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10 of the Best Villas in Tabanan, Bali

Tabanan has a 30-kilometre-long coastline, which presents isolated coves and rocky outcrops and is famous for its surf beaches, including Medewi and Balian, offering the longest point breaks in Bali. (The drawbacks if you’re not a surfer are the sometimes-three-metre-high waves and the undertows). The beaches are sloping and lovely to walk along; covered with black sand which is regarded for its curative, therapeutic properties and especially helpful for arthritis.

The Regency is known as Bali’s ‘rice bowl’ – the most agriculturally productive region on the island, with rice fields stretching from the coast to as high as 700 metres above sea level, where the terraces are reminiscent of amphitheatres. Besides rice, there are crops of coconuts, coffee, cacao, spices and tropical fruits. This area is also home to Mount Batukau (2276m), the higher slopes of which are alpine, with mountain streams, ferns, wildflowers, creepers and orchids, as well as the rare, black, leaf-eating monkey, the kijang (small forest deer), large butterflies and moths, flying lizards, the landak (porcupine) and the lubak (mongoose). It is also a bird watchers’ paradise, habitat of the Bali black eagle.

There are no western-style shops or bars in this area, and restaurants serving international cuisine are few and far between, mainly adjoined to the region’s limited number of small and remote hotels.


Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
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Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
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Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
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Kaba Kaba Estate

Kaba Kaba Estate

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

We’ve been lucky enough to visit a lot of beautiful villas in our time, but Kaba Kaba Estate exceeded all expectations of comfort, luxuriousness, good taste and space.  There’s so much to do on the estate itself that its out-of-town location is not an issue.  Everything has been thought of, from tennis, foosball, air hockey and all the major electronic game consoles, through to a library, gym and even a croquet lawn.  If only we’d had more time!  As it was, the pools, the spa and the spectacular home cinema were more than enough to relax and entertain us.
    
The staff were just the right mix of professional and friendly, and the chef is a consummate pro, delighting us with everything he presented.  Although there is a selection menu, we highly suggest that you just ‘go blind’ (like we did) and let the chef and his team surprise you with their magic.  Our simple, three-course Balinese dinner was off-the-charts delicious.

Do go for an early morning wander through the rice fields.  The locals are very friendly and the experience will be something the regular tour guides can’t give you.  The wide-open spaces are awe inspiring.
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Villa Tangguntiti

Villa Tangguntiti

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

I think we’ve found the best villa in Bali – the real Bali! Villa Tangguntiti is so far removed from the concrete-carpeted glitz of the south – physically and spiritually – you could easily be in another century. The villa – an inadequate singular noun for this collection of antique buildings – is gorgeous. We loved our master bedroom, with four-poster bed positioned between the joglo columns facing a wall of windows swathed in white silk opening onto the terrace. And our bathroom (bigger than many villa bedrooms) was such an indulgence, with a granite bath reached by a pontoon across a fishpond! There’s plenty to do in the area – wholesome activities include walks, treks, cycle rides through the rice fields, river and deep-sea fishing as well as trips to the black-sand surfing beaches. Our trip coincided with a significant temple ceremony in the village, and we were so lucky to witness a wonderful procession right outside the villa with Abdi, the butler, on hand to explain what was happening. Hats off to the big-hearted staff; nothing was too much trouble, and they were completely unfazed by finding a non-meat-eater in their midst, seamlessly changing tack mid-course without batting an eyelid! Every meal was a gourmet experience… we have rarely eaten better in Bali. That’s thanks to Manuel, the accomplished French villa manager whose background in hospitality and high-end F&B shows in all the details. Though we were only one couple in a five-bedroom villa, the layout was such that we were able to enjoy the spaciousness without it feeling empty. It’s such a romantic place it may even appeal to a couple seeing away-from-it-all solitude. And yet with so much to do in the area, families with active kids can be kept as busy as they want, and the villa has its own open-topped land-cruiser for exploring. But it’s not the place for anyone seeking nightlife, shops and restaurants. This is one villa we would be thrilled to return to; but that means we first have to leave – and that might be difficult!
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Villa Babar

Villa Babar

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

We thought that Villa Babar was one of the most dramatic and beautiful properties we have seen in Bali. Far, far away from the crowds of the south, this place is splendid, stylish, larger than life and fit for royalty.

Due to the remote location, the complementary airport pick up is not only welcome, but essential. The alternative is to take a helicopter from the airport as the property has its own helipad. This (rather expensive) option can be arranged in advance with the villa manager.

When we arrived we were blown away by the villa’s grand positioning on the hill and the views it commanded. Thanks to the open-plan design, we were able to take in a sweeping 360-degree arc of the mountains to the east and the north, (including the mountains of Java), the ocean to the south and the west and, in between, the endless emerald rice fields and jungle-clad river valleys that complete the picture. The beaches are completely devoid of tourists - populated only by fishermen and locals walking or playing football on the sand. We witnessed an amazing sunset over the ocean, and got up at the crack of dawn to watch the sun come up over Mt Agung.

Some small grocery shops nearby provide a few snacks and drinks but being so, so far out of town it is imperative that you are well provisioned in advance. The villa acknowledges this and invites you to pre-order your meals as well as any specialty goods that you want, so that the staff can do the shopping before you arrive. The chef specialises in the use of the fresh and organic produce and there is an extensive menu.

Wireless Internet is available throughout the villa free of charge. If you fancy a massage, a local therapist will visit. A massage bed is situated in a private corner in the open air on the upper floor with great views.

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Villa Maya Retreat

Villa Maya Retreat

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

Villa Maya has a relaxed vibe with its magical jungle setting and soothing river ambiance. Although our first impression was that, because of its location, it would be hot, humid and full of mosquitoes, we were pleasantly surprised: yes, being down in the gorge means less breeze, but with the lazy river below, the sounds of running water, copious shade and the lovely colours and smells of the gardens it was all very pleasant and comfortable and exuded a lovely energy. And we hardly saw a mosquito (staff are vigilant about lighting coils in the evening). The bedrooms are all huge, maybe a little dark but great rooms and with very natural bathrooms. Two new bedroom suites (each with a private plunge pool) have been added since our first visit, making this an even more attractive proposition for a big group or family get away. The pool is a delight whilst the communal areas work really well with loads of corners to chill out and relax. Children and rivers is often not a good mix but Villa Maya is well shielded from the water by walkways and vegetation, still some care is needed. Food is selected with the chef from a suggestions menu - we found all the staff extremely willing, with a few speaking good English.
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Villa Maya Retreat

Villa Maya Retreat

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

Villa Maya has a relaxed vibe with its magical jungle setting and soothing river ambiance. Although our first impression was that, because of its location, it would be hot, humid and full of mosquitoes, we were pleasantly surprised: yes, being down in the gorge means less breeze, but with the lazy river below, the sounds of running water, copious shade and the lovely colours and smells of the gardens it was all very pleasant and comfortable and exuded a lovely energy. And we hardly saw a mosquito (staff are vigilant about lighting coils in the evening). The bedrooms are all huge, maybe a little dark but great rooms and with very natural bathrooms. Two new bedroom suites (each with a private plunge pool) have been added since our first visit, making this an even more attractive proposition for a big group or family get away. The pool is a delight whilst the communal areas work really well with loads of corners to chill out and relax. Children and rivers is often not a good mix but Villa Maya is well shielded from the water by walkways and vegetation, still some care is needed. Food is selected with the chef from a suggestions menu - we found all the staff extremely willing, with a few speaking good English.
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Villa Maya Retreat

Villa Maya Retreat

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

Villa Maya has a relaxed vibe with its magical jungle setting and soothing river ambiance. Although our first impression was that, because of its location, it would be hot, humid and full of mosquitoes, we were pleasantly surprised: yes, being down in the gorge means less breeze, but with the lazy river below, the sounds of running water, copious shade and the lovely colours and smells of the gardens it was all very pleasant and comfortable and exuded a lovely energy. And we hardly saw a mosquito (staff are vigilant about lighting coils in the evening). The bedrooms are all huge, maybe a little dark but great rooms and with very natural bathrooms. Two new bedroom suites (each with a private plunge pool) have been added since our first visit, making this an even more attractive proposition for a big group or family get away. The pool is a delight whilst the communal areas work really well with loads of corners to chill out and relax. Children and rivers is often not a good mix but Villa Maya is well shielded from the water by walkways and vegetation, still some care is needed. Food is selected with the chef from a suggestions menu - we found all the staff extremely willing, with a few speaking good English.
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Villa Kailasha

Villa Kailasha

Indonesia  »  Bali  »  Tabanan

Guests booking Villa Kailasha will hopefully have spotted that it’s in a remote location so there should be no surprise on arrival: we certainly thought the villa’s setting was sublime. Long stretches of black sand and marauding surf with hardly another tourist in sight. We spent most of our time stretched out by the pool enjoying the ministrations of the staff and soaking up the ocean views, but while we were there we were privileged to witness a village ceremony when the procession passed right by the villa’s front gate. We followed the merriment and colour down to the beach and experienced a Balinese event that, for us, was priceless.

For a change of scenery, take a stroll along the small roads and into the local villages for a slice of rural life. And for something a little more sophisticated, stop by the Alila Villas Soori Resort for dinner, or at least a sunset drink. The classy surroundings are pretty special and being so remote not many people drop in, so don’t miss the opportunity while you’re in the neighbourhood. We went for the said sunset drink but ended up staying for dinner – and really rated their kitchen. While their spa would probably welcome visitors as well, it’s perhaps more tempting to ask the villa staff to organise a therapist to come and give you a treatment at ‘home’.
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