When you live in Singapore, there’s no excuse not to visit Bali. Millions fly miles to holiday there, yet we are just a short hop, skip and jump away. (Well, two hours and 45 minutes, to be precise!) Book ahead and you can get some cheap flights on KLM, Jetstar and Scoot, in particular. Tourists go for the beaches, of course, plus the little clothes boutiques and the temples. But the rice paddies and mountains also get a big thumbs up from the EL team – you won’t get those vistas in many countries. And the villas in Bali? Now they are something to write home about!
Owned by a Singapore expat family, Villa JOJU is Canggu’s only luxury villa purpose-built for young families. Located near fab beaches, boutiques and restaurants, it’s also close to both Finn’s Recreation Club and Finn’s Beach Club. Villa guests can enjoy complimentary day beds at both, plus access to Splash Water Park and other bonuses.
The villa’s premise is that when children are safe, happy and entertained, everyone enjoys a relaxing holiday. That’s why it’s stocked with lots of toys, arts and crafts and books. (There’s even a hand-painted Gruffalo-inspired mural!) An in-villa bouncy castle can be set up in minutes, plus there are workshops for kids to make non-toxic play-dough and slime, and a cow-cuddling experience with a friendly mother and calf just outside the villa.
The child-proof design includes pool fences installed on request. Non-slip tiles are used throughout, and there’s plenty of available baby equipment such as travel cots, monitors, sterilisers and even breast pumps.
Villa JOJU sleeps eight adults, six children and infants in travel cots across its four main bedrooms and giant kids’ room with bunkbeds. (Larger groups can rent an adjoining villa at the same time.) Full-time staff include a villa manager, butlers, a chef and night security. Therapists are available for in-house pampering, and first aid-certified nannies for babysitting.
Villa Grand Cliff
One thing we love about the Bukit peninsula of Bali is the stunning panoramic view of the ocean. Villa Grand Cliff Ungasan is a five-bedroom property that takes full advantage of that view, from its breezy balconies, alfresco jacuzzi and relaxation gazebo. There are some fairly swish touches inside, too. Air-conditioned home cinema, anyone?! The villa also lies within an exclusive boutique resort with access to a beach club, gourmet dining, a kids’ club and a clifftop spa.
Ten kilometres away is Ungasan’s cousin, Villa Grand Cliff Nusa Dua. There are more sensational Indian Ocean views here, with five bedroom suites and a pool terrace dotted with daybeds. The villa is part of Asmara Estate, which has its own spa, gym, sauna, cinema, games room and bar.
Both of these villas in Bali are fully staffed, which means everything’s taken care of. All you need to do is while away your time in the pool with a drink in hand. You can gaze out to the turquoise waters, enjoy a massage or body scrub, do a workout or enjoy a spot of reef-combing at Asmara Beach.
Kaba Kaba Estate
Filled with antique cabinets and curiosities from across Asia, Kaba Kaba Estate is a palatial villa surrounded by the rolling rice fields of Tabanan. And when we say palatial, we mean it. This is an eight-bedroom estate spread over 13,000 square metres of land, with manicured lawns, four swimming pools, a tennis court, a grand home theatre and more.
Kaba Kaba is designed for entertaining, and, not surprisingly, is a sought-after venue for large events, family gatherings and weddings. But it’s a great family holiday home, too, with a bunk-bedroom that’ll be a big hit with kids, and a swanky rooftop bar and relaxing spa to impress the adults.
While there’s plenty to do at the villa itself, you can also hop on one of the available bikes and head out to explore the surrounding villages. Alternatively, take a cooking class or a Balinese dance lesson for a bit of fun, or a yoga session to get in touch with your inner self. Whatever you choose, there’s a big team of attentive staff to treat you like royalty as you relax in your “palace” for a few days.
Sohamsa Ocean Estate
An award-winning architect designed Sohamsa Ocean Estate and its two clifftop villas. The property sits high above the Indian Ocean on the southernmost tip of Bali’s Bukit peninsula. Beautifully decorated living spaces are key here, with both the five-bedroom Villa Soham and four-bedroom Villa Hamsa combining contemporary style with natural Indonesian materials.
Families and large groups will feel right at home at this estate. Aside from two pools, there’s a gym, a massage room and a sauna and steam room. You can rent the villas separately or together – they’re interconnected through the garden. There’s a full team of professional staff, too. So, if you want to venture out to explore, a chauffeured car can whisk you away to the beach or nearby temples for some sightseeing. But we’re guessing you won’t want to wait too long before returning to Sohamsa!
Visiting Jimbaran Bay, Nusa Dua, Ubud
Traveller: Lindsay Yap, Singaporean
My family and I had a four-day getaway to Bali in July. It was our first time there, and we were pretty ambitious in our planning. We packed our days full – probably not the best idea in view of the traffic!
Among the places we managed to tick off our list were Jimbaran Bay, Tegenungan Waterfall and Tegalalang Rice Terrace in Ubud. We also saw the blowhole at Nusa Dua, and Kintamani with views of Mount Batur and the crater lake. On the way to Kintamani, we caught glimpses of Mount Agung and Mount Abung. One tip: When visiting Tegenungan Waterfall, wear walking shoes for a more comfy trip down and up the stairs leading to the waterfall.
If you love a good spa sesh like me, you’ll enjoy a visit to Nusa Bali Spa. The packages and treatments are affordable and, best of all, there are complimentary pick-up and drop-off services to and from various areas, which we took full advantage of.
Travellers: Sagaree Das and Vigneshkumar Padmanabhan, Indian
When my husband asked me to plan a trip with my in-laws, the best place I could think of was Bali. It has something for everyone and we keep going back to enjoy nature at its best and to pamper ourselves.
Ubud is our favourite spot on the island. Nestled in nature, it’s great for shopping, with amazing restaurants, cafés and spas. This time, we stayed at the Komaneka at Rasa Sayang, located at the Monkey Forest; the resort offers great service and is in a very convenient location. Our most memorable moments from the trip were the amazing Balinese massage at the Udaya Resorts & Spa, and a hearty meal at the Kayon Resort, which was made even more special being surrounded by nature and having a waterfall right beside us.
Find out more about villas in Bali and other getaways in our Travel section.
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