Blissful in Bali
Coming from Los Angeles, I was a little concened about my first visit to Asia (language, finding the hotel, what to eat / drink, etc.). These fears were put to rest immediately on arrival at Bali's airport when I was greeted right at the exit from customs by Joseph (he was holding up a giant Villas Bali sign). On the short ride to the Villas, he told me (in perfect English) everything I would need to know about this magical island paradise.
The Villa by far exceeded my expectations...massive private swimming pool, tasteful decor and wifi that actually worked! After a delightfully edible lunch at Prana restaurant, I decided to try a "Jet Lag Remedy" at one of the two onsite spas. Just walking into this place is a trip...think Taj Mahal meets Casablanca!
Staff unbelievably friendly and helpful...great location and good value for the price. Highly Recommend!
My wife made me a fantastic surprise for my 40 birthday. This is an amazing place where the quality of service if really high, the food really good;the villas just plain gorgeous and really comfortable. Close to the beach and the shop streets this is a great spot to have a glimpse of the modern Bali.
But the most impresive is without doubt the Prana Spa where you feel in a Arabo Indian ferry tale, where Sauna,Hammam, massages, scrubs, water treatments are perfect and given by a qualified and attentive staff. Definitively a must try.
Perfect days in paradise.
We waited until we were home to write our Guest Comment so that we had time to savor our memories and compile our notes. We have many “kudos,” but still haven’t been able to come up with any negatives. This is mainly due to the top-notch staff. We had prior experience with the manager, David Kearns, at another South Pacific property and were very pleased to be “under his wing” again. Everyone -- reception, drivers, housekeepers, gardeners, security, restaurant staff – seems happy to be there, glad you are there, and ready to make your stay better. We’ve been many places where that is not the atmosphere, so we know what a great job management is doing. But let’s get down to details:
From the first impression to the last, The Villas is a comfortable private dwelling experience, with employees that are friendly, accommodating, gracious, prompt and highly competent. When we showed up from the airport at 10 p.m. on March 28, 2007 we were shown immediately into our villa, given a quick tour and allowed to get to sleep, with a promise to answer more details in the morning. There was fruit basket and wine in our entrance foyer, soft island music playing off the CD player/system out over our private swimming pool, and our beds were turned down for the night, elegantly draped with mosquito netting. The beds are very comfortable, sheets changed and the mosquito netting neatly tied up each morning. At twilight someone came and sprayed a light not-unfavorable scented mosquito repellent throughout the villa. We never got one bite. House and grounds keepers do an impeccable job keeping the property and common grounds in top shape. Leave your wash or dry cleaning in the basket in the morning and it will be back looking fresh that evening.
In the seven nights that we stayed at The Villas before and after our live-aboard dive boat charter, we had two different rooms, each with 2 full bedrooms suites and a pool “cabana,” suite which was just as well appointed and comfortable as the other bedrooms, but located across the pool from the common kitchen area and front entry. Each bedroom has its own bath, with a combination of either a step-in open tile shower, an open tub-shower, a large tile bath, and/or a shower opening into a private outdoor garden courtyard. Spa amenities of shampoo, lotion, bath foam, conditioner and handmade soaps are supplied daily, as are fresh, fluffy spa towels, toothbrush and paste and a hairdryer. Be sure to bring converters for the 220 Asian plugs. (I accidentally smoked a 110 transformer, but management found a replacement on the island the next day!) Bedrooms have individual A/C units run on remote controls and TV sets; movies and CD’s available for check-out in Reception. There is sufficient good lighting by the bedside, bathroom, above the conventional toilets and outside in the common space.
Automatic lighting adds to the beauty of the private “Yin-yang” motif blue-tiled pool each evening. Six large striped pool towels are always available on the porch rack and two big wooden sun chaise wait under the pool umbrella table. Right outside each bedroom is a big all-weather fabric seating platform with pillows for reading and entertaining, in addition to two large wooden captain’s chairs, 2 all-weather fabric chaise lounge and an accompanying lunch table. One large wood dining table with 6 chairs and a sideboard are situated in the breezy foyer between the 2 main bedrooms, right next to the kitchen. A large ceiling fan is positioned over each seating area to create breeze during the still parts of the day. The open air kitchen has a mid-sized refrigerator (stocked with some purchasable goodies and drinks) and freezer with ice, and a large water cooler. Dishes, glassware and some cooking utensils are provided above an oven/stove unit, as well as ample counter space for meal preparation. In short, there is seating, dining area and beds for a large family or friend reunion.
The crowning feature of each villa, though, is its garden and pool. The larger villas may have larger gardens and pools, but all are artfully sculpted with a variety of tropical plants, trees and flowers. A graceful trimmed Frangipani tree poses next to every pool, allowing a few beautiful and fragrant flowers to fall and float on the surface of the pool each day. Water lilies and koi grace the small fish ponds right outside each bedroom that also serve to collect rain water that rolls off the thick conical grass roofs adorning each building. Walkways around the pool through the lawn and the floors in each open air bathroom are unique: large square natural stone tiles skirted with either small blue (pool) or white (bathrooms) small river stones. The blue tiled pool has large shallow seating decks on both sides and a shallow 7” walk through area to wet your toes, with a smaller area deepening to about 7 feet, sufficient for lazing, reading or more active exercise. There’s nothing better than having your own private pool for enjoying a midnight or dawn “au naturel” dip.
We decided at the last minute to schedule a barbeque party at our villa for some of our friends after returning from our dive live-aboard. The Villas arranged for staff to grill (we chose a meat variety, but seafood or vegetarian fare is offered), serve, and clean up after the whole dinner. Additional lighting, seating, flowers, handmade decorations and buffet table are brought in for the fruit, salads and vegetable dishes that are designed with an Indonesian flavor. We also asked for Balinese musicians to play and we recommend this highly! The flute and traditional drum instrumentalists set the perfect mood, playing for at least 3 hours. It was a treat for everyone – our own backyard party away from home.
Apart from being a private “home” abroad, The Villas also has a restaurant and spa that hold their own as Balinese experiences not to miss. The restaurant is a colorful, serene Hindi oasis set behind high walls right off the main street. A large, intricate Hindu mosaic adorns one side wall and Ganesh smiles down from the balustrades. Half the tables are set in a grassy courtyard under umbrella tables and, at night, candle towers twinkle. A large koi pond and numerous gentle stone fountains, along with palms set an island mood. The gardens here are well-designed, like those in the Villas. The menu is light and healthy, a combination of European and Japanese with an island flavor. It serves as a nice complement to the Spa, which reigns above the courtyard at the top of a sweeping staircase. All dishes can be ordered and delivered to your Villa, but dining in the restaurant is a treat, if only to watch the graceful, beautiful employees move about their business. The Balinese are a lovely people and those employed at The Villas are especially capable, kind, friendly, and multi-lingual. There are internet connections in the restaurant, as well as wireless available; speed is slow and that is something management is working on. In-room internet wireless is in the planning stages.
Prana Spa is considered one of the best on the island – and remember, Bali set the world standard for the true spa experience. The Prana looks like an elegant Hindu temple, with rich colors, artwork, and stone with tile construction similar to that continued throughout the villas. Only the office is air-conditioned; the balance of the experience adds up to natural, restful and very effective relaxation, cleansing and purifying treatment. They have numerous treatments to chose from that follow Hindu custom, including Ayurvetic oil drumming, hot/cold sensory pools, face and body masking, rainshower cleansing, steambaths and the best massages I’ve had anywhere. Their smaller spa sister Chill on premise offers professional deep-tissue and acupressure therapy. Appointments are easy to schedule since the spa has 26 rooms and a large, experienced staff that draws clientele from all over the island. I had a Ayruvetic treatment and massage the day I arrived (since I’d gotten a touch of food poisoning on the plane) and a deep-cleansing treatment and massage after our week-long boat trip. Russ had his neck and back expertly worked on at Chill.
Another service The Villas offers are different island tours and classes, including snorkeling trips, introductory surfing at Kuta Beach, shopping trips and cultural explorations of the island. We arranged for an all-day trip with a private guide to visit various artisan shops, where master craftsmen carve world famous carvings from wood and stone, paint, weave, and make fabric. We were invited to tour a Sudra caste home in a small community off the main road, a 1,000-year old temple preparing for its next 120-day anniversary and, later, a monkey purification temple. We traveled high up the winding narrow road toward the volcano out of Ubud to see where natives have been growing rice on intricately carved hillside paddies for centuries and the air was cold and fresh. Right outside Ubud, the cultural, artistic center of the island, we ate Indonesian food on a porch overlooking a rice paddy and wandered in town to tour the huge marketplace boiling over with handmade goods. Next we entered the courtyard of the Royal Palace and watched one of the royal gamelan orchestras practice awhile. Across the street, the village women’s gamelan was playing in another portico-area while a couple of young adolescent men were practicing traditional dance-dramas. After twilight our driver took us to a near-by village to catch their performance of 3 ancient folk dramas on an outdoor stage. It was an expert tour, organized through The Villas management.
The large, comfortable, air-conditioned vans that picked you up at the airport can be scheduled to take you to various shopping areas or restaurants near-by. We were driven down to Kuta Beach one afternoon and across to a friend’s home for dinner in Sanur another night. Finding a taxi home is easy. It’s good to know, however, that The Villas is well situated within the thriving shopping area of Seminyak. Excellent little shops and restaurants are within walking distance for those who want the exercise and spontaneity. An excellent international gourmet grocery store, Bali Deli, is right across the street from The Prana Restaurant/Spa/Gift Shop and The Villas Main Reception. We shopped this well-stocked full-line grocery, restaurant, and bakery for provisions for our dive trip, as well as light lunches in their restaurant.
Many people may be concerned about security in Bali after the unfortunate nightclub bombing in 2002, when Indonesian Muslim terrorists tried to bring economic hardships upon the bright, stable, prosperous Hindu star in their archipelago. Bali has suffered, but they have shown determination and resolve to prevent a recurrence of violence. Every car is checked when it approaches the perimeter of The Villas, as in every hotel and major tourist venue. Police and security are quietly positioned everywhere about the island frequented by tourists, watching for suspicious conduct, but with a friendly smile on their face. We felt very safe the entire time during our visit.
If you want a first-class home-away-from home experience, you could not find a better oasis than The Villas – for a night, a week or a month (lucky you!). It is quiet elegance within a bustling, exotic island Paradise that has cultural, spiritual and ecological adventures just waiting to be explored. If you feel like leaving your pool, that is.
Russ and Elisa Berger
The best property I have ever stayed in
I stayed at The Villas for four nights in Febuary this year with a friend. They look even better in real life then in the photos on their website (though i did stay in one of the newer villas). They are completly private, would be perfect for a honeymoon or romantic get away. You also get your own private pool and garden.
The villas are cleaned regularly and if you don't want to go to the restaurant for breakfast, they will come to your villa and prepare your food right there for you.
The local shops are within walking distance, but to get to Kuta or the main shopping parts of Bali a taxi is needed, but this is very cheap anyway.
Love this place
I stayed at The Villas from 20th Sept to 23rd Sept. The driver who picked me from Payogan at 12.30pm told me that the check in time is at 3pm. I appreciate his effort to inform me and he offered to drive me to places that I would like to visit before heading to Seminyak. I am surprised that the check in time is at 3pm and not at 2pm.
Upon check-in, I was upgraded to a 4 bedroom villa although I booked a 1 bedroom. 3 other rooms were locked but I get to enjoy the huge pool, garden and dining area.
Breakfast was the best among the 3 hotels I stayed during my trip. Besides the usual fried, scrambed, poached or boiled eggs, you can also have Eggs Benedict or Florentine. Coffee is also the best, freshly brewed. I did not order breakfast to be cook in my villa. Within walking distance, there are other dining choices for lunch and dinner eg. Warung Made, Warung Italia (closed on Sunday), Bali Deli. Hotel provides complimentary scheduled shuttle to Legian and Kuta. Taxi are readily available. Do check if they have a meter before boarding.
I went for 2 spa treatments (hot and cold stone and simple bliss) at the Prana Spa. Cost is about US$85-US$88 (11/2 hr-2 hrs) after a 20% discount given by the hotel for in-house guests. The voucher can be used as many times as you like during your stay. Both treatments were beautifully and professionally executed. Staff are gentle and delicate but 'hit' all the right spots during the treatment. Do not worry about not knowing what to do next. From the changing room to the treatment room and back, the staff are always there to guide you. Do book in advance as the spa is extremely popular. I was disappointed with Chill's treatment although I liked the idea of the MP3. The massage did not feel good at all.
Will not hesitate to return to "The Villas" for the fabulous spa and location. Discount vouchers at the restaurant and gift shop are also given upon check in. Vouchers can be used throughout your stay. You will also receive a complimentary 30 min treatment at Prana (choose between foot massage or neck and shoulder massage). This service, though complimentary, is professionally executed as well.
Magnificent - Brilliant - Highly Recommended
We stayed Mid Sept this year and this was our fifth trip to Bali - we never even knew the The Bali Villas even existed, but WOW what an experience. We were upgraded to a 3 bedroom Villa - complimentary, it was MAGNIFICENT to say the least. From Accommodation to STAFF you would go a long long way to find better.
We are heading back after XMAS for 2 weeks.
Regards Greg & Melissa Carey - Queensland Australia
good hotel, arrived in bali and was greated by owner of hotel who brung us water and hot towels which was great after a 19 hr flight from london! got to the hotel after a very short drive from airport and greeted by many staff, the hotel has great security by the way which is imperitve. had to fill out a few forms but we where then taken to the villa within 5 mins. Wow, we had a 1 bed villa but i was amazed and it made our honeymoon complete. My wife loved the large swimming pool as well as outdoor bathtub. the tropical garden was lush and amazing - avoid the dragonflies though! with many fishes. Bedroom was ok, looked a bit worn not the best ive seen but not exactly the worst and the bed was covered with a mosquito net which was not very effective to tell you to the truth and the air conn wasnt powerful enough, but we did ok. location wise its ok in seyminyak there is a luxury of hotels near by and the spa in the hotel is amazing ( my wife says so!) and very reasonably priced as well as the food as well. Overall a great hotel and you will not be dissapointed.
Exclusivity and Luxury
The Villas (Sunset) was a delightful experience to get away from everything. Loved the private pool, the outdoor bathroom, furnishings, tranquility, and the breakfasts which they cooked in your own kitchen. It is not so close to the beach, so if you want to just laze by the beach, maybe The Villas is just far enough that it takes some effort by taxi or foot. If you want seclusion, privacy and a retreat from the world, then The Villas is GREAT! The Prana spa was also nice, although somewhat 'efficient' despite not being very busy (I am a spa nut). Prana is also a lot more expensive than most spas in the area but inexpensive relative to European or North American prices; if you just want the experience, book one treatment here then go to some other nice spas for a similar experience for half the price. Rent a car if you want to explore; Bali doesn't seem to be a place you really explore by foot. Within a 5 minute walk from The Villas are shops and restaurants all catering to tourists. Save the search for cultural experiences for other countries: in Bali, it seems to be shopping (wood, baskets, beads, jewellery, batik, silver) or enjoying the beach.
The Villas truly are beautiful and I recommend them at every opportunity I have as the premier place to stay in bali. I think I have now stayed at the villas 5 times over the last 5 years and the level of service and the quality of the villas is as good as my very first stay, no tired rooms or dated furnishings! The staff from the driver who met us at the airport , to the house keeps, pool cleaners, gardeners, front office, chefs and anyone I have missed...are a credit to the property! They do their daily jobs with such happiness and exchange pleasantries at every opportunity....the certainly add to the numerous special touches the villas have to offer. Truly a unique property.......I love staying in the sunset section due to location near Bintang Supermarket and central shopping!
I've always been to hotels whilst in Bali, but I'm a Villa convert.
It's like having your own home in the middle of paradise.
When we arrived, we were taken to Reception which is next to the gorgeous Prana Restaurant and Spa. We were then told, to my shock, that our Villa was 5 minutes drive away... not expecting this. My fiance started getting cranky at me (bc naturally it was up to me to organise the whole trip), as we were driven down a VERY bumpy backstreet to the Sunset Villas. We were led down a narrow corridor to our front gate, and upon it's opening, found ourselves in our own private paradise. All our worries went right out the window!
PARADISE. I can't describe it any other way... a MASSIVE beautiful pool, huge gorgeous gardens, lovely Bali-style villas with outdoor but covered kitchen and sitting area, a gorgeous 4-poster bed, huge walk-in robe, very large and gorgeous semi-outdoor bathroom with a stunning marble bath/shower.
Purchase a couple of Cafe Del Mar - type CDs from one of the zillion DVD shops, order a cocktail from room service, and relax in your private pool. We even had our own resident little black fluffy kitten! Not to mention many birds, lizards and butterflies. Stunning!
Best bit: BREAKFAST IS COOKED FOR YOU IN YOUR VILLA every morning! You have your own personal chef AND a waitress/waiter! You can choose from 5 types of breakfasts! Japanese is the best.
Only qualm: mosquitos. Not much you can do about them, and the bed has mosquito netting which is let down with the turn-down service, along wtih lovely-smelling insect repellant.
If you plan on staying here and are at the Sunset Villas, reception can hire you a motorbike for about 50,000 rupiah for 24 hours (about $7.50 Australia a day with petrol!), that way you can more easily get to the fabulous shops on Legian St (about 5 minutes walk away but it's not an easy walk, you take your life into your hands!).
Seminyak is one of my favorite areas in Bali, given the amount of great boutique shops there, great restaurants, and beautiful places to stay. It's also close to Kuta and therefore close to my very favorite place in Bali: Centro Discovery Shopping Centre... what can I say, I'm a girl!
You must have a treatment at Prana Spa...it's absolutely magnificent. Prana Restaurant is SUPERB in it's ambience and Persian-inspired architecture, however the food was quite disappointing. This restaurant has all the makings of one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world, but the food doesn't do it justice. Fine dining is what it should be, and at best it was Bali-street-cafe style food. Still, you should eat there once, just to gaze at the gorgeous architecture.
All up, I am COMPLETELY IN LOVE with The Villas Hotel and Spa, and will DEFINITELY come back. I wish I was back there now!