1. Villa‐Insider.com | A Quick Guide to Bali Villa Destinations
A Quick Guide to Bali Villa Destinations
Bali may not be physically large (at least not by Australian or American standards) but there are a
number of clear destinations on the island. The villa accommodations on the island are largely
confined to a subset of those destinations. In this article, The Insider looks at the most popular
destinations offering villa accommodations.
Villas in Bali are primarily found in the following locations: Candidasa, Canggu, Jimbaran,
Pemuteran, Sanur, Seseh, Seminyak, Ubud and Uluwatu. These locations are primarily spread
throughout the south‐central region of the island. There are few villa accommodations located in
the north, far west, or far east of the island; the two exceptions being Pemuteran in the far
northwest and Candidasa in the southeast.
Located in the south eastern portion of the island, Candidasa is the newest destination to offer
villa accommodations. Most accommodations are actually located between Candidasa and nearby
Padangbai. This area first popped up on to the luxury travellers radar when the Aman group
opened Amankila. The Alila group is also there now and we're starting to see a few private villas
open as well. Note that dining choices in the area are limited and taxis are few and far between.
Look for a villa with a chef and a driver.
Why stay in Candidasa?
This is a good jumping off point for exploring the quiet rice terraces of east Bali and the slopes of
Gunung Agung. It is also a good place to catch your breath either before or after a trip to
neighboring Lombok. You can catch ferries to Lombok from Padangbai, or hire a speed boat if you
prefer. With recent road improvements, Candidasa is now only 45 minutes drive from Sanur.
Canggu is the fastest growing villa accommodations area. There is a wide number of options in
this area at a variety of price ranges. Many of these accommodations are new, so finding mature
gardens may be a challenge. This is a largely flat area of gently rolling fields (ex‐rice fields). Most
villas are garden view. There are a number of villas on the coast in this area. The nearby Canggu
Club is also a magnet for new villas and if you are travelling with children, look for villas with a
guest club membership; this provides options to help your kids pass the time in a supervised
environment (while giving parents a much needed break!). Canggu is just a few minutes drive
2. Villa‐Insider.com | A Quick Guide to Bali Villa Destinations
from Seminyak. Note that the road is crowded with traffic and taxis are not as easy to find, so you
will want to find a villa with a driver.
Why stay in Canggu?
Wide range of choices, access to the beach, nearby Seminyak and the Canggu Club.
>> Check out reviews of villas in the Canggu area.
Jimbaran Bay provides one of the few pleasant swimming beaches on the island, and it also gives
easy access to a number of dining options. Several five star resorts are located in this area,
including the Four Seasons and the Inter‐Continental. Most villa operations here are villa resorts,
though the nearby Tiara area provides some private luxury rentals (though these are far from the
beach). This area is very popular with Asian tourists.
Why stay in Jimbaran?
Good walking and swimming beach. Access to fine dining and the seafood restaurants on the
beach. This location is also just a few minutes from the airport, so getting in and out is a breeze.
Taxis are easy to find here.
Pemuteran is a small town located at the far northwest tip of the island. It is primarily a
destination for those who wish to go snorkeling or diving around Palau Menjangan, or who wish
to trek into the Bali Barat National Park. Facilities here are limited, though there are one or two
good villa resorts. Dining options and transportation are rare commodities, so plan accordingly.
Why stay in Pemuteran?
The big reason to be here (OK, perhaps the only reason!) is the access to the natural features.
Snorkeling and diving at Palau Menjangan are superb ‐‐ some of the best in Asia. Bali Barat is also
an attraction for trekkers.
Sanur is Bali's most gentile destination. A mecca for tourists since the 1930s, Sanur has a more
laid back and mature feel that the frenetic nightlife and party scene of Seminyak. The beach here
has a boardwalk and the ocean is gentle enough to allow for safe swimming. There are several
villas here, some of them quite large and elegant ‐‐ and quite exclusive.
3. Villa‐Insider.com | A Quick Guide to Bali Villa Destinations
Why stay in Sanur?
This is a more quiet side of tourist Bali. You have access to everything you could want here but
without the party scene.
Seseh is a relative new‐comer on the villa scene, at least in terms of name recognition. There have
been villas there for some time, but most people have simply labelled the area "Canggu." In fact,
Seseh is further northwest of Canggu and on the coast. You might say it is the "next" up‐and‐
coming villa destination, the natural progression of growth and development past Canggu. Seseh
is quiet and must less hectic than Seminyak. It has more of a traditional Bali village feel than
Canggu (which is largely rice fields). All in all, it makes for a more relaxed and intimate feeling. On
the downside, it is a fair distance from all the conveniences: shopping, markets, restaurants, and
taxis. Look for a villa here with full services and make sure you have a car and a driver included.
Why stay in Seseh?
As a destination, Seseh is great if you want some place quiet and relaxed with access to an
undeveloped beach. Good for families, and for anyone who plans to spend time relaxing at the
>> Check out reviews of villas in the Seseh area.
Welcome to party central! Seminyak is the destination of choice if you want to be only a short
wallk (or ride) from shopping, restaurant, markets and nightclubs. This district is urban and
frenetic. This is the home of KuDeTa, La Lucchiola, the Oberoi and much, much, more. Finding an
oasis of peace and quiet is a challenge but not impossible. Prices tend to reflect popularity as this
is currently the destination of choice for Bali tourists looking for villa accommodations.
Why stay in Seminyak?
Convenience is Seminyak's hallmark. Everything is here. If you are party people or you really want
a hopping beach scene, this is the spot for you. If you are willing to settle for a villa hotel or villa
resort, there are some very good options here.
>> Check out reviews of villas in the Seminyak area.
Often referred to as the cultural center of Bali, Ubud is a destination with a difference. The
feature here is culture and increasingly, fine dining; it is not the spot for nightlife. Many people
view Ubud as a day trip destination and stay on the coast. For those who choose to stay in Ubud,
4. Villa‐Insider.com | A Quick Guide to Bali Villa Destinations
the day time is busy and a bit hectic, but in the evenings the town slows down and is very
pleasant. Lots of good museums, restaurants, and cultural attractions. Plenty of shopping here,
too, but prices in recent years have gone up dramatically. Note that proper taxi services are
lacking in Ubud; if you don't have your own car and driver you are at the mercy of the touts with
Why stay in Ubud?
Ubud is cooler and damper. This is not the coast ‐‐ this is the jungle. It has completely different
vibe than the coastal locations. Stay here if you want to exnjoy museums, dance performances,
and exploring cultural attractions.
>> Check out reviews of villas in the Ubud area.
Uluwatu is a rising star in the luxury accommodations scene. (The arrival of the Bulgari helped
cement that position.) Many five star resorts are under development here and there are some
beautiful, large villas here as well. Some of the island's most posh accommodations are perched
atop the cliffs of Uluwatu, looking out over the Indian Ocean. Find a fully serviced villa here, with
a car and driver, else you will feel stranded.
Why stay in Uluwatu?
Most people that stay here fall in two classes: Either luxe travelers, or surfers. There are
accommodations for both. Aside form the surfing and the views, there is not much else to
recommend the area, as development of infrastructure has yet to keep pace with the arrival of
the resorts and villas.
>> Check out reviews of villas in the Uluwatu area.
This article originally appeared in Villa‐Insider, a Bali villa blog and villa review site. http://villa‐