The kitchenette is good for preparing the occasional simple meal and the Casa Gourmet supermarket next door makes this option easy and attractive. After watching the sunset from the beach we had an evening in for a change and enjoyed a good pasta and a bottle of red by the pool. The beckoning restaurants will probably win most of the time, however, and you'll be spoiled for choice with the numbers of fine establishments within walking distance.
Villas in Bali, Indonesia
Bali is Indonesia’s most popular tourist location and is considered one of Asia's premier tropical island destinations. Steeped in history and renowned for its artistic way of life, Bali is a peaceful contrast to some of the more frantic destinations Asia has to offer.
The inner peace and creative talents of the Balinese has attracted artists the world over fascinated by local dancers, silversmiths, wood carvers, potters and painters that seem to pervade throughout the island. The abundant verdant fields and surrounding sea have long supplied Bali with an easy surplus of food leaving time for life’s more artistic past times. As a result everything in Bali has a creative and religious element centred around the local Banjar (residents association) – little, adorned temples are everywhere, doors are covered in intricate carvings, huge kites ward off evil spirits and colourful roadside ceremonies bring traffic to a standstill.
Bali is a popular destination principally from Australia and Asia but also from all over Europe. The island welcomes thousands of visitors each year to a relaxing lifestyle, stunning beaches, world class surf, vibrant villages, and spectacular scenery all with an exquisite tropical climate. Located approximately two hours’ flying time from Singapore the island is serviced by an international airport at Denpasar with direct flights to and from many major cities in Asia, Europe and Australia and many more via Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.
The island offers an impressive range of leisure and lifestyle amenities including world-class golf courses, wonderful seascapes for surfing, diving and snorkelling as well as luxurious spas, chic boutiques, tropical forests, towering volcanoes and international cuisine.
Villas in Indonesia by regionBali, Lombok
From $390 ++
From $390 ++
From $850 ++
Bedrooms are in the style of contemporary hotel suites, comfortable, minimalist and immaculate – if you’re looking for a rustic homely vibe this is not really the villa for you! With three floors to spread out across, the villa has plenty of space, and the well-equipped basement is an added bonus, especially for ping pong masters such as ourselves. The deliciously fluffy breakfast pancakes served with ornately carved tropical fruit and excellent coffee also deserve a mention.
From $770 ++
If you’re looking for traditional Bali-style architecture, Villa Aiko may not be your first choice. But while resolutely city-chic contemporary in design, the villa makes abundant use of natural materials in its construction - think reclaimed ironwood and river-stone walls, teakwood floors, Benkirai-wood decking and ironwood shingle roof. And the essence of Bali is evident in the charming and attentive-but-discreet staff.
The villa manager/executive chef Putu was an absolute treasure. He was completely unfazed by my vegetarian request and created a memorable dinner – spring rolls, pumpkin and basil soup, beetroot and orange appetiser, and Portobello mushrooms en croute with perfectly cooked vegetables and the best mashed potatoes in Bali. And his Eggs Florentine – the egg poached to perfection, the Hollandaise cancelling days of dedicated Pilates practice – was a fabulous way to kick-start the morning. No wonder some guests stay away from Jimbaran Bay’s seafood restaurants and choose instead to eat in every day, as the visitor’s book attests.
We think Aiko would be a great villa for large family groups. There are so many independent seating areas to break away to for some peace and quiet, and it’s great to find a library in a Bali villa; we really appreciated the wide choice of books. Though all four bedrooms have king-size beds – no twins – there’s a single bed discreetly designed into the foot of each bed. We thought the fourth bedroom might be best for kids (who tend not to be so view-hungry) as the outlook is partly blocked by the guest pavilion and spiral staircase. One note of caution: there are steep drops from the pool and terraces but, thankfully for parents, glass barriers line both second floor terraces.
From $750 ++
From $650 ++
All three bedrooms are spacious and have excellent bathrooms – clean, modern and very functional, if a little minimalist. The staff were attentive, although a little timid and their English wasn’t always great, but their desire to please is without compare. As the villa is managed independently, rather than through a specialist management company, the training levels were perhaps not quite up to the usual professional standard. The more senior staff, including the villa manager, were much better but they also work at the owner’s other villa so are not always around. That said, they were easily tracked down when needed.
All in all we liked the villa for what it was and would recommend it for a small group or family, but maybe not for very young children as the pool would be a constant concern.
The garden — intimate and well-landscaped with a variety of ornamental tropical plants — was a perpetual delight as the light changed over the course of the day; and well lit at night. We used it at all hours, as we did the balé (gazebo) — great for sprawling with a book during the day, or slipping away for a private conversation in the evening.
We found the bedrooms very comfortable and quiet and applauded the sturdy timber desks that are big enough to work at, and with intelligently placed electrical outlets. We also enjoyed the sundeck off one of the upstairs bedrooms, with its big double daybed.
The visual focus of Anjali Green is the garden and pool, which gives a wonderful tropical atmosphere to the living and dining areas. Comfortable rattan lounge chairs on a wooden deck at the far end of the pool allow serene sun-bathing for two, but the lawn beside the pool was big enough for all four of to play ball.
We found the two bedrooms to be very quiet and comfortable. Some of us enjoyed the gentle haze of morning light coming through the fine curtains; others liked being able to shut out the light and sleep till noon without disturbance. The outdoor shower areas were great, with rain showers and hot water that comes on instantly (unlike in many older properties in Bali!). We appreciated the sturdy timber desks that are big enough to work at, with room for a laptop and files next to the flat-screen TV, and intelligently placed electrical outlets next to the desk. We loved the Balinese touches, such as the repousée metal boxes – fashioned in the manner of Balinese offerings boxes – in the bathrooms and kitchen for odds and ends, and the fresh frangipani blossoms placed around the rooms when we first arrived.
The villa manager stayed on till late in the evening, way past his hours, just to welcome us; and the security staff were very helpful, calling us a taxi when we wanted to go out in the evening. Housekeepers were friendly and courteous, with ever-ready big Balinese smiles.
The garden — intimate and well-landscaped with a variety of ornamental tropical plants — was a perpetual delight as the light changed over the course of the day; and well lit at night. We used it at all hours, as we did the balé (gazebo) — great for sprawling with a book during the day, or slipping away for a private conversation in the evening (although we thought the cushions could be bigger).
We loved the collection of carved wooden figures half-hidden in the plants at the far end of the pool, like a cluster of guardian spirits. We found the bedrooms very comfortable and quiet and applauded the sturdy timber desks that are big enough to work at, and with intelligently placed electrical outlets. We also enjoyed the sundeck off the upstairs bedroom — starkly unfurnished, but so were we.