Rejoice, you’re off to rejuvenate in Bali – but where should you stay? From surf shacks in Uluwatu, to yoga retreats in Ubud and hip foodie haunts in Canggu, these are the best villas in Bali.
Forested volcanic mountains, endless beaches, rugged clifftop temples and yoga studios around every corner – welcome to Bali. The good vibes are conveyed almost by osmosis from the moment you step off the plane at Ngurah Rai International Airport. All you’ve got to do is decide where to eat, swim, sleep, repeat. Read our guide to the pick of the best villas in Bali.
Historically a place that courting Balinese couples would seek out to enjoy some alone time, Campuhan Ridge inspired this romantic retreat. Its 15 pretty pool villas are blessed with sweeping views of luscious emerald forest, following the natural contours of the valley. Amora has every right to see itself as a bright jewel in Ubud’s crown.
If you’re not convinced by the pool, outdoor tub and forest canopy views that each intimate hideaway at Nau has to offer, the butler service might do the trick. Be waited on hand and foot in one of 10 luxury villas. Sign up to trek the nearby river, stopping at hermit sanctuaries and sipping from fresh coconuts. Alternatively, visit local craftsmen at work in Ubud, join a village yoga class or gallop around the junglescape on horseback.
Time-out here is something to covet. Expect elegant minimalist interiors reflecting Ubud’s artisanship, and beautifully constructed platefuls of Indo cuisine at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Rest up in one of 10 villas, each with freshwater plunge pools. Emerge re-energised and ready to spend the day befriending Sumatran elephants at the nearby safari and marine park, or rent motorbikes and see where the day takes you.
Around the corner from Seminyak’s foodie-flocking ‘Eat Street’, Uma Sapna is a value-for-money villa cluster with its own kitchen (do try chef Manel’s smashed avo), babysitting service and spa rooms offering Meridian massage and Javaneselulur rituals. Contemporary art is the source of inspiration for these 22 creatively designed one- and two-bed abodes.
You might have to take a cart to reach your villa, but that only adds to the off-the-beaten-track appeal of the Bidadari, despite its proximity to Seminyak. Just a 15-minute drive and you can be living it up on the dancefloor at the famous local lounge bar, Potato Head. Take advantage of free, flexible shuttle services running from the villas several times a day and immerse yourself in the local way of life with canang sari making or a flower foot bath.
The simple act of a rejuvenating shower under Balinese skies, among native frangipani, palms and hibiscus, is the epitome of tropical living. It’s the best way to start the day in Bali. Stay in Serene’s Lotus and Acacia villas for chef-prepared dinners under the stars. Take the staff up on the trip to Uluwatu to absorb the surf scene, surrounded by jutting cliffs. Drop by Ulu Cliffhouse for a vibrant lunch with a summery soundtrack.
If you long to charter a helicopter to enjoy Bali beauty by air, this can be arranged at the contemporary haven, Origin. Alternatively, you might be happy with the surf gear and skateboards available on the activity wall instead. Take the latter for a spin at the Canggu skate bowl.Origin has a day-grazing menu and villa pantries – stock up on artisan produce using the market list you receive on arrival.
Seven villas surrounded by star fruit, papaya plants and banana trees make for a pleasant stay within tourist hotspot Kuta. There’s a free shuttle into town, plus mountain bike rental, shiatsu massage and nourishing milk masks on the room service menu. Choose from the DVD library on days when even ‘hair of the dog’ isn’t a viable hangover strategy.
Peeking out among the paddy fields in Berawa Canggu village, a short drive from the airport, is Amore’s smart four-bedroom villa. There’s also a tidy one-bed option, with private chefs. Queen of the cool places to hang out while you’re staying in Canggu is trendy Penny Lane with its twinkly, Instagrammable interior, featuring religious-icon-inspired artwork updated in the image of Biggie Smalls, Tupac and Jimi Hendrix.
The sophisticated sloping roofs of architect-designed dwellings catch the eye first; next, the landscaped gardens upon which each villa sits prettily. Visit the Italian eatery before teeing off at Bali Beach Golf Course, stroll Petitenget beach or shop for fabulous fashion at Jalan Laksmana. Want to make like an ancient pilgrim? Journey to the weather-beaten wedge of rock that’s home to sacred sea temple, Pura Tanah – just watch out for cheeky monkeys.