If you’ve had precious little experience in renting a Bali villa, here are our answers to seven common questions.
1. Why rent a villa when there are plenty of hotels?
A hotel room is fine, but when you go down to the pool, you’re jostling for lounge chairs with other guests. For privacy, space and atmosphere, a villa makes great sense. But there’s a more practical reason: you’ll likely save money. A mid-range villa might be US$700 a night, but with four couples splitting costs, that suddenly becomes a far cheaper option than a fancy hotel.
2. How much to rent a place?
Rates range from about US$300 per night for a more modest (though still comfortable) villa to over $3,000 for some of the “wow-factor” places located on cliff-tops or secluded beaches (and in the pages of glossy international magazines). These ultra top-end villas can have as many as 24 staff: butlers, gardeners, cooks, maids, pool cleaners and more.
3. Can I stay for a single night?
Usually there’s a minimum stay of two or three nights, but this depends on the season. In fact, lots of factors are affected by whether it’s low, middle or high season: availability, price, length of minimum stay. Keep this in mind when planning a trip.
4. Which villa will suit me the best?
It depends. Do you have young children or is this a romantic break? Perhaps it’s a work trip. Do you want to relax or are you up for partying hard? It’s best to view an online catalogue and study the descriptions of each villa to find the one that suits.
5. Some of these villas have loads of staff. Does this impact on privacy?
In some villas, you’ll barely see the staff, while in other properties they will make a point of getting to know you – they’ll even instigate games with your kids. Feel free to request the kind of arrangement with which you’re most comfortable. One advantage of a vocal staff is to tap into their useful insights about the local area.
6. How does the food work?
With most villas, meals can be booked in advance from a “suggestion menu”; the staff will then go and buy ingredients from supermarkets. You only pay for the shopping bill – no extra for the preparation and cooking. (For this reason, a great advantage of villa accommodation in Bali is that dining is cheap.) Feel free to tack on any extras to the shopping order, too. More beer, for instance!
7. How do I get around the island?
The price of a villa often includes a car and a driver for every day of your stay. Alternatively, the villa staff can make arrangements for you to book a car for a day, or they’ll call a taxi for you. There are plenty of places where you can hire scooters or bicycles, if that’s your preference.
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