Our villas are located all around Bali, and although each villa offers the same level of service, each location offers quite different experiences and things to do. If you are not sure which location is right for you, have a look below at our quick summary that we hope will help you.
Seminyak – 30 minutes North West from Airport
Seminyak has for several years now been the most popular location for visitors to Bali, and many come back year after year. Seminyak (and Kuta/Legian that are just to the South) is the most built up area of Bali, with loads of restaurants, bars, shops all topped off with a huge wide flat beach that stretches all the way up to Echo Beach. The beach is great for walking and surfing but not great for kids or swimming though (except at low tide). Seminyak is the place for sitting back and enjoying sunset drinks (if your budget allows it) at one of the mega-restaurants on beach such as Ku-De-Ta, Samaya or Potatohead. It is also the place for shopping with loads of great independent clothes and art and craft and furniture shops all along Jalan Petitenget / Jalan Laksmana and Jalan Legian. For families Seminyak is the place for water parks, paintball, sports and surfing/boogie boarding or catching a film at the cinema, and also for useful services like child-care, indoor play areas and on a more sober note, for the best doctors and hospitals. It is also easy to arrange tours to almost any other attraction in Bali from Seminyak.
The downside of all this popularity of course is traffic and crowds and noise, which can make the centre of Seminyak very busy during the summer and xmas/new year seasons, and also costs, with some of the most expensive/striking places to have a beer being in Seminyak. On the plus side Villa Rene is located in lovely quiet back street, an easy walk to the beach and restaurants such as Naughty Nuris. Also the villa is on the northern edge of Seminyak, and so there are still some laid back warungs with cheap eats/drinks right on the beach and close by Villa Rene, and it is also easier to get out of Seminyak to see great cultural sites such as Tanah Lot temple.
Canggu/Tanah Lot Area – 50 minutes North West from Airport
Canggu is to the North/West of Seminyak, where the countryside breaks through again giving rice field views and open spaces again. Echo Beach (a nice walk from Villa Wiljoba) is a surfing mecca, with laid back bars and restaurants, sea-food bbqs and a great place to watch the surfers (or the kids playing on the beach at low tide). Also the spectacular Tanah Lot temple is close by, as is the equally spectacular Nirmala golf course, with the almost “Scottish” golf course up at Bedugul also easily accessible. For families apart from the beach, there is horse riding, and a great range of indoor and outdoor sports and activities at the Canggu Club, including Splash Waterpark, Bounce Trampolining, Strike Bowling and Cubby House kids soft play area. Of course the attractions of Seminyak are just a 20 to 30 minute drive away (or a 60 minute walk along the beach). Basically Canggu is nice relaxing, green, place to stay that is still close enough to the attractions of Seminyak such that you can easily pop in for a morning or an evening if you want to.
Jimbaran/Bukit Area – 20 minutes South from Airport
Jimbaran lies on a lovely sweeping bay, directly south of the airport, with wide white sand beach, and lots of laid back seafood restaurants with chairs and tables right on the beach, and at the far Northern end there is still a working fish market, giving Jimbaran a very different feel to Seminyak. Further south from Jimbaran lies the cliffs and beaches of the “Bukit” (literally “hill” in Indonesian). Here there are some great public beaches all with their own flavour such as Balangan Beach (laid back and local); the picturesque Padang/Padang beach (from Eat, Pray, Love fame) and the calming and warm waters of Geger beach with its 5 star hotels and restaurants. There are many idyllic pure white sand beaches (some with expensive but great beach clubs) and smart hotels and cliff top restaurants and bars (similar to Seminyak but with views) and also some great cultural attractions including the spectacular Uluwatu temple (complete with atmostpheric kecak dance at sunset on the cliff top) and the GWK cultural centre with all types of Balinese dance, set in an atmostpheric location in an old quarry. For golfers there are the world class New Kuta Golf Course (host of the European Open) and Bali National Golf course down at Nusa Dua. For the more adventurous there are waterparks, great paragliding off the cliffs, water sports at Benoa and of course all the attractions of Nusa Dua and Kuta are only a short drive away.
The Bukit area though is nowhere near as green as the rest of Bali as it is made of limestone, and so the water runs away easily, and so walking is not recommended, and it is better to get around by car or taxi. Also, similar to Seminyak, Jimbaran/Bukit with a couple of exceptions, has less of the Balinese culture that can be experienced more readily in other areas of Bali, such as Ubud.
Ubud Area – 90 minutes North East from Airport
(Closest Villas: Villa Kalisha -Best Alternative Villa: None)
Ubud is known as the cultural heart of Bali, and for good reason, with some of the largest and most spectacular ceremonies taking place in and around Ubud, and some of the most significant temples and palaces close by including Tirta Empul; Gunung Kawi and Goa Gajah as well as in Ubud itself, the Monkey Forest Temple (great for the kids to see monkeys – but be careful) and Ubud Palace. There are also there are cultural events and dances in Ubud every evening. Close to Ubud there are beautiful rice fields and walks, and all of these attractions have bought artists, and art galleries to Ubud, as well as notable restaurants and interesting shops and most recently the fascinating eco-built Green School. There are also increasing numbers of modern attractions with Bali Zoo, Bali Bird Park and the Elephant Park at Taro all close by to Ubud. Like Seminyak though, central Ubud can suffer from traffic and crowds, and for me the real attractions of the area actually lie outside of Ubud, particularly around Villa Kalisha where traditional village life (and all the staff at Villa Kalisha come from local villages), and beautiful scenery combine to make it feel like you are stepping back to a more relaxed, simple time.
Candidasa/East Bali Area – 90 minutes East from Airport
East Bali (and its main town for tourists – Candidasa) is one of the less developed areas of Bali, and it still retains a relaxed, easy going feel. This is the place to get away from the crowds; relax, and enjoy the calm clear blue waters that make this area of Bali the best for diving and snorkeling, and also for kids for playing on the beach, swimming and paddling. Candidasa is pleasant town, with some laid back, ocean front bars and restaurants, many of which let the kids play in the pool while you eat, and it is a good jumping off place to experience all that East Bali has to offer. Some of the foremost of Bali’s cultural attractions are close by, including the Besakih Mother Temple and Goa Lawah (the “Bat Cave” temple, and second most important temple in Bali) as well as the Tirta Gangga Water Palace (take your swimming costume to swim in the beautifully ornate public swimming baths with the fish in crystal clear water) and the interesting walled medieval village of Tenganan. All around in the countryside are beautiful rice field views and walks (Kastala to Tenganan is a personal favourite) and of course views of the largest volcano in Bali, Gunung Agung. Increasingly there are more modern attractions as well, including of course Bali Marine and Safari Park (which also has a good but underused waterpark and a great cultural show) and the Odyssey Submarine trip (a real submarine trip down to 30m around the bay where Villa Talia Vashti / Villa Anjani are situation – great although it is expensive).
Lovina/North Bali – 210 minutes North from Airport
Lovina is a laid back beach resort, stretched along the main road West from Singaraja on the North Coast of Bali with a black/sand and pebble beach . It is a pleasant laid back place, with some nice restaurants and bars looking out over the sea, and an easy going charm. There is some diving and snorkeling, but it is rather limited compared to East Bali or Menjangan (another 75 minutes drive to the North West). Around Lovina there are some nice waterfalls and walks to and from them on the winding road through the mountains from the South of Bali, and other attractions include the (in)famous Melka Excelsior hotel where you can swim with dolphins in what is basically a large swimming pool.
While Lovina/North Bali has quite a lot to recommend it, in our view East Bali and Candidasa offer pretty much everything tha Lovina does, and much more besides (particularly culturally and beneath the waves) and also does not have the extremely long drive from the airport. As a result we do not at the moment have any villas listed on our site in the Lovina area, and would recommend that if you are interested in this area you have a look at our villas in Candidasa, Villa Talia Vashti/Villa Anjani.