Bali Villa Suggestions & Beach Recs?

Apr 9th, 2012, 01:04 PM
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Bali Villa Suggestions & Beach Recs?

My aunt and I are traveling to Bali (June 22-July 2) - yippee! I have done some research here, as I always do before asking, but I haven't come up with any definitive AND recent recommendations.

We are planning on spending the majority of our time in Ubud, but would like to spend a day or two at the beach. So I thought we could either 1) start at the beach for a night or two, probably in the south since we'll be flying into Denpasar, or 2) head straight to Ubud and do an overnight beach trip somewhere in the middle of our stay.

I would love to hear any specific recommendations for villas (or quiet hotels) in the Ubud area, and also recommendations for a less-touristy but still swimmable beach. We're not too interested in the "international tourism" scene of the big resort areas.

My understanding is that as long as we're within a short drive of the town of Ubud, we are close enough to soak up the cultural scene - is that correct?

Thanks in advance!
ceb1222 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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ceb, could you give an idea of your price range?
marmot is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 05:04 PM
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Oops, forgot that part... Up to $300 a night, and we'd go a little higher for something really exceptional. However, that was after my aunt looked at a luxury villa website... My understanding is that there are pretty luxurious places for less than $300...?
ceb1222 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 05:23 PM
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ceb, prices in Bali are all over the place and don't necessarily correlate to quality. Your dates are at the beginning of the high season so you may pay a premium.

All of the Southern beaches are commercialized to an extent and you won't be able to avoid the "touristy" element. Having said that some are better for swimming, some for walking, some for sunsets or sunrises, some for access to shopping, retaurants and spas.

Sanur, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran are all good swimming beaches with a wide choice of accomocations, mostly large to mid-size resorts. Among these Sanur would be my first choice because it has a nice community feel, but some of the most well known properties are showing their age.

Seminyak is a big wave beach which may not be what you're looking for for swimming, but it's definitely a great for walking and sunsets. There are lots of restaurants and shops close by. It's lively, but not frantic.

Seminyak has oodles of villas, not on the beach but within walking distance. The choice can be overwhelming, but to start look at the Laksmana group and anything in the Petitenget area.

I really like the Colony Hotel for value, aesthetic and location.

In Ubud, it doesn't really matter where you stay as you will be traveling from place to place anyway. Some people prefer to be right in town and within walking distance of shops, restaurants and performing venues. Some (like me) prefer to be out of town for the serenity and natural beauty.

I'd suggest a full service small resort/hotel versus a villa as you can have the best of both worlds -- alternating peace and activity as you want it. I like Uma Ubud in town, and the Alila and Alam Shanti outside. The Koman group is also good.

For your beach selection you should also look at the Alila in Manggis. Not the best beach, but swimmable, and a lovely property with access to the culture and nature of East Bali.
marmot is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 06:59 PM
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Great info, marmot, thanks! I was just looking at Alam Shanti and Alam Jiwa, and I came back on here to add that we are definitely open to small hotels in Ubud that would have that same private feel. Based on the Alam properties' website, that is definitely the feel we are looking for. I will look up your other suggestions.

For an eight day trip, do you have an opinion on starting at the coast and then moving on to Ubud vs. basing in Ubud and doing a mid-trip excursion to the coast?
ceb1222 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2012, 07:46 PM
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My oops this time. I meant to suggest Alam Sari, outside of Ubud. I have no negatives on Alam Shanti which is a Fodor's favorite, but I've never been there.

In eight days I'd only make one move (unless you've already decided to divide you time between two places in Ubud). I like the beach in Bali and would consider it a good way to end a trip, but some people experience culture shock after the peace and serenity of Ubud.
marmot is offline  
Apr 10th, 2012, 09:24 PM
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Agree with Marmot: I would start at the beach (closer to the airport also) and then end in Ubud.

BTW, proximity to downtown doesn't necessarily have any correlation to enjoying the Balinese culture or even experiencing Ubud district. Downtown Ubud is mostly just the center of shops and restaurants and many hotels....not a cultural spot! A better way to enjoy the culture is to experince temples, ceremonies and rituals, plus the arts and people.

Enjoy your trip!
kuluk is offline  

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