If you’re planning a trip abroad in the near future, perhaps a holiday villa is something you haven’t considered? I know that until our recent trip to the Villa Ylang Ylang in Bali, the thought of choosing a villa over a hotel had scarcely crossed our minds. And I don’t think we’re alone; why would you hunt around for a villa when there are so many great hotels out there?
Well it turns out that there are plenty of advantages to villas that we hadn’t even considered! Here are just a few!
Obnoxious tourists are the worst, and it’s even worse when you have to share your hotel with them! With a private villa you might as well be on another planet. No longer will you have to worry about kids splashing pool water in your margarita, waking up at 5am to reserve a sun lounger or yelling over the rowdy family sitting at the table next to you. If peace and quiet is what you need to truly relax, then a private villa is the only guarantee.
At Villa Ylang Ylang I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such tranquility. I can hardly think of a more peaceful memory than the time I spent enjoying a latte in the jacuzzi as the sun came up. Instead of yelling kids, the only noises were the waves as they gently broke on the beach in the distance. Villas 1, Hotels 0.
In terms of value for money, you’ll always get more value for money with a villa. Typically a hotel room has a bedroom, some living space (couch, tv) and occasionally a kitchen as well. As a rental villa is an entire property, you’ll generally have a LOT more living space and many more amenities (that you might typically find in a house). If you’re a larger group or family, you’ll also save money by renting a single property with multiple rooms, instead of having to shell out for multiple hotel rooms. The shared living space makes for some great economies.
At Villa Ylang Ylang there was an abundance of space. Considering it was just 3 of us, we could have easily had 2 bedrooms each (yes, it slept 12 and there were 3 of us :D). The swimming pool was enormous (especially as we had it all to ourselves), there was an amazing movie room, a yoga patio, a gym, a sauna, a sundeck, private jacuzzis and an enormous living area (not to mention the limitless beach in front of the property). You simply couldn’t get something like that at a hotel, and if you could, you’d be spending thousands and thousands.
The group before us was a wedding party, and I can see how renting a villa would have been a fantastic way to hold a wedding or large party.
On that note, with added privacy you have the freedom to really let loose. Whereas in a hotel you might have to keep the noise down after 11pm, with a private villa you can keep the party going until the sun comes up.
If I was having a small destination wedding in Bali, I would seriously consider holding my wedding at a villa rather than at a hotel. Personally, I would 100% recommend Villa Ylang Ylang if that’s something you’re considering.
If you’re staying at a Villa, the staff are generally a permanent fixture. This allows the service to be a lot more personal, and you don’t have to worry about who’s going to be rummaging around your room each day. The staff get to know what you like and what you don’t like and can tailor your stay to suit your needs. Want to have an early breakfast, late dinner or lunch by the pool? They can accommodate any requests because you’re their sole concern.
There aren’t big systems in place that don’t allow for flexibility. You might not be able to order room service at 4am, but if you want a late night sandwich or a specific type of beer or whatever, they can usually accommodate you.
In our stay there were several times when we found ourselves blown away by the personalized attention. Louise loves pasta and the staff went out of their way to make a spaghetti carbonara; went to the shops when they didn’t have the beer I wanted; they hand pumped our inflatables when they saw us struggling to blow them up; had a coffee waiting for me at sunrise once they figured out I liked to get up early. The list just goes on and on. I’ve never experienced that level of service in hotels except the most luxurious ones.
With a few exceptions, most hotels follow the same kind of framework, especially when it comes to the hotel room. When you stay in a private villa, you’re often staying in someone’s home that’s been decorated/built according to their personal tastes. The architecture can be far more interesting and you might find some unique features that are hard to come by in a hotel.
In Villa Ylang Ylang, there were a few features that really blew us away. The movie room was fantastic, the decoration of the high ceiling’d main living space was stunningly decadent, and the spotlit waves at night was just mesmerizing. The atmosphere really made it feel like home and let me relax far more than I ever have at a hotel.
I don’t know about you, but I’m always a little wary of the concierges at major hotels. It always feels like the recommendations are based on kickbacks and we always feel like we’re being funnelled towards the most generic tourist attractions. When you ask advice from your private villa staff, you’re generally asking the advice of a local with unbiased opinions. They can give you honest feedback on the more popular attractions and maybe can even suggest some hidden gems that google neglected to mention.
At the Villa Ylang Ylang we were set up with a local driver and the staff recommended some amazing local spots that we’d never even heard of. The value of that alone to us made the stay worthwhile. Check out some of the incredible spots we found here on our “Bali Bucketlist“.
We already mentioned this briefly, but you get a lot more bang for your buck with a private villa. It makes a lot of sense considering all the additional amenities and living space you get, especially if you’ve got a bigger group that can split the costs.
For example, if you’ve got 12 people to find rooms for, you’d likely need 6 rooms in a hotel. If you’re looking for a decent room in a decent hotel with comparable service, you could easily be paying $300 or $400 per night per room. That could quickly add up to upwards of $2400 per night. If we take Villa Ylang Ylang as an example, the cost per night can be as little as $1400 per night.
In the past, there were significant barriers to finding a decent villa, so it’s understandable that most people opt for hotels out of convenience. The reality however is that today booking a private villa is easier than ever. Sites like Airbnb have removed the barriers, and the ratings give you honest feedback on the kind of stay you’re likely to have. In the future, we’ll certainly be staying in more vilas where possible, and we highly recommend you give it a try too!
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