This article is written for you, lovers of the low cost travel, so attentive to expenses, always looking for the best compromise, even giving up comfort and pleasure, to add “quantity” instead of “quality”. It is the case of flights (you can split the journey in more economic stages or fly at improbable hours), but much more often of housing, especially when traveling to distant locations, where the flight is the main expense. “So it’s just for sleeping…”, is the phrase more used by the saving-money fanatics…probably repeated more to convince themselves than not to find an excuse in front of friends. Here, just you, wait a moment. Before setting the filters of your research on the cheapest accommodation solutions, know that in Bali you can indulge in the luxury of staying in beautiful villas with private pool without guilt and without finding yourself with the account empty. It is quite usual, in fact, that the structures are equipped with a swimming pool for the exclusive use, whether you are talking about a room, a bungalow or a villa and, try to believe, you will be spoiled for choice. In this article we will limit ourselves to tell you about the 3 solutions that we found and in which we stayed during our trip, with all the details, our comments and the costs.
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Ubud – Villa Mandi
It is a middle category hotel (4 stars declared, but 3 stars services) immersed in the peaceful countryside of Ubud, surrounded by green rice fields. The accommodation possibilities are divided between suites and villas (we want to point out that with the term “villa” here in Bali they indicate an independent housing solution, sometimes composed of a single room (be careful when booking because the cheapest villas do not have a private swimming pool). Our choice in this structure fell on the “villa with 1 bedroom and private pool“, because we were very excited by the idea of having at our disposal a house of 170 square meters with garden and swimming pool for exclusive use. The villa includes a very spacious bedroom (equipped with air conditioning) with a pointed ceiling, a large bathroom with shower and bathtube, a kitchenette outside the house (unfortunately not equipped to be used because completely without pots and pans), an outdoor patio with sofas and chairs for relaxing youself. The finishes are not luxury but lovers of privacy and spacious habitats will feel in paradise. If you want to enjoy the pool, be careful not to return too late from the excursions: when the sun goes down and no longer beats in your garden it could be almost cold to swim, even in August…remember that you are completely immersed in nature and at sunset it is normal that the temperatures drop.
Ok, at this point you will be convinced that the villa is beautiful, but what about the suites? Although their price is higher, they cannot compete with the villa: we had the opportunity to sleep a couple of nights here for an upgrade not required and not welcome and we could see that the finishes are much more valuable but the spaces more limited, including the swimming pool, so do not be fooled by appearances.
Let’s focus now on the services of the structure. At your disposal you will find a restaurant where Indonesian cuisine is served at reasonable prices, but the food is not exciting (here, but also in any other cheap place in Bali). Breakfast is a bit poor, only two dishes to choose from (plain or fruit pancakes, omelettes with toasted bread) plus a drink (tea, coffee or fruit shake), but at least it’s great to enjoy it on the ethnic wooden tables overlooking on the rice fields.
The center of Ubud can be reached in a few minutes by a free shuttle service provided by the property. Times are a bit limiting, there are two transfers in the morning and two in the afternoon with last return at 4 pm, then you will be forced to rely on taxis (do not think that is a disadvantage of the structure because unfortunately all hotels in the area apply this formula). Since the private transport in Ubud is very expensive, mind if it is better to you spend the evening in Ubud with return after dinner by taxi, or return in the afternoon with the free shuttle and enjoy the pool. Finally, if you want to get away from Ubud to explore the center of Bali, Villa Mandi offers cars with drivers and you can easily book at the reception your excursion among those proposed or customize them; the only disadvantage is that you can not negotiate the price with the driver because it is already imposed by the structure. Price for one night in a villa with 1 bedroom and private pool with breakfast included: 52 euros.
Gili Trawangan – Villa Bella
Structure of medium-high category (4 stars deserved), with budget of expenditure that in high season can rise above the average of the island. You can stay in a room or in a villa with a private pool; in this case the villa is composed of a spacious bedroom, bathroom with shower and double sinks, courtyard with private pool and patio with sofas and table where breakfast is served, all very nice and refined, with ethnic style furnitures. We noticed that the villa does not have a kitchen or a kitchenette, but has a relaxation area with coffee machine and water kettle.
Breakfast can be served in the room or in front of the beach, but after having tried both options it seems to us that it is more pleasant and intimate in the room (since between your table and the sea a world is interposed). The choice is limited to 2 dishes and 2 drinks per person but the offer is sufficiently wide and tasty (apart from the brioche passed for “cake of the day”), well balanced between sweet and savory; remarkable fresh fruit smoothies, in particular the mango one.
The only point of demerit of Villa Bella is the fact of having a small patch of private beach with only 6 deckchairs, but on an island like this, where it is a pity to stay in the same place for more than half a day, it is a negligible detail. The structure is strategically located, sufficiently central to be able to reach the port area (the most lively of the island) in 10 minutes by feet, but far enough not to be disturbed by the music of the clubs in the evening. Possibility on site to rent bikes for a fee (IDR 150,000 per hour).
An aspect that appeals to this place is the efficiency and extreme friendliness of all the staff: you will be greeted with a tasty welcome drink of fresh fruit, cleaning is provided several times a day (to free your room from the sand) and a warm “Welcome home!” when you return from a day out. Price for one night in a one bedroom villa and private pool with breakfast included: 57 euros.
Ubud – Ayung Resort Ubud
This is the most exclusive hotel with a private pool in which we had the pleasure of staying during our trip to Bali. It’s perhaps the less convenient but if you think about how much it could cost you an equivalent accommodation in the West, you will soon realize that all in all it is a whim that can be easily granted. In this article we will only provide a brief overview of the structure, but you can find the detailed description and more photos in our section “Dream hotel“, where this resort is full of merit (click here to read the article) .
The structure, indisputably high category (5 full stars), has rooms, residences and villas, but the most exclusive way to stay here is in one of the villas of 200 square meters with private infinity pool, overlooking the valley of the Ayung river. Even in this case the villas are not real apartments as we are used to think, in fact the kitchen is missing and the garden is replaced by a “cantilever” terrace on which the swimming pool is seated; however the rooms are very large, extremely well-kept and finely furnished, for a unique wellness experience.
In general, the resort looks like a small open-air museum and among its attractions includes sculptures in precious marble or elegantly carved wood, a miniature reconstruction of the Buddha temple, a hill completely carved with figures and faces as far as the eye can see, a park with fawns, an exhibition arena enriched with a Hindu door; even the reception looks like a temple and inside there is a large quantity of fine furnishings.
The strengths of this place in our opinion are: the location, the wide spaces and the tranquility, the beauty of the villas (it is not worth coming here to stay in residence or in room), the excellent à la carte breakfast with formula all you can eat served in a beautiful room surrounded by greenery, the extreme friendliness of all the staff.
The same breakfast room in the evening becomes an elegant gourmet restaurant, where dishes of the highest quality are served, but the prices are rightly proportionate to the high standard offered; two evenings a week traditional Balinese dance performances are held and for the occasion it is advised to reserve a table in advance.
Like all other facilities in the area, the hotel offers guests free shuttles to the center of Ubud (with pick-up at Puri Lukisan museum), plus an evening shuttle for a fee of 100,000 IDR, and the possibility of reserve a driver for day trips. To complete the offer of this extraordinary resort, SPA and gym are available for guests. Price for one night in a one bedroom villa and private pool with breakfast included: € 231.
At this point you should be convinced…the possibilities of accommodation with a private pool are so many, as impossible as it is useless to list them all, just apply the right filters to find the solution that best suits your needs. Most of these are concentrated in the central area of the island, near Ubud, which is known for its beautiful landscapes and lush nature. The lucky ones, who probably will not be interested in reading this article, can always fall back on the Hanging Gardens of Bali, the top for this category, where luxury and exclusivity are rightly paid at a high price (caution to the weak of heart…601 euros/night); for all the others know that once you have a look at the wide offer you will have nothing to envy! What are you waiting for?!? Run to book your affordable luxury and enjoy your holiday!
See you soon