸ™‚

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      1. Some of my blogging friends have written about a Starbucks in Ubud. It is definitely a different world we live in. I consider myself lucky, indeed. πŸ™‚ –Curt

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  5. Such a great topic and then a location from both your words and photos, very magical. Bali is relatively close to Hong Kong, and now you’ve given me a great reason to head over there and see this place for myself. The atmosphere you describe…it is just the thing I need πŸ™‚ Beautiful post.

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    1. Hey! Thank you, Randall! I would looove to see Bali through your eyes. I hope you go. Flee the heavily trafficked areas and there’s beauty in abundance — but you’re an expert at finding that. No need for me to tell you! πŸ™‚

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