So you are considering a vacation on the wonderful paradise island of Bali which has more than one-thousand temples, that’s why it’s called the ‘Island of the Gods’. Great. Bali is a joy to behold, but there are some pitfalls for travellers relating to what sort of accommodation they choose.
If you are like 70% of the tourists who go to Bali, your next thought will likely be ‘which hotel should I stay at’. You have made your first mistake, which could make your holiday more expensive than it should be.
Yes, Bali has hundreds, if not thousands, of hotels, so many, in fact, that the Indonesian Government is attempting to implement a ban on any more hotel developments. The problem is, there are now so many hotels, mostly around the capital Denpasar, that the industry is suffering – too many rooms even though Bali’s visitor numbers continue to grow each year. If the number of southern Bali hotels continues to grow at its current rate, it will inevitably put many players out of business.
Denpasar and southern Bali to a lesser extent, now has so many hotels, too often they are jammed ‘shoulder to shoulder’ against each other, mostly in the busy, loud and traffic clogged central city areas. Denpasar has become so crowded that when it once took 30 minutes to get from Ngurah Rai airport to a city hotel, it can now take up to 2 hours. The Bali government has built new expressways which will hopefully ease this congestion.
There is an alternative form of accommodation available in Bali, which is routinely taken up by about 16.5% of visitors. This alternative is the luxury Bali villa and there are an estimated 10,000 of them scattered across this beautiful island. Luxury villa accommodation in Bali is not the first thought of travellers, perhaps because the hoteliers are so good at marketing and spending big dollars on promoting their businesses.
You may be thinking that the nightly rental rate for a luxury villa in Bali is beyond your vacation budget, but you may be wrong because you probably don’t have all the facts. The open secret is that, if you make a group booking to stay in a private Bali villa, with its wonderful privacy, peace and space, you could likely save hundreds of dollars you would otherwise spend on the hotel holiday model.
You see, the key to saving your hard-earned holiday dollars is to make a group booking at a deluxe Bali villa. This is the open secret of Bali villas. Most of these impressive houses, which are generally built by private owners, can sleep up to eight people or more. This means you can share the cost of the nightly rental charge amongst your group.
Let’s look at an example. A private Bali villa, that I know quite well, located on the absolute beachfront, about 8 kilometres east of Singaraja, on the north coast, currently charges US$340.00 per night. Wow, I can hear you saying, that’s expensive. But, if you pulled together a group of friends or family to share the cost, each person would only be paying US$42.50 per head, per night, certainly a budget rate in anyone’s language.
And remember, what you pay for a hotel room is just that, one hotel room, unless you splash out and rent a suite, but that’s a very expensive alternative. However they dress it up, hotels usually base their business model on booking rooms with a double bed, en suite bathroom, a chair and, if you are lucky, a table. Oh, and they will definitely have a bar fridge, with every item scrupulously catalogued and charged to you, at high convenience rates, which will balloon your hotel expense.
When you chose a luxury Bali villa for your paradise holiday, you get heaps of space. Usually four, or more, bedrooms with their own en-suite, ample living space, including two living areas, plus even private patios for each room in some case. Oh, and then there’s the private swimming pools that are almost standard for private Bali villas. Most have the swimming pool just a few steps away from their main living area. If you’ve even booked a hotel room right next to the pool, you’ll know how much extra they will usually charge you for this. And, it can be a mixed blessing, because at hotels, everyone can use the pool, which can mean unwanted company, noise, crowds, screaming, splashing – you get the picture.
Of course, if you book a deluxe Bali villa you have your own private swimming pool, accessible only to people who have rented the villa, unless they want to invite special guests to join them. And, if you are into friendly, personalized service, you can’t beat what Bali villas have to offer. The Balinese people are among the friendliest, warm, sincere and lovely group of people you are ever likely to meet. Just check the guest testimonials on the many villa sites and you will see many glowing references to the top quality service that Bali villa helpers offer to their guests. Often, guests comment on the friendly relationships they develop with their luxury Bali villa helpers, way beyond any service experience that hotels can offer.
Of course, hotels have their staff too, usually busy with dealing with many guests at a time, but most sophisticated Bali villas have their own villa manager, who is fluent in English and bahasa Indonesia, plus likely in other languages too. The villa manager is employed to make sure that whatever issue arises for you on your holiday, they will promptly deal with it. If you commit to a luxury holiday in a private villa in Bali, you can expect to become on first name terms with your villa manager and with the other helpers in the villa. It’s now unusual for some villas to have up to four or five helpers, so you can expect to receive a standard of service that is way beyond what many hotels can offer.
Having local Bali people employed as villa helpers ensures that guests receive all the very latest and knowledgeable information about local attractions and must see locations. Often, the local Balinese helpers and the villa manager will know of great places to visit that are not even listed in the popular tourist manuals. After all, they live there and know their own backyard.
Many Bali villas are built by their owners to be a home-away-from-home, so they put their heart and soul into the design to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. The decor and atmosphere of many villas is therefore diverse and varied, reflecting the local Balinese culture and that of the owners of the villa. Unfortunately, many hotels, particularly the multi-national ones, are built with profit in mind and can look the same, whatever country they occupy.
If you are an eco-tourist, then the obvious choice for you is to stay in a well appointed Bali villa because many of them are built in particularly beautiful and environmentally appealing locations. To build any villa requires the permission of the local village and they generally welcome the employment opportunities that well-appointed Bali villas offer.
So, you have the choice of thousands of well-appointed and cleverly located Bali villas, in which to stay for a really authentic Bali experience. No matter how well hotels are marketed, they simply cannot offer the same cultural integration and atmosphere of a large holiday house.
The actual choice you have is between one hotel room, or a whole Bali house and the many advantages this offers. If you haven’t yet enjoyed the Bali villa experience, do yourself a favour and take up this opportunity the next time you holiday on the Island of the Gods. Ask anyone who has stayed in a luxury Bali villa and you will discover why they enjoyed it so much.