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 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.